If you suspect your rats have Myco, should you avoid buying more?

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Hello,
I'll been trying to find an answer to this question, I haven't been able to, so apologise if I'm repeating something.

My vet suspects my rats have Myco. My one boy has persistent sneezes and is now on Septrin for two weeks. But this has got me thinking, if my boys have got Myco, then would it be irresponsible to get more rats in the future? Will I be condemning future rats, to contracting it from my current boys? Or is Myco so wide spread that it wouldn't matter anyway?

I'm not planning on getting any new rats for a long time, as my boys are still very young. But I'm just thinking about the future, as I had planned that as they got older, I would introduce new rats, and thus keep a group at all times.

Hopefully someone with more experience can help, I'd like to know the answer so I can better prepare for the future.
 

Dena

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All rats are born with myco. Only a few that are specially bred in labs specifically NOT to have myco, will be born without it. It's complications from myco flare ups that cause issues. Most of the time, a rats immune system can keep it at bay, but when they get stressed, are exposed to irritants (scented litter, air fresheners, etc.), or get older, they immune systems seem to not be able to fend it off so much. When they start having issues with their respiratory system, they usually need to be on antibiotics for about 4-6 weeks to completely clear the issue. Symptoms may go away, but the problem is still there for a bit. Sneezes I don't really worry about, unless it's accompanied by raspy, or crackly lung sounds.... Check out www.ratguide.com for health info.
 
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All rats are born with myco. Only a few that are specially bred in labs specifically NOT to have myco, will be born without it. It's complications from myco flare ups that cause issues. Most of the time, a rats immune system can keep it at bay, but when they get stressed, are exposed to irritants (scented litter, air fresheners, etc.), or get older, they immune systems seem to not be able to fend it off so much. When they start having issues with their respiratory system, they usually need to be on antibiotics for about 4-6 weeks to completely clear the issue. Symptoms may go away, but the problem is still there for a bit. Sneezes I don't really worry about, unless it's accompanied by raspy, or crackly lung sounds.... Check out www.ratguide.com for health info.
That's great to know thank you. My vet was suggesting that myco was something my rats had caught, and it threw me into a confusion about the whole thing.
 

lilspaz68

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Myco is in each rat naturally. The myco attacks the immune system constantly and once the immune system is depressed by stress or infectious virus (rare), or the rat genetically has a weak immune system then a respiratory infection can flare up and need antibiotics to treat. New rats can sometimes have a period where they will have dry sharp sneezes for about a week that resolved once the rats sensitive respiratory system adapts to the new home. Any strong smells, candles, air fresheners etc can irritate them and cause sneezing. Once a congested sneeze starts, porphyrin (red discharge) around eyes, nose, lethargy, laboured breathing etc. Unfortunately the antibiotic your vet gave you, Septrin, is ineffective against myco so if it's an active myco flareup it won't help :(
Can you post a video?
 
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Myco is in each rat naturally. The myco attacks the immune system constantly and once the immune system is depressed by stress or infectious virus (rare), or the rat genetically has a weak immune system then a respiratory infection can flare up and need antibiotics to treat. New rats can sometimes have a period where they will have dry sharp sneezes for about a week that resolved once the rats sensitive respiratory system adapts to the new home. Any strong smells, candles, air fresheners etc can irritate them and cause sneezing. Once a congested sneeze starts, porphyrin (red discharge) around eyes, nose, lethargy, laboured breathing etc. Unfortunately the antibiotic your vet gave you, Septrin, is ineffective against myco so if it's an active myco flareup it won't help :(
Can you post a video?
I can't seem to post a video it says the file it too large even though it's only a few seconds.

He's had the sneeze since I got him five weeks ago. I thought at first it was new rat sneezes, especially as he had no other symptoms. But it's never gone away.
He does occasionally have a tiny bit of porphyrin in his eye when he first wakes up, but that's all.

His sneeze is dry, but sometimes they go on for a long time, like a sneezing fit rather than one sneeze.

He began to get lethargic last week, so I pulled the Aubiose I was using out to see of he had an allergy to it.

Since then he has had more energy, coming out and playing. But still sneezing. So I called a vet, she basically shrugged. Said it was probably going to be myco and to see and hope the Septrin work first.
So that's where I'm at with him at the moment.
 

lilspaz68

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Being in Britain you are dependent on what your vet gives you unfortunately. Do you have any leftover pills in your own med cupboard? At this point it sounds like dry sneezes like his nose is irritated. When you wash the fabric in his cage do you use strong smelling laundry soap?
 

Dena

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I have a rat who is nearly 3 years old, that has sneezed every day from the day I got her almost 3 years ago. She's never been on antibiotics for anything. Her sneezes sound like when a human is exposed to pepper, or dust. Sometimes she sneezes many times in a row. I don't know what her issue is, I just figured some rats are super sneezy like some humans....🤷‍♀️
 
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Being in Britain you are dependent on what your vet gives you unfortunately. Do you have any leftover pills in your own med cupboard? At this point it sounds like dry sneezes like his nose is irritated. When you wash the fabric in his cage do you use strong smelling laundry soap?
Nothing like antibiotics, we can't buy those over the counter here either.

