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Respiratory problem not getting better :(

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Caitlin

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Hello, one of my rats has had an ongoing respiratory problem that first flared up when he was around six months old and he is now 11 months. He’s been on and off doxy and baytril and the first time the doxy really helped him and he was back to normal within days. the baytril did absolutely nothing so now he’s back on doxy but his breathing is just getting worse and worse and his fur is puffed up all the time :(( he’s been on the medication in the morning and evening for around a week and a half now but no sign of getting better. He is still eating and drinking as far as I’m aware and he does walk around but he tends to just hide under a blanket. I can get him an appointment at the vets tomorrow but just don’t know what to do for him now :( It breaks my heart seeing him so poorly does anyone have any advice?
 

Rocket99

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Get him back on Baytril. It is the Baytril/Doxy combo that you are looking for. If theres no response after a few days of the double meds then call your vet. Is he eating and drinking normally?
 

SQ

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Take him to the vet asap!
Ask to try doxy + baytril, If that does not start to help after a couple of days either stop doxy and start azithromycin (10 mg/Ib, orally twice a day) or add azithromycin to the other two.
 

Caitlin

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thanks everyone, so sorry for the late reply. I did take him to the vet and they gave him a mild shot of steroids and told me to continue with the doxy and it improved him for a couple of days but now he’s back to square one, hardly eating and drinking and extremely lethargic and just sitting in my hand breathing heavily :(( I’ll of course take him back to the vets and ask about all of the medications mentioned but i’m just wondering if it’s humane to allow him to suffer like this? hate seeing my baby in such pain :(
 

SQ

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If he has an infection then the proper medication should cure him - what the vet gave him was not sufficient.
I would suggest trying baytril + zithromycin (10 mg/Ib) orally twice a day, and if it helps give it for 6 weeks
Was he given an injection of prednisone?
If the problem is something else the proper medication might give him some good quality time, or he might need to be humanely put to sleep (most vets do not know how to do it properly)

Post some videos to youtube and put the links on here
 

Rach

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Hi, my girl has a respiratory infection as well but she’s nearly 2 and has been going through it for nearly a year. For the last 4/5 months she has been on baytril (0.1ml daily) doxycycline(3mm of paste daily) and loxicom (1 drop daily) (which is a yellow liquid) and that’s an anti inflammatory. The vet said she probably had around a few weeks to live and that was 3 months ago now. She still has the infection but it makes her feel better and you can tell. When she isn’t on it she just sits in the corner. Also I use a nebuliser with nebules and cover her cage and put the mask in there. She doesn’t enjoy it but it’s helps with her breathing
 

Caitlin

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Hi guys, thank you so much for all your suggestions i’m taking him to the vet again tomorrow and i’ll tell her all your advice and see what she says :) i’ll let you know how it goes
 

