is this a UTI or something else?

lystelle

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Hi, my young boy Moose is having some sort of issue. He's generally healthy aside from some allergies, and is about 9 months old. Recently I noticed if he would pee on my arm or something as males do, it smelled very strong and unusual. Yesterday I was doing a checkup on him as I usually do, the area around his penis seemedd a bit swollen and sticking out. I found a white creamy kind of residue coming from inside the foreskin/sheath. I pushed it out a little to check for a plug, and there was a sort of "peeling" thin layer around it as well as the same pus-like residue inside. I cleaned it out and it smelled like infection, not that bad of an infection, but it still had that mildly infected smell. There really wasn't a lot of pus at all, but it was still there. I immediately started him on amoxicillin and baytril (i've learned from past rats not to wait even a few days :( lest i regret it) and today it's not much different. His penis got stuck out once, probably because of the swelling inside. I helped the sheath come back out and it's fine.

He's eating, drinking, and able to pee just fine. There's no pophyrin in his nose, no blood/dark color in the urine, and no other red flag symptoms. He seems upset/agitated by what is probably pain, and squeaks when I check the area gently. Generally he is mostly normal.

I've never had a rat with a UTI before, only dealt with respiratory issues and some abscesses and such. Neither have I had a rat this young get sick. I'm not too worried by looking at it, but what should I do? Is pus in the area normal for a UTI? Is it even a UTI at all?
 

lilspaz68

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are you sure its not just normal secretions? The smell is not pleasant to me at all...not infection bad but still "gah". These secretions build up and harden to a plug if the rat doesn't clean himself down there.
 

lystelle

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are you sure its not just normal secretions? The smell is not pleasant to me at all...not infection bad but still "gah". These secretions build up and harden to a plug if the rat doesn't clean himself down there.
i thought about that, but in all my years of having multiple rats i've never seen it like this. there is also swelling, and he's definitely in pain (and pain meds helped his behavior). regardless, today is the third day of amoxicillin + baytril and he's not getting worse, the swelling seems less, and it seems to be starting to work (since it takes around 3 days). the only thing i can think of is a UTI or infected foreskin/sheath itself (because the area around it touches the ground a lot). He doesn't have a fever, so I'll continue the medication and watch him.

edit: something else i noticed is that this week, his asthma/allergy related wheeziness got very loud and constant. i feel like this proves that whatever is going on is definitely a secondary infection that could influence that. now that the antibiotics are starting to work, his wheeziness is pretty much nonexistent.
 

mwp051699

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Sounds exactly like normal secretions boys have. Most of it builds up into a plug which they remove, but an "overflow" of sorts, gets over into the space between his penis and the sheath, and hardens into a thin layer that is pretty well stuck to his penis when exposed. You CAN remove it, but be sure to wash your hands well before you do so, and then a quick rinse of his penis with diluted antiseptic right before you help it back inside. You will definitely need to assist if back in because that layer also sort of protects his penis AND acts as a lubrication. BUT... It is not supposed to be there and over time it will become infected and decompose, which causes the area around it to become sore and raw and dry. So remove it gently with your finger and thumb (wash hands well first, and of course after), rinse with a squirt of antiseptic, and help work it back in since it will be dry and sore. Next day check it by gently exposing it, I think you know how already, and see if it is dry, sticking, or sore. If it's looking red and inflammed, carefully put a dab of Neosporin on, work it back in, and massage it around a bit. If just dry or sore, rinse again with antiseptic and retract it. If you have any Silver Sulfiladiazine, definitely put a dab on at any time you check it. Do not worry about the pus. If it was a small amount just forget about it. If you start squeezing his Preputial Glands around to try to expel any pus you run a very serious risk of causing am abscess or infection in there that can run downward and become a serious problem, often life threatening. Don't try to squeeze out any pus, ever, unless you really know what your doing and it is absolutely necessary and part of a treatment plan to fight a Preputial Gland abscess. I've been through it. 7 vet visits and $1600 later I had to finally let my baby Gollum go to a better place, his pain became too much and his infection totally wiped out his entire manhood. So please, only expose his penis if he himself can not remove his plugs. And be sure to wear gloves or wash well. But do check it now for a day or 2 to be sure it is not getting worse. It shouldn't be dry, red, raw, stinky, or painful. But the more you mess with it, the more likely it will become a problem. I don't even pull off the stuff around his penis unless it smells really bad. If it doesn't, it's ok to leave it. If it stinks, re.ove it and rinse it, put a bit of Silverdene or Bacitracin on it and massage it back in gently. And leave it alone but check it a day later if needed. Hope he is fine soon
 

mwp051699

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i thought about that, but in all my years of having multiple rats i've never seen it like this. there is also swelling, and he's definitely in pain (and pain meds helped his behavior). regardless, today is the third day of amoxicillin + baytril and he's not getting worse, the swelling seems less, and it seems to be starting to work (since it takes around 3 days). the only thing i can think of is a UTI or infected foreskin/sheath itself (because the area around it touches the ground a lot). He doesn't have a fever, so I'll continue the medication and watch him.

edit: something else i noticed is that this week, his asthma/allergy related wheeziness got very loud and constant. i feel like this proves that whatever is going on is definitely a secondary infection that could influence that. now that the antibiotics are starting to work, his wheeziness is pretty much nonexistent.
Continue both antibiotics for 2 weeks after all infections are undetectable. Giving Amoxicillin as well as Baytril is good for treating a URI AND a secondary infection, as well as his penis situation. Secondary infections can kill a rat almost overnight. Since you knew he might have something going on down there, and he definitely has something going on with his respiratory system, the treatment plan you started was perfect. Well done.
 

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