I did use a tiny bit of detergent at first, but I've stopped using it altogether, to see if that was the problem. I just wash their stuff on the highest setting now.
And like I said earlier, I took out the aubiose too to see of it was that. He's still sneezing though, had a five minute epic last night.

It's pretty odd really because other than the sneezing fits he does seem to be fine. And he seemed to be set off when he gets really excited, like he's about to free roam or get some food.
 

Lexi33

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Hello,
I'll been trying to find an answer to this question, I haven't been able to, so apologise if I'm repeating something.

My vet suspects my rats have Myco. My one boy has persistent sneezes and is now on Septrin for two weeks. But this has got me thinking, if my boys have got Myco, then would it be irresponsible to get more rats in the future? Will I be condemning future rats, to contracting it from my current boys? Or is Myco so wide spread that it wouldn't matter anyway?

I'm not planning on getting any new rats for a long time, as my boys are still very young. But I'm just thinking about the future, as I had planned that as they got older, I would introduce new rats, and thus keep a group at all times.

Hopefully someone with more experience can help, I'd like to know the answer so I can better prepare for the future.
We are in the UK and in a similar situation to you. One of our 11 week old boys has been sneezy since we got them at 6 weeks and sometimes has long fits of sneezing. It does happen occasionally in the cage but I think I’ve worked out that it seems to occur more when he’s had contact with us or is in free range play. I’ve tracked down a scent free laundry powder called Surcare in Sainsbury’s, and have tried washing their hammock and fleece blanket in it - can’t say I’m noticing a huge difference yet though! I also tried antihistamine with the sneezy boy, but no difference... I’ve taken away anything even slightly dusty and they have a paper box to dig in, which they love 🐀😁 After me giving them Enrofloxacin that we already had (we have mice too) for ten days with no difference, we did take them to the vet last week, who said they were both a bit wheezy and prescribed Doxycycline, saying it was most likely to be Myco, although he didn’t take a swab as he said the testing is expensive. They’ve been on the Doxy for 7 days now and I can’t see any real difference in the sneezing. He still seems happy enough, and is still play fighting and taking food enthusiastically. We have noticed a tiny bit of crustiness around his eyes. I’m at a bit of a loss now; are we unnecessarily worrying about sneezing? Have we not given the Doxy long enough (the vet said there should be a difference after a week, which is today) ? Or should I be trying something else? I feel like I really want to help him and am worried we’re missing something... any advice gratefully received, thank you ☺ 🐀🐀🐭🐭🐭
 
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Oh nice tip with the Surcare I'll have to look into that. I stopped using detergent all together in the end.

And as an update I put the hemp substrate back in after a month and he's been fine since.

Also, the vet was right dispite my scepticism. I thought it would be myco, but she gave me Septrin for a small infection. I understand Septrin would not help myco, I think it's usually baytril they suggest? But my boy must have had a small infection because it worked!

My boy improved slowly over his two week course, it didn't feel like a lot at first, going from several fits a day to once a day. Then another couple weeks passed and he wasn't even doing that any more. It took a month all together I'd say.

He still sneezes more than the other two. Maybe once or so a day? I dont think he'll ever stop being sensitive to sneezes, like Dena said, it's just how he is. But his sneezing fits have stopped which I'm so pleased about.

So maybe give him a little time? If your boy is full of energy and not displaying any signs of pain or lethargy he might just need a few more days or another week.
Failing that it's probably another trip to the vet :/ but he sounds very similar to mine. And a little porphyrin after they wake up isn't really an issue. Its only if theres a lot.

During his worst week Milo just sat in bed and didn't want to play. He had porphyrin over his cheek which really concerned me. He would only get up for food, and even then he'd sit in one place and wait for the other two to hide food near him.

Now he zooms around the place, popcorning and wrestling! A huge difference!

I hope that helps, and makes sense! Keep us updated!
 

Lexi33

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Location
Lancashire, UK
Oh nice tip with the Surcare I'll have to look into that. I stopped using detergent all together in the end.

And as an update I put the hemp substrate back in after a month and he's been fine since.

Also, the vet was right dispite my scepticism. I thought it would be myco, but she gave me Septrin for a small infection. I understand Septrin would not help myco, I think it's usually baytril they suggest? But my boy must have had a small infection because it worked!

My boy improved slowly over his two week course, it didn't feel like a lot at first, going from several fits a day to once a day. Then another couple weeks passed and he wasn't even doing that any more. It took a month all together I'd say.

He still sneezes more than the other two. Maybe once or so a day? I dont think he'll ever stop being sensitive to sneezes, like Dena said, it's just how he is. But his sneezing fits have stopped which I'm so pleased about.

