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Discussion Starter #1
i recently got 2 white rats, boys. they both sneezed when i first brought them home. one of them is still sneezing and sounds worse than he did at first, he sounds like hes got a lot of mucus build up, like somebody who has a cold sounds. he sneezes every few minutes and sometimes 2-3 times in a row. i made an appointment for him friday after work 6pm eastern...(its the quickest i can get him there, i dont have the money until friday when i get paid ;/) any ideas what is going on with him?


i have had them for 2/almost 3 weeks.
 

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its too long to still be new home sneezes so i guess its a myco flare. if its just sneezing and no breathing sounds then i would say you caught it early and some basic antibiotics for 10-14 days should clear it up just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
when he breathes sometimes it sounds like he has a stuffy nose(it doesnt feel runny tho), also his eyes get a little crusty too(not bad, but none of my other rats have ever had the crust anywhere near their eyes unless they scratched it).

is myco contagious, he is in a cage with his brother. there is also another older female rat in the house(5 months or so).
 

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all rats are born with myco so its not really contagious as such. in any case, if something is contagious by the time you recognize the illness it likely that any rat sharing the same cage will likely have it as well. if its easier to understand you can think of myco like a cross between asthma and AIDS. i say asthma because it often most affects the lungs but AIDS because it doesn't always only affect the lungs but can damage the immune system to a level that allows opprotunistic illness take hold that would not have had an effect had the immune system been stronger. it is passed on by the mother during birth and as such can not be transmitted to any other animal. for a better read and understanding of it i suggest you read some related articles on ratguide.com, if you search for mycoplasmosis (or myco as i'm not sure if that spelling is correct but it often referred to as the shorter term anyway) i'm sure you'll be able to find some good information on it.

with the snotty nose sounds, it could mean that you'll have to make sure you continue for at least 14 days and may want to have a doxy and baytril combo instead of just the one antibiotic. but the sooner you catch and treat it the less damage done and the easier to get rid of it.

others know more specific details on it then i do and hopefully they can pop in here and fill in the spots i missed but if you read the stuff on ratguide.com you'll have a very good understanding of what it is and how to treat and prevent it in the future.

please keep us updated on your boy's progress though regardless.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
hes on his way to the vet in an hour! i cant wait to get him some meds. i will post back with updates on how hes doing, im really worried. hopefully get some pictures of the 2 brothers together once the one gets better ;]
 

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ted went to the vets today. she gave me some liquid baytril and says to mix it with a little bit of Ensure for flavoring. he loves it, hopefully he'll be okay soon. anybody else heard of using ensure? im assuming since the vet said to use it, its safe right? (its only a very tiny bit for flavoring)
 

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ensure is a wonderful little trick to get them to take meds easily. mine particularly like the chocolate flavoring but i've heard good things about the strawberry as well. not sure if anyone has tried any other flavors or not, there's a few. i thought the hazelnut one was odd though...
 

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Myco is a bit confusing.

All rats are born with it but some never ever show symptoms. Rats with weaker immune systems or more virulent strains may show "flareups".

Myco attacks the immune system constantly, nice healthy rats fight it off and never show a symptom. But by 18 months the immune system might be a little worn down, which is why we start to see these flareups later on in life.

A stressed, weak or compromised rat's immune system cannot fight off the myco as well, and it allows a secondary "infection" to flare up and those are the symptoms you treat.

http://ratguide.com/health/bacteria/mycoplasma_mycoplasmosis.php

URI (upper respiratory infection) is what it sounds like your boy has. The baytril should clear him up nicely, and Ensure (I am the strawberry fan, being owned by some very picky/spoiled rats) is a great way to get it in. :)

How many days are you to give it to him? Whats your dosing? twice a day?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
.14 ml/cc once daily for 2 weeks i believe. hes already doing better. hes getting the strawberry ensure with it, he loves it.

also both of my boys are white with red eyes and now that the one is getting better its getting hard to tell the difference, im afraid by tomorrow i might not know which is which unless i just sit there forever and make a judgement based on personality(which doesnt sound like a good idea). does anybody else have any suggestions? i don't have another spare cage to seperate him and i dont think seperated the 2 for 2 weeks is a good idea, theyll get lonely). ive heard of a marker...but i dont want to ugly up his pretty fur...what if i were to use a sharpie to color just the tips of a couple pieces of hair so i can cut it off after the 2 weeks(does they fur grow back quick?) i really DONT want to use a marker... ;/
 

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I have used food colouring on the backs of their shoulders...they look very pretty. :) Blue and Red are the best on the PEW's or you can use a sharpie on the tail, either different colours or use a dark colour and make lines/patterns to differentiate the 2 :D
 
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