Rocket99

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Hi, my girl has a respiratory infection as well but she’s nearly 2 and has been going through it for nearly a year. For the last 4/5 months she has been on baytril (0.1ml daily) doxycycline(3mm of paste daily) and loxicom (1 drop daily) (which is a yellow liquid) and that’s an anti inflammatory. The vet said she probably had around a few weeks to live and that was 3 months ago now. She still has the infection but it makes her feel better and you can tell. When she isn’t on it she just sits in the corner. Also I use a nebuliser with nebules and cover her cage and put the mask in there. She doesn’t enjoy it but it’s helps with her breathing
Hey, I don't think you have her on the correct dose of Baytril, but because she is on 2 other meds, there could be a synergistic effect that I am unfamiliar with. But 0.1ml only once a day just seems to be very low, especially when I always see that antibiotic at 2X/day. So that would mean unless your Baytril is twice as long acting, as the liquid I am familiar with, your dose is only effective for 12 hours, and that is seriously not good. That said, you might want to look into it. What is the mg/mL of yout Baytril? As for whether or not she is experiencing a high amount of discomfort or is in any distress, you can get an idea by how she's behaving compared to like about 6 months ago, how she's eating and drinking, if she is active or not, wants to socialize with you or other rats, those sorts of things. Personally, if my rats are I'll with advanced URI issues, and 2+ years old, and are behaving much differently or not active or sociable, but are still eating and drinking and NOT gasping, then I allow them to continue their treatment plan until they either stip eating and drinking, at which point I try pushing Ensure to them just in case it's a temporary flare up, or, experience any gasping whatsoever, at which time I monitor them very closely, give the last ditch effort meds, like nebulizer, and any other bronchial dialators (sp?) and if there improvement, I start anti-inflammatory med(s) and steroids after conferring with my vet, whom I have already called to make aware of my probable forthcoming emergency visit. Often the gasping will subside, but just as often it will continue to rear its uglt head, especially if they become stressed, excited, winded, exhausted, or frightened. You absolutely must keep them calm and relaxed. No overly active cage mates, no loud noises, no stressful situations. Anyway, usually they can survive (key word here since their lifestyle has taken an obvious blow) for days, weeks, even months. I just buried a foster who had reached this point, list tons of weight (because I inexcusably missed it) and stopped eating. I put him on Ensure at all times (filled his bowl whenever it was empty) and several more meds, and he gained most of his weight back and learned to live very sedentary and still holds the record at almost 6 months without solid food or water, just Ensure and meds!!! He did very little but for when I gave him loving on time every day for as long as I could. Eventually his breathing became too siffidiff, he couldn't get enough oxygen for basic automatic bodily functions, and I had to let him go, but he never did lose his weight again since he drank tons of Ensure and ate very small amounts of soggy foods. His gasping only came back a few days prior to my having him PTS, and once the customary 24 hours of rebounding allotment time passed and then a Sunday passed with no improvement, and consideicon he had been barely living for months already, I did not waste any time getting him PTS to avoid a horrible suffocation. He actually did get frantic on Sunday night, so I stayed up with him keeping him as calm as possible, but he was gasping pretty bad and had a hard time relaxing. He eventually fell asleep with his head raised up and propped up on a food of blanket to help him get air in, and I was at my vets waiting for them to open the doors, which they already knew and had arrived early for me. Ok, I've rambled on much too long now. But yeah, advanced URI is a horrible disease, you gotta monitor them 24/7, and as soon as you see the telltale raised head and open mouth breathing, you know it's nearly always the beginning of the end when they're over 2 years of age.But they can definitely live for awhile more quite comfortably provided you are able to give them intense hospice care and be around more often than not to be sure they don't go into respiratory distress when you aren't around. It's such a horrifying death,cyou just can't chance it unless you can 100% be available for them. Best luck to your girl if she's still with you.
 

Rocket99

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Messages
15
Location
Massachusetts
Hey, I don't think you have her on the correct dose of Baytril, but because she is on 2 other meds, there could be a synergistic effect that I am unfamiliar with. But 0.1ml only once a day just seems to be very low, especially when I always see that antibiotic at 2X/day. So that would mean unless your Baytril is twice as long acting, as the liquid I am familiar with, your dose is only effective for 12 hours, and that is seriously not good. That said, you might want to look into it. What is the mg/mL of yout Baytril? As for whether or not she is experiencing a high amount of discomfort or is in any distress, you can get an idea by how she's behaving compared to like about 6 months ago, how she's eating and drinking, if she is active or not, wants to socialize with you or other rats, those sorts of things. Personally, if my rats are I'll with advanced URI issues, and 2+ years old, and are behaving much differently or not active or sociable, but are still eating and drinking and NOT gasping, then I allow them to continue their treatment plan until they either stip eating and drinking, at which point I try pushing Ensure to them just in case it's a temporary flare up, or, experience any gasping whatsoever, at which time I monitor them very closely, give the last ditch effort meds, like nebulizer, and any other bronchial dialators (sp?) and if there improvement, I start anti-inflammatory med(s) and steroids after conferring with my vet, whom I have already called to make aware of my probable forthcoming emergency visit. Often the gasping will subside, but just as often it will continue to rear its uglt head, especially if they become stressed, excited, winded, exhausted, or frightened. You absolutely must keep them calm and relaxed. No overly active cage mates, no loud noises, no stressful situations. Anyway, usually they can survive (key word here since their lifestyle has taken an obvious blow) for days, weeks, even months. I just buried a foster who had reached this point, list tons of weight (because I inexcusably missed it) and stopped eating. I put him on Ensure at all times (filled his bowl whenever it was empty) and several more meds, and he gained most of his weight back and learned to live very sedentary and still holds the record at almost 6 months without solid food or water, just Ensure and meds!!! He did very little but for when I gave him loving on time every day for as long as I could. Eventually his breathing became too siffidiff, he couldn't get enough oxygen for basic automatic bodily functions, and I had to let him go, but he never did lose his weight again since he drank tons of Ensure and ate very small amounts of soggy foods. His gasping only came back a few days prior to my having him PTS, and once the customary 24 hours of rebounding allotment time passed and then a Sunday passed with no improvement, and consideicon he had been barely living for months already, I did not waste any time getting him PTS to avoid a horrible suffocation. He actually did get frantic on Sunday night, so I stayed up with him keeping him as calm as possible, but he was gasping pretty bad and had a hard time relaxing. He eventually fell asleep with his head raised up and propped up on a food of blanket to help him get air in, and I was at my vets waiting for them to open the doors, which they already knew and had arrived early for me. Ok, I've rambled on much too long now. But yeah, advanced URI is a horrible disease, you gotta monitor them 24/7, and as soon as you see the telltale raised head and open mouth breathing, you know it's nearly always the beginning of the end when they're over 2 years of age.But they can definitely live for awhile more quite comfortably provided you are able to give them intense hospice care and be around more often than not to be sure they don't go into respiratory distress when you aren't around. It's such a horrifying death,cyou just can't chance it unless you can 100% be available for them. Best luck to your girl if she's still with you.
Damn I wrote a LOT!!! Sorry.
 

