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Mycoplasma transmission from rodent to tortoise

Discussion in 'Advanced Tortoise Topics' started by Curie, Aug 30, 2019.

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  1. Curie

    Curie New Member

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    I posted about my 7 yr old male Hermann's who developed an illness that seemed to be respiratory but we're not entirely sure, and trying to find a cause for it. I got no responses so i did some more poking around.

    I have 7 pet rats, and a snake who will only eat live rodents. So my question is, is it possible for mycoplasma in rodents to cross over to reptiles? Most rats carry mycoplasma and can be asymptomatic, however I'm not sure it can cross like that. When i look up zoonotic mycoplasma im only seeing refrence to humans. Anyone know?
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  2. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member Tortoise Club

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    I doubt it but I am just guessing. I will alert a couple members that might know
    @Markw84. Well I guess just one. I cant seem to alert Will
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  3. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Will is @Kapidolo Farms
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  4. Kapidolo Farms

    Kapidolo Farms Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Simple checking. All the mycoplasma in chelonians have chelonian species names. None of the rat one have chelonian names. So not likely, but not impossible.

    It is a big leap for a pathogen to jump from mammals to reptiles, etc. Not impossible, but low likelihood.

    @wellington I figured as long as I was going to pay for using TFO, I'd change my avatar name to the entity, I dropped using Will awhile ago. I know someone who goes by Tatum Leopard in one realm, and Wellington in another, and her actual name is Barbara, we do give ourselves quit the identity challenge.
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  5. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member Tortoise Club

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    I never even paid attention that you changed it. Thanks for alerting me to it. I couldn't understand why you weren't coming up.
    I have 2 last names I use in 3 different combinations too lol
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  6. Stoneman

    Stoneman Active Member

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    I came across the same thing with poultry. Mycoplasma is a huge problem in that. The state exterminates your flocks and you have shut down for a couple years. I asked the CDC if my chickens ever got it if it could transfer to my tortoise and they told me no, that it is family specific. It won't transfer from birds to tortoises, or vice versa, that there are very specific types of mycoplasma that have very specific hosts.

    @wellington your name is Barbara?
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  7. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member Tortoise Club

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    Yes, my real name is Barb/Barbara
  8. Stoneman

    Stoneman Active Member

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    Nice. Mine is Cory. The first half of my username is my last name.
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  9. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Hasn't there been talk here about pathogens transmitted from slugs that got eaten by tortoises?
    I have slugs and the occasional rat in my pens. My Redfoot will eat anything slow enough to take a bite out of.
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  10. Pastel Tortie

    Pastel Tortie Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Depending on how adamant @Curie is about tracking down that answer, I would suggest posing it to one of the universities with veterinary schools that specialize in exotics.

    I would also suggest contacting the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians (ARAV). Their website is https://arav.org. It is an interesting question, and they will be able to track down someone (somewhere) with the answer.
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  11. Stoneman

    Stoneman Active Member

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    No one has responded so I figured I would even though I don't have anything to add. I am not sure. But I do know that some micro organisms are extremely dangerous to some animals and not others. Perhaps the slugs are intermediary hosts, or that they just don't harm them as much as they harm torts.
  12. zovick

    zovick Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Hello All,

    Most bacteria (and viruses) which infect warm blooded animals do not also infect cold-blooded ones (and vice-versa) because they are temperature sensitive. IE, ones that can survive at the higher body temps of mammals cannot live at the lower reptilian body temps, etc.
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  13. Dovey

    Dovey Member

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    It is my understanding that a lot of animals naturally have mycoplasma bacteria as part of their natural flora. In fact, wild rats also have mycoplasma, but they don't seem to have the upper respiratory problems that captive domesticated rats do. I know that humans regularly have a certain amount of mycoplasma present in their systems. I'm under the impression that the mycoplasmosis that domesticated rats suffer from so devastatingly is unique to them. I, too, keep domesticated rats, and I live in fear of mycoplasmosis, but I don't think it's an issue for my reptiles.
  14. Tortoise MasterMan

    Tortoise MasterMan Member

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    I found this that might help.

    There are many reptiles that feed on live rodents. Because of this, rodent bites are a major cause of various injuries and infections in reptiles.



    SYMPTOMS AND TYPES


    Reptiles suffering from rodent bites will have marks or wounds at the site of injury, which can be found anywhere on the reptile’s body. If left untreated, the wound may become infected and swollen, often filled with pus.



    The wound can also develop into an ulcer or a sore.



    CAUSES


    Reptiles that are in the habit of playing with live food are susceptible to rodent bites. It can also occur if a reptile is weak, suffering from a disease or has lost its appetite. Thus allowing the live rodent to defend itself and bite your pet.



    Rodent bites can also occur if your reptile's enclosure is left unsealed and accessible to any rodents which may be lurking around your home.



    TREATMENT


    Your reptile will need to be examined by a veterinarian for proper treatment. After cleaning and disinfecting the wound, a local antibiotic is then applied to prevent or treat infections.



    If the bites have developed into pus-filled wounds, the veterinarian may also surgically drain the pus and administer an antibiotic injection.



    PREVENTION


    If at all possible, feed your reptile dead food. This can be accomplished by: A) freezing the reptile's food and thawing it out before feeding time, or B) killing any rodents before placing it in the enclosure. Any food should also be discarded if the reptile does not eat it within 24 hours.



    Making the enclosure unaccessible to unwanted critters is another way to prevent rodent bites.
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