Pet rats left for dead in cage dumped in a Leicester car park

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Feb 21, 2018 in Rat News
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RSPCA officers are looking for a new home for a for a pack of pet rats that were left for dead in a Leicester car park.

A cramped cage carrying four young male rats was dumped in a bush behind a block of flats in Stoneygate Avenue with no food or water.

The abandoned rats were found by a member of the public on Sunday February 11.

The RSPCA was called and animal collection officer Greg Hagen collected the two-month old rodents.

Staff caring for them have named the rats Bodger, Badger, Mash and Potato after the popular 90s children’s TV programme.

Mr Hagen said: “These four young rats were found in a very small cage which had been dumped in a bush in a car park in Leicester.

“Apart from mites and fleas, the rats are physically fine and seem healthy.

“They are wary of people so it seems like they haven’t been handled very much so far.

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Can you help RSPCA?

“They were in a very small cage when they were found but have now been moved to a bigger cage where they can explore and start settling into the life at the centre with a predictable routine, which will all help to ease their nervousness a little bit.

“There is never an excuse to abandon an animal in this way.

“The four little rats were lucky they were found by a kind passer-by who contacted the RSPCA otherwise the outlook could have been very bleak for these animals who had been dumped and exposed to the elements.”

Can you offer these rats a home?

The RSPCA is now looking for new a new home for the furry foursome.

They will need an experienced owner who can give them the handling they need to build up their confidence and get them used to human contact.

They will also need large accommodation with plenty of enrichment to keep them entertained.

They would also like be re-homed as a group.

Mr Hagen said: “Rats are intelligent and highly social animals.

“They have an excellent sense of touch and smell and usually live for about two years but some may live longer.

“They have complex needs but providing their needs are met, rats are incredibly rewarding animals to look after and can form close human-animal bonds with their carers.”

Can you offer these rats a home?

The RSPCA is now appealing for information from anyone who may have seen anything in Stoneygate Avenue in Leicester, on Sunday, February 11, at about 12.30pm, to contact the RSPCA appeal line on 0300 123 8018.

For more information or to give Bodger, Badger, Mash and Potato a forever home contact the RSPCA Northamptonshire branch on 01604 881317.

Article source: https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/news/leicester-news/pet-rats-left-dead-cage-1238418

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A deadly virus that rats can spread to humans is hitting breeders and …

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Feb 15, 2018 in Rat News
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pet rat

Audrey/Flickr Creative Commons

  • A dangerous virus that can cause kidney failure and death is spreading to rat owners in the US and Canada.
  • So far, 24 people have been infected with ‘Seoul virus’ and three have been hospitalized.
  • One of the best ways to avoid catching the virus from a pet rat is to practice good hand-washing.


People with pet rats should practice safe rodent handling and good hand hygiene to avoid catching a virus that can jump from rats to humans, infectious disease experts warn.

For the first time, doctors in the US and Canada have confirmed cases of rodent-born Seoul virus spreading from pet rats to humans. Rats show no symptoms of the virus, but it can be very dangerous for people, and in severe cases, it’s deadly.

In December 2016, a Wisconsin-based rat-breeder with around 100 Norway rats at home was hospitalized with fever and a low white blood cell count. The patient displayed signs of possible liver and kidney damage, and ultimately tested positive for Seoul virus, according to
a February report
from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC’s
Janna Kerins
, who coauthored the report, told Reuters that “the outbreak spread from sales or trade of infected pet rats between people’s homes or between ratteries” – places where rats are bred – in 11 states.

Researchers identified 24 people in the US and Canada who developed acute Seoul virus infections after contact with pet rats. Eight became ill, and three were hospitalized but recovered, Kerins said.

Seoul virus is a type of hantavirus found in Norway rats, one of the most common varieties of rats in the United States. Although the virus does not cause symptoms in rats, infected rodents will host and shed the virus for life. People with Seoul virus infections often have no or mild flu-like symptoms, but “kidney failure or death can occur in rare cases,” said Kerins.

Rats can spread the virus to humans through infectious saliva, urine, droppings, or aerosolization from contaminated bedding, the CDC reports. Experts don’t think the virus can spread from person to person, and stress that transmission from rats to humans is also rare. Health experts say adults should disinfect rat cages routinely with a 10% bleach solution or disinfectant.

