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Pneumonia Season
10 years ago
I found this on another site and thought it would be good to repost. Feel free to ignore the references to specific vets. I would love to hear anyone else's input on this topic - I've never heard about a "season" for rat pneumonia.

Thanks to CJ on's Rat Parents forum for the info.


Pneumonia Season Warning to all on the WEST COAST to COLORADO. It's getting to be a pretty rough season of pneumonia. (Insert your fave local vet name where ours are.) I've lost four in the last week in our rescue. It's a rough season. I posted this on my rat group board: It's apparent that Pneumonia season is here. SDA and other respiratory diseases are making their way into town. I've lost two this week, and Valerie has two in oxygen at Dr. White's, and one of hers died last night quietly in her lap. Turns out I didn't have strep, but the two rats that I thought did came back positive for it. WHAT YOU CAN DO: Make sure YOU WASH YOUR HANDS every time you play with your kids. You can bring in all sorts of stuff just by going in and out of the house. Birds, Dogs, Cats, and other animals can carry a virus without being affected by it. KEEP THE TEMPERATURE STABLE around the cage area. Winds or being under a heating unit can be a problem. Air that is vented from the outside may carry bird viral infections, so having an animal near a window or by a vent can be very bad for the little guy. SCRUB WATER BOTTLES every time you change or add water. You NEED to make sure that the mouth pieces are clean..use pipecleaner, use qtips..but clean them. Bacteria grows there more than anywhere else in the bottle. CLEAN FOOD BOWLS daily. If one ratty sneezes anywhere near food, and happens to be carrying anything, (rats can carry dozens of viruses without actually getting sick), you may have a cage full of infected kids. QUARANTIINE NEWBIES. Unless you are ABSOLUTELY SURE that the rat is coming from a completely clean environment, and there have been no contact with any other animals, uncleaned surfaces, or uncleaned cages, keep new kits away from your current bunch until at least 5 days. I generally give a small dosage of baytril for the first few days just to kill anything that may be dormant before mixing cages. MOST importantly: MAKE SURE ALL BEDDING IS DRY. If there is any wet areas in a cage, you can be sure that there will be bacterial growth with in the first two hours. A rat can go from seemingly healthy to near death, or death within 8 hours if there is fungal or bacterial growth in their systems. Signs to watch for: If the ratty is more lethargic, feels heavier, or has red mucous around his eyes, nose and or mouth, take him to a vet and make sure he's got antibiotic treatment. If breathing is can see a marked increase concaving of his sides as he breathes, make sure you get him to a vet, on antibiotics, and possibly even on oxygen. If his ear tips, toes, lips, tongue, or nose is blue...he is NOT getting oxygen enough to survive. Although often times, this is can mean he will not make it, if you can get him some INJECTED antibiotics and on OXYGEN, he may survive. When rats are having lung problems you will often see them gasp for air, and then DART AROUND from one part of a cage to another. He may also be cold, or keep away from other ratties. This can mean his lungs are collapsed, or he is in pain, or he can't breathe properly. One way to help him is to sit him up so he is resting his chin on your hand or on another ratty..don't lean him on his side. If his lungs are filling, he may fill up one lung faster. Ask your vet for a cortisone injection, or even if you have asthma medication, you can take a small puff into your mouth, and barely whisper a puff into his. It will help expand his lungs enough to get some oxygen. Cortisone or Prednisone are used to strengthen weak lungs. It also is very hard on their liver and kidneys, so only use this under extreme circumstances. Dr White and Blakesley are a bit more aggressive on treatments, so they may offer Subcutaneous liquids, steroidal, oxygen, and stronger antibiotics. Dr Kolmstetter likes to let the animals help heal themselves. In the long run, less antibiotics are better, however, if it's pneumonia... think like a football player.
10 years ago

Hi Maggie,

Sorry I've been gone for so long.  I've been sick, and my life has been turned on it's end a couple of times.  I've only been online VERY sporadically.  I'm back now.

Could this "pneumonia season" only be out west?  I live in the southeast US.  I've had so many babies die of pneumonia, and it was at all different times of year.  Also, taking them to the vet and putting them on antibiotics never helped.  Once they had symtoms, it was over.  Hassling them by giving them antibiotics just made their dying harder.


Pneumonia Natural treatment.
4 years ago

Thanks for your efforts. sorry to hear about these little souls and thier battles. Well, I have had rats for many years as they are one of the most misunderstood and recieved souls on the planet.

So much love and intelligence! down to trestment for your souls and please help me to spread the word!

I had a Rat called Baby with bad Pneumonia and lost the dear little soul. This bastard of a virus needs to be put in its place. My second rat Sweetie recently showed the beginning and started getting it bad. Here are the important steps!!

1. Never sneeze in the same room as your pet. this can spread to them and mutate.

2.The beddding must be changed daily and papers to reduce urine and any other waiste that may occur. Do not use saw dust for small animals, it will enter the lungs! paper is best and old towels for sleepers. keep em covered at night!

3. temperature is ample! Keep them warm all times but not hot.

4. A de humidifier can help in very wet cold climates such as the UK.

5. If they don't shake the bug with Baytril quickly act fast on rubbing on thier fur nightlt this mix I have come up with and boy it works well!!!!

1. virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon. a pinch of FRESH garlic crushed. mix together on a piece of paper and rub the paper under the belly of the rat around the lung area and ribs. Not only does this absorb into the skin but the rattie will usually lick clean at night. read about the miracles of natures true and best antibiotic GARLIC. Not in capsules but raw and alive. Aid witha good diet of fruit and filtered water for the rattie. In the morning I give him yoghurt mixed with olive leaf extract and Manuka honey from New Zealand. When I apply the olive oil and garlic mix at night I note the immediate change in breathing. You must keep it up with the diet changes and clean bedding and room temperature. No cheese and keep the dairy propducts down as they cause mucuse! the small amount of yogurt in the morning helps the lining on the stomach and is enjoyed by the rattie to absorb the olive leaf extract and manuka honey. Amazing results! keep going and give them lots of love and talk to them.

They are worth it, these little souls of god. All the best. Andre

This post was modified from its original form on 30 Jan, 3:42