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Monday, November 18, 2013

Rats and Strep Throat

I have been ill with strep throat for the past several days and am much better now that I am on antibiotics - except that the antibiotics are making me a little nauseated.

I found that while I have been ill, I have been very leery of handling our rats. I outsourced their play time to my boys and I just handled the preparation and serving of breakfast with minimal contact. But in reality, I do not need to be concerned.

I have a book called "Rats: Practical, Accurate Advice From the Expert" by Debbie Ducommun. This was a book I bought when I didn't know much about them and I wanted an introduction to the subject. There is an error in this book, however, that I have seen repeated elsewhere. It explains that a strep infection in rats is usually fatal within 3 days if not treated and says, "A strep infection can be transmitted from people to rats, so anyone with strep throat should stay away from rats."

In fact, while Streptococcus pneumonia can be passed between people and rats, this is not the organism that causes strep throat. Strep throat is caused by Streptococcus pyogenes, and this organism does not affect rats. So my rats are perfectly safe from my nasty bacterial infection - which is more than I can say for the rest of my family.

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