The Rat Shack > Rattie 911 > ER > Very fast breathing, Lethargy, Weight loss


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Old 11-02-2017, 05:16 AM   #1
Happi Wolf
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Default Very fast breathing, Lethargy, Weight loss

Hi, I'm hoping to get some advice. One of my female ratties, Madeline, has become very ill in short amount of time. I'm not sure why! She's about a year and a half in age (so not that old) but currently looks like she's much older. She is getting skinny and her coat is thinning. Just last week she looked and acted totally fine. Running around and such. This week she's fallen completely ill.

Today her breathing is very fast. I don't hear sneezing, wheezing or clicking though. She sits holding her head down while having puffy fur, eyes closed or halfway and breathing very fast. She's gotten lethargic and weak. Has rapidly lost weight. I watch my animals very closely and have lots of experience with rats but how quickly this has all come on is scary.

I tried calling different vet offices to see if she could be seen tomorrow. So far no luck. I have two I'm going to try in the morning and see if I can get a same day appointment. She's clearly struggling and uncomfortable. Here is a short video I took. Just click on the image and it should take you to it. You can see her very fast breathing and how there is no sound associated with it. Also no evidence of porphyrin. You can also see how thin she is and how awful her coat looks. In the video she seems shaky to me?



Last edited by Happi Wolf; 11-04-2017 at 08:35 PM.
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Old 11-02-2017, 11:17 AM   #2
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I can't access the video without signing it apparently.
I wonder if she has a pituitary tumour. If the vet says her lungs are clear, I'd get her on prednisone and if she rebounds fast, I'd do cabergoline for PT.


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Old 11-02-2017, 08:15 PM   #3
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She may have a resp infection and need antibiotics, http://ratguide.com/health/bacteria/...oplasmosis.php

She may have fluid in her lungs and need meds from the vet, http://ratguide.com/health/lower_res.../pneumonia.php

she may have a heart condition - benazepril is used to test does, if it helps then other heart meds (& possibly antibiotics) are added, http://ratguide.com/health/cardiovas...rt_failure.php

She may have pt and needs meds as suggested above - if given pred, she will need and antibiotic such as baytril ..... can she hold a small piece of food in her hands? Will she try to eat? http://ratguide.com/health/neoplasia...tary_tumor.php

She likely is dehydrated (dehydration kills)
and likely has lost weight because she is unable to eat (pt) or it is too hard to eat and breath at the same time

Please feed her soft easy to eat food such as her blocks soaked cool water to make mush, organic soy infant formula thickened with baby cereal (kind that says add milk), baby food etc ....... watch to see if she is able to eat ... if she isn't then slowly syringe tiny amounts of food into the side of her mouth so that it does not accidently go into her lungs .... she might be able to lick it off the end of a syringe.

you will need to get her to a good vet immediately, tell them it is an emergency

hope this helps and I hope she is soon feeling better
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Old 11-02-2017, 10:31 PM   #4
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Thank you for the fast responses! She has an appointment tomorrow. I made the video public so hopefully you can view it now. Quick question: can rats have Oxbow Apple & Banana Critical Care? It's meant for herbivores and I have it on hand for my bunnies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jorats View Post
I can't access the video without signing it apparently.
I wonder if she has a pituitary tumour. If the vet says her lungs are clear, I'd get her on prednisone and if she rebounds fast, I'd do cabergoline for PT.
I just looked up pituitary symptoms and thankfully I don't think it's that. Her coordination seems fine. Thank you, I appreciate your input!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SQ View Post
She may have a resp infection and need antibiotics, http://ratguide.com/health/bacteria/...oplasmosis.php

She may have fluid in her lungs and need meds from the vet, http://ratguide.com/health/lower_res.../pneumonia.php

she may have a heart condition - benazepril is used to test does, if it helps then other heart meds (& possibly antibiotics) are added, http://ratguide.com/health/cardiovas...rt_failure.php

She may have pt and needs meds as suggested above - if given pred, she will need and antibiotic such as baytril ..... can she hold a small piece of food in her hands? Will she try to eat? http://ratguide.com/health/neoplasia...tary_tumor.php

She likely is dehydrated (dehydration kills)
and likely has lost weight because she is unable to eat (pt) or it is too hard to eat and breath at the same time

Please feed her soft easy to eat food such as her blocks soaked cool water to make mush, organic soy infant formula thickened with baby cereal (kind that says add milk), baby food etc ....... watch to see if she is able to eat ... if she isn't then slowly syringe tiny amounts of food into the side of her mouth so that it does not accidently go into her lungs .... she might be able to lick it off the end of a syringe.

you will need to get her to a good vet immediately, tell them it is an emergency

hope this helps and I hope she is soon feeling better
Thank you very much. From her symptoms and the links you provided I'm thinking either Pneumonia or Congestive Heart Failure. Hopefully not heart failure. I'm heading out now to buy baby food and will be giving that to her along with some pedialyte I keep on hand. I haven't seen her eating or drinking.

Her sister named Tootsie seems very concerned. She spends all her time sleeping with her.
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Old 11-02-2017, 11:34 PM   #5
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Respiratory infections are so common in rats sadly. Hopefully soon, you'll get her on meds and she'll do a full recovery.
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Old 11-02-2017, 11:38 PM   #6
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BTW, I think that critical care for herbivores would be fine for rats too. But also baby food and baby cereal.


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