Advice for very ill rat

Discussion in 'Health & General Care' started by Robokop, Sep 26, 2018.

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  1. Sep 26, 2018 #1

    Robokop

    Robokop

    Robokop

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    Hi everyone. I have a very ill rat and would like some advice. It's a long story so here it goes:

    Maggie is a 10 month old female rat who had URI when we first got her. She was doing well up until about a month or so ago when the URI came back. She was gasping for air and lethargic so we took her to a vet and got her an anti-inflammatory shot and 5 days worth of baytril (.15ml). She was doing better but not fully recovered so a few days after the end of her meds, she got sick again. So we took her back and got her another shot and this time about 2 weeks worth of baytril. Again she got better but she was still sneezing.

    (This is present time now) About a week after that she started looking sluggish and the next morning was completely lethargic. She couldn't really move and hadn't eaten/drink all night because of it. So we take her to the vet. Same shot (didn't seem to work this time) and now a course of trimethoprim sulfamethoxale (.1ml) and this time she isn't showing much signs of improvement. We take her back the next day and get her special food that we can feed to her through a syringe because she's lost weight. The vet said her lungs sound clear and her eyes are bright. We are taking her back tomorrow and my boyfriend seems to think euthanizing her is an option. I want to wait a few more days because she's only been on the meds for two days. She is interested in eating and has been trying to walk a bit when I put her on the floor. She holds her legs and body weirdly, especially the back legs and has minimal control over them. I think she may just be too weak to move properly. She occasionally chatters her teeth and boggles. She's been sleeping pretty much all day and night except when we are trying to feed/medicate her. I've heard her make some clicking noises today which is a new development. We are thinking that maybe the URI has advanced and caused a secondary infection. I just want what is best for her and for her to feel better.

    Have any of you experienced something similar? Is there anything else I can do to help her? Any ideas as to what could be the problem?

    The vet suggested putting her on a double course of meds, sending her away for testing, and doing an x-ray. I don't really see the help in the last two options though.

    Thank you for your help!
     
  2. Sep 26, 2018 #2

    SQ

    SQ

    SQ

    Senior Member - Vegan for the animals

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    She has not been medication long enough. So she has not gotten well.
    Hopefully with proper medical treatment she will get better.
    She does need to see a good vet (hopefully with the knowledge and experience to treat rats) asap
    Hopefully your vet is open to learning and doing internet research on vet care for rats,
    otherwise you need to find another vet

    Rats with resp. infections need antibiotics for at least 4 weeks …. in my experience, rats need to be on antibiotics for 6 weeks or longer in order to recover

    She is very ill and likely needs a combo of antibiotics for at least 6 weeks, if it is helping, if it doesn't start to help after a couple of days then you try different antibiotics …… I would suggest baytril + azithromycin (10 mg/Ib) orally, twice a day for 6 weeks if it is helping.

    If the vet thinks it is a secondary infection (they kill very fast so she would probably already be dead if she had one), then clavamox + baytril might be a good choice

    When she starts appropriate meds (hopefully asap) then post her weight, the meds, the strength of each med (mg/ml), and the dose she has been prescribed so we can check and make sure it is the correct dose (info re correct dose can be found on ratguide.com for many rat meds, also vets have access to a online site for vets)

    An xray will allow a good vet to get a better idea of what is going on - such as if there is anything in the lungs or allow a very experienced rat vet to see if the heart is enlarged - in my experience, this is not usually required but sometimes it is needed for the vet to get a better understanding when regular treatments do not work
    As for doubling up, if you mean giving a combo of antibiotics as I have suggested, then that is a good idea

    She has lost weight because it is difficult to eat and breath at the same time when you are having problems breathing
    She may be dehydrated (a simple test is to gently pull up on the skin on the back of her neck and let it go. If it snaps back into place, then she is probably not dehydrated) Dehydration kills. Dehydration would make her weak.Vet can teach you to give sub-Q fluids and sell you the equipment so you can do this if needed.
    You need to give food containing lots of fluid, such as her rat blocks soaked in cold water to make mush, organic soy infant formula thickened with a bit of baby cereal (if not available locally, stores such as Walmart online sells it)
    these will help her to stay hydrated and also provide nutrition
    Other things you can give for treats include cooked sweet potato, cooked squash, cooked real oatmeal, and baby food

    When giving her anything orally by syringe, put it one drop at a time into the side of her mouth so that it does not go down into her lungs …. she may also be able to lick food off your finger, or take it from a shallow dish
    Make sure she has access to a water dish that can not be upset, in addition to her water bottle

    Here are some links: http://ratguide.com/health/lower_respiratory/pneumonia.php http://ratguide.com/health/bacteria/mycoplasma_mycoplasmosis.php http://ratguide.com/health/cardiovascular/congestive_heart_failure.php

    I hope this helps
    I will message lilspaz68 and hopefully she will be able to respond to your post
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2018
  3. Sep 26, 2018 #3

    lilspaz68

    lilspaz68

    lilspaz68

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    The baytril probably helped a little but she really needed a combo of antibiotics right away. 5 days is waaaay too short then 2 weeks wasnt enough as a single antibiotic. My concern is she didn't have as much adequate dose as well. He next round at the vet was worse as TMZ is not a respiratory antibiotic and she likely will not get better on it. Do you like in the US or Canada?
     
  4. Sep 27, 2018 #4

    SQ

    SQ

    SQ

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    btw, I get azithromycin from the human pharmacy by prescription from my vet

    I hope you can get her on the right antibiotics right away
    please let us know what happens

    If you need to have her put to sleep, most vets do not know how t do it properly s you need to make sue it is done right and stay with her if at all possible - to comfort her and be with her and make sure she does not suffer

    Basically the rat is given the gas/oxygen mix used for surgery. When deeply unconscious the vet will test her eye reflexes and gently pinch her toes to test reflexes. When unconscious to at least a surgical level, the vet will inject her - usually in the abdomen or liver and she will be kept unconscious with the gas/oxygen mix until she is dead. Vet will listen to her heart twice after she has died, to make sure
     
  5. Sep 27, 2018 #5

    Robokop

    Robokop

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    Thank you everyone for the information. I'm taking her back later today and will tell the vet these things. She looks a bit better this morning. Is walking around a bit and holding her legs normally and struggling against the meds. She even gripped onto her kibble and ate a couple of the pieces hard. We've been giving her water through a syringe and this powered food that you mix with water. She doesn't seem to be dehydrated since we've started on the special food. But I will definitely ask for more and different antibiotics. Anyway seeing how she is this morning, I'm hopeful that she can recover.

    lilspaz68- I'm in the UK.

    I'll keep you updated. Thank you again. This gives me piece of mind cause I follow a few rat forums and I feel that experienced rat owners really know their stuff.
     
    SQ likes this.

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