Hurt/sick rat opinions

Rinrei

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My old rat appeared to have hurt himself while I was out of town. When I came home he was limping on one of his front paws. I thought that maybe he hurt one of his hands and decided to let it heal on its own and 3 days later his condition improved. But now it seems like it is declining. He is now almost dragging himself on the floor. His back legs are not cooperating. He is eating and drinking fine and he is just now 2 years old and over weight at 800grams.

I contacted my exotics vet and they did not see it as an emergency since he's eating and drinking and active and will not be able to see him until Wednesday. That is 5 days away. He's not swaying but he does seem off balance so could it be an ear infection? Of course worst case would be he had a stroke or could have a PT developing. Of course I won't know till next week.

I would like to start treating him for an ear infection and pain as a precautionary, but I'm not sure if that's the right thing to do. I do have antibiotics for him already that his brother used only 2 weeks ago. Its azithromycin. And I'm thinking of giving him baby Tylenol or Ibuprofen.

I feel really bad because he can't move around good. His brother has hind leg degeneration so his cage is set up for that but he's not acting like his brother. Almost worse and it's only been a week. I just want him to be comfortable if it's worst-case till Wednesday. Any advice for what I should do or if I shouldn't even treat him at all?
 

RatsDrawBlood

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My old rat appeared to have hurt himself while I was out of town. When I came home he was limping on one of his front paws. I thought that maybe he hurt one of his hands and decided to let it heal on its own and 3 days later his condition improved. But now it seems like it is declining. He is now almost dragging himself on the floor. His back legs are not cooperating. He is eating and drinking fine and he is just now 2 years old and over weight at 800grams.

I contacted my exotics vet and they did not see it as an emergency since he's eating and drinking and active and will not be able to see him until Wednesday. That is 5 days away. He's not swaying but he does seem off balance so could it be an ear infection? Of course worst case would be he had a stroke or could have a PT developing. Of course I won't know till next week.

I would like to start treating him for an ear infection and pain as a precautionary, but I'm not sure if that's the right thing to do. I do have antibiotics for him already that his brother used only 2 weeks ago. Its azithromycin. And I'm thinking of giving him baby Tylenol or Ibuprofen.

I feel really bad because he can't move around good. His brother has hind leg degeneration so his cage is set up for that but he's not acting like his brother. Almost worse and it's only been a week. I just want him to be comfortable if it's worst-case till Wednesday. Any advice for what I should do or if I shouldn't even treat him at all?
I know nothing about rats, but since balance issues or anything nervous system can be serious, was wondering if you tried making sure they understood that, & how it's been a while already & with worsening & also that a rat (even if eating fine) comes before cats or dogs because they don't hide symptoms or decline so rapidly. Maybe try pointing out that if they don't tell you what's wrong, how can you know whether what you try would only make it worse? (I'm not a rat person but a cat expert.)
 

Rinrei

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I know nothing about rats, but since balance issues or anything nervous system can be serious, was wondering if you tried making sure they understood that, & how it's been a while already & with worsening & also that a rat (even if eating fine) comes before cats or dogs because they don't hide symptoms or decline so rapidly. Maybe try pointing out that if they don't tell you what's wrong, how can you know whether what you try would only make it worse? (I'm not a rat person but a cat expert.)

They wanted me to just update them on progress if he stops moving, eatting or drinking. Its an exotics Vet and the only one in the area So they are always super busy
 

RatsDrawBlood

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That's the sweetest photo ever, did you position or they were just like that naturally? I can't stop smiling it's so cute. Like a little human couple. Let us know how it goes.
 

Rinrei

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That's the sweetest photo ever, did you position or they were just like that naturally? I can't stop smiling it's so cute. Like a little human couple. Let us know how it goes.
They actually sleep like that often... I have quite a few pictures of them like that.

Looks like most of the issue is his backleg now. My bf said it looks like some of his foot swelling has gone down. The Leg swelling has not yet. On day 2 and only giving him .25ml of infants ibuprofen twice a day right now. He's still really struggling to get anywhere and if he does move around he gets tired so fast. Not sure if I should up his dose since he is so big? Yesterday night he tried to climb the floor matters (3-4 inches straight up) and I think it was too much as he squeeked and fell to his side. I hope he shows more improvement. I dont want him to get worse by dragging himself around. Hes been doing it for a week now I would think a sprain would of healed better by now. I might have to quarantine him to the cage. Anyone know how long Leg brakes can take? Not sure what he would of done to brake it but can't rule anything out still.
 
