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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 25527
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience.
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We have a male rat. All of a sudden he's been whimpering,

Customer Question

We have a young male rat. All of a sudden he's been whimpering, very lethargic, flipping around in his cage. We don't know if giving him pediatric electrolytes is OK. We can make it to a vet until maybe tomorrow if we are lucky that there one open on holiday weekend. Surely don't have money for emergency clinic. PLEASE SOMEONE HELP US. WILL TRY ANYTHING TO SAVE OF SO LOVED PET. Plus help very desperate. We don't wanna lose him. He's congested, running nose and everything he tries to work up the courage to move he starts flipping and flopping. PLEASE HELP US
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 months ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. You appear to be describing murine mycoplasmosis - a common infection in rats which when involving the inner/middle ear(s) will cause the symptoms you're seeing.

Intensive treatment with broad-spectrum antibiotics is necessary. Tetracycline antibiotics like doxycycline are efficacious. Treating with doxycycline (5-10 mg/kg orally every 12 hours) or a long-acting depot such as doxycycline (Vibravenos, Pfizer Animal Health) at 70-100 mg/kg subcutaneously or intramuscularly every 7 days often helps affected rats. It's important to know, however, that no antibiotic can rid this infectious agent from him. We must be content to keep the infection at bay and perhaps medicate life-long. I'm afraid that his presentation suggests that it might be too late to turn him around. Without a vet's prescribing these antibiotics you'll be unable to help him at home. Unfortunately, I'm not allowed to prescribe through this venue.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.