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Pet Rats/rat breathing


Hi there. Ive got advice from yourself a couple of times now. Another quick question for you. My 2 rats seem to have ongoing respiratory infections. With about 1 month or more course of 2 types of antibiotics at same time each time. At the moment *fingers crossed* theyve been off antibiotics 2 weeks. You do hear the odd noise but nothing like before. They are still healthy, happy, bright, alert and greedy but tonight when shifting them to clean cage one 1 i can hear a slight click when he was breathing but only when my ear was right at his chest. I dont know if its his nose or chest its not loud just very very faint. Could this be scarring of lungs?  Do i see how he goes. Im going to put them into steam shower tomorrow to see if that helps. If you could get back to me i'd be very grateful.
Thanks in advance

Hi Lyndsey,
Usually, breathing noises are not from scarring, but from active infection. How old are they? What antibiotics have they been on? When using doxycycline or Baytril to treat myco I recommend the minimum treatment time be 6 weeks, and for rats who have had repeated infections, it can be best to keep them on doxy or Baytril for a much longer time, maybe even for the rest of their life. This is because myco is incurable, so you must treat it aggressively to keep it under control.

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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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