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Companion Animal Practice
Infectious respiratory disease in rodents
  1. Gidona Goodman

    Gidona Goodman graduated from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Ghent, Belgium, in 1996, after which she completed an MSc in 'Id animal health at London Zoo and the Royal Veterinary College. Following some time abroad working with wildlife, she returned to the UK and worked in1 srmall animal practice where she say referral and second opinion avian and exotics cases. In 19S9, she joined the exotic animal service at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies as a lecturer, named veterinary surgeon and veterinary surgeon to Edirnbirgh Zoo.


MOST of the current knowledge regarding respiratory disease in rodents is based on the management of laboratory rodents. The emphasis is on diagnosis, elimination and prevention of subclinical respiratory disease rather than treatment. In the author's experience, rats are the most frequently presented small mammals with respiratory problems, followed by guinea pigs and then chinchillas. Animal husbandry, environmental conditions and immune status all play a part in the pathogenesis. While some of the causal bacteria are opportunistic pathogens, other infections are acquired and animals remain infected for life. Therapy usually does not eliminate disease, but only alleviates the symptoms, and it is important that clients are made aware of this. This article provides an overview of common respiratory diseases in pet rodents, with particular emphasis on Mycoplasma and Bordetella species infections.

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