Caitlin

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Hi guys thank you so much for all of your advice. william has been to the vets today and he’s been given some emergency medicine and 48 hours to live if he doesn’t improve:( i’m absolutely devastated as he is my baby and he’s not even going to be able to see his first birthday
 

Caitlin

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just another quick update- the vet injected him with baytril, metacam and amoxicillin along with some fluids and said to give it to him tomorrow in the morning and evening as well & and i’ve gotten him to eat quite a bit of bread dipped in soy milk and he’s drank a bit of soy milk on its own too :) i’m taking him back saturday morning to see if he’s improved & gained weight but do you think 48 hours is enough time for the effects to kick in? i’m just worried that i’ll take him and he won’t have improved enough for her to consider him to be healthy enough what do you think?
 

SQ

Senior Member - Vegan for the animals
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Messages
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Baytril is never injected as it can cause health issues :(

It is unfortunate that the vet will not put him on baytril + azithromycin (10 mg/Ib) + doxy - orally twice a day
48 hrs may not be long enough, a steroid and a bronchodilator might help
amoxicillin is good for secondary infections - secondary infections kill very fast

The vet could also try Lasix or benazepril to see if it is a heart problem because there are meds that can help that

Hopefully Lilspaz68 will respond
 
Last edited:

lilspaz68

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Baytril CAN be given once a day but the dose would be doubled. A dose is calculated by weight of rat, recommended dose of antibiotic and the concentration of the antibiotics used so for eg. A 500 g rat getting 20 mg/ml baytril (at the recommended dosage of 15 mg/kg) would have a dose of 0.38 ml twice a day (or 0.76 ml once) and if the same rat was given 100 mg/ml baytril the dose would be 0.08 ml twice a day.

As for your lad 48 hrs won't see that much of an improvement on antibiotics as it takes 4-5 days for it to build up enough concentration in the body to show an improvement. Has your vet checked his heart at all? Does he have pale, bluish and/or cool extremities? This could indicate a heart issue and these are the wrong meds for that.

If your lad is losing weight, not eating or drinking and is dehydrated then yeah it's understandable to have him put to sleep before he suffers.
 

jorats

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I would definitely give him more than 48 hours to respond. In my opinion, Baytril should be twice a day.
 

Caitlin

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the vet did use a stethoscope but i’m not sure if she was only checking his lungs or if she checked his heart too but she said he was really struggling to breathe bless him :( he’s not blue or cold though and he seems a bit more active than yesterday. He eats/ drinks when i give him something but i don’t think he’s seeking out food or water in the cage on his own sadly. it’s so hard and he will be the first rat i’ve ever lost so i’m just really shaken and upset for him :(
 

Caitlin

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Hello everyone, i think i’ve decided not to get william put to sleep tomorrow as i don’t think it’s enough time for the medication to kick in. I’m just here to ask for some advice on getting him to take the medication? in the past, i’ve put it in bread and he’s eaten it fine but this time around he won’t touch it. I’ve tried covering the bread in strawberry jam or honey but he just ate around it and then left the medicated part. i’ve also tried mixing the medicine with soy milk as he really enjoys it but he won’t drink that either. the amoxicillin is really strong smelling so i think he can smell it no matter how i try to mask it and he won’t go near it. I would really really appreciate any advice
 

jorats

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I'm so glad you are giving him more time. For my stubborn rats, I would wrap them in a small blanket, like swaddling an infant and I would put the needless syringe in their cheek. And then a treat. Can you try that?
 

Rocket99

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Be VERy careful when giving meds directly from syringe since rats have no reflux or ability to vomit and can choke to death pretty easily!!! Do your homework and get the exact proper method. The lesser amount the safer youll be. But you do not administer it the same as you would a dog. Just do not force it, he has to be able to swallow it himself, stroking his neck is not how its done. Personally, ive only done it once, the very next time my gf gave it and her rat choked to death. And if they have breathing issues from a uri? Thats when it gets really dangerous!
 

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