This article is from the Summer I 1997 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.
By Carmen Jane Booth, D.V.M.
Q We had some medicine for our cat. The label said medicine in Gentocin but the label underneath says Gentomycin. The directions on the label say to put a couple drops in the nose (the cat was being treated for respiratory problems). Can this be used the same way to treat respiratory problems in rats? If so, what is the dose?
A I would not use Gentomicin in rodents for respiratory disease. The bacteria that commonly cause respiratory disease in cats are different from those in rodents (i.e. not Mycoplasma pulmonis). Also Gentomicin is in the antibiotic family called aminoglycosides and can be extremely nephrotoxic (cause severe kidney damage) and/or ototoxic (ear toxic, associated with causing deafness). This antibiotic is used to treat Gram (-) bacteria and crosses the placenta. In summary, this antibiotic preparation should not be used in rats to treat respiratory problems. It is extremely unwise ad potentially dangerous to use any antibiotic or medication specifically prescribed to treat a condition in one pet in another without explicit instructions from your local veterinarian. This question is brings up an important point. I am only licensed in MA, and it would be inappropriate and illegal for me to direct an owner to use a drug prescribed for one pet in another. I can legally consult with any veterinarian and direct them in the treatment of AFRMA member’s rodents. Any drug dosage or treatment protocol that I describe in the newsletter is explicitly meant to be taken by people to their own veterinarian and discussed for their particular pet’s condition. This functions the same as if you were reading a veterinary medical text and wanted your veterinarians opinion.