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Pet Rats/Doxcycline and respiratory illness


QUESTION: hello, my rat has had a respiratory infection for a long time now and has been on baytril with no effect, then doxycycline which worked but then as soon as he was taken off it returned, then two other antibiotics which the vet prescribed but i cant remember what they were called which can some effect but it returned again, and then on doubled doxy dose again for a time then back to the normal dose which managed to cure it but i took him off of it a week ago and it has returned i dont know what to do is little bodies had so much through it already should i put him back on doxy to stop the infection? cause as soon as hes on doxy it clears right up, but can he be on it forever? cause that seems to be the only way to keep it at bay.
what should i do? ive been to the vets and the only drug they can prescribe is baytril which he has been on twice with no effect i have doxy here which i order online which works ts the oropharma powder sachets ive been diluting 1 gram in 20 mls and giving him 2 ml daily hes a 1 year and 10 months old.

ANSWER: Dear Yashna,

Disclaimer: I am not a vet. However, I have experience with recurrently sick rats.

I would put the rat on doxy, Baytril (which you can get if you call Jedd's pigeon supply- not online) AND amoxicillin, for six weeks. The amox you can also get at a pigeon supply store. I would prefer you get them from your vet because the amox can hard  to dose correctly when you get the powder. Try not to insult the vet; just say you are desperate and will try anything; and that some rat experts have had a lot of experience with this.

Your vet may not have thought of amoxicillin (though if not, they aren't very good and you need an exotics vet). The amoxicillin is not for myco, which the other two are. It is for a secondary infection that the rat may have which can be keeping him from staying well. The doxy and Baytril work well together. The month is because vets prescribe meds for far too short a time to truly heal the rat. It is dangerous for the illness to recur because the bacteria become resistant to the drugs. Even my very good rat vet only prescribes for two weeks.

I had a little old man rat who would recurrently get sick after the vet's prescription ran out. I actually put him on all three for two months, because he had been sick off and on  for over 8 months (I rescued him sick). If you want to do that you can, to be super, super sure. But that is even longer than Debbie-- the actual expert (in my profile I call myself a sub-- I call her when I need help)-- recommends. She doesn't suggest the Baytril either, but this is what got my boy well. Lol, I cannot figure out why people choose me instead of her, unless it is my quick response time. It is worth writing to her :) but this is the correct answer.

For even faster info, go to her site the Note .org, not .com. You can also buy  her medical handbook, which your vet, should they be open to help, will appreciate. Get one for yourself too.

If this doesn't do it, he may need to be on meds for the rest of his life. Debbie will be able to tell you which one. She often says Baytril, but you can tell her the Baytril had no effect.

Best of luck and health to your little buddy.



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: thank you very much ! im putting him back on the doxy and nebulising him as much as hell let me and hoping he will be on the road to recovery soon. again thank you very much ill be to check the website and ask for some advice from debbie thank you very much for your help and merry christmas :)


Hi Yashna,

I really, really recommend the amoxicillin on top of the doxy. Just two weeks. He may be getting sick over and over because he has a secondary infection:  the Doxy only addresses myco. He may have more than myco.

Best of luck,



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Natasha Millikan


Consider me a sub, when no one else is available. NOTE YOU MUST NOT HAVE ONLY ONE RAT. JOIN MY FACEBOOK GROUP (because there are smarter people than me there!!): ***** ***** Excellent sites: **** **** **** **** **** ****


I have had rats for 3-1/3 years and have researched them extensively. I am a mouse expert with 40 years' experience with mice. The two species are similar and yet also quite different.

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I have a Bachelor's and two Master's degrees in Linguistics

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My Facebook group, Rats are Awesome, serves at the moment 5300 members, and, considering all the huge rescues, probably averages 5 rats per member. That means my clients are about 25,000 rats!!!

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