“This is a good reminder that rats and other rodents can carry hantavirus without looking sick, so it is important for owners of pet rats to be aware of the risk for Seoul virus infection, and to practice good hand hygiene . . . such as washing hands after handling rodents and before preparing food, and by avoiding rat bites and scratches,” Kerins said.

Healthcare providers should consider Seoul virus infection in patients with compatible symptoms and rat contact, the authors wrote. Tests are available from the CDC as well as commercial labs. Physicians and other medical providers should contact their state or local health department when they suspect a patient has a Seoul virus infection.

Reuters reporting by Shereen Lehman.

Article source: https://www.businessinsider.in/a-deadly-virus-that-rats-can-spread-to-humans-is-hitting-breeders-and-pet-owners-in-the-us-for-the-first-time/articleshow/62892670.cms

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Pet rats spread deadly Seoul virus in US and Canada for the first …

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Feb 14, 2018 in Rat News
Closed

Audrey/Flickr Creative Commons

  • A dangerous virus that can cause kidney failure and death is spreading to rat owners in the US and Canada.
  • So far, 24 people have been infected with ‘Seoul virus’ and three have been hospitalized.
  • One of the best ways to avoid catching the virus from a pet rat is to practice good hand-washing.

People with pet rats should practice safe rodent handling and good hand hygiene to avoid catching a virus that can jump from rats to humans, infectious disease experts warn.

For the first time, doctors in the US and Canada have confirmed cases of rodent-born Seoul virus spreading from pet rats to humans. Rats show no symptoms of the virus, but it can be very dangerous for people, and in severe cases, it’s deadly.

In December 2016, a Wisconsin-based rat-breeder with around 100 Norway rats at home was hospitalized with fever and a low white blood cell count. The patient displayed signs of possible liver and kidney damage, and ultimately tested positive for Seoul virus, according to a February report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC’s Janna Kerins, who coauthored the report, told Reuters that “the outbreak spread from sales or trade of infected pet rats between people’s homes or between ratteries” — places where rats are bred — in 11 states.

Researchers identified 24 people in the US and Canada who developed acute Seoul virus infections after contact with pet rats. Eight became ill, and three were hospitalized but recovered, Kerins said.

Seoul virus is a type of hantavirus found in Norway rats, one of the most common varieties of rats in the United States. Although the virus does not cause symptoms in rats, infected rodents will host and shed the virus for life. People with Seoul virus infections often have no or mild flu-like symptoms, but “kidney failure or death can occur in rare cases,” said Kerins.

Rats can spread the virus to humans through infectious saliva, urine, droppings, or aerosolization from contaminated bedding, the CDC reports. Experts don’t think the virus can spread from person to person, and stress that transmission from rats to humans is also rare. Health experts say adults should disinfect rat cages routinely with a 10% bleach solution or disinfectant.

“This is a good reminder that rats and other rodents can carry hantavirus without looking sick, so it is important for owners of pet rats to be aware of the risk for Seoul virus infection, and to practice good hand hygiene . . . such as washing hands after handling rodents and before preparing food, and by avoiding rat bites and scratches,” Kerins said.

Healthcare providers should consider Seoul virus infection in patients with compatible symptoms and rat contact, the authors wrote. Tests are available from the CDC as well as commercial labs. Physicians and other medical providers should contact their state or local health department when they suspect a patient has a Seoul virus infection.

Reuters reporting by Shereen Lehman.

Article source: http://www.businessinsider.com/r-seoul-virus-can-jump-from-pet-rats-to-owners-2018-2

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A deadly virus that rats can spread to humans is hitting breeders and pet owners in the US for the first time

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Feb 13, 2018 in Rat News
Closed

Audrey/Flickr Creative Commons

  • A dangerous virus that can cause kidney failure and death is spreading to rat owners in the US and Canada.
  • So far, 24 people have been infected with ‘Seoul virus’ and three have been hospitalized.
  • One of the best ways to avoid catching the virus from a pet rat is to practice good hand-washing.

People with pet rats should practice safe rodent handling and good hand hygiene to avoid catching a virus that can jump from rats to humans, infectious disease experts warn.

For the first time, doctors in the US and Canada have confirmed cases of rodent-born Seoul virus spreading from pet rats to humans. Rats show no symptoms of the virus, but it can be very dangerous for people, and in severe cases, it’s deadly.

