Risks with Rats as pets

Although rats make absolutely wonderful pets. Like many animals they are capable of carrying zoonotic diseases and i wanted to outline a few you may want to consider to ensure they are the right pet for you and don't put your family at any risk.

The risk is very low and i personally have never had any illness from my rats however i do know people who have been ill with hantavirus especially. 

Hantavirus 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hantaviruses

Hantaviruses, from the Bunyaviridae family, are a group of viruses that are normally carried by rodents, such as rats, mice and voles. They are present throughout the world and they cause a range of diseases in humans ranging from mild, flu-like illness to severe respiratory illness or haemorrhagic disease with kidney involvement.

Although severe illness is rare I do know people who have been hospitalised with it, If you get any similar symptom's its always worth telling the doctors you have rats and ask them to test for it as it may not get recognised otherwise.

Please practice good hygiene, washing your hands after handling and avoid kissing your rats or holding them near your face. 

Leptospirosis

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/leptospirosis/ 

Ringworm

Ringworm is a fungal infection that you can pass to your rats but that your rats can also pass to you. although not serious it can be sore and annoying. 

Pasteurella

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pasteurellosis 

Salmonella

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/salmonella-guidance-data-and-analysis

 

 

These are the most prevalent off the top of my head, But there is other bacteria and viruses that can be transmitted either via bites or from faecal matter and it is important that you practice good hygiene and seek medical attention if you are worried.