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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I apologize for the long initial post, but I'm really worried about my boy ratties! :( my one rat is about three months old and he's been sneezing and stuffy since I brought him home from the breeder almost four weeks ago. It hasn't been getting worse, but it also hasn't been getting any better since I took him to the vet two weeks ago. She gave me albon, which did nothing, so I am currently trying amoxicillin (which I started almost a week ago). He doesn't sneeze constantly anymore since starting the moxi, but he's still sneezing, stuffy, and some times has sneezing jags (I don't hear or see him have these everyday, so they aren't common and my other boy, Nyx also has them occasionally and he's two months old. :( ) . I read that those are caused by myco, but giving baytril to young rats is not recommended? Since his symptoms aren't really bad and don't seem to be worsening, can I just continue with the moxi and hope it gets better or should I start him on doxy (which I ordered online and should be getting in a few days)? I don't know what to do about it because he's young and has been on meds for two weeks now with hardly any change. I feel terrible for him, but I'm pretty sure it's myco and not a secondary infection nor just allergies as he has fleece bedding washed in clear detergent, dust free paper litter, and a hepa allergen filter. When I get the doxycycline, would it be okay to treat my younger boy with that as well, or should I wait to see if his symptoms go beyond the rare sneezing jags and occasional sneeze? I hate not knowing what to do and the vet I take them to is the best choice out of all the vets within an hour of me (and it's almost an hour away! So taking then there a lot is not good), but when I took him the first time she said something about rats always sniffing around and sticking their noses in places with dust, so I feel like she might not be as knowledgeable as I thought DX also, neither one has a lot of porphyrin on the nose. And none have it around the eyes- if that means anything. If more info would help, please ask, I want to do what's best for them without hurting them with unnecessary medication!

Also, a little background on Tempi: according to his breeder, he was the runt of a two pup litter and is smaller than he should be (he weighed 227 grams when weighed at the vet at 10 weeks old) Does this mean he could be more prone to myco than normal? What is a healthy weight/size for a male 3 month old rat? Aaaaah I just want my boys to be healthy! Nyx finally has a friend, but now I have to worry about health issues :( at least the lice has been taken care of -_-
 

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I would only treat Tempi with the doxy, give it 3-5 days to work. If it doesn't work, you can ask your vet for azithromycin.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ah, I finally just saw this.... I ended up taking him to the vet. She gave him injectable baytril mixed in water to use as his drinking water for five days. It's been five days and he is still sneezing. I really don't want to go back to the vet because it's expensive and she doesn't seem to think rats can be medicated like any other animal. Especially since he's already been treated with albon, amoxicillin, and now baytril, I am weary to try my doxysyrup as I don't want to cause anything stewing in him to build up a resistance before he's even hit with a devastating illness. However, is that still a good option? I wouldn't have to worry about not having enough for a decent treatment period, but I don't even know if it'll work. Can I give him allergy medicine to see if maybe he's extra sensitive to dust or his food? That's what his breeder thinks his problem is.
 

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Yikes. Okay I saw your post on another thread but I'm going to respond here too.
So, he was on Albon for a week, the Amoxi for a week if I understand?
And for the past five days you put Baytril in his water?

Like I said, never trust a vet who tells you to put something in a rat's water.
You have no clue whatsoever how much or how little of the medication the rat is ingesting. On top of that, most antibiotics taste like crud, so a rat can and will stop drinking water completely because of the taste. So get him fresh clean water.

What are his symptoms like now? What medications do you have on you? Can you take a picture of what you have so I can see strengths, etc.
Can you hold him up to your ear and listen to his chest? If so, what do you hear?
 

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Try to change the bedding to towels for a week or two to see if that helps.

There is a stronger medication, azithromycin, which may help. It can be a bit costly ($30 tx).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Nanashi, my little buddy lives in a DCN lined with fleece and towels washed in clear hypoallergenic detergent. His litter boxes are are filled with yesterday's news and I swap out bedding at the first hint of urine smell. I wipe dribbles off his plastic houses daily. I have a hepa filter on in the room he's in and a humidifier. So I can't really do anything else to see if it helps, right? Maybe I'm missing something :/ his food is Oxbow, which leaves dust after eaten, but he eats in the litter and I dump that frequently and shake out the blankets he also tends to eat on. That's why I'm really reluctant to believe it's allergies.

