SDA virus outbreak - important, please read

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SDA virus outbreak - important, please read

Post by Fancy Rats Admin » Fri Jun 05, 2009 2:55 pm

Following the recent SDAV outbreak and subsequent show cancellations, FR would like to make members aware that there are some new cases of SDAV appearing.

The symptoms of SDAV vary between rats, between strains of the virus, but they include:

  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sneezing
  • Porphyrin staining
  • Symptoms of secondary infections such as sneezing, chest noises, pneumonia
  • Swellings around the neck.
  • Bulging of eyes.
  • Porphyrin staining, bleeding, or discoloration of tissue around the eyes in some cases
  • Deaths in the rattery


SDAV is a highly contagious virus, alone it is not fatal but it weakens the immune system allowing secondary infections to take hold and often kill the rat.

The disease is spread through contact with food, bedding, cages, cage accessories, carriers, human skin, clothing and other objects used or touched by infected rats. The virus may possibly so be carried in the mucous membranes of humans which can contribute to the spread of this illness. It can survive up to 2 days away from it's host.

Rats will begin to show symptoms as early as 5 days but as late as two weeks, symptoms of secondary infections may show sooner or later depending on the infection. It it important to note that not all rats infected with SDAV will show symptoms.

There is no treatment for SDAV itself and, actually, this is not needed. However, aggressive blanket treatment with broad-spectrum antibiotics at the maximum possible doses for 3-4 weeks should be given to reduce the number of deaths in your group or rattery. Topical eye treatments are helpful to increase the rats' comfort.

Keep affected rats clean, warm and away from bright lighting. Provide extra fluid (offer Dr Squiggles or herbal teas to encourage extra fluid intake) and nutritional support (offer tasty, high calorie food and consider giving the brown rice booster.)

We urge everyone to employ proper quarantine as standard, but it is especially important during a virus outbreak. See here for information on effective quarantining.

When cleaning second hand cages or anything that may have come into contact with infected rats use any normal household disinfectant and for hammocks wash at temperatures of 85C or over.

If you get this infection in your rats, then avoid all contact with other rats or rat owners for 6-8 weeks after the last rat became infected. It is recommended not to try to quarantine within your own rats as this is complicated and often only prolongs the oubreak. With prompt and adequate antibiotic treatment most rats will survive this.


If anyone has an outbreak of this virus or suspects an outbreak please pm FRA as soon as possible with details of the infection, where you and your rats have been, whether you have taken in any other rats recently and whether you or your rats have been in contact with other rats recently. This is so that we can accurately pass information between rat clubs to try and curb the outbreak. All pms will be treated in the strictest confidence, your name will not be passed on with the information.

For more information about the virus and possible antibiotics please see The Rat Guide and the NFRS article.
Regards,
Fancy Rats Team

Fancy Rats Admin
Fancy Rats Team
Fancy Rats Team
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Re: SDA virus outbreak - important, please read

Post by Fancy Rats Admin » Sun Jun 07, 2009 2:13 pm

In light of this outbreak the NFRS (National Fancy Rat Society) and NERS (North of England Rat Society) have cancelled all shows until September. Other clubs may also do this, we will keep you updated.
Regards,
Fancy Rats Team

Fancy Rats Admin
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Re: SDA virus outbreak - important, please read

Post by Fancy Rats Admin » Mon Jun 08, 2009 10:53 pm

The YRC (Yorkshire Rat Club) have cancelled their July show and will continue to review and monitor the situation.

The LSCMRC (London and Southern Counties Mouse and Rat Club) have cancelled their shows until September.
Regards,
Fancy Rats Team

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Re: SDA virus outbreak - important, please read

Post by Fancy Rats Admin » Thu Jun 11, 2009 2:02 pm

The MRC (Midlands Rat Club) is cancelling it's 1st August club show at Sawley and it's inaugural pet fun day show at Lichfield on 22nd August.

The club is continuing to monitor the SDAV situation and hopes to continue holding shows from the scheduled October show onwards.
Regards,
Fancy Rats Team

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Re: SDA virus outbreak - important, please read

Post by Fancy Rats Admin » Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:38 pm

The SRC have cancelled their August show. Their next show will be October.
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Fancy Rats Team

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Re: SDA virus outbreak - important, please read

Post by Fancy Rats Admin » Wed Sep 09, 2009 8:41 pm

There have been 3 new cases of SDAV (related to each other) around the Manchester/SW Lancs area. Also a Sheffield vet reports new suspected cases.

None of the current cases are show related. The absence of shows has not stopped this illness but hopefully severely restricted gatherings can be shown not to exacerbate it.

Shoulder rats are not premitted at shows across the country at present, please see your specific club for guidence if you are unsure. All of the clubs are in discussion with each other regarding how best to proceed given the circumstances.


We suggest that you do not bring any rats to a show if you have:

* taken in new rats from any source within the past 3 weeks;
* had any acute (new) illness or unexpected deaths in the past 3 weeks;
* had any rat related contact with anyone who has had any acute (new) illness or unexpected deaths in the past 3 weeks;
* had any rat related contact with rats of unknown background (eg helping at a rescue centre, handling rats in a pet shop) in the past 3 weeks;
* had the virus within a small group of rats within the past 4 weeks:
* had the virus within a group of 15 or more rats, or when raising a litter within the past 8 weeks.


We suggest that you quarantine any new rats effectively (perhaps with a relative or friend without rats) especially if the person the rats is coming from has done anything listed in the point above.
Regards,
Fancy Rats Team

Fancy Rats Admin
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Re: SDA virus outbreak - important, please read

Post by Fancy Rats Admin » Fri Sep 18, 2009 3:50 pm

There has been a new outbreak, but this time it appears to not be so virulent.

For the safety of the rats no one that showed at the L&S show would be able to show at NFRS Taunton, as this left 3 exhibitors the show would not be financially viable so it has been cancelled.
Regards,
Fancy Rats Team

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