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Jess5

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I’ve had my 3 rats for a little less than 2 weeks now. They are around 11 weeks old. Last night when I was going to socialize with them, one of them was making a constant squeaking noise while breathing that sounded like a classic URI noise but it only went on for about a minute and stopped. I think it went on again for a few seconds later but I’m not sure. My PEW rat also has a noticeable amount of porphyria buildup around her nose.
I haven’t heard anything since from them, but I’m very concerned. Is it possible for them to have temporary mycoplasma buildups when stressed in new homes? Or is it something I should take her to the vet for (I will take her to the vet if it sounds like a URI, but I wanted to see if it’s normal first). Also, if it is a URI have the other 2 rats caught it as well? And should I be concerned for the other 3 mice that live in the same room?
Any help at all is appreciated, thanks.
 

lilspaz68

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so sorry your post was missed. Does the porphyrin on your PEW last all day or does she clean it up and is fine after waking up and grooming?

the noises *could* be nasal congestion but its best to hold her sides to your ear, wait til she stops moving and listen to her breathing. No sounds or a gentle whoosh of air is all you should hear in a healthy rat, Listen for roughness, crackles, wheezes, and especially constricted breathing. That would be a respiratory infection that is brewing.
 

Jess5

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Reno Nevada
so sorry your post was missed. Does the porphyrin on your PEW last all day or does she clean it up and is fine after waking up and grooming?

the noises *could* be nasal congestion but its best to hold her sides to your ear, wait til she stops moving and listen to her breathing. No sounds or a gentle whoosh of air is all you should hear in a healthy rat, Listen for roughness, crackles, wheezes, and especially constricted breathing. That would be a respiratory infection that is brewing.
Thanks for the reply! I believe she’s been cleaning the porphyrin up pretty quickly, I see most of it when she’s sleeping and there’s never a huge build up.
I did end up taking them to my vet because I didn’t want it to progress, the vet said it was hard to tell but still prescribed them amoxicillin for the next couple weeks (although it’s very hard to get baby rats to eat medicine twice a day lol). I haven’t heard the noise in over a day and Twister has just been breathing a bit heavy, I’m hoping they’re getting better.
 

Jess5

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Reno Nevada
Try mixing the meds in strong sweet food she can lick up. Not too much or she won't finish the dose
Thanks! What food would you recommend? I’ve tried pure meds, mixing it with baby food (chicken and apple), mashed banana, and soaking it into Cheerios/gerber puffs. All of them either work for half a day or are just refused. I really can’t grab them out of the cage at all, they are WAY too fast and jumpy and it would just end up with one of them aspirating the medicine and dying of pneumonia. I just spent an hour trying to get one of them to eat it and they only ended up eating 2/3 of it.
The issue is, one of them eats it with no issues in any form, one eats it once she gets hungry, and the last (the one who needs it most) refuses it in almost every form. I’ve also tried separating them out into separate cages for feeding but she was just too stressed and wouldn’t touch it, it was also pretty unrealistic to get them out of the cage that way too.
I’m really at a loss, I don’t have 2 hours of free time a day to figure this out. I wish the vet gave me one of the medicines that only require a drop, but instead I have to try and force .5 ml into each of them, and I also don’t have another 180 dollars to spend in order to get a 7 dollar medication.
Sorry I typed so much, but I’m getting very overwhelmed with it. Any suggestions are appreciated!
 

lilspaz68

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wooooah 0.5 ml of amoxicillin??? Can you check your own cupboard for leftover pills, or ask family and friends if they have any? A lot of people do.
 

rmn34

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A whole pill would be an overdose. You have a few options- lets say you have a 250mg pill and you need a 10mg dose- you can (from least precise to most):

a) cut out 25 equally sized lines with a razorblade on a clean mirror, then give one at a time

b) measure a precise amount using a digital milligram scale

c) dissolve a known quantity of medication in a known quantity of solvent (water), and give a precise dose by measuring the liquid with a 1cc syringe with 18g or smaller needle and 0.02ml graduations or better.

Technically option B would be most precise- but the caveat here is that the scale you would probably buy would not be incredibly accurate for quantities around 10mg. idk what the mass of your rat is, but for a large male, this would probably be fine for dosing amoxicillin. Obviously if you can afford a good milligram balance (~$300) or ideally a 0.1mg balance ($500-$1500) those would be best but most people don't need those unless they do a lot of lab work. The model I linked is so cheap its worth picking up for anyone who has pets or kids. For maximum results, always make sure you use it on a level surface, and in a room that maintains a constant temperature/humidity and doesn't have drafts. (i.e. don't store it in one room and immediately take it to another room to use it, and expect it to give a consistent reading)

Option C comes with the issue that many medicines will degrade quickly in water, so you must throw away a lot, or risk it losing effectiveness. I have had to do this with doxy in the past, and it lasts only 2-3 days in an aqueous solution.
You can combat this by starting with smaller quantities- but then you run into the same problem- how to accurately divide the pill. Its easy to cut a tablet in half- its not easy to cut a tablet into 10ths or divide a capsule of powder.

Option A is better than nothing- depending on how good you are at cutting out equal-sized lines of powder. This comes with other concerns- as leaving medicine exposed to air and moisture also causes degradation of the potency. You would ideally wrap each line individually in foil and then store them in a cool dry place with some silica gel packets, or simply return all unused powder to the smallest possible container and store it similarly.

Lastly, amoxicillin, baytril and doxy can all be ordered from within the US without a prescription. The amox from fish supply stores and the latter two from bird. Always check goodrx.com for coupons because you can usually save a lot of money by taking a script to a human pharmacy rather than getting it filled at the vets- even without insurance, the coupons allow you to avoid the US prescription-meds insurance-scam markups.

edit: you should be fine measuring out 50mg doses on a cheap milligram scale
 
Last edited:

Jess5

Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2020
Messages
16
Location
Reno Nevada
A whole pill would be an overdose. You have a few options- lets say you have a 250mg pill and you need a 10mg dose- you can (from least precise to most):

a) cut out 25 equally sized lines with a razorblade on a clean mirror, then give one at a time

b) measure a precise amount using a digital milligram scale

c) dissolve a known quantity of medication in a known quantity of solvent (water), and give a precise dose by measuring the liquid with a 1cc syringe with 18g or smaller needle and 0.02ml graduations or better.

Technically option B would be most precise- but the caveat here is that the scale you would probably buy would not be incredibly accurate for quantities around 10mg. idk what the mass of your rat is, but for a large male, this would probably be fine for dosing amoxicillin. Obviously if you can afford a good milligram balance (~$300) or ideally a 0.1mg balance ($500-$1500) those would be best but most people don't need those unless they do a lot of lab work. The model I linked is so cheap its worth picking up for anyone who has pets or kids. For maximum results, always make sure you use it on a level surface, and in a room that maintains a constant temperature/humidity and doesn't have drafts. (i.e. don't store it in one room and immediately take it to another room to use it, and expect it to give a consistent reading)

Option C comes with the issue that many medicines will degrade quickly in water, so you must throw away a lot, or risk it losing effectiveness. I have had to do this with doxy in the past, and it lasts only 2-3 days in an aqueous solution.
You can combat this by starting with smaller quantities- but then you run into the same problem- how to accurately divide the pill. Its easy to cut a tablet in half- its not easy to cut a tablet into 10ths or divide a capsule of powder.

Option A is better than nothing- depending on how good you are at cutting out equal-sized lines of powder. This comes with other concerns- as leaving medicine exposed to air and moisture also causes degradation of the potency. You would ideally wrap each line individually in foil and then store them in a cool dry place with some silica gel packets, or simply return all unused powder to the smallest possible container and store it similarly.

Lastly, amoxicillin, baytril and doxy can all be ordered from within the US without a prescription. The amox from fish supply stores and the latter two from bird. Lastly, and I say this all the time- but always check goodrx.com for coupons because you can usually save a lot of money by taking a script to a human pharmacy rather than getting it filled at the vets- even without insurance, the coupons allow you to avoid the US prescription-meds insurance-scam markups.
Thank you so much, this is very helpful! I think I’ll definitely start using these methods in the future, I was pretty upset when I found out I’d paid 180 dollars for the vet to pick up my rats and give me a 7 dollar medication I could buy online, but I’m glad they’re okay (it also doesn’t help that I had to go to a different exotic vet then I usually do).

The vet prescribed me amoxi drops which is just the liquid amoxicillin (0.5 ml twice a day per rat). Is it fine to just stick with the amoxicillin how it is or should I research into the dosage? My rats are less than 3 month old females so they’re pretty small, I haven’t been able to get their exact weight on a gram scale yet.
 

rmn34

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Does the bottle look like this? Unfortunately "0.5ml" is meaningless without the concentration in mg/ml.

The problem with getting premixed meds is like this for example- looks like it is for dogs and cats- so they want to make the dose substantial enough that you don't lose any to mechanical losses (residue left on the inside of the dropper, etc) and so that it is easy for people to dose.

Obviously rats don't want to take 0.5ml of meds!

With straight amoxicillin powder, a baby rat sized dose will fit in the head of an 18g needle (when used as a scoop). So the amount of powder is really hard to dose accurately. Luckily I have a 1/10th milligram scale however.

If you can tell me the concentration of your meds I can tell you if it is the correct dose. (Or close enough, since we dont know the mass of your babies)
 

Jess5

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Sep 25, 2020
Messages
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Location
Reno Nevada
Ok! I believe that’s what I have. Just to be safe I looked at the one I have an it says “Each ml of suspension will contain 50 mg of amoxicillin as the trihydrate”. So they’re each getting about 50 mg a day.
 

rmn34

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I have two sources that list dosages. Both are PO BID (by mouth every 12h)

- Dosage range of 22-110mg/kg (10-50mg/lb) with 22mg/kg(10mg/lb) being the standard dose. - Rat Health Care 17th ed
- 15 mg/kg (7mg/lb) (Only has hedgehog dose listed) - Plumbs Vet Drug Handbook 2008


So you're dosing at 25mg PO BID... That could be the high side of normal- but it really depends on their mass.

Also, if you really want to find their mass- and you have a graduated cylinder or liquid measuring cup... try holding your rat in one hand, and a sandwich baggie of water in the other. Keep adding or removing water until they are equal weights, then find the volume of the water... water is 1g per ml
 
Last edited:

Jess5

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Joined
Sep 25, 2020
Messages
16
Location
Reno Nevada
I have two sources that list dosages. Both are PO BID (by mouth every 12h)

- Dosage range of 22-110mg/kg (10-50mg/lb) with 22mg/lb(10mg/kg) being the standard dose. - Rat Health Care 17th ed
- 15 mg/kg (7mg/lb) (Only has hedgehog dose listed) - Plumbs Vet Drug Handbook 2008


So you're dosing at 25mg PO BID... That could be the high side of normal- but it really depends on their mass.

For you to be giving the maximum dose, 110mg/kg, your rat would be 227g, or 0.5lb... Does that seem right?

I am by no means an expert on this- perhaps someone else can chime in on whether 110mg/kg is still the recommended maximum dose or not?

Also, if you really want to find their mass- and you have a graduated cylinder or liquid measuring cup... try holding your rat in one hand, and a sandwich baggie of water in the other. Keep adding or removing water until they are equal weights, then find the volume of the water... water is 1g per ml
Thank you! I don’t think they’re a half a pound yet but probably pretty close. I tried to get one of them on my gram scale but it just wasn’t working. I’ll probably just stick to the dosage the vet gave me, possibly a little less so they’ll at least use it all.
 

lilspaz68

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if the bottle is 50 mg/ml then they are getting Waaaaay too much for 11 weeks of age. Getting us an actual weight would help a lot but i would guess they are about 200 grams or so?

So using an example of a 200 gram rat using 50 mg/ml amoxi should be getting 30 mg/kg which is a dose of 0.12 ml. That's a higher dose too, you could give 20 mg/kg with less chance at stomach upset and give 0.08 ml twice a day
 

Jess5

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Reno Nevada
if the bottle is 50 mg/ml then they are getting Waaaaay too much for 11 weeks of age. Getting us an actual weight would help a lot but i would guess they are about 200 grams or so?

So using an example of a 200 gram rat using 50 mg/ml amoxi should be getting 30 mg/kg which is a dose of 0.12 ml. That's a higher dose too, you could give 20 mg/kg with less chance at stomach upset and give 0.08 ml twice a day
Oh no that’s not good! So If I stick with the amoxicillin I have should I reduce the dose to about .1 ml twice a day? They’ve been getting the large dose twice a day for about 4 days now, will it do any harm to them? I’ll also try my best to get an exact weight tonight, I’ll update you if I do. I tried to see if the vet weighed them but it didn’t come up on the paper anywhere so that’s a bit concerning.
I can’t thank you enough, this has been a huge help!
 

lilspaz68

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i think you are getting confused. Usually you get a 1 ml medicating syringe with antibiotics. 0.5 ml is HALF of one of those. 1 ml is a full syringe...even more than they are getting now. If you get us a weight we can give you a dose to give but we also need to make sure you know how much to use on a syringe.
The large dose might upset the tummy but since its only been a couple of days and they haven't finished the dose lets hope not.

here's a couple of pic I took to show the different doses...it might help you understand. Btw the weights of your girls might be on the bill, can you check for that and also for the concentration of the amoxi they gave you?


 

Jess5

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Sep 25, 2020
Messages
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Location
Reno Nevada
i think you are getting confused. Usually you get a 1 ml medicating syringe with antibiotics. 0.5 ml is HALF of one of those. 1 ml is a full syringe...even more than they are getting now. If you get us a weight we can give you a dose to give but we also need to make sure you know how much to use on a syringe.
The large dose might upset the tummy but since its only been a couple of days and they haven't finished the dose lets hope not.

here's a couple of pic I took to show the different doses...it might help you understand. Btw the weights of your girls might be on the bill, can you check for that and also for the concentration of the amoxi they gave you?


Sorry I made a typo in my last reply, I meant to type 0.1 ml instead of 1! The package lists the concentration as 50 mg/ml. I couldn’t find any weights listed on the invoice. The prescription lists to give 0.5 ml to each rat twice a day, I double checked and it’s definitely not 0.05, there’s also a red line marked at the 0.5 ml level (it’s a 1 ml syringe) so I’m sure that’s what was prescribed.
 

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