In December 2016, a Wisconsin-based rat-breeder with around 100 Norway rats at home was hospitalized with fever and a low white blood cell count. The patient displayed signs of possible liver and kidney damage, and ultimately tested positive for Seoul virus, according to a February report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC’s Janna Kerins, who coauthored the report, told Reuters that “the outbreak spread from sales or trade of infected pet rats between people’s homes or between ratteries” — places where rats are bred — in 11 states.

Researchers identified 24 people in the US and Canada who developed acute Seoul virus infections after contact with pet rats. Eight became ill, and three were hospitalized but recovered, Kerins said.

Seoul virus is a type of hantavirus found in Norway rats, one of the most common varieties of rats in the United States. Although the virus does not cause symptoms in rats, infected rodents will host and shed the virus for life. People with Seoul virus infections often have no or mild flu-like symptoms, but “kidney failure or death can occur in rare cases,” said Kerins.

Rats can spread the virus to humans through infectious saliva, urine, droppings, or aerosolization from contaminated bedding, the CDC reports. Experts don’t think the virus can spread from person to person, and stress that transmission from rats to humans is also rare. Health experts say adults should disinfect rat cages routinely with a 10% bleach solution or disinfectant.

“This is a good reminder that rats and other rodents can carry hantavirus without looking sick, so it is important for owners of pet rats to be aware of the risk for Seoul virus infection, and to practice good hand hygiene . . . such as washing hands after handling rodents and before preparing food, and by avoiding rat bites and scratches,” Kerins said.

Healthcare providers should consider Seoul virus infection in patients with compatible symptoms and rat contact, the authors wrote. Tests are available from the CDC as well as commercial labs. Physicians and other medical providers should contact their state or local health department when they suspect a patient has a Seoul virus infection.

Reuters reporting by Shereen Lehman.

Article source: http://www.businessinsider.com/r-seoul-virus-can-jump-from-pet-rats-to-owners-2018-2

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VOCM – Two Displaced After Cashin Avenue Fire

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Feb 12, 2018 in Rat News
Closed

Two people have been displaced by an overnight fire in a small bungalow containing two apartments in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

St. John’s Regional crews were called to a fire on Cashin Avenue just after midnight last night. Platoon Chief Rick DeHaan said that firefighters were alerted to the blaze by a resident of the home, and arrived a short time later to find the fire in a bedroom.

It was quickly brought under control but the rear unit of the two-apartment home sustained fire, smoke, and water damage, while the second apartment was smoke damaged.

There were no reported injuries to occupants of either apartment, and two cats were rescued by firefighters. Several pet rats were also brought from the burning home by their owner.

Disaster volunteers with the Canadian Red Cross are helping a man from one apartment and a woman from the other unit with emergency lodging, food, clothing purchases and other basics.

Photos by Earl Noble

Article source: http://vocm.com/news/two-displaced-after-cashin-avenue-fire/

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CDC Identifies Seoul Virus Outbreak Among Pet Rat Owners

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Feb 10, 2018 in Rat News
Closed

These are the first known cases of individuals catching the virus from their pets in Canada or the U.S.

By Diana Kwon | February 6, 2018

Article source: https://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/51561/title/CDC-Identifies-Seoul-Virus-Outbreak-Among-Pet-Rat-Owners/

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Dog left heartbroken after his rodent best mate dies | Metro News

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Feb 9, 2018 in Rat News
Closed
This dog and rat had a more beautiful friendship than you'll ever know
This could be you but you’re not a rat (Picture: Mercury)

When you find a friend that makes your heart sing, it’s the best feeling in the world.

The first person you think of when you see a funny meme, the one you call when you’re in a crisis, that pal you always have a good time with.

A dog and a rat found just that when they first met three years ago, becoming totally inseparable despite the canine companion being a Puggle (a Beagle/Pug cross) and Beagles normally being used to hunt rodents.

Puggle Pippin and rat Leia became buddies when owners Hayley Lopez, 22, and Tyler Lopez, 21, brought the rat home three years ago.

Pippin swapped hunting for snuggling and became firm friends with Leia, playing hide and seek, and cuddling on the sofa.

Hayley shared the below footage – which shows them playfully chasing each other around their owners’ lounge, and Leia affectionately nibbling Pippin’s tail – after Leia sadly passed away a couple of months ago.

