Amoxicillin is a broad-spectrum bactericidal safe for pregnant / nursing mothers and young rats under 4 months. It’s commonly the first choice for respiratory infections and mycoplasma pulmonis. It works best in the early stages. Mix 250mg to 3ml sterile saline and 7ml honey. Dose .06ml for every 50g in weight.
Baytril (Enrofloxacin) is a broad-spectrum antibiotic. It fights Mycoplasma very well, along with other bacterial infections such as urinary infections. It is not recommended to use in pregnant or nursing, but is safe to use over a long period when the rat is aging. Daily use after 18 – 24 months helps hold respiratory issues at bay. Baytril in a liquid, non-prescription strength, is available through bird stores at a 10% concentration, which is perfect for mixing. The liquid cannot be refrigerated as crystals will form. Mix 2ml baytril and 8ml honey.
Doxycycline is related to tetracycline. It works well with both amoxicillin and enrofloxacin as a secondary antibiotic when fighting respiratory infections. Doxycycline can harm developing pups, so don’t use it on pregnant or nursing moms. Also, watch expiration dates. This is one drug that turns toxic. Better to keep in a powder form than liquid. Mix 100mg to 3ml sterile saline and 2ml honey. Dose .025ml for every 50g in weight starting with .1ml/200g.
Gentamicin is only available by prescription. It is another broad spectrum Bactericidal Antibiotics. Used in a nebulizer, it is effective for advancing respiratory Mycoplasma. Since gentamicin is not absorbed through digestion, it has to be nebulized or injected SQ. Gentamicin also makes an excellent topical antibiotic and aides in faster healing for abscesses, sutured areas, cuts and scrapes.
Tetracycline or Oxytetracycline is effective against Pasteurella abscesses, the most common abscess. A Pasteurella abscess forms a pocket of pus that can be similar to cottage cheese, be incased in a membrane, or be a smelly yellow/greenish liquid. Gentamicin is also effective on pasteurella abscesses, so there in no need for both.
Dexamethasone is an anti-inflammatory corticosteroid used in very small doses through a nebulizer to reduce swelling in the lungs (pneumonia) and sinus track (inner-ear infections). One session makes a difference, giving the rat more time to fight the infection; however, it weakens their immune system. This is only available from a vet and most likely a vet will require the animal to stay for a nebulizer treatment; followed by antibiotics.
Dexaphosphate is another corticosteroid to reduce severe swelling, and weakens the immune system less than dexamethasone. Again only available from a vet and most likely the rat will be treated at the office. (0.23-0.9 mg/lb)
Prednisone is a third anti-inflammatory corticosteroid that weakens the immune system, but reduces swelling from inner ear infection and lung inflammation. You can give them an antibiotic at the same time. Depending on the issue, you’ll have to wean them off over time if you are administering for more than two weeks, or the issue could result in a daily dose for the rest of their life. This is the care if the prednisone causes a reduction in tumor growth. (0.25 to 1 mg/lb) BID
Valium can also assist in short-term survival from acute respiratory collapse. It’s fast acting, but only works for emergency situations, such as in the middle of the night when you can’t get to a vet until morning. Valium doesn’t weaken in strength over time, so having 5-10 5mg pill on hand can save your pet. We had a rat gasping with blue lips survive the night from valium reducing the swelling in his lungs and relaxing him keeping him from panicking and breathing shallow. (2.5mg/lb)
Over the Counter (OTC) Medications
Blue-Kote is a wound medication for horses, so check a local feed store or visit Amazon. It's one of the best assists if your rat develops Bumblefoot. Instructions: Dab Blue-Kote on the sore with a cotton swab twice daily, and blow on it until dry. Make sure you wear a t-shirt you don't mind being stained. If the lesion is open, the medicine will sting, so best medicate earlier than waiting.
Terramycin Ophthalmic Ointment
Ox tetracycline hydrochloride with Polymyxin B - versatile, broad-spectrum antibiotics. Treats conjunctivitis and secondary bacterial inflammatory conditions of the eye.
Vetrimec Paste is used to treat parasites like mites and lice. Because the OTC is for horses, a rat needs a very small rice size amount. .07 ml dose once a week for 3 weeks. Use Vet One Vetrimec Paste available on amazon and https://smallpetstore.com in the mite and lice kit.
It's prescription only unless you order it from Australia. It has to be diluted with alcohol, and it's only the smallest amount in one drip on the back of the neck. It kills off mites and lice.