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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28451
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My 3 year old rat is breathing fast and Im worried if I should

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My 3 year old rat is breathing fast and I'm worried if I should take him to a vet or not. Just a few days ago his brother who he grew up with died suddenly and he's been very depressed. He's not eating a lot and prefers to just be curled up in a ball with his other brother. what should i do?

Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
I've had rats as pets throughout my life and I'm afraid that I can't be too encouraging. Delgato's breathing suggests the pneumonia of murine mycoplasmosis although Streptococcus pneumonidae and Corynebacterium kutcheri are also common pathogens. I've been able to address these infections best with a combination of 0.05ml of the injectable enrofloxacin (Baytril) daily and doxycycline (5-10mg/kg every 12 hours) for a minimum of a month - or indefinitely in severely affected rats as Delgato seems to be. Your vet - even if not a laboratory animal vet - should carry the enrofloxacin injectable and doxycyline (Vibravenos, Pfizer Animal Health is a long-acting product and more convenient to give by injection at 70-100mg/kg every 7 days) and be able to dispense enough for you to treat Delgato for a prolonged time.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So is it serious? Should I take him to a vet right away or can it wait until morning?

Please check my answer above - I edited it and your vet might appreciate the info. Delgato has carried this infection for most of his life. It becomes clinically apparent as rats age. It's unlikely that having him see a vet right away will make an appreciable difference but if you're willing to see an ER/on-call vet, I would support your decision and commend you for doing so.

Please continue our conversation if you wish.
Dr. Michael Salkin and 3 other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it. I'll speak to you soon.

I'm going to check back with you tomorrow for an update. Feel free to return to our conversation - even after rating - prior to my contacting you if you wish.

Please disregard the info request.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

ok thank you

You're quite welcome. My best to Delgato.

Speak to you soon.
May I have an update on Delgato, please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

he's doing a lot better we caught the sickness early on so he should be fine. The doctor gave us a week worth of medicine to feed him and then we have to go back in for a follow up. But he's been eating, his breathing is getting better and he's becoming more active.

Thank you for the good update! My best to Delgato!

Please disregard the info request.