Rats Refuse Medicine

Oh dear! The rats are on a water strike. They haven’t drank any of their water since yesterday morning! They obviously object to the taste of Baytril in their beverage. I have had to call the vet and was advised to give the medicine (a different dose) to Shy-Shy straight into his mouth with a syringe. Easier said than done! In the end I opted for adding his dose to a little soft food. I used yoghurt and the little sweety licked it right off the spoon for me. It was easy and painless.

Shy-Shy eating his egg custard with medicine hidden inside.

Today my rats have been mostly eating yoghurt and banana slices.

Vet Visit

I was quite surprised at how relaxed my four boys were going to the vets. I carried them in a plastic tank with plenty of bedding to hide in. Most of the time they were clamouring to have a sniff at the inside of the car, the big world outside and even the vet’s waiting room. The vet thought that they were all in very good condition, but due to Shy-Shy’s sneezing she prescribed some Baytril (an antibiotic) as a precautionary measure to mix with their water.

Shy-Shy showing his fine white belly markings

Today my rats have been mostly eating cooked green beans and sunflower seeds.

Sneezing

Over the last few days I have noticed Shy-Shy sneezing quite often. This can be an early symptom of Mycoplasma pulmonis infection – a nasty bacterial infection which, in the later stages can cause scarring of the rat’s lungs and chronic breathing difficulties. Nearly all pet rats carry the bacteria, but not all develop symptoms. The condition can be brought on by stress (such as moving to a new home), other infections, low immune system or poor living conditions. Some rats just seem to develop it whatever you do. Just to be on the safe side I made an appointment for all four rats to see the Vet, for a general check up.

Early Symptoms ( of Upper Respiratory Disease)

Sneezing

Snuffling

Porphyrin staining around eyes and nose (rust coloured mucous, looks like blood-staining)

Head tilt (sign of inner ear infection)

Rolling/falling over to the side (inner ear infection)

Later Stages (of Lower Respiratory Disease)

Rattling noisy breathing

Gasping/laboured breathing

Coughing

Chattering

Poor coat condition

Weight loss/loss of appetite

Hunched posture