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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a couple of girls, about 8 months old, but shortly after I got them (from breeders) one began to sneeze. The sneezing became persistent, rather than occasional.
The second rat started sneezing occasionally too, but not nearly as much as the other. I took them both to the vet a couple times and both have been provided the following so far, which has not stopped the sneezing:

1. Baytril/Doxycycline Combo for 1 month
2. Topical Treatment for Mites (in case they had mites in their nostrils)
3. Dexamethasone Ophthalmic Sol'n (since the top two did not help, vet decided to try an anti-inflammatory)

None of the three work, and both are now sneezing even more and the porphyrin secretion has gotten worse. This has been going on for almost 5 months now. They are not lethargic. They are eating and drinking fine. Bathroom use is regular. They show no signs of pain. But the sneezing is almost every 10 minutes now!

In addition, I have always had the following routines and/or began to try the following:

1. Cleaning the cage more thoroughly than once a week.
2. I have always spot cleaned daily.
3. Their diet is Oxbow rat adult food, no junk food, and any human food is usually seeds and organic fruits and veggies.
4. The litter they have is Carefresh and it is only in their litter box.
5. I have adjusted the air vent so that it faces the opposite of the girls cage to minimize possible dust exposure.
6. I constantly have a cold humidifier running in the room they are in.
7. There are no candles or other items such as incense in the room.
8. Every month, I give them a diluted drink that consists of apple cider vinegar, ginger, and honey to drink for a few days as a monthly anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial "treatment".
9. I've tried vicks/steam combination to help their sinuses, but definitely not a permanent sol'n.
10. I try to carefully select their toys and research which wood toys are rat-safe, so I can't imagine any concern there...
11. I use Tide Free & Gentle detergent on their linens.

The next thing I am going to try is an at-home mold test. Other than that, I am at such a loss! I am willing to do anything to help my baby girls and to figure this out. It breaks my heart every time I hear them sneeze, and I need help thinking outside of the box. I know allergies is a possibility, but from what I have read, it is not common in rats and for BOTH of them to have allergies just seems so unlikely... But please, if anyone could help I would really appreciate it! Sorry for the long rant!

I live in Folsom, CA and if there are any vets you could recommend to me that are known to do thorough examinations and will actually perform tests on my girls that would be very much appreciated as well! THANK YOU!

- Angelina
 

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I've heard care fresh is dusty so it could be that, but most likely a stubborn respiratory infection. Did you manage to give them the full doses of doxy+antibiotic and they complete the course?
Unfortunately my last boy had this issue and it got worse and worse, no amount of medication made a difference, turned out they both had a lot of internal tumours. I hope they recover, keep us posted, all the best.
 

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Yes, I do see dust when the CareFresh gets kicked around so it could be a possible irritant but the Vet really did not think so. I've tried replacing the CareFresh with a towel in their litter for a duration of time but that didn't help.
I gave them the full month dose of the antibiotic combo. I wanted to be sure we got all the stubborn mycoplasma.
Eek, internal tumours didn't cross my mind. I'm sorry you had to go through that with your boys! My girls are so young and it started when one was just a couple months old so hopefully that isn't the case. I will keep you posted!

Thank you for your response!! =]
 

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It was very sad i'm still not over it!
Hopefully its not that and just a stubborn URTI

Probably go back to the vet they might give a stronger course of antibiotics, they moved from baytrill to somethign I cant remember I think it was septarim? It smelt like strong banana!

I have read online this also:
In reality a rat showing respiratory symptoms is often triggered by a secondary infection which has lowered their immune system and allowed myco to take hold. In these cases it is often worth adding in a broad spectrum antibiotic such as Amoxycillin (or using it in the place of doxy).
 

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It could be allergies. I had a rat that I took to the vet for the same thing and her lungs were clear. The vet told me to give her children's Benadryl and she cleared up. Another thought is to use a diffuser or a steam inhaler with distilled water. I've also had to get a concentrated Baytril to add to the water for one and it cleared him up.
 
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