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RatsDrawBlood

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or if I shouldn't even treat him at all?
Yeah exactly. His problem isn't pain, if you numb his legs he can't feel where they are, why he can't control them to go where they need to.
Could just do the things that can't hurt, food & massage, since those don't need medical training or diagnosis as drugs do. Could look up things for arthritis or something, which dissolve deposits, get the blood flowing gently. If I remember correctly berries, melons & pineapple were cleansing that way, anti-inflammatory.
And topically ... there's some Australian nut butter that does that? Menthol or mint's probably too potent or toxic, or castor oil. Does someone dilute such things in carrier oils a pet product? They used to wrap a sick baby in fresh wool for three days to absorb lanolin.
But then, of course you look them up to see which are fine for rats too.
Random things I've read if of interest.
 

Luna&Ralph

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I believe a broken limb would show discolouration, is there any of this? Just making sure that you did get the infant ibuprofen and not the children’s, because the dose would be much lower for the infant one and .25 does sound about right. Did you do the calculations yourself or use a website? I suck at drug calculations so I use a website to calculate the dose of children’s Motrin for my boy and it’s .65mLs and he’s somewhere between 400-500g so that might help you as a reference.
My little guy at the moment has a bump on his front paw that causes him pain and it might be arthritis from when he gained weight a while ago. Is there a bump or is it just general swelling? Could we see a picture?
 

Rinrei

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Idk what going on now. My bf called me on my drive home saying that he thinks there is something really wrong. Now he might have a UTI? As Well. His pee has almost a strong burning smell to it. Which isnt okay.
He's still eatting and drinking. Still can't walk and is trying to crawl. His eyes are bright but its like his body just is failing him

Can a rat get a UTI from pain meds?

I'm not getting any sleep tonight...
I'm going to call the vet again as soon as they open. This isnt okay. I might even have to take him to an emergency vet... Which I'm sure never sees rats.
 

Rinrei

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I believe a broken limb would show discolouration, is there any of this? Just making sure that you did get the infant ibuprofen and not the children’s, because the dose would be much lower for the infant one and .25 does sound about right. Did you do the calculations yourself or use a website? I suck at drug calculations so I use a website to calculate the dose of children’s Motrin for my boy and it’s .65mLs and he’s somewhere between 400-500g so that might help you as a reference.
My little guy at the moment has a bump on his front paw that causes him pain and it might be arthritis from when he gained weight a while ago. Is there a bump or is it just general swelling? Could we see a picture?
I got infants and not childeren. No discoloration, just puffy and almost hard. His toes are barely bigger than his other foot. I dont have anyone here to hold him to get a decent picture. You cant even tell just looking at him unless you turn him upside down and stretch his leg out.
 

Luna&Ralph

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No, pain meds shouldn’t cause a UTI. Do you have any antibiotics on hand? If you have any Baytril, doxycycline, or tetracycline, give him that as soon as possible. You may be able to find doxy or tetracycline in a pet store either labeled for fish or birds. Cranberry juice can also help symptoms, so try to give him some of that as well as still giving him plain water. You could also mix cranberry juice into baby cereal.
An important thing to look for in male rats who have mobility issues is a penis plug. You have to kind of gently pull out the penis and then check for a white or light yellow plug that is blocking the pee. Usually they would clean this out themselves, but he may not be able to if he is having issues with his legs. One of these plugs being stuck for a while may have caused a UTI, or helped to cause one along with his hind end issues.
This link may also help: http://ratguide.com/health/urinary_renal/urinary_tract_infections_lower.php
Contacting the vet as soon as possible is great, but it shouldn’t be too much of an emergency if he is peeing, and it sounds like he is.
 

Rinrei

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No, pain meds shouldn’t cause a UTI. Do you have any antibiotics on hand? If you have any Baytril, doxycycline, or tetracycline, give him that as soon as possible. You may be able to find doxy or tetracycline in a pet store either labeled for fish or birds. Cranberry juice can also help symptoms, so try to give him some of that as well as still giving him plain water. You could also mix cranberry juice into baby cereal.
An important thing to look for in male rats who have mobility issues is a penis plug. You have to kind of gently pull out the penis and then check for a white or light yellow plug that is blocking the pee. Usually they would clean this out themselves, but he may not be able to if he is having issues with his legs. One of these plugs being stuck for a while may have caused a UTI, or helped to cause one along with his hind end issues.
This link may also help: http://ratguide.com/health/urinary_renal/urinary_tract_infections_lower.php
Contacting the vet as soon as possible is great, but it shouldn’t be too much of an emergency if he is peeing, and it sounds like he is.

