Rat dying?

Discussion in 'Health & General Care' started by Rataganza, Nov 6, 2018.

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  1. Nov 6, 2018 #1

    Rataganza

    Rataganza

    Rataganza

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    I've got a one-year old male rat, Finn, that is struggling with something -- an abscess, a tumor, I don't know. What I'm hoping is that someone has had experience with something similar and could offer advice about the best path forward.
    About three weeks ago, Finn developed an huge bump on his head, between the eye and ear. I took him to the vet, which prescribed a 5-day round of antibiotics. Of note, I live in rural Wyoming. Our vets are likely some of the best equestrian and bovine vets around the nation, but when it comes to exotic pets, experience is limited at best. To my knowledge, I'm one of maybe five pet rat owners in the county.
    The vet didn't have many answers, but I was satisfied she knew enough to treat the symptoms.
    The bump improved, but after the antibiotics ran out, Finn started getting worse and losing weight. A couple days later, we were back at the vet. This time she tried to lance the bump like an abscess, but said when she pushed on the outside, the fluid drained through his mouth without the need for incision. This worried me a little, since minimal google research advised against attempting to lance a possible tooth abscess from the exterior. Still, this the only vet I have access to in a 100 mile radius. I'm not a vet (or at least, not that kind), so I trust she did what was best.
    Another round of antibiotics helped Finn regain some of his energy and the bump became a mass of scab tissue, which I kind of expected. The scab smelled horribly, like death. I called the vet and was told this was normal.
    Yesterday, I gave Finn his last round of medicine. He has not gained the weight back, and the smell is still there, but he is more active. He eats slow, but it doesn't appear to be painful.
    Today, there is discoloration on his lower jaw, possible blood above his eye (it's much darker than the porphyrin) and he looks terribly ill.
    I've called the vet again, but at this point his bills are getting quite high, and I'm not sure he is actually benefiting from the treatment.
    From reading the forums, there seems to be a slew of possible things causing his symptoms. At this point, I'm not sure knowing which it is will help.

    My questions:
    Has someone experienced this and has advice about helping Finn get better?
    How can I help his healing process?
    Should it smell like rotten tissue a week after draining?
    My wife has suggested euthanasia to keep him from suffering, but what if he can heal this? Starvation is a serious concern, but other than weight loss, he doesn't seem to be in pain. I don't see the need to cut his time short if he is not, in fact, suffering.
    Should he be separated from our other rats? (Vet did not have guidance on this point)

    Sorry for the long post. I'm a relatively new rat owner, and I'm at a loss as to how to help my little guy.
     

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  2. Nov 7, 2018 #2

    lilspaz68

    lilspaz68

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    If there's necrotic tissue, or pus trapped in the cavity then it will continue to smell horrible. Is there a hole or opening you can get a syringe in to flush? You'd have to mix up warmed isotonic saline solution, then start by dribbling a little into the cavity watching to see if your boy starts to swallow (opening goes into mouth and you'll have to stop). If he doesn't swallow then increase the pressure and be prepared for some nasty stuff to come out .the saline gets into all the corners and encourages healing. I've seen an abscess like this from a bite to the face.
     
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  3. Nov 7, 2018 #3

    lilspaz68

    lilspaz68

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    You could try pain relief and see if that helps. Or try him with soft foods because it might be painful to eat hard stuff.
    He can stay with his friends
    Unfortunately 5 days of antibiotics is no where near long enough to treat an active infection.
     
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  4. Nov 7, 2018 #4

    SQ

    SQ

    SQ

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    In addition to the great info Lilspaz68 provided (she is an amazing medical resource person for rats)

    See if you can get several weeks of antibiotics for him .... such as clavamox - it is good for 10 days after mixed so you will mix each bottle yourself as it is needed

    Here is some info that may be helpful http://ratguide.com/health/integumentary_skin/abscess.php http://ratguide.com/meds/antimicrobial_agents/clavamox_amoxicillinclavulanate.php

    If you are not doing so, offer him soft foods
    you can soak his rat blocks in cool water to make mush, and give him organic soy infant formula thickened with baby cereal
    He may also like things such as cooked sweet potato. cooked squash, cooked real oatmeal, etc
    food that are easy to eat and contain fluids to help keep him well hydrated

    I hope he is soon feeling much better
     
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