Sialodacryoadenitis and Coronavirus Infection in Rats

3 min read

Sialodacryoadenitis and rat coronavirus are inter-related viral infections that affect the nasal cavities, lungs, salivary glands and the Harderian gland that is close to the eyes in rats. These are highly infectious diseases that can be spread from rat to rat simply by being in the same vicinity as an infected rat. Aerial spread of the virus is common through sneezing by the infected rats. In addition, rats do not always show signs of being infected, making this virus an unexpected danger.

An infected rat may carry the virus quietly and without symptoms for a week. These viral infections last from two to three weeks.

Symptoms and Types

An infected rat's symptoms will depend on the organs that are most affected by the infection. In fact, a rat may be a carrier of the virus for up to a week sometimes without displaying any symptoms. Discharge from the eyes along with mumps-like symptoms will be present with primary sialodacryoadenitis infection. Other symptoms that may occur include:

  • Excessive sneezing
  • Discharge from nose
  • Enlarged salivary glands
  • Lymph nodes may be swollen in immune system response
  • Mumps
  • Avoidamce of bright light (photophobia)
  • Reddish brown pigments and discharge around the eyes
  • Inflammation of cornea or conjunctiva (eye tissue)
  • Squinting
  • Blinking
  • Eye rubbing
  • Excessive scratching at eyes
  • Dehydration, if loss of appetite is present



Direct contact with infected rats or with their bodily fluids (urine, saliva, feces, etc.) can expose your pet to the sialodacryoadenitis or coronavirus. There are even some circumstances in which the viruses can become airborne.


Your veterinarian will diagnose the infections through the physical symptoms presented and by laboratory analysis of the body fluids.

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