Chronic respiratory disease? Can anyone offer advice?

Nyn

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2020
Messages
74
Location
Netherlands
Hey all,

I've posted many a time because we have two little girls who have been having health issues from the start. I'm posting now because my 10 months old Tofu (dumbo, husky, rex girl) has just had her 3rd case of an inner ear infection that again (for the 3rd time) got treated with 8-10 weeks of combination antibiotics Flagyl and Synulox. But again, from the last two days before her treatment was finished (so she was still on antibiotics but had 2 days to go) she has started sneezing and lost some weight (10 grams, she is now 415g). This might have had to do with a change of bedding. We thought we had gotten an even better and dust free bedding (back-2-nature) but she really didn't react well to this, so we immediately got rid of it. It was in the cage for 1.5 weeks though before she started reacting so it could have also been due to flowers we put in the room. Anyway, we finished the antibiotics as recommended and got her checked the day after her treatment was done (last Wednesday). All seemed A-OK and the vet seemed happy with her progress and saw no signs of ear infection or lung troubles. But since then she has been starting acting lethargic again and her fur is clumping together (which last time was a definite sign of her feeling unwell). I've gotten very acquainted with her signs of "I'm not doing well" so I can definitely see she isn't feeling great. Still eating and drinking though, although less enthusiastic about her food. I've put her back on painkillers with an antiflamatory (meloxidyl) for 4.1 kilos (high dose but safe) which was recommended by the vet when I called Friday. She is doing a tiny bit better with the painkillers, but nothing to write home about let's say. UPDATE:*she is doing quite better with the painkillers, but then they wear off (24 h) I can really notice the difference.*

So it seems like she might have a case of chronic raspetory illness which I'm not sure how to deal with. My worry was that she already started feeling bad when she was still on antibiotics and not perse because she came off of them. I read somewhere that some rats need to be on constant antibiotics, which I would not prefer because it stresses her out (the synolux she is fine with but the Flagyl is so disgusting that we need to use force to give it to her. We tried everything over the last 9 months but it cannot be mixed with any food for her to not taste it and therefore not take it). So my question is mainly, is there anyone with some experience with this and how do we deal with it? I love her to death and I would love for her to be healthy and happy of course. The vet is a bit worried that so many antibiotics will make her mycoplasma immune and therefore it will come back easier each time. Could anyone offer some advice on the current situation (sneezing and lethargic behaviour) and the situation for the long run?

Thank you so much again, the help on this forum has gotten me through some very worrisome periods ❤
 

Attachments

  • 20210413_122936.jpg
    20210413_122936.jpg
    37.5 KB · Views: 52
Last edited:

Nyn

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2020
Messages
74
Location
Netherlands
Hey all, I posted this a while back put unfortunately have not gotten any replies. I saw 55 people people viewed my post though. A little update: we are going to the vets tomorrow as we have given her painkillers for a week now which really did help. We tried stopping the painkillers for 1 day, but it immediately got worse again. She stopped eating hard foods and was generally a bit lethargic. But as she has just recovered from her previous ear infection, I am not sure what could be wrong again. Her sneezing had basically stopped in the last couple of days, but has started now again. Has anybody got experience with recurring ear/raspatory infections? Is this maybe very rare in that sense?

Update: she indeed has chronic ear infection.. we will see if we can get it under control with acidic ear drops and pain killers. The vet thinks it is not a good idea to put her on a lifelong antibiotics treatment (not fun for her, her body and us). So we might have to make a hard decision at some point. This is super sad as she is super young for these kind of troubles... If anybody knows how we might be able to help her, please let us know
 
Last edited:

mwp051699

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2020
Messages
55
I have had rats with recurring respiratory illnesses, and it's touch and go at best. You can do a "on and off" treatment plan, where you rotate in and out of antibiotics, but keeping her on them forever is not a good plan for sure. If she's eating and drinking and is still enjoying some quality of life, then I would continue to work with her. If she had an untreated illness that got down to her lungs, she could have permanent damage and will need lifelong treatment planning. I hope she is doing well today.
 

Nyn

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2020
Messages
74
Location
Netherlands
Thank you for your reply! After a treatment of Prednison she seemed to be doing well and has been off of the antibiotics for nearly 2 months now! However, this week I saw another change in behaviour. We've been to the vets twice now but couldn't detect a middle ear infection so far. I'm pretty sure it's brewing up again so now it's just waiting until we detect it. She is on pain meds again and that is working so far. We will see if she needs another round of antibiotics but I agree with you that it isn't good to have her on lifelong. At least she has been off of them now for 2 months which was already great :)
 

lilspaz68

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2007
Messages
24,383
Location
Toronto, Canada, Earth
Inner ear infection can be caused by a few things but myco is one of them. Your synulox and flagyl treatment isn't effective against myco directly You might want to change the antibiotic combo instead.
 

Pepper_rat

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 9, 2020
Messages
120
Location
New York
I have a girl who has had respiratory issues all her life and the best combination I’ve found is infant ibuprophen and nebulizer treatment with a bronchodilator. The ibuprophen seems to reduce any swelling in her lungs and also help with discomfort and the nebulizer helps her breathe better. The nebulizer I got online for pretty cheap and it’s great. The bronchodilator is made for humans and is also pretty inexpensive. This mixture has brought her back from what I thought were he last moments and helped her breathe better every day. The nice thing is the bronchodilator isn’t harmful to any other rats or to us so I can just point it at her and it doesn’t matter if anyone else breathes it in. The ibuprophen is dosed for rats but they are also great at metabolizing NSAIDS so it’s a low risk med. This has been the only thing that has helped her and not hurt her body like antibiotics. I hope that helps! I hate to see my girls in pain ☹️
 

Latest posts

Top