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Hi I hope that you can give me some advice. I have 2 pets rats that have both been to my exotic vet as one was really struggling to breathe and was losing weight. The other rat was sneezing every so often. The vet put both of them on vibravet paste 100 and baytril. The really bad rat had a head tilt and she was improving but I have noticed that the head tilt has become worse however her breathing problem has gone and she has started to gain weight. She has been on both antibiotics for 22 days. I am wondering if you have any suggestions about her head tilt? Or if I should book in for a check up with my vet so he can re assess her? Also her friend who was sneezing is no longer sneezing and is acting normal.

Answer
It sounds like the baytril cleared up all the respiratory issues.   The head tilt could be caused by one of two things....an ear infection, which can be cleared up with an antibiotic such as amoxicillin, or a more serious and terminal condition which is a pituitary tumor.  If head tilt is the only symptom, it is likely an ear infection.  If there are other symptoms such as loss of balance and coordination, problems with holding and chewing food, and possibly one bulging eye, then it is most probably a pituitary tumor.  For this tumor, there is no cure but symptoms can be reduced by giving either cabergolene or bromocryptine.  The latter is less expensive but the taste is rather bitter.  If you can afford the cabergolene I would recommend it as it has almost no taste and easier to take for your rat as it is givin only every 3 days as opposed to the Bromo which is every day as has a bad taste.   I highly recommend you see your vet and suggest you suspect one of these two conditions and have him asses further

Good luck to you and your baby and please do write me again if I can help further.

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Irene Murphy

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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.

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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.

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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.

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