Respiratory issues & meds not working. Help?


New Member
Jul 22, 2021
Hello. I need advice.
My rats have respiratory problems, I took them to the vet recently. It's not that bad, just some sneezing and porphyrin from nose. I had one more rat who died due to respiratory problems but she had more serious symptoms - sneezing, wheezing, problems with breathing, porphyrin from nose and eyes, tilted head, lethargy.

They're getting medicine (not sure what it is since I didn't ask, but I'm guessing baytril. I can ask the vet tho) twice a day, 0,05 ml. I mix it with a bit of fruit smoothie or peanut butter (with water) on a spoon and make sure they eat it all. They also got some vitamins and deworming paste (just in case). They've been taking the meds for 7 days now (they should be taking them for 10 days in total. So there's only 3 days left. I have some extra medicine but that'll last for like 2 more days). And my concern is that they're not really getting much better (they might be sneezing a lil bit less but I'm unsure, anyways, there's no big change. )

This is a bit stressful since I also lost a mouse due to respiratory problems - I took him to the vet multiple times, he was taking 3 different meds (not all at once of course, the first didn't work - we got prescribed a new one, etc.) But sadly died anyways. It not only cost me lots of money but also stress and nerves. So I might be a bit oversensitive now. And I'm just scared that a situation like this might happen again.
I'm going to take them to the vet again asap, but what should I tell them? Maybe there's something I could recommend? Or ask for specific meds?


Sep 10, 2020
Farmington, MI
Hi Ratt,

I’m so sorry your babies are having respiratory issues. We have all been through this. How old are your rats? And where did you get them from (a Breeder, store, rescue)? It can be tricky dealing with this issue. Meds then environmental consideration. Usually baytril is the first step, if no improvement then baytril and doxy. Those meds treat the underlying cause for most resp infections myco. But sometimes a rat can get a secondary infection which those meds don’t treat. I’ve had success with amoxicillin in those cases. But not all rats tolerate that med well, it upsets their stomach and can cause diarrhea. Talk with your vet about those options

They could also be bothered by something in their cage or in your home which can cause frequent sneezing and irritation. What do you have in their cage as far as houses, toys, etc? Have you tried switching their bedding? I’ve had a few rats that can’t tolerate aspen, paper bedding or carefresh. It makes them sneeze constantly and get sick more often. not an issue though if you use fleece but you could try switching and see if it helps. Also, Check around and see if you have something scented like candles, lotions, or anything like that in the room where they are. Also check if they are near any drafts or heating vents. Once you checked those things, try vacuuming daily if you don’t already. An air purifier can help too by their cage. I also give my gals pre/probiotics with vitamins. I noticed a big difference once I included this. It’s a big debate whether rats should get these or not but my gals are much healthier on them then off. It helps support their immune system and rebuild gut flora after being on antibiotics. Just a few tips I have picked up over the years. Your post is abit old, I hope they are doing better!!

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