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Respiratory Infection in Rats

Very much like humans and other animals, rats, too, are affected with respiratory infections. Respiratory infection is a common problem in rats; however, in some cases -- if proper treatment is not given -- it may be deemed lethal.
Most of the time, respiratory infection in rats is caused due to the bacteria called Mycoplasma Pulmonis. This bacteria is extremely contagious and if not treated on time, it becomes incurable thus, causing the death of the rat. Mycoplasma causes blisters on the rat's lungs thus causing emphysema and lung abscesses. Rats lacking vitamin A or vitamin E, those in contact with cigarette smoke for a long time, those staying in dirty cage and those suffering from other diseases or heart problems are more susceptible to respiratory infections. If, the respiratory infection is severe, there is a possibility of the rat suffering from pneumonia. In some rare cases, the respiratory infection can cause ear infection, too.

There are various reasons for this respiratory infections. Make sure, that you treat you pet rat suffering from respiratory infection as soon as possible. If not treated in time, the infection can become severe. Feed your rat with proper food and fluids and keep its residing place clean so that the rat does not suffer from respiratory infections. If you bring in a new rat, keep it away from the other pet rats for a week or two. So that, if the new rat has any kind of infection, it will not pass on to other rats.

Symptoms of a Respiratory Infection in Rats
Difficulty in breathing, chattering, red stains around the eyes and nose, sniffing, sneezing, wheezing, severe cold, squinting and weight loss are a few symptoms of rat respiratory infection. The red stains around the eyes are referred to as porphyrin. Lethargy, loss of appetite and reddish fur also indicates that the rat is suffering from respiratory infections. A clicking sound from the sinus is also an indication of respiratory infection. If you hear a gurgling sound from the chest of the rat, then the rat is sick and is suffering from rat respiratory infection. If the rat's fur is making it look puffy and if the rat is appearing hunched then the rat is sick. Watery eyes and runny nose may also be because of a respiratory infection.

Treat Options
Unclean environment can cause respiratory infections in rats. Hence, make sure that the place where the rat is residing is clean, hygienic and well ventilated. Make sure that the place is free of any kind of pollutants. Antibiotics help in treating respiratory infections in rats. High calorie and nutritious food will help the rat to recover fast. Hence, make sure that you feed him healthy food even if the rat is not willing to. The rat should be given enough fluids. But, it will be better if you take the rat to a veterinary as this is a severe disease and might cause death of the rat.

Hopefully, after reading this article, you will able to detect if your rat is suffering from respiratory infection and if it is, you will be able to give it appropriate treatment. Take proper care of your pet rat and keep it away from respiratory infections.
By Palmira S
Last Updated: 10/4/2011
Bouquets and Brickbats