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Hi everyone, I just started with rats a few weeks ago, and being uneducated i got them from a pet store that kept them in tanks with pine bedding. Both of the little guys ended up being pretty sick and I realized this 4 days later (i already switched them to carefresh) when one of the rats that I thought were just shy started seizing and open mouth gasping, he passed later that night. I immediately became very concerned of course because this came out of complete nowhere to me. I read they are a little sneezy when coming to a new home. I got the living one another friend from the same place who was also sick.
They owner wrote me off as being a bad rat owner when i told him. I took the guys to the vet and they prescribed them Enrofloxin twice a day by dropper. I also got them a 3 level cage with a plastic bottom, and stopped using carefresh since it is so dusty and the newer guy (Milo) likes to eat paper. The newer guy was doing alright the whole time but the older one deteriorated fast, and stopped eating or drinking. He wouldnt take food or drink from me either no matter what I tried, I started trying to force feed him gatorade to keep him hydrated, but he passed also... Now I just have Milo. His cage has 3 levels, theres a running saucer and a cardboard house on the bottom level, the second has food and a water bowl and a water bottle, and the third is another house filled with ripped t shirts and another water bottle. Ive been using old shirts or towels as bedding and I use cheerios as his taming treat. He has been doing fine and runs around now and bounces when hes being active and interacts with me. I started letting him out into the area in front of his cage and blocking off the exits with stuff or my hands.
I am a college student at the University of Pittsburgh, I live in a three bedroom house with two other guys. I brought his cage up to my tiny room because it is more quiet and he is seperated from the downstairs where loud music and smoke come from. I try and make sure it doesnt get too loud but i cant control everything. I have a humidifier going in my room most of the day.
So I thought he was healing but his coat is starting to get a little more rough and hes losing some weight. I gave him some avacado today to try and help gain more. What could I be doing wrong? What can I do to make him happier? I want to get him another friend but I am worried that that one will just get sick too! Plus I dont know where i can trust to give me a healthy rat. He is still sneezing and coughing sometimes and I can hear mucus every now and then. The porphryin staining on his tail has gotten worse too. He isnt entirely tame, when he is playing he interacts with my hand but usually runs away and back to it frequently. He doesn't like being held too much but I spend couch time with him in my shirt. I'm stressed from normal school life as it is and constantly worrying about this guy isn't helping! Please help me out!
 

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I would get another rat. Milo could be depressed because he is spending time alone. Do you have any breeders around you or and other petstores around.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
There are pet stores like Petco or Petsmart. Other than that the rest are far and I only have access to bus's. Is it alright to get him a buddy even if he is still sick with a respiratory infection?
 

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How long has he be on the meds?

If the vet prescribed Eurofloxacin, it means that he most likely believes it is pneumonia. Sometimes pneumonia needs another antibiotic on top of euro like doxycycline or possibly something else. If he has been on euro for more than 3 days without improvement you will need to go see a vet again. Oftentime a vet will also prescribe amoxicillin in case there is a second URI infection.

Wait a few days at least for him to get better before getting him a new friend. Introductions can be stressful and stress will only decrease his already weak immune system even more. If you spend time with him, he won't get depressed for a few extra days or even weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
He's been on the meds for at least a week now. Do you think that means it is something more?
 

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If after a week he is not much better than most likely he needs another antibiotic on top of the Eurofloxacin. I would add amoxicillin (for potential second URI) and doxycycline for pneumonia. How old is your rat? For younger rats the meds might be different than the ones I listed here.
 

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1) Make sure the room is at the very least 69F, but 70-71 would be better (rats do poorly if the temperature varies too much too, keep it constant)

2) very clean cage so there is no ammonia to make his lungs even worse

3) add some humidity to the room if it is dry.

But really it sounds like he needs to get see the vet again. Is your vet rat savvy?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Milo's Age

He is pretty young, he is from the same lot as the first two rats and when i got them they looked like mice. about 9 days ago they weighed him at the vet and he was 1.0 ... ounces? I dont remember what unit it was. Thats how long he has been on the meds also, nine days.
 

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The vet I am seeing works for Banfield Pet hospital. They have some sort of joint thing with pet smart. She is the only one i could find that would see rodents.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hes sneezing semi frequently and making some kind of cough squeek kind of noise. Im upset i didnt realize he needed more meds sooner.
 

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The cough squeaks are not good at all.Don't blame yourself, very few vets are rat savvy. What we all learnt to do is to go to the vet with info we print from the web and info from forums...Here is a great resource about healthy squeaks vs. sick squeaks in pet rats:
http://www.joinrats.com/RatHealth/SOUNDS/HealthyOrSickSqueaks/

It is my opinion that you need to see a vet again as soon as possible. As you unfortunately experienced, rats can go downhill very fast. I hope your rat will be ok.
 
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