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supports HTML5 video

Hayley, from Washington State, US, said: ‘They were best buddies.

‘I work in a pet shop and Leia was the last one in the litter so I brought her home. It was the best decision I ever made.

‘Pippin would not stop staring at the cage. He was so interested. I took Leia out and put her on the couch and Pippin just ran over and started playing.

‘Leia really liked to nibbling on Pippin’s toenails and Pippin would jump around and she would go for his feet.

‘They would always chase each other around. They were best friends and attached at the hip.

‘Pippin would watch the cage and it was like they would be having a conversation.’

Just having a chat (Picture: Mercury Press)

‘They used to sit on the sofa together and when she was tired she would lie on him, Pippin would lightly rest his head on her while she slept,” Hayley continues.

‘They would play hide and seek. She would hide behind the pillow and Pippin would look for her. It was really cute.

‘They were just buds. They were the best.

‘Pippin would recognise Leia’s name. I used to ask him if he wanted to play with her and he would run to the cage and wait for her to play.

‘He would wag his tail and watch for her then she would jump out of her cage and run over to him.

‘He was always so gentle when he was running around with her.’

Kisses and cuddles with BFF (Picture: Mercury Press)

Hayley works in a pet shop and breeds rats – she even has 12 pet rats at home.

Was she nervous having a dog with hunting instincts around Leia?

‘Pippin’s got a super personality and has never tried to harm any animal,’ she says.

‘It’s quite unusual because he is part beagle and they are used to hunt rats.

‘I was nervous about that at first but he’s never tried anything. I think he’s more Pug than Beagle. He does not have a hunting bone in his body.’

‘I kiss your head, okay’ (Picture: Mercury)

When Leia died, Pippin was left heartbroken.

‘When she passed away he would still watch the cage and would get really sad when she did not come by,’ reveals Hayley.

‘He went out to her grave in the back yard. He really felt her loss.

‘I think he could smell her. He went over to the grave and would not leave. He sat there in the rain for about half an hour. I think he was saying goodbye.’

Hayley says Pippin has befriended one of the babies in a new litter of rats, but it’s just not the same.

‘There was a baby in that litter called Toriyama who he’s starting to bond with but it’s not as strong,’ she says.

Rest in peace, sweet Leia. Until you and Pippin meet again.

MORE: Everything you need to know about burying your dead pet

MORE: Disabled dachshund is given a set of skis so she can get around in the snow

MORE: It’s OK and natural to grieve for your pet

Article source: http://metro.co.uk/2018/02/09/dog-left-heartbroken-rodent-best-mate-dies-7299379/

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Meghan Trainor Tells James Corden She Has Two Videos On the …

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Feb 8, 2018 in Rat News
Closed

Meghan Trainor went on The Late Late Show with James Corden Wednesday night (Jan. 7) and revealed that not only will she be putting out new music in the very near future, but she’s also just wrapped filming two new videos, and they’re gonna involve some serious slo-mo.   

The singer took the late show couch and confirmed that she’ll have two new songs out within the next “two months,” and that they’ll each have their own visuals involving “sexy slow motion.” To celebrate the occasion, Corden and Trainor filmed an impromptu video for her hit “Me Too,” in triple speed, then slowed the footage down.     

The rest of her conversation included famed Shape of Water director Guillermo Del Toro, who shared a bond with Trainor over their penchant for pet rats. However, it seems Toro may be the better owner, after Trainor told a story of accidentally stomping on her last rat with an Ugg boot. Check out the full conversation below. 

Article source: https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/pop/8098747/late-late-show-meghan-trainor-two-new-videos-coming-soon

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CDC Identifies Seoul Virus Outbreak Among Pet Rat Owners | The …

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Feb 7, 2018 in Rat News
Closed

These are the first known cases of individuals catching the virus from their pets in Canada or the U.S.

By Diana Kwon | February 6, 2018

Article source: https://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/51561/title/CDC-Identifies-Seoul-Virus-Outbreak-Among-Pet-Rat-Owners/

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Seoul virus raises concern as it emerges in pet rats in United States

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Feb 6, 2018 in Rat News
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TUESDAY, Feb. 6, 2018 — Your pet rat could make you very sick by transmitting a virus that’s newly emerged in North America, U.S. health officials warn.