Thanks. Sadly the only antibiotic I have is azythiro.... Which I dont think helps for that. Nothing is open for me to hunt down doxy. And yeah he is fine with peeing. Idk if him now dragging himself everywhere could of caused this?
 

RatsDrawBlood

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Yes found this: "to help with swelling, say doctors, avoid salt, alcohol, sugar and anything that causes bleeding like aspirin, Ibuprofen etc."
The I in UTI doesn't stand for inflammation, it stands for infection. Infection is when bacteria come to feed on the toxin build-up. So first the pain killers result in the even more acrid urine, and then the inflamed area may someday get infected or not.
When people have gout/edema, it's that chemical build-up isn't leaving the body in the urine like it's supposed to. It's like the pee is in his foot/joints .... If you take something which reduces inflammation (like asprin), it gets the build-up moving, but with 2 problems: 1) It breaks down the build-up but largely just shuffles it somewhere, instead of binding to it & buffering it (Because toxins are acidic. Ammonia burns.) so it could've therefore be carried out in the urine. 2) Since it itself is a chemical, it's a further addition to the chemical load.
This is an over-simplification, but what isn't? So the rat vet is the one who can say about rats, but people eat pineapple & melons & peeled/seeded cucumber when they have painful swellings to bring down the swelling & thus the pain it caused, in the way that doesn't just make it come back worse. Raw produce is important in a rat's diet same as ours. And I know rats can have the melon/cucs. Haven't looked up the pineapple. They're all at most food stores, the fruit already cut up.
 

RatsDrawBlood

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Yes found this: "to help with swelling, say doctors, avoid salt, alcohol, sugar and anything that causes bleeding like aspirin, Ibuprofen etc."
The I in UTI doesn't stand for inflammation, it stands for infection. Infection is when bacteria come to feed on the toxin build-up. So first the pain killers result in the even more acrid urine, and then the inflamed area may someday get infected or not.
When people have gout/edema, it's that chemical build-up isn't leaving the body in the urine like it's supposed to. It's like the pee is in his foot/joints .... If you take something which reduces inflammation (like asprin), it gets the build-up moving, but with 2 problems: 1) It breaks down the build-up but largely just shuffles it somewhere, instead of binding to it & buffering it (Because toxins are acidic. Ammonia burns.) so it could've therefore be carried out in the urine. 2) Since it itself is a chemical, it's a further addition to the chemical load.
This is an over-simplification, but what isn't? So the rat vet is the one who can say about rats, but people eat pineapple & melons & peeled/seeded cucumber when they have painful swellings to bring down the swelling & thus the pain it caused, in the way that doesn't just make it come back worse. Raw produce is important in a rat's diet same as ours. And I know rats can have the melon/cucs. Haven't looked up the pineapple. They're all at most food stores, the fruit already cut up.
PS Many rats are given apple cider vinegar every day to prevent/reverse many things like acrid urine & the crystals/stones/infections of the bladder that it leads to. The Camarattery site may give the ratio of water to add, but in an emergency - like this is - I've offered it on a lettuce leaf. Let him live on rat-safe salads to get to the out-of-danger point, if he will, then he needs to. What's in smelly urine is strong like a knife, & melon/etc is a form of water that can easily get in there & dilute things before it melts too much flesh (that it's in contact with too long) from the inside.
 

Luna&Ralph

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I’m not totally sure about that antibiotic and I would wait for someone else’s approval before using it, but fter a google search, I’ve learned that it’s a broad spectrum antibiotic so it may be good to use with no other option.
I do think the UTI could have been caused by him dragging himself, but it’s not a guarantee that something like that will happen, so I really don’t think it could have been prevented. I think that it was a possibility because he could have dragged himself over any part of the cage that wasn’t perfectly clean and introduced bacteria into his urinary tract.
 

