What is Parvovirus?

Let's talk about what is parvovirus.

You may have never heard of parvovirus, but if you have pet rats or plan on getting any rats, it is something you may want to know about. As with all pets, infections and viruses can occur. Parvovirus is one that infects rats.

Parvovirus can become very severe and it can become fatal for rats that become infected. It is a viral infection that is usually the result of very unclean and unhealthy living conditions. Parvovirus can be prevented if rat owners make sure they regularly clean and sanitize their rats' cage.

Keeping rats of different ages or new rats away from rats you've have for awhile, is also a way to prevent parvovirus. The infection spreads when rats come onto contact with infected cage items, infected urine or feces, or through direct contact with an infected rat.

Don't worry too much about your pet rats getting parvovirus because it isn't a very common viral infection. However, since it's contagious and can be fatal, it doesn't hurt to know the symptoms of it and how you can prevent it.

Symptoms of parvovirus include bloody diarrhea and vomiting. In female rats it may lead to stillborn or underdeveloped babies. In male rats the virus can lead to hemorrhages and infertility. Parvovirus infects the nervous system and kills brain cells.

Recovery for a rat that was infected with parvovirus is rare. With early treatment it may be possible. As soon as you notice any symptoms in your pet you should contact a veterinarian. You can't diagnose an illness on your own, proper tests should be done. A veterinarian can figure out exactly what is wrong with a pet, therefore treatment can be more effective and more successful. If your veterinarian determines that your rat does in fact have parvovirus they will probably recommend giving the rat a lot of electrolytes and fluids. That is really the only treatment option.

The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your veterinarian or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment.