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Pet Rats/My rat is sick!


Dear Expert,
  I have a pet fancy rat, Sophie is about 2 years old. She has never had any problems in the past with sickness, until about 5 weeks ago. I started to notice her making the Clicking noises, at first I didn't think much of it until it started occurring more often. I work at at vet clinic, but my boss only sees dogs and cats. She did listen to and check out Sophie for me though (but informed me that she wasn't an expert!). She gave her Doxycycline for 14 days and Sophie seemed to improve a lot with it. Now after five weeks Sophie started to do the Clicking again. I waited a few days to see if it would get any worse and it did. ( Only the Clicking got worse, she is still eating/drinking fine. Activity is good, and she isn't producing anything from her nose.) So again my boss gave her some Doxy. She said that she wants to keep her on it for 12 days, and if she improves again she wants to do another round to insure the infection stays gone. I have been reading up on URI and how common they are, so I was wondering if there is something that I could give Sophie that would boost her immune system and keep her healthy? I really hate to have her sick, and I would love to find something that would help her get better faster and stay better! I didn't know if I could give her Vitamin C (I know they produce it themselves but I didn't know if a little extra would get her feeling better!) Or if there was some other type of vitamin that could help. Thank you so much!

I think that all of your questions will be answered by this link I'm going to give you to this one web page on mycoplamosis.  Read carefully about how vets often are not knowledgeable enough to provide a full 21 to 30 day dosage of the antibiotics (even many vets that DO have experience with rats).  10 to 14 days is not enough to kill the infection, and that is often why rats relapse quickly.  Considering Sophie's age, it's not something to play with and could turn to pneumonia if not cared for properly.  

Although the Doxycycline improved Sophie's condition, the recommended and most effective drug for treating mycoplasmosis is Baytril.

Here is that link -->

I highly recommend finding an exotic vet in your area to take Sophie to as soon as possible.  I can help you find an exotic vet if you tell me your city or the closest large city to you.  Insist on a 21 to 30 day dosage of Baytril.  Hopefully, the extended dosage works, but sometimes, especially in older rats, the outbreaks can become chronic, with a rat relapsing over and over again.  The article I referred you to also discusses chronic mycoplasmosis outbreaks.  If that becomes the case with Sophie, then it is suggested to give a high end dose of Baytril once per day for the rest of her life.  

I hope this information is helpful to you.  Please let me know if there is anything else I can do.

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Irene Murphy


I can answer a variety of questions regarding adoption and care of pet rats throughout their lifetimes, including questions about their health and well being, temperment, diet, bedding, cages, toys, etc. I will try to answer your questions to the best of my ability in a timely manner and I have an abundant amount of resources to help me to help you with your pet rats. I love rattie pictures, so include pics with your question if you can. You may ask me medical questions, but please be advised that I am not a vet. I may use my resources to answer some medical questions, however, I will need to refer you to your local vet with medical questions that I feel I am not qualified to address.


I have been a huge rat enthusiast for many years. Since becoming a rat owner, I have educated myself in all areas of pet rats from every resource I could find including the internet, books, conversations with local exotic vets, as well as several local rat breeders.

I have a college degree but not in the area of animals. I have obtained my extensive experience and knowlege of pet rats all on my own because in my eyes, pet rats are the most interesting and fascinating creatures you can ever imagine to have as pets. I also am saddened by how mislabeled and misunderstood these amazing and extremely smart animals are by the majority, and my mission in life has become to educate and change as many people's perceptions of rats as I possibly can.

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