Medicine For 2 Year Old With Cough And Runny Nose Is Your Pet Rat Sneezing? The Facts You Should Know

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Is Your Pet Rat Sneezing? The Facts You Should Know

Being a “rat parent” can be worrying when your kids do things like sneeze. My goal with this article is to clear up the confusion for you, so that you feel better and your rat is well.

Here are the things that can cause your rat to sneeze:



Mycoplasma

This very common and incurable respiratory disease among rats can develop throughout the rat’s life. Symptoms include sneezing, wheezing and, in advanced cases, gasping for air. Sometimes wounds can develop in the lung tissue, making it difficult for the rat to breathe. Although humans are able to catch mycoplasma from other humans, we cannot catch it from rats and vice versa.

There is some good news though. As long as their immune system is not compromised, most rats with mycoplasma can live long and active lives, despite outward symptoms. The key is to feed them a diet rich in vitamins (especially vitamins A and E) and take extra precautions to avoid exposing them to dust, smoke, drafts and bacteria.

If your pet has “Myco rashes,” it may need to be treated with medications such as Vibramycin, the brand name Doxycycline, or the generic brand, Baytril. These medications will suppress symptoms and prevent the development of scarred lung tissue.



Pneumonia

The main difference between mycoplasmia and pneumonia is that the former produces symptoms of dry, noisy breathing that comes and goes, while the latter manifests itself with wet, congested, scratchy wheezing and a runny nose. The porphyrin can be excreted through the nasal passage of the rat and the liquid can accumulate in its lungs. Babies who are infected may not show any symptoms until months later.

Pneumonia is highly contagious to any other rat within sneezing distance, so you should immediately quarantine the affected rat until you can get it to a vet.

A treatment for pneumonia includes the drugs Baytril, Doxycycline, and a machine called a nebulizer. The drugs are administered in vapor form several times a day.



Colds or allergies

In the event that you need to take your little one to the vet to be treated for a respiratory illness, you may decide to give them a small amount of over-the-counter cold or allergy medicine.

Also, if your vet approves of the idea, you can try treating your rat on your own this way over several days. However, you should be careful when doing this as you don’t want to use something that can cause more harm than good. Also, if her condition worsens, take her to a vet immediately.

Here are some general guidelines:

  • Use liquid medications for children, not adult formulas.
  • Administer the medication as often as you would a child; however, they do extremely small doses (0.10 cc. for an adult, and less than half for a baby).
  • Use decongestants or expectorants for coughs, not suppressants.
  • Avoid formulas that contain alcohol.

How to minimize respiratory diseases and symptoms, in general:

  • Keep the air moist. Counteract the drying effect of heaters and air conditioners by adding small water fountains, plants, and even water bottles to the room.
  • Humidifiers and vaporizers work well to keep the air rich in moisture; but avoid keeping them too close to your rats’ cage (at least 4 feet away).
  • In an emergency, you can take your rat into an enclosed bathroom with a hot shower. Don’t take it too close to water. Just let her breathe the steam for 5-15 minutes. It helps loosen the mucus trapped inside your lungs.
  • Make sure your rat has adequate bedding.
  • Sudden sneezing may be due to an allergic reaction to a change in bedding, food, soap, or your general environment.
  • A small, cold block of baker’s chocolate is known to relieve symptoms of shortness of breath.

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