Velo, yeah I was very upset when she did that, but it didn't help. I should have not paid and walked out but I thought anything was better than nothing. I want to go back tomorrow and politely demand she treat him like any other animal. Especially because he takes medicine very well when mixed with banana baby food. He's a good boy, and much more interactive than she seemed to think. I will give you a link to http://www.jedds.com/-strse-1019/DOXYSYRUP--dsh--25-ml/Detail.bok medicine for now and I'll have to take a pic when I get home. It is called doxysyrup by medvet and I got it from jedds bird supply. It's actually for cats and dogs, though. For some reason my phone keeps putting the link in the middle of my last sentence.... I'll leave it there -_- I am very sorry I will reply with a pic later if you need it! The vet never told me my boys weight, but I have a kitchen scale that I keep track of his weight on myself and he weighed 349 grams yesterday. He was exactly half a pound when he went to the vet the first time, so my scale can't be too terribly off since he'd have grown a little since then.

Symptoms: still sneezing. The vet said his lungs sound fine. To me, it sounds stuffy on his left side, but that could he his nose. It doesn't sound like a percolator like others have described pneumonia to sound like. His right eye has porphyrin stains for a few days every oncein a while. His other eye aand nose are always clear (nose not always after he just sneezed) . I have found what I am assuming to be large porphyrin stains on the paper towels I let him nest with. At least, I hope it's not blood. He and my other rat have never had open wounds. He has good days and bad days. Has sinceiI got him a little over a month ago. I witnessed a sneezing jag today before work and he refused to come out and greet me which is VERY unusual, but he was fine before then when I had him out on my bed. So ili can't wait to get off work to check on him.....
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Velo, I just saw your other post about compounding the baytril. Unfortunately, the vet mixed it in the water before giving it to me. Again, I was stupid to accept it because I knew before going that baytril has a short shelf life once mixed with fluids AND that injectable can't be refrigerated. Which is exactly what she told me to do with it. But I also have issues with demanding "professionals" to do things my way so I just stood there and took the medicine from the vet tech. So, the only medicine I have on hand is doxycycline and amoxicillin. I am going to try to get more baytril tomorrow, when the exotic vet is back in. She's only there three days a week. I'd go back to his first vet,(the cat and dog vet who lives rats and has them as pets) but it's a long, winding trip up the mountain and I don't drive :( so hopefully this "exotic specialist" can be reasoned with.
 

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I'm going to start this off by saying that this is all my opinion and I am not a vet, etc. You probably realize that but just to make it clear hehe.

Please don't beat yourself up so bad. I think it's great that you have done research, gone to multiple vets, you try to trust your vets and you do whatever you can for your sweet rat. I do get a little over-pushy and angry about these sorts of things because really URIs are easy enough to treat properly and I have unfortunately met way too many people who have lost their rats from incorrect dosings/under dosings, etc of antibiotics.

I'm glad you are going to go see the vet again tomorrow. Make sure they give a real good listen to his lungs and explain all the symptoms you've been seeing.
The best way to brutally attack and destroy a URI is a combination of 10mg/kg of Baytril twice a day and 5mg/kg of Doxy twice a day for four weeks. So if you want something to recite for the vet, ask if they'd be willing to try that route.

So it sounds like he is stable. Since you are going to a vet tomorrow, you won't want to give him any antibiotics, etc tonight. You want the vet to see him in 100% symptoms.

To me, the excessive poryphin and "stuffy" sounding lungs are a sign that he is having some RI issues.
You never want a URI to develop into a LRI (or pneumonia), this sounds like a mild URI to me. It is very very hard to hear issues in rat lungs, so even the smallest amount of crackling is worrisome.
If you get a video of him, feel free to show me so I can get a better idea of how he may be feeling.

So, for now, let's see what the vet says and does.
If this vet doesn't do something that makes you feel like your boy has been properly diagnosed and cared for, then I would start him on the Doxy. I would do 4 weeks of Doxy at 5mg/kg. If he isn't improving after 5 days on just Doxy, you can add your Amoxi.
Let me know any doses the vet might give you and I can check them for you.
The strength of Doxy you have at 5mg/kg for your boy would be .18 cc twice a day.
I'm assuming you have needle-less insulin syringes like http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/NDgwWDYwMA==/z/IbUAAOxy4YdTQgum/$_35.JPG?set_id=880000500F

I hope this helps at least put your mind at ease a bit! Let me know how things go & best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Velo! I completely understand that you are a fellow rat lover who is just trying to help an overly worried new rat-mommy. I was actually just wanting to cross-reference the dosage for the doxysyrup, so I'm glad you gave me what you'd found to be the correct dose for Temp. I'd already read doses from ratballs.com (same as what you said) and Deb Ducommun's site (I also have her Rat Health book) :) She says to just give 1lb doses for rats under a pound, but I'd never do that as his URI definitely isn't severe and unnecessary medication is not cool. SO if it comes down to it, he'll be getting .18ml BID. I do hope the vet gives me a new prescrip for him because I'd like to keep the doxy for an emergency.

