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Respiratory infection and heart problems

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Dallis

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Nov 1, 2020
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10
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Maryland
One of my two year old girls has been fighting a respiratory infection for quite a while now. The vet I originally took her to didn’t know as much about rats as I thought she did, leading to my rat getting pneumonia and she now has scarring on one of her lungs. I took her to a new vet who prescribed her enrofloxacin and azithromycin and did medicated nebulizer treatments and she improved a lot.
Two weeks ago the vet also prescribed her prednisolone for the inflammation in her lung due to scarring. This seemed to help and she was breathing easier until a few days ago. She stopped eating the rat blocks and stopped drinking out of the water bottle. She’s so weak she can’t pick up food with her paws and I have to hold the food for her to eat. She’s been working so hard to breathe.
She had a vet appointment yesterday and the vet diagnosed her with tachycardia and heart failure. Her heart rate was well over 500. She said she’d do research to find a medication to try to help her heart but basically that she’s going to die within a few days. The vet didn’t take her off the steroid even though she said that’s what is making her heart worse because she was scared that taking her off would make her breathing worse. I still haven’t gotten the heart medication.
I’m second guessing what the vet said. It felt like she was just giving up and that there was nothing else to do but let her die and I can’t accept that without at least trying. But I don’t know what to do. I can’t get her to another vet soon enough. I’m worried that if I try to take her off the steroid I’ll do it wrong or she’ll get worse and not be able to breathe. I also don’t know if steroids cause permanent damage to the heart. But she’s gotten so weak and her heart rate has went up so much since she started it that it doesn’t feel worth it. Before the steroid she wasn’t doing amazing, but she was still doing pretty good. I just don’t want to let her go if there’s something I can do to improve her life. I don’t want to just sit here and watch her die. If anyone has any advice at all I’d greatly appreciate it.
 

lilspaz68

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ask for lasix (furosemide) it can be used to quickly give relief for heart conditions. You would see response in a day or a bit more. It can be given with everything.

is your girl's chest very hard compared to the give a normal rat has? Has she lost weight, has a nipped in abdomen?
 

Dallis

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Joined
Nov 1, 2020
Messages
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Location
Maryland
ask for lasix (furosemide) it can be used to quickly give relief for heart conditions. You would see response in a day or a bit more. It can be given with everything.

is your girl's chest very hard compared to the give a normal rat has? Has she lost weight, has a nipped in abdomen?
I don’t believe her chest seems harder than my other rats’ chests. She has lost weight. She’s always been smaller than my other rats. She lost weight when she had pneumonia but gained it back after a couple weeks on antibiotics. Since she’s been on the steroid she lost about 20 grams.
I’ll call my vet and ask about lasix when they open tomorrow
 

Dallis

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Nov 1, 2020
Messages
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Location
Maryland
The vet called in atenolol for her. Does anyone have any experience with this? The vet thinks I should keep her on the steroid because she’s still breathing hard but she started breathing like this a little after she started the steroid so should I try to wean her off? She’s gotten worse since I made this thread and she’s barely eating or drinking. She only drinks ensure out of a syringe and she only eats a few nibbles of any food I offer her. I don’t know how much time she has left either way but I’d at least like to try to make her more comfortable.
 

Dallis

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Nov 1, 2020
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Maryland
So Clover is still hanging on. She got really bad a couple of days ago. She couldn’t lift her head and I had to force her to drink ensure and take her medicine. I was preparing myself to have her put to sleep the next day. Yesterday she was a little better in the morning and lifted her head when I walked up to the carrier I’ve been keeping her in. She was trying to walk but after a few hours her energy dropped and she stopped trying to walk and I mostly had to force her to drink. Today her energy is definitely much higher so I think the heart medicine is working a little. She drank 5 ml of ensure on her own this morning and she’s been walking a little with help. She’s also been strong enough to bite down on food so she’s had whatever I can get her to eat which still isn’t much but it’s definitely an improvement. She’s still completely reliant on me to feed and hydrate her but you can just see that she’s feeling a little better today. I’m really hoping that she can mostly recover from this and have some more time but I’m still preparing for the worst. She’s definitely not giving up without a fight.
 