So maybe give him a little time? If your boy is full of energy and not displaying any signs of pain or lethargy he might just need a few more days or another week.
Failing that it's probably another trip to the vet :/ but he sounds very similar to mine. And a little porphyrin after they wake up isn't really an issue. Its only if theres a lot.

During his worst week Milo just sat in bed and didn't want to play. He had porphyrin over his cheek which really concerned me. He would only get up for food, and even then he'd sit in one place and wait for the other two to hide food near him.

Now he zooms around the place, popcorning and wrestling! A huge difference!

I hope that helps, and makes sense! Keep us updated!
Thanks; I’m glad to hear Milo is back to normal 😁 I do think our little chap Bean is sneezing slightly less than he was, so fingers crossed that the medication is helping...🤞 He’s still wrestling his brother Remi and pinging round the cage, so I’m hoping he’s just a sneezer who will be okay! I have noticed Remi sneezing a bit these last couple of days, when he hadn’t made a sound before (he is on the Doxy as well), which hasn’t helped my worry levels 😬 I think I’m a bit paranoid as we’ve had three lovely mice die from URIs since January and all were on antibiotics 😢 I’ll let you know where we’re up to in a few days! Thanks
 
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mwp051699

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Feb 15, 2020
Messages
27
Hello,
I'll been trying to find an answer to this question, I haven't been able to, so apologise if I'm repeating something.

My vet suspects my rats have Myco. My one boy has persistent sneezes and is now on Septrin for two weeks. But this has got me thinking, if my boys have got Myco, then would it be irresponsible to get more rats in the future? Will I be condemning future rats, to contracting it from my current boys? Or is Myco so wide spread that it wouldn't matter anyway?

I'm not planning on getting any new rats for a long time, as my boys are still very young. But I'm just thinking about the future, as I had planned that as they got older, I would introduce new rats, and thus keep a group at all times.

Hopefully someone with more experience can help, I'd like to know the answer so I can better prepare for the future.
Why? ALL pet rats have Myco. So there's no reason to not get more.
 
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Why? ALL pet rats have Myco. So there's no reason to not get more.
Yes if you read my second comment you'll see why I was confused.

That's great to know thank you. My vet was suggesting that myco was something my rats had caught, and it threw me into a confusion about the whole thing.
My vet also told me to seperate the rat who was sneezing from the other two so they 'didn't catch it too', which I suspected was incorrect. I just needed some reassurance from people with more experience. And thankfully my question was answered by the others.
 

mwp051699

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Your vet is not actually incorrect in saying to separate a sneezing one from the others. Yes... All rats have Myco, but no, they don't all have the same secondary infections. While it's Myco that is continually flaring up causing symptoms and needing treatment, it's the SECONDARY infections, opportunistic ones that take hold when a rat is run down with a compromised immune system, that often go unchecked and can quickly ( and I mean in days) kill an already sick rat, even though it's being treated for the Myco flare-up. This is why you want both gram-neg and gram-pos ABs on hand at all times, there's no room for error, no time for a follow up vet appointment when the Baytril doesn't seem to do anything much. When you begin treatment for Myco flare-ups with Baytril, if there's little or no noticeable improvement within 2-3 days, immediately start him on Amoxicillin and Doxycycline, possibly even SMZ (Bactrin) if you've already tried the others in the past to no effect. Anyway, the vet was not wrong saying to quarantine, as you now know, because secondary infections are NOT present in all your rats all their lives as Myco is, and can kill a rat very quickly, or all of your rats if you don't quarantine. So listen to your vet,che is absolutely correct. He should just explain himself as I just did for him.
 

mwp051699

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Nothing like antibiotics, we can't buy those over the counter here either.

I did use a tiny bit of detergent at first, but I've stopped using it altogether, to see if that was the problem. I just wash their stuff on the highest setting now.
And like I said earlier, I took out the aubiose too to see of it was that. He's still sneezing though, had a five minute epic last night.

It's pretty odd really because other than the sneezing fits he does seem to be fine. And he seemed to be set off when he gets really excited, like he's about to free roam or get some food.
You can't get Baytril mailed to you from an internet seller? Besides, who shops at brick and mortar stores anymore anyway? Lol. Get Enrofloxacin, Doxycycline, and Amoxicillin (for secondary URIs and abscesses, etc) from here...
 
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You can't get Baytril mailed to you from an internet seller? Besides, who shops at brick and mortar stores anymore anyway? Lol. Get Enrofloxacin, Doxycycline, and Amoxicillin (for secondary URIs and abscesses, etc) from here...
The site you link doesn't ship to the UK because customs won't allow it, as I suspected.
You can't buy antibiotics in the UK without a prescription, that's just how it works here.

And personally I don't agree with your previous message about separating a sick rat. If he was infectious the others would have caught it well before I was aware of the problem

And can you please try to read the whole thread? My rat is fine now, if you bothered to read my previous messages like I asked you would know that.
 
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