Quantcast

Illness Advice

Help Support Rat Shack Forum:

Twilight

Active Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2020
Messages
29
Location
Southern USA
Hello!
I'm a new rat mom, so I am worried about one of my rat boys who is sick. I will be taking him to the vet, but the vets here are extremely expensive even for just a checkup, so I was wondering if somebody here could try to help me identify my boy's illness and possibly the cure first? I understand it is difficult to find out what is wrong with a rat without seeing him, but I would really appreciate it if you could try ^^ Here are his symptoms: porphyrin around his eyes, gaining weight, tiny squeaky sounds when breathing, and thin fur on his back. He is still very active and friendly, it does not seem as if he is in pain or uncomfortable at all. I was thinking a respiratory infection but I'm not sure. Do any of you have an idea what's wrong and how I can treat it?
Thanks!
 

SQ

Senior Member - Vegan for the animals
Joined
Jul 21, 2007
Messages
17,164
Location
central New Brunswick Canada
Listen to each side of his chest and what do you hear?

Post a video or 2 of his breathing to youtube and put the link on here

Is he using extra effort to breath?
Does he panic/run around?
Does he hang his head down such or raise it up to try to breath easier?
How old is he?
Does he scratch a lot? Any scabs and if so, where?

Check out our Reference Thread re breathing issues and see if the links sound like what is happening REFERENCE Thread - Read Only
 

Twilight

Active Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2020
Messages
29
Location
Southern USA
I hear some (puffing) sounds I think? They sound like “hh hh hh hh”
Looking at him, he looks like he’s breathing normally apart from the squeaky sounds, and I’ve never seen him panic, though he does run around during playtime :)
Whiskers is turning two years old in December, he has no scabs, and doesn’t hang his head.
(Once I get a video I’ll post that)
 

lilspaz68

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Joined
Jul 21, 2007
Messages
23,585
Location
Toronto, Canada, Earth
2 years old accounts for the thinning fur, the sounds are most indicative of a respiratory infection so he will need antibiotics for sure.
 

rmn34

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2020
Messages
68
Location
USA
I live near you and I can confirm the vets around here can be somewhere between expensive and criminal scam artists. Some vets will start out doing it for the love of animals but then progress to greedy little monsters after a while. Whatever you do, don't go to MD Avian & Exotics!

fyi you can often order the meds online with no Rx for a fraction of the cost of getting them from the vet (baytril, doxy, salemectin, etc) . You can also get some of the meds that are Rx only at Giant or Safeway with a coupon from goodrx.com

For example- having the vet call a steroid script in for me - $45, getting script from the vet and using goodrx coupon - $12

They will also do sneaky stuff like give you a big ass bottle of azithromycin, good for months worth of dosing, but mix it with water which according to the bottle will render it ineffective in 10 days. its always cheaper to get the meds unmixed and then mix them yourself with a milligram digital scale. If you have multiple animals its always good to save the extra for later.
 

Twilight

Active Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2020
Messages
29
Location
Southern USA
2 years old accounts for the thinning fur, the sounds are most indicative of a respiratory infection so he will need antibiotics for sure.
Ok. I did listen to the URI sounds in rats but it doesn't really sound like that- more like huffing? Now I really need to get that video 😅
 

Twilight

Active Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2020
Messages
29
Location
Southern USA
I live near you and I can confirm the vets around here can be somewhere between expensive and criminal scam artists. Some vets will start out doing it for the love of animals but then progress to greedy little monsters after a while. Whatever you do, don't go to MD Avian & Exotics!

fyi you can often order the meds online with no Rx for a fraction of the cost of getting them from the vet (baytril, doxy, salemectin, etc) . You can also get some of the meds that are Rx only at Giant or Safeway with a coupon from goodrx.com

For example- having the vet call a steroid script in for me - $45, getting script from the vet and using goodrx coupon - $12

They will also do sneaky stuff like give you a big ass bottle of azithromycin, good for months worth of dosing, but mix it with water which according to the bottle will render it ineffective in 10 days. its always cheaper to get the meds unmixed and then mix them yourself with a milligram digital scale. If you have multiple animals its always good to save the extra for later.
Oh wow, I was actually considering Avian and Exotics! I'm glad they turned me down because of full spots. Do you know if Germantown Veterinary Clinic is okay?
 

