Suspect my rat has myco [Archive] - Rat Forum

: Suspect my rat has myco

01-14-2013, 05:06 PM
My female rat (I have had her for five days) has been sneezing since day one. She was enclosed in a tank and in pine bedding when I picked her up from Petco (yes I have read about buying from these big pet retailers). I believe I saved her as she was about to be bought for snake food by some creepy guy and was the last rat available. On her third day, she was wheezing badly and sounded very congested. I immediately called all my local vets and surprisingly none would even see my rat (I live in PR and there are not many vets in my area). The closest exotic vet is a four hour round trip and I rely on other for transportation, so that is not an option for me.

I have been researching on this for days and believe she might have myco, due to the symptoms and the brown spots on her bedding on day three. I have practically no access to Baytril and won't be able to either since my local vets won't even look at her. My fathers friend has exotic birds and gave me 0.10 cc syringe of Baytril which I don't even dare give her.

Someone told me that young rats (I believe mine is young. She is about 5 inches long without tale and I've seen bigger ones, but correct me if I'm wrong.) should not take Baytril and that sneezing is caused by secondary infections and not Myco, and that I should administer Amoxicillin instead. My rat's has not been wheezing anymore since the third day and has been sneezing only. I really don't know what to do. Should I administer Amoxicillin and how much or get my hands on baytril somehow?

01-14-2013, 05:17 PM
I'll leave the medication question to someone better qualified, but in the meantime there are ways to allieve her symptoms at home. Dark chocolate helps (in small amounts--don't go crazy) as well as adding vitamin C and A to her water to boost her immune system and making sure your room is humid but well ventilated so she's getting a lot of clean, non dry air. What kind of bedding do you have her in right now?

01-14-2013, 05:32 PM
I know little of medicine, but if you can't get to a vet the bird baytril is going to be your best bet. (Someone better with medicine can give you the proper dosage)

In the meantime give her a bit of dark chocolate, try to give her fresh parsley, and if you can Echinacea (you can buy it in a liquid or powder pill). If you do the Echinacea I mix it into some baby food, and it's recommended to do 3 days on, 3 days off, Or 10 days on, 5 days off.

I would keep an eye on here, the first 2 weeks rats tend to be sneezy, especially since she was on Pine she's going to take a little bit longer.

Oh, also to clarify something. All rats have Myco. it's a virus that all rats have, some are just more likely to show it. Think of it like the Flu. it's a virus, but even those who have the virus can go their entire life without ever having the flu. That's basically what Myco is.

01-15-2013, 12:11 AM
Thanks, for the quick replies. Right now, my rat is making a weird "oinking" sound... similar to a person blowing their nose? She seems very congested at this moment. I also notice her symptoms get worse late at night or early in the morning. I'll try the dark chocolate if I can get my hands on it tomorrow morning. I also have some vitamin c tablets (the human kind), how do I administer it? These are 500mg tablets. Also any other info on Amoxicillin; is this an OTC medication, and if so where can I get it? And if anyone can give me more info on the 0.10 cc Baytril I currently have on hand? I am not sure how to administer it or if it is a good idea after all. I also read that people get a generic brand of Baytril off pigeon or bird websites because this can be sold OTC for pigeons only is this true. I am hoping I can get the correct medicine for my rat. I don't want her to suffer anymore with the horrible sneezing, wheezing and honking anymore.

How long before this can get out of hand and pose a serious risk for her life?

01-15-2013, 01:25 AM
Sorry I'm not a super help.. All I can help with is no amoxicillin is not an OTC. You would need to get it from a vet.
Good luck! I know someone on here will be able to help. Keep us updated.

Sarina with -Templeton the grumpy old man -Fievel and Remy, the wiley brothers- in Juneau, Alaska Free App (

01-15-2013, 02:09 AM

Comes in a 10 pack sold for fish tanks, to get rid of bacterial infections in fish.
Put a 10 gal treatment in the water ever day, clean water bottle well every day.

