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Hi all,
As some of you know, I've only owned rats for a little less than a year so I still have plenty of learning to do about that ins and outs of URIs. My first two rats, Mango and Tango, are pet store rats and have been treated for URIs three times in the ~ 10 months I've had them. They've been on Baytril/Doxy combo twice and Zithro once (Zithro seemed to be the most effective).
I recently added two new, young rats (about nine weeks old) to the group and though I first thought what one was experiencing was new home sneezes, I'm now decently certain it's a mild URI. They've been in the home since Jan 26th and Pancakes still sneezes like crazy, especially in sneezing bouts - i.e. sneezing in rapid succession several times per hour, and at times it sounds like she's coughing (or maybe just sneezing really hard?). I've only seen poryphin on her nose once, but the frequency of the sneezing has not at all improved. So I have a few questions about how to proceed.. firstly, do you agree that it's something more than new home sneezes? Secondly, I'm cautious to start her on meds because she's so young, but I've heard that Zithro can safely be used in young rats? And thirdly, although I'll never hesitate to seek out a vet's help, I was wondering if it's possible to acquire and administer meds without paying for a vet consult. I've read of a few people doing this.. ie. ordering Zithro and then using a kitchen scale to calculate weight and figure out dosage. It would certainly save me quite a bit of money, as around here vet visits are extremely expensive, over $100 per rat (and if you have more than one suffering, you have to pay an individual exam fee for each rat). So any ideas on how to proceed would be great! Again, if you do believe a vet visit is necessary, rest assured that I will do that. But I'm just curious is there's any other way to proceed.
Thanks so much!
 

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It's been long enough that I would either inspect for irritants (air fresheners, bedding, etc) or treat. You could probably safely try home remedies for five days, but that's where I would draw the line. Raw honey drizzled over food and a humidifier might help since it is just sneezes.

Zithro is safe in young rats, but I don't think you can find it OTC. Baytril/doxy can be found OTC but baytril isn't safe in young rats.
 
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