Help needed for curious respiratory symptoms!

maxdevine00

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Recently (3 months ago) I lost a rat to pneumonia and after that experience I did everything in my power to protect my other girls. I bought a double critter nation (for 4 rats), set up an air purifier, got new dustless bedding( cat pellet paper), began to litter train, sewed fleece liners for each floor (washed 5 times before using /added absorbent towels underneath), sewed 10 new hammocks, and I pick up poop daily. However, one of my girls suddenly started showing symptoms of respiratory problems. She was acting perfectly fine and it has just started in the last ~12 hours with no previous indications that she would be sick. I'm confused about what this could be because it does not look like the typical Myco that I have seen before. There is no porphyrin around her nose/eyes, she is not sneezing, and she is acting relatively normal. The only symptom so far is a rough/crackly/wet sounding breathing that is coming from her upper airway and does not seem deep. She is not mouth breathing and it basically sounds like she has bad congestion/runny nose. I ordered Baytril and an evaporative humidifier yesterday as soon as I heard this... I also have doxycycline/ amoxicillin/ prednisone/ and azithromycin/ nebulizer from when our other girl was sick recently. Has anyone else had a similar experience or know what this could be? Also, do any of these meds sound like they could be useful right now? I want to treat ASAP because I have seen how fast they get bad. Thank you!
 

Dena

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First of all, how long ago did you change all their stuff? Second, can you please get us a video, post it on YouTube, then copy and paste the link on here? For your little girl, we will need a weight (in grams) and strength of the meds. Then, message lilspaz, and ask her to see this thread. She is REALLY good at these things, since she's rescued/had tons of rats for many years. All those meds are really good for respiratory problems. But she can tell you what to start with. How old is your little girl? Also, when it comes to purifier and humidifier, make sure they aren't the ultrasonic (I think that's it) ones. Those will drive rats mad. Good luck! Hope your little one gets better soon!
 

maxdevine00

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Thank you for your reply!! I have been good at cleaning the cage recently but I went ahead and did a COMPLETE deep clean of every single hammock/accessory/floor and also a bedding change to be safe... I also ordered some special cage cleaner recommended by Ratguide.com... and yes I researched the heck out of humidifiers and found a safe evaporative one that will not aerosolize any microbes / minerals. I think she is around 1.5 y.o ( I should keep track of that better) and I weighed her on a kitchen scale and she is 300g. I also used the dosage recommendations on Ratguide.com for Doxycycline (5mg/kg q12) to start her on some broad spectrum ABX before any opportunistic pathogens can take hold. I will continue the Doxy and add Baytril when it arrives if she is not improving ... If she goes downhill though I will definitely contact the exotic vet but they are far away/expensive so that is my worst case scenario.

I will try to figure out that youtube thing in the meantime... her symptoms have not gotten worse today and when she is just sleeping her breathing is basically silent but when you excite her it becomes audible again... still no sneezing or porphyrin.

Thank you for recommending lilspaz... I will message her ASAP and see what she has to say! I appreciate your help and i'm open to any more recommendations!
 

lilspaz68

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It does sound like nasal congestion which isn't as severe or as worrying as true pneumonia. Its upper airway/nasal passages. Crackling, popping, "monkey noises" are all typical of this. Treating it is a good idea as sometimes its a respiratory infection that is just starting up. Sometimes there's no actual infection so the antibiotics won't have anything to cure. Season change is a very typical time for any respiratory infections to flare up.
It sounds like you are doing a good job trying to prevent resp infections but unfortunately its not fool-proof as its often the strength of each rat's immune system that is the reason some get sick and others do not.
Do you want me to double check your doxy doses based on her weight of 300 grams? I'd need to know the concentration of the doxy you are using,or how you mixed it up.
 

maxdevine00

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Yes I was also thinking it could be simple allergies but I’m definitely scared since we just had a bad case of pneumonia in our other girl... For the Doxy I’m giving 5mg/kg po q12 and I took a 100mg capsule and divided in half and dissolved 50mg in 4 ml of water (in a syringe)... that works out to 12.5mg/ml ... for a 300g rat she should need a 1.5mg dose ... that means .12ml of the solution ... I have it away from light in the fridge and will mix a new solution after ~5 days to make sure none has degraded... do you thing some OTC children’s Sudafed could help clear her up and make it easier to breathe?
 

lilspaz68

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here is what I would do with the doxy, is use a full 100 mg capsule, put in a small bottle with a tight lid, mix with 5 ml of fluid (say 2 ml of water til dissolved then add 3 ml of sweet syrup to cover the bitter taste). I would also use 10 mg/kg especially as its the only antibiotic you are using currently and 10 mg/kg is a more effective dose than the old standard of 5 mg/kg.

