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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry to post a health question in the behavior section but last time I posted in the health section I got absolutely no replies on my post...and I really need advice so I opted to post in both sections this time. About 2 weeks ago I noticed Lily was looking a little more lethargic than usual. I also was going through a very traumatic time in my personal life though and was finding it hard to get them out for the play time they are used to so i thought he might have just been mad at me. But I continued to observe him and ever since he has been coming out for some play time and then going back to his cage and sleeping the rest of the time. It's not to the extreme cuz he is a pretty lazy boy to start with. I also noticed that he sometimes has a clear discharge coming from his nose but not all the time. It's not gunky or super unhealthy and I know the vet has said that as long as it's clear it's not really a problem so I'm not too worried about that but it's unusual for him and he has also been sneezing a lot. So I know he has some kind of cold/upper respiratory infection for about the past couple weeks but it hasn't progressively gotten worse. His coat still looks pretty shiny too. He just seems more tired than usual and the minor cold issues I mentioned. My other rat Daisy has chronic mycoplasm issues so he sneezes constantly. That's just how he's been since the day I got him. I have had one incident with him getting very sick and having to do antibiotics and the vet gave me two rounds of antibiotics so I would have an extra round on hand in case Daisy would flare up again sometime or if Lily would come down with it too. So I do have the antibiotics so that I wouldn't have to actually take him into the vet and I am aware of what it is like when they are sick because of my experience with Daisy. My question that I would love your opinions on is do you think I should treat him with the antibiotics now or should I continue to wait until it gets to the point where it seems serious? Cuz like I said I can tell he is sick but it seems mild. And it has continued for 2 weeks, so I'm not sure if that is something that can go away on it's own or not? What do you guys think?
 

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I would recommend against medicating a rat that doesn't show clear, clear symptoms of bacterial infection. I would bring him to a vet if you can get him looked at. Or even if you could call the vet who prescribed those antibiotics to you and explain the symptoms and get their input on if you should medicate him or not.
 

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Don't wait. But also don't use Daisys meds unless you know they are the exact same weight. Dosage is calculated for each rat based on weight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the input. I did end up medicating him for a shorter round since I knew he had an upper respiratory infection but it wasn't severe. It definitely wasn't getting better on it's own. I had waited 2 weeks before giving him meds to see if he would improve on his own and he didn't so I knew I needed to help him and I was getting increasingly worried. He actually weighs a little more than daisy and I was told by the vet it was ok to use the antibiotics on both of them so it is safe, but that was a very good point, nanashi7. I am glad i had decided to only give him about half of a round of antibiotics though and save some of the meds because daisy ended up catching the uri from him and is now pretty sick...I am very glad I have antibiotics left over to give daisy now because I have moved and the vet i like is now an hour away and it's the only one I can afford. I have 5 days worth of meds left to give daisy instead of 7 so I am hoping that will be enough to do the trick for daisy too since it is pretty close to enough, otherwise I will have to take him in if he doesn't get better after this because his is definitely worse than lily was.
 

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Antibiotics are usually give for a longer period of time than a week. Some vets say to continue giving the meds for at least two weeks past when the respiratory symptoms are gone. In fact, it's common for rats to be on the antibiotics for an absolute minimum of two weeks. Sometimes it's recommended a rat stay on the antibiotics for up to 12 weeks. If you stop giving the antibiotics after just a week, the respiratory disease can easily return. Then, the next time you give the same antibiotics, they may not be as effective. This is why it's better to give the antibiotics for longer periods. Here's an article you may find helpful: http://www.rmca.org/Articles/myco.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have seen that when I was reading up on it about how it can vary widely for how long the antibiotics are given and that it looked pretty common for it to be around 3 weeks. I can't help how long my vet chooses to give antibiotics for though...he does not specialize in rats or exotic animals. He is the only vet I can afford though as I am a college student and literally live off my parents random allowance right now because I am still working on getting a job. I should have a good cna job in the next few weeks but still a large vet bill is not where I can afford to spend the money. My vet did a great job neutering my boys and they were the first rats he had ever done and he did awesome so I trusted him with daisy when he was sick. maybe he only chose to medicate for a week because he didn't know it is typical to give them for longer. But like i said unfotunately it's not my choice because i don't have access to the meds unless he gives them to me. He did fine after just the week last time and it didn't come back for a few months. I'll have to see if he does ok with what I have left of the medication now otherwise I will have to give the vet a call. I might call around the area I live in now and see if anyone is reasonably priced for an office visit because my vet is an hour away now. I just know all the ones in this area were hundreds of dollars for neutering vs my other vet being only 120 for both my boys combined.
 

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Some vets are excited to learn more about rats. I'm always giving my vet information I learn about different treatments and options for my rats' health. She has thanked me and said she appreciates my bringing the information to her. She says she's learned so much from working with my rats. So, maybe your vet will be open to learning if you give him or her the information?

A lot of vets do research online on VIN (Veterinary Information Network) which does have tons of good information about pet rat medical care. It's very helpful for vets who aren't familiar with treatments as they can read what other vets have done and even ask questions through VIN.

I hope Daisy's health is improving. Sending positive, healing wishes!
 
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