© squirrelrehabilitation.com, 2011 Diseases Mycoplasma Pulmonis Definition: Mycoplasma Pulmonis (literally “Mycoplasma in/of the lungs”) is a respiratory infection common in rats and is believed to be able to infect other rodents (i.e. squirrels).  Its transmission is airborne from an infected animal to a non-infected animal via a sneeze but is believed to also believed to be able to be passed through the womb.  It is a highly infectious disease and rarely, if ever, completely curable.  It is also a progressive disease, meaning the symptoms worsen over time, so if a squirrel has a rapid onset of symptoms, its problem is not likely Mycoplasma Pulmonis.  This disease is often accompanied by other pathogens, including several viruses and cilia-associated respiratory (CAR) bacillus (another bacteria), and this combination may result in chronic respiratory disease (CRD) (Merck).  Only a laboratory test can diagnoseMycoplasma Pulmonis  with certainty. Etiology/Causes: Transmission from one infected animal to another. Symptoms: 1.  Lethargic (inactive) 2.  Difficult/labored breathing (dyspnea) or rapid breathing/panting 3.  Snuffling/sneezing 4.  Nasal discharge 5.  Weight loss 6.  Ruffled coat 7.  Head tilt 8.  Red tears (in rats) Treatment: Medical 1.  Antibiotics Enrofloxacin (10 kg.mg, PO, bid for seven days, along with doxycycline hyclate (5mg/kg, PO, bid for seven days)  (Merck)      Other anitbiotics have been suggested, including   Clorampheniol, Tetracycline, Oxytetracycline, Tylosin (Brown and Rosenthal) Dirithromycin, Biaxin, Clarithromycin, and Azithromycin 2. Low levels of short-acting corticosteroids in advanced cases (Merck) 3.  Oxygen therapy Supportive 1.  Keep the squirrel quiet 2.  Keep squirrel in a clean, smoke-free, dust-free environment. 3.  Try to keep squirrel well hydrated. Other 1.  Place a vaporizer in the room (preferably cool mist) with a few drops of eucalyptus oil in it. References: Brown, Susan A. and Karen Rosenthal.  Self-Assessment Colour Review of Small Mammals. Merck Veterinary Manual, 10th ed. Tabor’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, 20th ed. Type: Bacterial