Should help as long as it isnt too far along

Sent from my iPhone using Free App (

01-15-2013, 05:47 AM
Just give her the baytril seriously. If she sounds bad you don't want to waste time, baytril isn't really all that harmful for babies, it can cause some developmental issues, but personally I have never seen any ill effects when I've had to use it on young rats. And it is only bad for rats under 3 months, many pet store rats from places like petco are at least that age or very close to it, some are much older.

To tell you how much you should give, you need to tell us the concentration. 10 cc is only the amount of liquid, but it does actually say how much baytril there is. Usually it is either 5% or 10% (though I think there's a 2.something% one too, I never see it used). If it is the 10% dilute it before giving it. You would really need to know her weight as well to administer it accurately, but I would say it is safe to give around 2-3 mg twice a day. Use the concentration to find out how much that is and measure it out. Mix it up with a little food like yogurt or baby food and let her eat it if you don't want to force it, it will taste nasty if not flavored she won't take it willingly.

As for amoxicillin, like other antibiotics, no it is not really over the counter (no antibiotics really can be, people would not use them properly and it would lead to so much antibiotic resistance they wouldn't work anymore) but you can get it at pet stores sometimes as fish medication. Like I know some people have used fish mox on their rats.

You can order almost any antibiotic online, usually from foreign countries, you are really supposed to have prescriptions even for the bird baytril you're talking about, but you can find them from any sites, so if you want you could get amoxicillin, baytril, or doxycycline though it could take quite a long time to be shipped to you so its better to start treating now with the baytril you have, it shouldn't be any different than what you would buy unless you think its expired or something.

01-15-2013, 02:35 PM
Ok, I was able to find some amoxicillin 250mg tablets, but it is intended for humans. Can that be administered or is it safer to go with the fish kind. I really don't know how much my rat weighs but I am guessing a little less than 150g (I compared the weight with a small bottle of liquid which is close to her weight). If the human kind of amoxicillin is okay, how should I divide the tablet to give to her based on this approximate weight?

To tell you how much you should give, you need to tell us the concentration. 10 cc is only the amount of liquid, but it does actually say how much baytril there is.

Unfortunately, I was only given a generic syringe that the person had left over and I don't know the concentration. That is why I am not comfortable administering it to my rat. But based on most bird baytril I've seen around it is most likely 10%, and the amount given was actually 0.10cc and I am guessing it is not enough to as treatment anyway.

Also, searching some more online, I found some pet stores that carry aquatic Doxycycline 100mg and was wondering if it is safe to use on rats.

01-15-2013, 04:38 PM
Amoxicillin is really only good for secondary infections, it doesn't have any affect on myco. You can give it to her though to keep secondary infections away since that is usually what ends up getting bad and being fatal, myco acts pretty slowly itself. It is very difficult to dose out a 250 mg tablet well, at 150 grams she would need less than 5 mg in a dose, so you would have to crush the pill up, mix in a measured solution as best as possible, then calculate the amount of the dose from there and administer it. But it will be the same exact thing with the fish meds, so really it doesn't matter.

Doxy isn't that great for treating myco on its own either. And again the fish doxy is safe to use, you would have to dose it out though to about 5 mg in solution.

It is much easier to get liquid meds from a vet and it is more effective since you can actually ensure you are dosing the right amount. You can try to call the vets and see if they'll sell you meds even if they won't see your rat. Or maybe the exotic vet can try to give you a prescription and you can get it from the local vets or online from that. Explain to them that it is too far for you to go and nobody will see rats where you are. Some vets won't help you, but some that really care about the animals more than the money will.

What you should give is zithromax, that is what works well against myco for babies. As I said, doxy and amox really don't that well. If you want to use doxy it is best used in combination with baytril, it isn't very effective just on its own, but if you want to stay away from baytril because of age then zithro is best. Amox isn't usually used for treating respiratory illness because it doesn't work on myco, but you can give in the for now to stall until you get better meds if you really must. Go for the zithromax or baytril/doxy if you can't get that.

01-15-2013, 09:14 PM
Thanks! I've heard about zithromax before (I think a relative might have used it), sorry to ask again but is the people version of zithromax the same as the one administered to rats? Is this more, less or equally effective as baytril?