Twilight

Active Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2020
Messages
29
Location
Southern USA
Here is the video. Sorry, it’s a bit blurry and the background noise is very loud but it should do. I know this doesn’t really capture his breathing, but it was hard to catch him staying still XD (Oh, also sorry I sent it in so late. I was having technology issues)
 

Twilight

Active Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2020
Messages
29
Location
Southern USA
Are there any antibiotics that would help? This is my first time handling a sick rattie, so I'm quite anxious about what to do :giggle:
 

rmn34

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2020
Messages
68
Location
USA
Germantown's reviews don't look bad. Of course the problem is that just because a vet is terrific with dogs and cats doesn't mean they are good with rats. I wish I could give you more useful info on this.

Usually people start with Baytril or Baytril + Doxy

Also, have you checked out ratguide?

The most important thing is to keep treating for weeks after the symptoms go away, lest the infection return with a resistance to the meds. Many vets even do not give you enough medication. People will treat for a week or two, the sneezing stops, so they stop dosing, but the infection was not actually dead, only weakened. Then it comes back and the antibiotics no longer work.
 
Last edited:

Twilight

Active Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2020
Messages
29
Location
Southern USA
Germantown's reviews don't look bad. Of course the problem is that just because a vet is terrific with dogs and cats doesn't mean they are good with rats. I wish I could give you more useful info on this.

Usually people start with Baytril or Baytril + Doxy

Also, have you checked out ratguide?

The most important thing is to keep treating for weeks after the symptoms go away, lest the infection return with a resistance to the meds. Many vets even do not give you enough medication. People will treat for a week or two, the sneezing stops, so they stop dosing, but the infection was not actually dead, only weakened. Then it comes back and the antibiotics no longer work.
Okay. Would it be okay to start with baytril before the vet visit? Or would it be bad to use the antibiotics before I have a clear idea of what it is? Also would I need to go to the vet? (I'd like to save money if I can, but if I need to go to the vet of course I would)
 

rmn34

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2020
Messages
68
Location
USA
That is what I would do. Every time I have gone to the vet with a rat in similar condition they always send me home with Baytril (or want to do hundreds of dollars worth of tests + xrays)
 

Rattdad

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2019
Messages
5
Location
Rhode Island
I endorse what others said: if you're concerned, buy Baytril/enrofloxacin yourself, and put him on it for two weeks. Post back if you need help with dosages. (To me, he looks pretty healthy and I can't hear any breathing sounds in your video.) I understand the rationale for taking your pet to a vet rather than doing it yourself, but so many vets really don't know anything about rats (even the good ones) .
 

Twilight

Active Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2020
Messages
29
Location
Southern USA
Okay, thanks for the info! ☺ Where can I buy Baytril, and how much should I use? (I don't have a scale so don't know how much he weighs if that's necessary)
 

lilspaz68

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Joined
Jul 21, 2007
Messages
23,585
Location
Toronto, Canada, Earth
Getting a scale is important and you can often buy a suitable digital one for $20 or less
As for antibiotics, where do you live? U.S.?
 

Twilight

Active Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2020
Messages
29
Location
Southern USA
Oops forgot to mention, one eye have lots more porphyrin than the other. It’s also cloudy while the other eye is bright. Is that a common symptom?
 

Rocket99

Active Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2018
Messages
25
Location
Massachusetts
Germantown's reviews don't look bad. Of course the problem is that just because a vet is terrific with dogs and cats doesn't mean they are good with rats. I wish I could give you more useful info on this.

Usually people start with Baytril or Baytril + Doxy

Also, have you checked out ratguide?

The most important thing is to keep treating for weeks after the symptoms go away, lest the infection return with a resistance to the meds. Many vets even do not give you enough medication. People will treat for a week or two, the sneezing stops, so they stop dosing, but the infection was not actually dead, only weakened. Then it comes back and the antibiotics no longer work.
But.... If there's no response (improvement) within a few days (rats respond unbelievably quick to treatments) you can change to a different (or increased) antibiotic medication and continue treatment, this way the rat doesn't have a long enough treatment to develop a resistance (or tolerance) to the medication and this tactic is also a possible life saver since rats can actually die from many illnesses within days (especially of contracting secondary URI's), so rapid treatment with the correct antibiotic is critical. This is why I always have Baytril, Doxycycline, AND Amoxicillin on hand at all times! Amoxicillin is great for treatment of secondary URI's, if my ratties rapidly develop a serious sounding URI I just automatically start him/her on all 3 antibiotics, a rapid response is most important. Best luck to you. FYI... A good website to buy antibiotics is Jedds.com
 

Latest posts

Top