Saturday, September 28, 2013

Weekly Rat Facts: Sneezing, Wheezing, Snorting and Squeaking

This is Marbles and Bandit and this is what they do when I take them out on the couch with me. As you can tell Marbles (The Rex) sneezes, snorts and makes little chuffing noises when he gets excited.

When I adopted them from one of my daughter's friends Marbles and two of his brothers (who have since passed away) all had Upper Respiratory Infections and even though I started them all on antibiotics right away it seems that Marbles has some scarring on his lungs from the URI and that's why he makes little noises. He's made these little noises for over a year but he's a healthy boy.

If you don't catch the Upper Respiratory Infection (URI) in time and get them on Baytril right away the URI can leave scarring on their lungs that never goes away and will cause them to breathe badly and make little noises.

Marbles likes to chuff and sneeze when he gets excited and that can be bothersome to me when he gets up close to my face and starts sneezing on me. I can almost see a little smile on his face as he does it, the little stinker.

However, if your rat all of the sudden starts making sneezy, wheezy noises you should have them seen by a vet immediately. They most likely have an URI and will need antibiotics. I always have Baytril on hand just in case one of my boys get sick so I can start them on antibiotics right away. I've spoken with my vet and she said that's the best thing to do. You can either get the antibiotics from your vet or you can order Baytril online. It's about $15 a bottle but the bottle is liquid which makes it a lot easier to dose out and it lasts for a long time. Enrofloxacine is the generic name for Baytril. I use the 10% liquid. I give 2 drops of Baytril to my boys twice a day, mixed with baby food or jelly.

I was told the amount to give to them was...1 drop twice a day per lb of rat. So if you have a 1lb rat you would give them 2 drops per day. If you have a 2lb rat, you would give them 4 drops per day. For 5-16 days depending on how severe the infection is.

If you are a first time rat owner and are giving this medication for the first time I suggest getting it from a veterinarian and having them show/tell you how much to give.