Dallis

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Nov 1, 2020
Messages
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Maryland
Clover seems to be recovering a little. I know she’s not going to get completely better but hopefully she can get to a place where she has a decent quality of life. Her main problem right now is her weight right now. She can only eat and drink from a syringe and it’s really hard for me to find things she’ll eat. I tried blending oxbow and adding water but she refused to eat it. She enjoyed when I scrambled her and egg and blended it and I also watered down peanut butter yesterday and that was the most she’s eaten in a couple weeks. I’ve been giving her different flavors of watered down baby food and ensure. Does anyone have any ideas on what I can give her? She’s almost skeletal at this point. When she eats a good amount I can see the difference in her. She has her eyes open all the way, she can walk around a little, she has so much more strength. But I can’t get her to eat enough most days. If anyone has any ideas I would definitely appreciate it.
 

Ratmomma2016

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Mar 20, 2020
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Idaho
Plain cooked pasta, hard boiled eggs, fruity baby food, oatmeal (although I've never given my rats cooked oats I usually give them plain uncooked oats in their food bowl but I've heard it's good for weight gain cooked). Plain cooked chicken.
 

Dallis

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Nov 1, 2020
Messages
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Location
Maryland
I have another update on Clover. She’s improved a lot since I last posted. She’s still not 100% but she’s definitely a lot better than she was. She started eating a little food on her own and she can get around a little better. She’s still wobbly and falls a lot but she’s back in the cage for some of the day. I separated her from the others and have one level with some baskets and hammocks that are easy to get to and I put the other in there with her during the day when I can keep an eye on them. They don’t seem to care that she’s sick so she gets trampled by them sometimes and I want to make sure they don’t hurt her when I’m sleeping. I’ve been making sure she has fresh fruits and veggies and softer food like baby food in addition to oxbow all the time. And I still syringe feed her things like water, ensure, oatmeal, and really watered down peanut butter to make sure she’s getting enough food and water. She’s also put on a little weight. She was just skin and bones but her ribs are a lot less defined and she feels a bit bigger. I don’t know if she’s going to get much better than this but it’s pretty clear that she’s still fighting and doesn’t want to give up yet so I’m going to keep trying to help her.
 

Dallis

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Joined
Nov 1, 2020
Messages
10
Location
Maryland
Oh and another thing was porphyrin. Her eyes were basically dripping it a lot of the day and it would get caked around her eyes. Yesterday when I got her up she didn’t have any around her eyes and same today. I haven’t noticed any dripping out of her eyes in days. I’m not sure exactly why that was happening but i do know it’s good it’s not happening anymore.
 

Big Schpog

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Jul 8, 2020
Messages
388
Location
British Columbia
Clover seems to be recovering a little. I know she’s not going to get completely better but hopefully she can get to a place where she has a decent quality of life. Her main problem right now is her weight right now. She can only eat and drink from a syringe and it’s really hard for me to find things she’ll eat. I tried blending oxbow and adding water but she refused to eat it. She enjoyed when I scrambled her and egg and blended it and I also watered down peanut butter yesterday and that was the most she’s eaten in a couple weeks. I’ve been giving her different flavors of watered down baby food and ensure. Does anyone have any ideas on what I can give her? She’s almost skeletal at this point. When she eats a good amount I can see the difference in her. She has her eyes open all the way, she can walk around a little, she has so much more strength. But I can’t get her to eat enough most days. If anyone has any ideas I would definitely appreciate it.
Greenmax hot cereals are good. I get all different flavours. All my rats love this cereal and they love it because it's warm too. She will put on weight with them too. You can make very dilute or porridgy. I also put a little oil in it for their coat, like a fish oil. I make it hot and then water it down a bit with some milk to cool it.
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