Identifying, preventing, and treating Mycoplasma in Rats

Let’s discuss the biggest issue or threat for pet rats, which is upper respiratory issues. Almost all rats are born with Mycoplasma (a respiratory disease) that has no cure and is transmitted through birth. Rats can live their whole life without ever showing symptoms, with it being an underlying issue it’s important to know and recognize the signs. Knowing these signs and how to treat them can prevent this from progressing into an upper respiratory infection (URI). Using our treatment methods can also prevent expensive vet bills.

New Home Sniffles

One of the biggest things to know is when your baby rat is adopted, this can cause stress and weaken their immune system. The new environment from temperature, airflow, bedding, and stimulation can cause a mycoplasma flare-up. So a couple of sneezes can be expected when bringing home your new pet rats. This will just be a mycoplasma flare-up and not a URI, but it’s still an important issue to treat in order to prevent it from worsening.

At Queen City Rattery, we offer a couple of forms of new home sniffle treatments. We have two treatments we offer in our adoption shop. With our Sniffle Prevention Drops helping prevent respiratory flare ups. While our Holistic sniffle treatment is great to have on hand for emergency when a flare up does occur. Later in the blog we will recommend other great treatment and prevention tricks. We offer these treatment to avoid vet bills and make your transition the best experience possible.

We even offer a 7-day refund option, or you may trade your rat out for a new one. We take our customer’s concerns and issues very seriously and will help in any way to ensure your satisfaction.

Mycoplasma Flare Up Symtoms

  • Sneezing
  • Porphyrin stains (a secretion with a red pigment from a Harderian Gland) around the nose or eyes. Basically, they look like red tears. But keep in mind that this sign can also be completely natural since their tears and boogers are naturally red.
  • Respiratory noises

Upper Respiratory Infection Symptoms

  • Sneezing
  • Porphyrin stains (a secretion with a red pigment from a Harderian Gland) around the nose or eyes. Basically, they look like red tears.
  • Respiratory noises
  • Gasping
  • Hunched back
  • Rough Coat
  • Labored Breathing


  • Clean cage! The best way to prevent most respiratory problems in rats is to keep their enclosures clean. The ammonia levels in their urine can easily trigger a flare-up.
  • Having proper ventilation is their cage. This means absolutely no tanks. The cage should have all barred walls (no solids walls).
  • Using proper bedding. Pine and cedar have way to much dust and oils that can easily cause flare-ups and should never be used. If using fleece be sure to wash it multiple times a week since this is not an absorbent form of bedding, spot cleaning can help. The best bedding you can choose is Aspen shavings, for both absorbtion and odor control.
  • Temperature control. The temperature should be as consistent as possible. Some of the new smart home thermostat systems out there may have an away feature that can fluctuate the temperature significantly while your not home. Also be careful placing your cage next to a window as the outside temperature may affect them even through the glass.
  • Air flow can also be an issue, having your rats right under or next to a vent can give to much of a draft making the air dry or causing significant temperature fluctuations which may cause flare-ups.
  • Seasonal changes are another big factor. Of course, this can be hard to control, and why its so important to know the signs. Winter brings dry air, and summer brings dramatic temperature changes and must be considered when adjusting your air conditioning or heating. A dehumidifier can be great for summer, as can a humidifier be during the winter, if your pet rats are extra sensitive.

Prevention Supplements

Great recourses to use and prepare for season changing, new cage transitions, adding new rats, moving, cage relocation, and even early signs of respiratory issues.


All of the below may be found easily without prescription at places like Chewy or Amazon.

  • Try rubbing some Vix Vapor Rub on the shower wall, and hot steam. Then let the rat play in the bathroom (toilet lid down) or place them in a travel carrier so they may feel more secure and comfortable– then run this steamy shower for a good 20 mins.
  • Grapefruit seed extract is great for early signs. Place about 10 drops in their water bottle.
  • A nebulizer is a great choice for unblocking mucus– just place some saline solution inside the nebulizer.
  • Amoxycline fish antibiotic capsule in one day worth of water or mixed with baby food. If soft stools should occur, a tablespoon of pumpkin puree can help. This is a great way to deal with 2nd infections.
  • Doxyciline fish antibiotic capsule into one day worth of water. Alternatively, mix with 2ml of water and flavor syrup (or baby food) delivered by syringe daily until 3 days after symptoms clear. This is a great way to deal with Mycoplasma.
  • Tetracycline fish antibiotic 1 teaspoon of powder mixed with 8oz of water (or one day worth of water). This is a great way to deal with Mycoplasma.
  • Apple cider vinegar is a great choice to mix with medicine and water for both taste and health benefits. It cleans the gut of harmful fungus and candida which can be a problem for rats. It also provides for a much stronger immune system and delivers essential vitamins and minerals. And if that wasn’t enough, it can also prevent fungus and algae. This may be used daily.
  • HomeoPet Nose Relief is another simple treatment of 2 drops in 8 oz of water or baby food
  • Critical Care Carnivore is great for adding weight for sick rats and is easy for them to consume.

Holistic Treatment

Apple Cider Vinegar:

Honey (real honey):

Liquid Garlic Extract:


7mushroom blend:

Broccoli/Applesauce/canned pumpkin(my fav)

Take one tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar, mix it with 2 teaspoons Honey, and 10 drops of the liquid Garlic. Mix in 1/4 teaspoon of the 7 mushroom blend. I add just a pinch of cinnamon to this. Mix this and refrigerate for up to 10 days.

Mix about a 1/2 teaspoon of applesauce/broccoli to 3-10 drops of the above mix. Offer this 2-3 times a day. 

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