Respiratory Infection, Double Dosage & Other Symptoms

Yogurt

New Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2019
Messages
3
Location
Philippines
As the title says one of my rats has caught a respiratory infection...
He is a male, 1 year and 8 months old...I know that he’s getting older and weaker but I still want to try.
His first symptoms were lethargy, and I noticed his breathing was rough.
This is my first time dealing with this issue so I’m really really worried, I’m finding it difficult to sleep at night. Any advice or at least shared experiences would be appreciated.

I took him to the vet around 6pm on Tuesday (December, 3). On that day he was lethargic but would move every so often and eat when hand-fed. I separated him from his brothers and lined his quarantine cage with cloth.

Where, I come from I was lucky to find one Vet who could give him a check-up.
He was prescribed with Amoxicillin and Ascorbic acid twice a day. .3ml and .5ml respectively.
The problem was, I had a miscommunication with the vet... He gave me a needless syringe and said “5ml” instead of “.5ml”.
I thought it was weird and I asked him to clarify the dosage to me several times.
Still he said 5ml, and even pointed at the symbol on the syringe.

So in the first night, I gave my rat a double dose of Ascorbic acid and a little over 1ml of Amoxicillin before my dad stopped me, rechecked the prescription and corrected me.
I was terrified because I thought I just poisoned my rat, but I was assured by him and the vet that it would be fine and that I should just skip a dose.
I researched online and it seems a dosage of 5ml Ascorbic Acid isn’t toxic to rats so long as it isn’t daily. Other forum posts on here facing the same issue also assured me that it’ll be okay, and I really hope so.
My rat had a tiny bit of diarrhea and the next day had urinated.
He was more active in the beginning of the day but as it progressed I feel like he’s getting weaker.

The climate here is tropical but it has been getting colder. Think that’s what got to him.Ikeep him in the living room indoors. I now cover the back and sides of his cage with a towel.

As the days progress I continue to check on him 4 times a day to feed him and keep him hydrated.
In the morning and night, I give him his medicine. I change his covers daily.

On December 4, I opted to feed him baby food because he would not eat his usual mix. I fed him with a spoon and he would lap it up. He was starting to tumble over so I would support him. He no longer drank from his water bottle so I let him drink through a needless syringe.
I skipped the vitamins and gave him the correct dose of antibiotics at night.
He poops scarcely (1-2 a day, very small) but when I check on him in the morning he urinates on himself so I clean him with a damp toothbrush.
When I pick him up to feed him, he every so often he twitches and tilts his head left and right almost sporadically. I don’t know why that is, I really hope it’s just delirium from his fever...
When lying down he bruxes and sometimes shivers.

December 5. I am now syringe-feeding him baby food as well as water.
I don’t know how much he’s eating. I try to feed him a drop a time so he doesn’t choke.
Sometimes he either makes a chewing motion or lets the baby food drip from the corner of his mouth where I insert the syringe.
There is a bit of porphoryin around his eyes that I try to clean with q-tips. I continue to groom him.
I continue to give him the proper dose of Amoxicillin and .1ml of Ascorbic acid.
All he does is lie down on his side, no matter what I do to adjust him.
I put a warm bottle in his cage at night.
Tried to fashion a makeshift diaper for him out of paper towel but he somehow managed to kick it off.

Today, I found that he urinated himself. Had to clean him with a damp toothbrush and carefully dried him.There is a darker ring of Porphyrin around his eyes and a little bit inside his nose.
Same issues as yesterday when I try to feed him. Now I notice that he starts honking.
I thought he was choking and tried to apply the Heimlich maneuver on him (Watched a tutorial).
He didn’t spit anything out and was fine seconds later.
Maybe he’s trying to protest about being fed? I really don’t know...
Continued to feed him .3ml Amoxicillin and now, .5ml of Ascorbic acid...hoping it gives him some energy.

I’m really worried about him. I read that it takes 5-7 days until rats show improvement.
He’s still hanging on, but I don’t know if I’m doing anything right or what these other symptoms mean especially the twitching and honking. If anyone has experience this or has any advice it would be greatly appreciated.
 

Rattdad

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2019
Messages
40
Location
Rhode Island
So sorry for your loss. I'm not a super emotional person, and yet I find it very sad when I've had rats that passed away. One I felt responsible for, like it was my fault, and I still feel bad about it when I think about.

It's not easy diagnosing a rat. Even a lot of vets have a hard time with it. There are things you can do to be prepared for the most common scenarios, but the main thing is not to beat yourself up over it. YOu were there to care for him when he was sick, and that's more than most animals (or many humans) have when they die. Remember, he had about 600 good days and just a couple of bad ones at the end, so think about the good ones--that was his life. Again, sorry for your loss.
 

Yogurt

New Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2019
Messages
3
Location
Philippines
So sorry for your loss. I'm not a super emotional person, and yet I find it very sad when I've had rats that passed away. One I felt responsible for, like it was my fault, and I still feel bad about it when I think about.

It's not easy diagnosing a rat. Even a lot of vets have a hard time with it. There are things you can do to be prepared for the most common scenarios, but the main thing is not to beat yourself up over it. YOu were there to care for him when he was sick, and that's more than most animals (or many humans) have when they die. Remember, he had about 600 good days and just a couple of bad ones at the end, so think about the good ones--that was his life. Again, sorry for your loss.

Thank you for your kind words...they’re exactly what I needed now.
After my little guy died it felt so lonely because there was no one I knew who could relate.
I just have to keep going, cherish my time with him and take care of those I have left with me.
 

mwp051699

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2020
Messages
55
I know this is an old post, but here's what happened to your rattie. He passed from complications from respiratory disease and old age. He was lethargic from slowing down and eating less and slowly got to the point where he was ready to go, unfortunately you did not realize that or you could have just spent his last days knowing this and comforting him. I hope you can take comfort in knowing you did nothing wrong, it was just his time.
 

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