The Science

Salmonellae are widespread in nature and affect a wide range of vertebrates. Guinea pigs are highly susceptible and develop severe clinical disease; mice and rats are also very susceptible and may carry sub-clinical infections for long periods.
Salmonellosis is a bacterial infection that generally affects the intestinal tract and occasionally the bloodstream.

Salmonella are spread by eating or drinking contaminated food or water or by contact with infected people or animals.


Among the factors predisposing to Salmonellosis are youth or old age, nutritional deficiencies, genetic predisposition, serotype of organism involved, and environmental and experimental stresses.

Infection results from eating foods that are contaminated with Salmonella bacteria.


Specific signs, when present, include anorexia, depressed activity, rough hair coat, weight loss, light soft faeces, ocular discharge, small litters, dyspnoea, and abortions.


Your Vet will probably want to carry out a culture test on a faeces sample to check for any signs of the salmonella bacteria.


One therapeutic regiment that has been followed with some success is the addition of Oxytetracycline to the drinking water at 10 g/L for 10 days or 250 mg/kg body weight per day. Treated rats may be isolated, the room disinfected, and first litters monitored for Salmonella.


Rigid, high husbandry standards and the screening of new arrivals and existing animals. Elimination of the infection from conventional colonies is extremely difficult; killing, disinfection, and restocking are more practical approaches.