Using your 12.5 mg/ml doxy she would get 0.24 ml twice a day
if you mix the next one with 5 ml of fluid that gives you 20 mg/ml doxy solution and her dose would be 0.15 ml twice a day.

Start with the antibiotics and see if its an infection starting up, add the baytril once you get it.
 

maxdevine00

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Do you think the doxy would be stable for that long ... I just don’t want to waste a whole capsule if its just going to be ineffective after a week... I’ve heard mixed information on its stability in water ... also, I already dosed her this morning with the .12 ml but do you think it would be ok to do another .12 to get the 10mg/kg in her?
 

mwp051699

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Feb 15, 2020
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Recently (3 months ago) I lost a rat to pneumonia and after that experience I did everything in my power to protect my other girls. I bought a double critter nation (for 4 rats), set up an air purifier, got new dustless bedding( cat pellet paper), began to litter train, sewed fleece liners for each floor (washed 5 times before using /added absorbent towels underneath), sewed 10 new hammocks, and I pick up poop daily. However, one of my girls suddenly started showing symptoms of respiratory problems. She was acting perfectly fine and it has just started in the last ~12 hours with no previous indications that she would be sick. I'm confused about what this could be because it does not look like the typical Myco that I have seen before. There is no porphyrin around her nose/eyes, she is not sneezing, and she is acting relatively normal. The only symptom so far is a rough/crackly/wet sounding breathing that is coming from her upper airway and does not seem deep. She is not mouth breathing and it basically sounds like she has bad congestion/runny nose. I ordered Baytril and an evaporative humidifier yesterday as soon as I heard this... I also have doxycycline/ amoxicillin/ prednisone/ and azithromycin/ nebulizer from when our other girl was sick recently. Has anyone else had a similar experience or know what this could be? Also, do any of these meds sound like they could be useful right now? I want to treat ASAP because I have seen how fast they get bad. Thank you!
Hello,

First, I am sorry to hear that your rattie has taken sick, but... And I stress, this is without hearing it firsthand, or second hand even, or not at all, but I think vi can help you. Ok, so it's just your one rattie, no others are sick? If that's the case, (hopefully, right?) then it is most likely a Myco flare up. You sound as if your are in disbelief. Do you realize that most pet rats will have occasional, or, even... regular bouts with Myco their entire lives? Some rats are of better genetics and don't have much of a problem with Myco, while others, have off an on symptoms their whole lives, and yet even others will show no signs (rats are masterful concealers of anything that would cause them to appear vulnerable, such as illness, injury, pain, etc.) until one day they suddenly get overwhelmed with it and die! That said, your rattie is having a Myco flare-up. BUT, and I can't stress this enough, if he is having a secondary infection (usually appears instantly and symptoms sound serious), he would immediately need treating with Amoxicillin. As for the Myco flare-up (most likely scenario here), treat with Baytril (Enrofloxacin) or, in its absence, Doxycycline. Weigh rattie to get the correct dosage info, if no scale, you can guesstimate (leaning on the side of caution you want to give a bit more instead of a bit less. But you can post a photo and I can give you a weight. Also, make a recording of his breathing for your vet, often the flare-ups come and go overnight, (or... rattie can hide it again), and you don't want rattie to make you look like you're hearing things that aren't there, lol. Anyway, here's the best part... Myco is treatable, but not curable. So if you start treatment the minute you first year any symptoms, and I mean even the slightest click or rumble, you will help keep his Myco at a minimum. Every single time you hear anything at all, start on Baytril for 2 weeks minimum, but 2 weeks past the last symptom being heard. If, after 2 weeks he is still exhibiting symptoms, start him on Doxycycline IN ADDITION to the Baytril he is already on, and continue 2 more weeks minimum, or 2 weeks past the last symptom being observed, or heard. Pet rats are ALL infected with Myco, but some are genetically better at handling it while others will not be and have a hard time, with constant flare-ups and a progression of the disease until they either succumb to it when they get older, or, and often the case, are on antibiotics for the rest of their lives, as well as other meds, some of which I see you have, such as Prednisone. Ok, so I hope I she'd some light on things for you. Definitely get your boy on Doxycycline and order some Baytril from Jedds.com or Ladygouldingfinch.com, both of which are good sources of many meds for ratties. If you can post a photo, I can help guess his weight, or you can with comparing your rattie who the meds were for (RIP) to your sick rat. Best of luck and if you need a doseage chart, just ask.
 