RatsDrawBlood

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The beneficial micro-organisms help the body clean up its metabolic byproducts before they get to the point of inviting an overgrowth of bad bacteria to come eat it up.
"Bad" is just slang for "the varieties that can cause trouble when there's too high a ratio of them". We can't survive with zero of the "bad" bacteria. In the right ratios, they're vital. One of your organs is a 3 pound colony of balanced bad & good micro-guys in your gut.
The reason anti-biotics can't prevent an overgrowth of bad bacteria, is because the good bacteria have, since the day of the dinosaur, been the only thing known to keep them in check. That's why doctors, in the case of a level of flora imbalance that's non-life-threatening, can't legally allow you antibiotics, only probiotics.
When he's swarming with so many bad bacteria that it'll kill him before probiotics would have time to kill the excess bad guys, you kill both the good and bad with antibiotics, and then hope you can reestablish the probiotics soon enough. It's a gamble. Acrid urine is a symptom present during URI because it led to the URI, not is caused by.
A disease isn't a symptom, but a set of symptoms followed by an educated guess.
For instance since overhydration eventually results in dehydration, dehydration can mean the person needs water or that they're so internally waterlogged that more could easily drown their kidneys. So a doctor looks at the recent history & tests to see if the reason the skin/etc isn't getting water, is because there's something non-absorbable about the water consumed, or a disease hindering the absorption process.
Antibiotics are in our environment these days - the more we take in, the less likely they'll be able to save us in the rare times they'd do more good than harm. Yet it's been becoming less rare because hygiene weakens the immune system to where it can only handle a sterile world.
Antibiotics never provide what probiotics do. But even probiotics such as apple cider vinegar or yogurt always provide a degree of what antibiotics do, yet can't hurt even if the dangerous level of urine density hasn't become a urinary tract inflammation, or the urinary tract inflammation hasn't become a urinary tract infection.
 

lilspaz68

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I double-checked your ibu dose and it should be 0.4 ml every 4-6 hrs for a big boy like him. His weight could be impeding his recovery for the sprain but the hind end paralysis does sound like a UTI. Sometimes in males it can cause this type of paralysis. Zithro unfortunately won't work well for a UTI. Can you go to the vet and get baytril or Clavamox? Are you in the US and can order online?
 

Rinrei

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I'm lucky enough that they can now see him today... In about an hour. I stopped giving him anything in preparation for what the doctor feels would be best for him.

Crosses fingers.
 

Rinrei

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Update.

Doctor did a x-ray and his bladder was super full. It also looked like he has kidney stones. He isnt peeing near enough to expel everything. He thinks thats why his legs arent working well and he is just holding fluids in his body and building up toxins.

The doctor did say that it looked like some of the build up is around his lungs and heart right now.

He is on an antibiotic to target the bladder, pain meds, and an anti inflammatory. I have to check his bladder every 4-6 hours and expel it if he isnt.

He gave me a time of 2-3 days to see if there is any improvemt. If not then there could be something else and then we'll have to make some tuff decisions.
 

RatsDrawBlood

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super full
he has kidney stones
Yep exactly SUPER FULL, the moment you started to add the info about there being leg swelling, I felt like it was my fault he'd suffered the prior two days for lack of what the vet has now confirmed is what he's been needing.
tuff decisions
Nope easiest thing in the world. I love this when I hear it is indeed just the crystals (kidney stones before they've grown to be stones) blocking the bladder's flow, especially when my sister's vet asked her for ten grand to do an operation while admitting there was hardly a chance even that would save her cat, I said no problem google it instead, knowing it'd tell her to throw the straight apple cider vinegar on his fur so he'd lick it off, getting the soothing acids into him to counter the caustic ones destroying his body. So that he went around peeing the nasty out before it killed him.
Or of course the dip lettuce into the straight AVC method.
Don't forget to keep him stocked with constant access to his melons/cucs, AVC water, & whatever else you've looked up dissolves such blockages & moves things out, so that he's as likely as possible to be able to take advantage of any & every window of opportunity in his appetite.
The lists for prevention of kidney stones etc are also which raw veggies, spinach etc are avoided till he's all better at least (oxalic acid etc).
When an animal gets to this point of starving & thirsting to death, everything taken in needs to not have just the small amount of soothing acid & high raw enzyme hydration type ingredients we all need in our diet, but tons to compensate for how much build up has to leave him in order for enough new nutrients/waters to get absorbed. Since he has too much fluid in him at the same time as too little. The urine has too high a concentration of toxins to come out. So it must be diluted, but there's no room for more water. So he has to fast from the dry food that makes the amount of water he needs even more higher than what he can intake as is dehydrates plus creates metabolic byproduct chemicals, plus the fluids have to be as ideal for his situation as possible. Lactic acid dissolves blockage plus quenches thirst. Plain water causes thirst while it further overloads the kidneys.
I posted at length on why the vet didn't give pain killers, antibiotics or anti-inflammatories but moved it, somehow this thread is filled with funny misunderstandings of people not getting he had edema not an infection, sprain, pain or paralysis. Or never mind if my browser's mixing up.
GOOD LUCK RATTY!
I'm going back to looking through my things, rat got out this afternoon, her human assures me she'll be back in 24 hours but I thought a rat would've come out for food & water after 6 hours?:confused:
 
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