This article is from the WSSF 2011 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.
RE: “Blue Rat Bleeding Disorders/Blue Rats With Hemophilia” in the WSSF 2006 issue, and “Update on My Rat Project: Blue Rat Bleeding Disorders/ Blue Rats WithHemophilia;Russian Blue BleedingProblem” in the WSSF 2009 issue.
Lauren McChesney, e-mail
Q I found an article from December 2009 about Dr. Carmen Booth’s research with bleeding disorders in Blue rat lines. I have a Blue male with an unknown pedigree who has frequent nosebleeds that occasionally last several hours. If she is still collecting DNA samples for her study, how can I contact her to discuss contributing samples from my rat?
A Regarding the Blue rats: my belief is that the Blue rats have a genetic defect that makes them bleed. Your helping with this is very much appreciated. Can you provide the name and approximate date of birth of the rat if known? A picture of him and his name would be nice but are not required. Has he been bred? Do you have other siblings? If he has not been bred, would you consider breeding him?
To get the DNA sample is pretty easy. We use basically a Q-tip and take a cheek swab. You roll it around and try and get some of the cheek cells. They kind of chew on it. It is not painful. We would need at least 4 from him. You cut the tips off and place them in a snack-size Ziploc baggie. You do not have to do them all on the same day. Just put the baggie in the refrigerator if you do it over a few days. Depending upon where you live, no ice pack would be required for shipping. To ship, you put a second Ziploc bag around the first and tape shut. All the air should be removed. This is then placed in an envelope and it is shipped by priority mail in one of their envelopes.
If your rat has hemophilia, then unfortunately he can bruise and bleed from doing nothing other than sitting in a cage. Unfortunately, with repeated episodes of bleeding they can become very anemic (low number of red blood cells) and sometimes die unexpectedly. If your rat does eventually need to be euthanized or dies, would you be willing to allow for a larger tissue sample? Your veterinarian could collect a small piece of the tail tip and liver and send in.
Update: After I spoke with her I realized it was not blood, but the Harderian gland. Carmen Jane Booth, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Q I recently read an article regarding Blue rats and bleeding. My rat Mozart is almost 1 year old now. He is a Dumbo Blue Capped rat with a white dot on his head. When I got him he got a small bite from one of my other rats Chip (Hooded Agouti) or Dale (a Dumbo Agouti Berkshire). It kept bleeding and bleeding, and I finally got it to stop using corn starch. Since then I keep Mozart separate, but even small scratches seem to bleed a lot. I love little Mozart so much and think he might have some bleeding issue. If you have any advice please let me know.
A Unfortunately, there isn’t anything you can do other than keep any sharp items out of the cage and keep his toenails trimmed. If you would be interested in contributing samples for Dr. Booth’s testing, let me know. Hopefully Mozart hasn’t had any more injuries. Karen Robbins
Ed. Note: Dr. Booth has had her paper published on hemophilia in rats “WAG-F8m1Ycb rats harboring a factor VIII gene mutation provide a new animal model for hemophilia A” in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, Volume 8, Issue 11, pages 2472–2477, November 2010.