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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
IS there any way to prevent reoccurring infections?
Six month ago we adopted two sweet neutered rat boys. At the time we were told by the rescue that they were about 6 months old (per previous owner)
So if that's correct they should only be about a year old.
In the last 3 months the bigger of the two -a dumbo named Gus- has been to the vet twice.
First time for an abscess which cleared up with antibiotics rather quickly.
Today's visit was much worse. He had developed breathing problems last night.
I took him to a specialty vet and they decided on x-rays. The x-ray showed a grey area in the upper portion of his rib cage on the left side.
As interesting as that was the vet really had too many possible explanations for this to actually give us an answer.
So back on antibiotics again... This time Baytril in case it's mycoplasma but also some other crazy expensive antibiotic for... I am not sure.
After I spent the $150 on the exam and x-rays it seemed like another $100 for meds wasn't going to make a big difference anymore either...


but yikes every couple of months! I can't really keep going at that rate of spending $250 on vet care so frequently.

I feel like provide really well for Gus and his buddy. They have a 5 ft tall very spacious multilevel cage, well ventilated, fresh water every day, Oxbow rat food (rescue said it's what they recommended), etc. Just paper bedding. No pine etc
What can I do to keep Gus from getting sick?
He is the sweetest little cuddle bug and so affectionate.
He belongs to my daughter who loves him and takes care of his regular care.

Any supplements? Any special foods? Any things we should change
 

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Are you going to a vet that normally deals with rats? How long did u get antibiotics the first time time? This time? Only one antibiotic each time? Where do you live? Bad water? Could use bottled water. Possibly get a air filtration system to place in room? Really curious about the vet though. Sometimes, especially if re-occurring illness, vet will place on two different drugs and for a minimum of two weeks. Add fresh veggies/ fruits daily. I am an RN, so prevention is a big part of my life. My rats get rainbow diet. Try to make sure they get varied colors of the rainbow throughout the week with a little added protein once a week.
 

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Sorry so mumbled. I wrote two books, lol. But the site or my iPad kept logging me off and then would lose every thing. I was determined to hit highlights before I got logged off again.
 

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And also as sad as it is, sometimes just pure luck of genetics, or rather lack thereof. Adopting from a rescue, you dida wonderful thing. But have no idea of their breeding or life before you.
 

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Its likley that the abcess isnt linked to the respiratory infection, there are some bacteria that can cause both (out of interest what did the gunk in the abcess look and smell like?) but they are less common than the main cause of respiratory infections with is myco. Abcesses are most useually pasturella (also thought to be endemic in rats, can cause nasal type resp issues in susceptable rats, rarely major issues) and sometimes something like CK (which can cause lung consolidation via little abcesses, gunk looks something like cottage cheese), the rest are made up of a wide variety of bacteria which dont tend to influence respiratory tract.

Pasturella responds well to amoxycillin, and thats your antibiotic of choice for most abcesses generally as its broad spectrum. Myco responds best to Baytril and Doxycillin in combo. You want them on both batril and doxy for most resp issues if possible, Baytril and Amox is also useful if you suspect it isnt myco. If they arent working well then adding in a steroid (pred is generally best) can really help. You want to do a long term, that means 3-4 weeks minimum, this will help properly knock it out of there system.

And dont think your doing anything wrong, this is very much a partially genetic lottery and theres only so much you can do with care and diet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions and feedback. I will look in them in more detail once I drop off the kids at school.
One thing that immediately caught my attention is the mention of lung consolidation. That's what the vet mentioned in regards to the grey area on the x-ray.
What does CK stand for?
 
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