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mwp051699

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Messages
50
Do you think the doxy would be stable for that long ... I just don’t want to waste a whole capsule if its just going to be ineffective after a week... I’ve heard mixed information on its stability in water ... also, I already dosed her this morning with the .12 ml but do you think it would be ok to do another .12 to get the 10mg/kg in her?
A 500mg capsule will only last a week. And I didn't see lilspaz had already responded or I wouldn't have written my dissertation on rats with Myco, LOLOLololol. And yes you can dose her again as long as its closer to the morning dose than the evening dose
 

mwp051699

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Feb 15, 2020
Messages
50
i would keep the doxy solution in the fridge. it should be fine for 14 days
Yup, definitely keep in fridge once compounded, and yup again, good for 7-10 days, but, Up to 14 is another way to put it.
here is what I would do with the doxy, is use a full 100 mg capsule, put in a small bottle with a tight lid, mix with 5 ml of fluid (say 2 ml of water til dissolved then add 3 ml of sweet syrup to cover the bitter taste). I would also use 10 mg/kg especially as its the only antibiotic you are using currently and 10 mg/kg is a more effective dose than the old standard of 5 mg/kg.

Using your 12.5 mg/ml doxy she would get 0.24 ml twice a day
if you mix the next one with 5 ml of fluid that gives you 20 mg/ml doxy solution and her dose would be 0.15 ml twice a day.

Start with the antibiotics and see if its an infection starting up, add the baytril once you get it.
Iilspaz beat me to the response once again, lol. I said same thing... Start doxycycline and order Enrofloxacin
 

maxdevine00

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Joined
Oct 29, 2020
Messages
12
Location
NC
Hello,

First, I am sorry to hear that your rattie has taken sick, but... And I stress, this is without hearing it firsthand, or second hand even, or not at all, but I think vi can help you. Ok, so it's just your one rattie, no others are sick? If that's the case, (hopefully, right?) then it is most likely a Myco flare up. You sound as if your are in disbelief. Do you realize that most pet rats will have occasional, or, even... regular bouts with Myco their entire lives? Some rats are of better genetics and don't have much of a problem with Myco, while others, have off an on symptoms their whole lives, and yet even others will show no signs (rats are masterful concealers of anything that would cause them to appear vulnerable, such as illness, injury, pain, etc.) until one day they suddenly get overwhelmed with it and die! That said, your rattie is having a Myco flare-up. BUT, and I can't stress this enough, if he is having a secondary infection (usually appears instantly and symptoms sound serious), he would immediately need treating with Amoxicillin. As for the Myco flare-up (most likely scenario here), treat with Baytril (Enrofloxacin) or, in its absence, Doxycycline. Weigh rattie to get the correct dosage info, if no scale, you can guesstimate (leaning on the side of caution you want to give a bit more instead of a bit less. But you can post a photo and I can give you a weight. Also, make a recording of his breathing for your vet, often the flare-ups come and go overnight, (or... rattie can hide it again), and you don't want rattie to make you look like you're hearing things that aren't there, lol. Anyway, here's the best part... Myco is treatable, but not curable. So if you start treatment the minute you first year any symptoms, and I mean even the slightest click or rumble, you will help keep his Myco at a minimum. Every single time you hear anything at all, start on Baytril for 2 weeks minimum, but 2 weeks past the last symptom being heard. If, after 2 weeks he is still exhibiting symptoms, start him on Doxycycline IN ADDITION to the Baytril he is already on, and continue 2 more weeks minimum, or 2 weeks past the last symptom being observed, or heard. Pet rats are ALL infected with Myco, but some are genetically better at handling it while others will not be and have a hard time, with constant flare-ups and a progression of the disease until they either succumb to it when they get older, or, and often the case, are on antibiotics for the rest of their lives, as well as other meds, some of which I see you have, such as Prednisone. Ok, so I hope I she'd some light on things for you. Definitely get your boy on Doxycycline and order some Baytril from Jedds.com or Ladygouldingfinch.com, both of which are good sources of many meds for ratties. If you can post a photo, I can help guess his weight, or you can with comparing your rattie who the meds were for (RIP) to your sick rat. Best of luck and if you need a doseage chart, just ask.
Thank you so much for all the info about myco! Also, she is 300g and I started her on Doxy the day I heard her breathing noises... she is the only one sick at the moment. I ordered baytril last week and it is on the way but I have leftover azithromycin and some amoxicillin that I’m considering starting before the baytril arrives...I also ordered a humidifier that came this morning and is running now! In addition to those things I’ve been cleaning the cage daily and giving her pedialyte/ bene-bac/ baby formula to keep her nutrition in check. The sounds are more pronounced when I take her out of the cage / excite her and quiet when she is sleeping... today I will try to figure out how to attach a video of her so that y’all can hear what is going on(it’s hard to describe these sounds).
 

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