Also, I administered the amoxicillin to my rat, because I was told the sneezing is most likely sue to a secondary infection as well. I administered it according to this info given by Debbie from The Rat Fan Club:

Mix one capsule of 250 mg amoxicillin in 7.5 ml of liquid such as Ensure or slightly diluted Hershey’s strawberry syrup. (If you have 500 mg capsules, use twice the amount of flavoring: 15 ml.) A small pill bottle is about the right size to mix it in. Keep in the refrigerator. Amoxicillin doesn’t taste too bad to most rats and most rats will eagerly lick this right from the tip of the syringe. The normal dose is 0.3 ml/lb twice a day. (Note: 1 cc = 1 ml = 100 units on an insulin syringe, so 0.3 ml = 30 units.) You can go as high as 5 times that normal dose if necessary, and it’s a good idea to give a double dose the first time.

01-16-2013, 11:16 AM
The way you did the amoxicillin is fine, and it will help with the secondary infection if there is any. You still might want to double check weight though, 150 g is awfully tiny, though you did say she is young so its possible, you just don't want to underdose and have it not work. Though usually the sneezing starts because of myco then they catch secondary infection because of it and the secondary infection is more serious, so in the end you do need to treat that as well for her to totally get better. If she was getting worse quickly it is likely there is secondary infection present, if she just seemed to be a little sneezy/congested and it isn't changing much then it is probably myco and the amoxi won't have any affect.

Antibiotics are what they are. Zithromax is zithromax, doxycycline is doxycycline, etc. The only thing that can change is the form it comes in or the concentration/amount in mg (well there can be small differences if there are other things in the meds like doxy monohydrate and doxy hyclate, but that doesn't change the effects of the meds, still basically the same as the active ingredient is still the same). That is why it is easier getting meds from vets, they will give you the meds made up for your rats weight and the right dose and they'll give you liquid usually flavored so it will be easy to administer. Whereas when you use human meds you need to do it yourself, it isn't always as accurate, and you're starting off with a huge amount since people are so much larger, plus if you use old meds that are lying around or order for non-prescription places you risk them already being expired. But as long as you give it correctly its still the same meds.

Zithromax is pretty good with myco. Baytril is usually considered best in combo with doxy, but I guess zithro works better on babies in addition to it being safer for them. Though I guess it depends on individual rats too, some have more resistance to baytril and zithro works better on them, some respond much better to baytril.

01-16-2013, 05:52 PM
I agree with just going with the Baytril. Even though the zithromax is technically safer for use in babies, I don't think it's really as strong as Baytril. When my rats just has sneezes, it didn't do anything for one of them. Zithromax is bacteriostatic, which means it stops the myco bacteria from breeding and lets the rat's immune system take care of the rest. Baytril is bactericidal, which means it directly kills off the bacteria cells. This is why zithromax and Baytril make a good combination-- one stops the bacteria from breeding, the other kills it off. Ideally, this would be the best course of medication for your girl, but Zithromax is very expensive compared to Baytril and you'd need a vet to give you a prescription (my vet doesn't even have it-- she had to have it compounded somewhere else).

Baytril should only be given to baby rats if the benefits outweigh the risks, and I would say in your case it does. A rat with stunted growth is better than a dead rat. I went though the same thing-- I didn't want to give my rat Baytril because he was so young so instead went with Zithromax by itself, but I regret it because my rat is still struggling with the infection after 2 months. Now he's on Baytril/doxycycline (which is another bacteriostatic antibioitc, like the zithromax.) The longer they have the infection, the more their lungs get scarred, so it's not something you want to mess around with.

01-18-2013, 10:36 AM
Thanks all for your helpful information. I have not noticed my rat wheezing, nor gasping for air anymore since I started giving her amoxicillin. She is still sneezing constantly but that has also decreased in frequency, although earlier today she sneezed and a small drop of a reddish fluid came out of her nose. I would give her baytril, except that what I have is not enough to treat her (good for only very few doses) and I fear she will create resistance to the bacteria. I really need the baytril, but have no way of getting it, considering that my local vets will not treat rats and I won't be getting anything online without a prescription.

I am very thankful for all your help and if you have any other ideas for me please do let me know. I want my rat to get better, be happy, cheerful, and playful, plus I want to introduce her to my brother's female rat so they can hang out.