Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy


or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

Protozoal Microorganisms of the Gastrointestinal Tract in Rats

Protozoal Infection in Rats

 

The digestive tract in rats is home to a wide variety of microorganisms, including protozoa, single celled organisms that play an important and beneficial role in the digestive balance. In some cases, however, protozoa can be of a parasitic variety, and can bring harm to the host animal.

 

Under healthy conditions the beneficial microorganisms are higher in number than the harmful microorganisms. But when a rat is stressed or in a diseased condition with a lowered immunity, the balance between the beneficial and harmful protozoa is tipped in favor of the harmful ones, which can allow for intestinal infections. There are also some species of harmful protozoa that can be transmitted to rats through various sources, most notably infected feces, and which can also lead to intestinal infections.

 

Protozoal infection is a relatively common finding in young rats.

 

Symptoms and Types

 

  • Weakness and lethargy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of body condition
  • Rough hair coat
  • Bleeding (which, in severe cases, can lead to death)

Causes

 

  • Stressful conditions
  • Lowered immunity – imbalanced intestinal bacteria and organisms
  • Contaminated feces – fecal-oral route

 

Diagnosis

 

Your veterinarian will make an initial diagnosis by observing the rat's symptoms. He or she can then confirm the diagnosis by examining the feces under a microscope for the presence of protozoa.

 

Comments  0

Leave Comment

Related Articles

Viral Respiratory Infection in Rats
Lymphocytic choriomeningitis is a viral infection that is relatively common in rats.
READ MORE
Roundworms in Chinchillas
Much like in other animals, endoparasite worms are a common problem in chinchillas....
READ MORE
Bacterial Disease (Tularemia) in Prairie Dogs
Though rarely encountered among prairie dogs, tularemia spreads quickly and is fatal...
READ MORE
  • Lifetime Credits:
  • Today's Credits:
Hurry Before All Seats are Taken!
Enroll
Be an A++ Pet Parent! Take fun & free courses to earn badges & certifications. Choose a course»

PETMD POLL

What do you use to prevent ticks from feeding on your pet?

Around the Web


MORE FROM PETMD.COM