Unfortunately, I'm just going to the vet clinic alone. He's not coming with me as that would be his THIRD vet visit in one month, it's really friggin' cold out, and I can't afford it! $30 just for the consultation at the only local vet that sees rats (and I'm stuck with this vet for the time being due to weather). I'm hoping it shouldn't be a problem as she'd just seen him last Thursday. I would have called, but I have had TERRIBLE luck calling this particular clinic, which is why I took him up the mountain in the first place. I had to email them to get the appointment he had last week. If she doesn't want to renew his baytril prescription, then I will probably just take him back up the mountain to the other vet once the weather is better. It's significantly cheaper, and I know the vet there wouldn't shoot me down the instant I say I think he has a mild myco flare up. That is exactly what the exotic vet did- she was NOT open to hearing me out. I tried, but I'm not assertive :/ the other vet was easier to talk to AND has actually had pet rats in the past (plus, she just adopted one from the same breeder I got my one boy). She let him crawl up her arm and sniff her ear. lol the other one just kept telling him to stop nibbling her acrylic nails haha Even the little things can indicate who is right for treating the furkid. This was what my post was on about in the other thread. There are right and wrong vets for every animal, and I'm glad I checked out both options for my furbabies. Even though one is technically more qualified as an exotic, because there aren't many rat owners where I live (and probably none who take theirs to the vet), the other vet would definitely have more ratty experience! Her clinic is near the only reputable rattery in Central PA lol It's just sad it is 45 minutes away.

Ultimately, I really hate to let this illness go on, though, because it's been five and a half weeks! I'm already worried that he has been under-dosed with baytril as he really didn't drink much of it after the first three days DX I will tell the vet all of this tomorrow (I going to write it down before hand because I crumble when trying to explain what I want to doctors)

Also, I did not mean to start a debate in the other post! Very sorry. I'll keep you posted on what he's prescribed/treated with. I appreciate the checking and reassuring. As for Mr. Solitude, I'm home now and I had taken away the baytril bottle and lowered the ramp to the bottom level in the DCN before I left for work. He is back to his normal spunk and was at the door waiting for me.... I think he gets upset when I put him by himself -_- maybe saying that will convince the vet to give the baytril in an other form! Once again, thanks for the reassurance!!
 

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If the baytril didn't start working within five days of treatment, it probably won't help. Adding in another med on top of it can give it a "boost", but that's if you've already seen improvement (for example; Remus had pneumonia and was able to breathe better on one med, but still had attacks. Added a second med to clear it all up). That's why I suggested a different medicine; you essentially hop around the classes of meds to find what is particularly effective against that bacteria.

If he is basically improving but for a little airway constriction, a very very small dose based on his weight of an anti-inflammatory may solve the mystery (and save you a few bucks). http://ratguide.com/meds/nsaids/ibuprofen.php . What this would be doing is resolving symptoms, not the underlying cause (so you'd continue the antibiotics), but if you gave him low doses for three days and then stopped and he was improved, that'd be that. Alternately, you can request a steroid or other anti-inflammatory from the vet to be used in tandem to current treatment.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Thanks nanashi! That is definitely the best information I could have hoped for! I will ask about azithromycin. I honestly cannot tell if the baytril has helped. His sneezing did decrease and by the fourth day, while I could hear him sniffing it didn't sound wet. He started the baytril last Thursday. Last night he started constantly sneezing again and today I witnessed him coughing and his sneezes sound wet again. Yesterday would have been day five, so he should have been well on his way to lesser symptoms. However, he had not drank nearly as much baytril water during days three and four as he did the first two days. So, I find it very hard to tell if it's working with that in mind. Would it be better to try azithromycin or try a consistent baytril treatment firs ? I will ask the vet this same question, but I'd like to know what you would ask about in this situation.
 

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Azithro is really effective in young rats, so thats what I would try. Plus, it is usually cherry flavored so it goes down pretty easy (I give it on toast crust).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks so much, nanashi :) I will go in and ask if she would mind prescribing the different medication without seeing him . she'd just seen him last week so it shouldn't be too much of a problem. Actually getting to speak with her will be, though!

Heheh, I will probably have to mix even cherry flavoring with banana baby food (his all time favorite treat next to cooked brown rice and yogies) lf I didn't mix the albon (also cherry) well, he would move his head away from the spoon until I mixed it better! He's such a bRat.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
He's still the same, but not any worse! :/ I've been giving him the doxy (except at point two ml bc despite being ill, he's still growing quite well. The little chunker weighs .8lbs now). Hasn't been long enough to see if it's working, yet. I won't have money to go back to the vet until this Friday, but I figured, might as well try the doxy to see if it works and if it doesn't I can get a prescription for zithromax or baytril to try along with the doxy. Could be that his strain of myco needs that combination to combat it.
 
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