Seoul virus is a rat-borne hantavirus that typically causes symptoms that resemble the flu — fever, headache, muscle pain. In rare cases infection can lead to hospitalization with hemorrhagic fever and kidney failure.

A recent outbreak of Seoul virus among rats — the first ever in the United States or Canada — resulted in the spread of the virus across 11 states, said researcher Dr. Barbara Knust. She’s a veterinarian and epidemiologist with the Viral Special Pathogens Branch of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the end, the CDC investigators tracked the outbreak to 31 different U.S. locations, most of them either home-based rat-breeding operations or homes with pet rats, according to a Feb. 2 report in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Seoul virus is spread to humans through the urine or feces of rats, either by direct contact with the waste or by breathing in tiny particles stirred up when cleaning their nests, Knust said. The virus also can be spread by bites.

Although the outbreak appears to have died down for now, the CDC is urging rat owners to be careful when handling and cleaning up after their pets.

“We have not diagnosed any more cases of Seoul virus in people since April,” Knust said. “However, it’s very possible there still could be pet rats out there infected with Seoul virus.”

Pet rats have been around for a while, but a new “fancy rat” fad has renewed interest in the animals, Knust said.

“The fancy rat is kind of a new twist on things,” Knust explained. “People are getting into different unique color combinations. They’re so interested in rats, they’re willing to buy rats from overseas. You can indeed buy fancy rats from most pet stores.”

Doctors have known about hantaviruses since the Korean War, Knust said, and specifically about the Seoul virus since the early 1980s.

But up to now, the Seoul virus has never found a foothold in North America. Wild rats on this continent have been known to harbor the virus, but transmission to humans through pet rats has never occurred and transmission from wild rats has been very rare.

Researchers believe the virus mostly likely entered the North American pet rat population through an importation of infected rats into either the United States or Canada, Knust said.

“We did DNA sequencing and found that indeed we had a sequence that nearly matched with a type of Seoul virus that had been found previously in pet rats in the U.K.,” Knust said.

The first sign of trouble came in December 2016, when a home-based pet rat breeder in Wisconsin landed in the hospital with flu-like symptoms, the CDC reported.

The person had approximately 100 Norway rats in the home. The Norway rat is the natural reservoir of Seoul virus, carrying the virus without any signs of illness, Knust said. The rat is believed to be the only rodent that can carry Seoul virus.

A family member developed similar symptoms a month later, but didn’t require hospitalization. Tests confirmed both people had recently been infected with Seoul virus.

Public health officials then undertook some detective work, tracking where the first patient had bought and sold rats to see if the virus had spread. At least six U.S. locations with confirmed infections reported exchanging rats back and forth with Canadian breeding operations.

Researchers found 18 people — 17 Americans and one Canadian — with antibodies that indicated recent infection with Seoul virus, Knust said.

Among the Americans, only eight had suffered a recent illness and three of them became so sick they were hospitalized, Knust said.

Dr. Amesh Adalja is a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Baltimore.

“Fortunately, though some patients were hospitalized in this outbreak, none developed kidney failure and none died,” said Adalja, who wasn’t involved with the report.

Treatment for Seoul virus infection largely involves supporting the patient so their body can effectively fight it off, Knust and Adalja said. That’s particularly important if the virus attacks the kidneys.

Public health departments placed suspected and confirmed facilities with Seoul virus under quarantine. The quarantine could only be lifted if all rats either tested negative for Seoul virus or were euthanized.

“For a lot of these people who owned pet rats, it was a very difficult thing for them to go through the process of testing and in some cases euthanizing animals that had become beloved companions,” Knust said.

The CDC now recommends that breeders be careful when buying new rats.

“People involved in breeding pet rats should test animals before they introduce them into their colony, since the virus is spread rat-to-rat by comingling and breeding,” Knust said.

Owners of pet rats can prevent infection by:

  • Ventilating the room where rats are kept for at least a half hour prior to cleaning.
  • Wearing rubber, latex or vinyl gloves when cleaning rat urine or droppings.
  • Thoroughly washing their hands with soap and water after handling or cleaning up after rats.

More information

For more safety tips, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Article source: https://www.upi.com/Seoul-virus-raises-concern-as-it-emerges-in-pet-rats-in-United-States/5061517926599/

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