You are here:

Pet Rats/Follow up question Re: Heavy Congestion


Hi Debbie,
I wrote you a few days ago and I am following your recommendations about using Amoxicillin for my rats. They dont seem to be getting better.Should I add baytril? Can I even use these medications together? Im getting very worried. Can I give them puppy nutrical?  Thank you...Cherie

Hi Cherie, You actually didn't write to me, you wrote to Debbie Ducommon.  I just looked over her answer to you and I must say it surprises me considering  how experienced she is with rats, that she would recommend amoxicillin.  

All rats are born with mycoplasmosis and many rats suffer from flare ups from the myco, some throughout their entire lives, especially those that are more prone to it.  The drug of choice for myco flare ups is baytril or a combination of baytril and Doxycyclone.  Debbie is correct that amoxycillin, being a broad spectrum antibiotic, is a good choice for treating secondary infections such as those that can be caused by a myco flare up, but most rat experts will recommend doxycycline for that purpose when combined with baytril.  As long as rats are not babies, which yours are not, baytril is  a safe choice so it perplexes me why she would not recommend it.

You need to get your rats to your vet and have them weighed and insist on a full 21 day course of both baytril and doxycycline,  do not let the vet convince you that 14 days is enough as if not given a 21 day course, a relapse is more likely.  The dose should be based on each rats weight which you can get from your vet.

I would not recommend puppy nutrical.   While at the vet have your rats checked to make sure the respiratory infection has not developed into pneumonia, since they were not treated promptly for the respiratory infection, pneumonia can develop.

If your rats are having trouble breathing before you can get them on the medications,a temporary fix is to put their cage into a very hot steamy bathroom for 15 minutes and repeat as needed throughout the day.  The steam can help open their airways.  You can also offer small bits of very dark chocolate which also can open airways.  Again, these are short term solutions until the medications take effect.

I hope your babies can be treated and recover soon.  Please write me back with an update and also if you have any other questions.  

Pet Rats

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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.

©2016 All rights reserved.