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Hi all,
So, poor little Tango has her FOURTH URI in six months. The first two were treated with Baytril/Doxy combo, the third was with Zithro, and here we are again with a new regime for number four. We had our vet appointment today, at which point we were told that our poor little girl has permanent structural damage to her lungs and that while she's not suffering (she's eating, drinking, friendly and super active, not at the end of life point yet), it's something we have to be aware of. What an unlucky rattie. So, this time, the vet suggested Doxy injections once a week for at least 2/3 weeks, then a recheck. She got her first one today and was such a good girl! Has anyone ever had experience with this? Did you find it effective? The vet also recommended two natural treatments to improve her health as well as her sisters health (who has had 3 URIs). The first is a supplement by oxbow which is for immune support, and the second is a liquid drop to be added to water to help with respiratory health (all natural). I believe it's "Respiraffect" but I'll have to check. Apparently it's safe for all ratties and while I was hesitant to administer anything through water, I figure it's worth a shot. The vet mentioned we could always add Baytril later on if need be. Anyways, I'd love to hear your opinions on this new regime..I've never experienced this before! Thanks!
 

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I’ve not used injectable doxy at all, but I do know that over here in the UK they are beginning to use a very promising drug called draxxin which is injected and last for a week at a time. Its actually specifically designed to target myco and is used in agricultural animals but is proving quite effective in rats with chronic myco over here.

I’ve used a few herbal suppliments alongside treatments before, I don’t think they actually do that much but they don’t hurt the situation and it makes you as an owner feel a lot better (which has got to help the rat involved). The one I’ve used most that seems to have some fairly good science behind it is echanacia, its widley sold for humans as an immune system booster, one drop per rat per day for a limited period of time is meant to boost the immune system. For long term use you need to have a regular break or it looses its effectiveness (well in most studies I’ve seen, I saw an interesting one that said it didn’t but it was not the most scientifically written of papers) so the recommendation is 3 weeks on and 1 week off. I tend to dose mine when they are ill or if they are going to be at higher risk than normal (say before a show or an intro). Theres a lot to be said for vitamin c as an immune system booster too, that can be given via fresh foods like berries or a supplement. I’ve also recently seen some good research suggesting melatonin could have good effects against rats with viruses/infections. I’d be careful about using a supplement (it’s a hormone so if you do use it you need to understand when to use it and possible side effects) to give that but promoting a good long spell in the dark and feeding some meltonin boosting foods like pinapple before sleep time could help.
 
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