HEALTH TESTING YOUR RATS
Health testing is necessary if you are a breeder.
Every time you bring in a new animal, you need to test them. Every. Single. One.
Hantavirus came through a few years ago and there were breeders who had to depopulate their whole colony as the CDC required it. This whole situation could of been avoided if breeders quarantined their rats and TESTED!
It is NOT too expensive to test. You can test by IDEXX through your vet or you can take samples yourself and go through Charles River. I highly suggest going through a vet if you are not comfortable taking blood from your rat. A global pane cost about $13o. You want to do a global panel on 1% of your animals.
For example. If you have 10 rats then one needs to be tested. 20 is 2, etc. There are also viruses that have to be tested on an individual levels as well. Single tests cost about $15 per rat (This is pricing through Charles River).
At some point I will make an in dept article on every virus/bacteria on the testing panel and what you need to test for. But at this point I believe all Ratteries need to test for everything so they can have base line on what is in their rattery.
The RatGuide.com is an excellent source on what viruses and bacteria rats can have and if they can be transferred to other rats/ animals/ and or people.
Please be sure to ask any Ratterys you adopt from if they test, and ask to see their report. They should be able to go over it with you. A positive for something doesn't always mean that the rattery is infected. It could just be antibodies. But the breeder should have more information about what is happening in their rattery.
Being pro-active as a pet owner/buyer will help raise the standards of all Ratterys from all over the world. Do not ever be afraid to ask questions.