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Pet Rats/doxycycline


hey my rat daxen has been ill for a long time now hes tried baytril and two other antibiotics with no effect and doxycycline seemed to be the only thing clearing it up however hes been on it on and off for a long time now with the infection recurring a few days after the medication is stopped every time it just will not go away hes been on all sorts of antibiotics for so long now i dont know what to do, it seems the only way to keep his infection at bay is with medication but can he be on doxy forever? or will it be too bad for him and his insides? doxy did not work once before and he was given two other antibiotics for it for a time which helped but did not clear it up entirely after his course was finished it began to come back after several days i then put him back on doxy which cleared it up completely (his breathing was all clear) and hes come off it for over a week now now and its already sounding terrible so wheezy and so loud i have just today put him back on the doxy on a regular dose and nebulisng him a little when he lets me. i take him to the vets (pdsa) but they say the only drug they can prescribe him is baytril which has had no effect in the past both times, i have been getting hold of doxycycline and dosing him myself which has been the only thing to have worked. please could you give me some advice on what i should do? and what he should be put on to try and clear it or if he needs ot be on medication his whole life what would path would be best?  at the moment im just putting him back on the doxy in hopes it will clear it, but what it it just comes straight back? should i put him on the doxy forever? hes already been on a month long course of it and it just keeps returning i dont know what i should do for him..
thank you for your time

Hi Yashna,
Good for you for taking control of your rat's medical treatment and figuring out what works for him! Yes, continue him on the doxycycline!  He can be on it permanently for the rest of his life if he needs it. I put my older rats on it permanently for the rest of their life to keep the mycoplasma under control. Most vets do not realize that myco must be treated aggressively, and they often prescribe it for too short a time. The minimum time I recommend it be used is for 6 weeks.  Stopping too soon can result in a relapse, which you have discovered.

How old is Daxen?

The cheapest place I have found to get the doxy capsules is at  Do you have my Rat Health Care booklet?  If not, you can read about it on my website at on the Books page.

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Debbie Ducommun


I can answer any questions about pet rats, but you will probably be able find answers to simple questions more quickly on my website at If you have a life-threatening emergency you can try calling me at 530-899-0605. I am not usually on the computer on the weekend.


I have been "The Rat Lady" since 1985 and am recognized as one of the world's experts on pet rats. I have 3 published books and already answer lots of questions about rats daily.

President of Rat Assistance & Teaching Society

I am a monthly columnist for Pet Business magazine, and my writing has appeared in other magazines. I have 3 published books.

BA in Animal Behavior

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