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Pet Rats/breathing issues


Hi there. Ive spoke to you a few times now regarding my rats and respiratory problems. My 2 year old male over the weekend was choking/gasping then was fine back to normal self. Then in morning he had white stuff come out his mouth. I googled it and said it could be sign on choking and he was back to his normal self. Last night he was gasping again for around 5-10mins then was fine again. I am taking him to vets tomorrow and to ask for steroid injection and to see if any way possible to give me amoxicillin. Atm hes fine and resting and hes been eating/drinking. Ive been using the last of the baytril until i could get to vets. Could he have pneumonia or heart problems? If so how can i help him until i get to vets. Will steam showers work. Will dark chocolate help.

Hi Lyndsey,
You can certainly try steam and dark chocolate. They can't hurt. I've explained the things that can help in the First Aid article on my website at under Respiratory Distress, but mostly you need to have the medications on hand. Good luck!

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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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