Sickly Rat

Discussion in 'Health & General Care' started by Lexvettechstudent, Dec 3, 2018.

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  1. Dec 3, 2018 #1

    Lexvettechstudent

    Lexvettechstudent

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    My rat is sick and I know I should go to a vet instead of a forum but my parents won't let me. She has been listless and lethargic for the past four days and her appetite has been slowly getting worse. She still gets up and moves around but not as much as she usually does or should be for that matter... She's only two months old, I really don't know what to do. I started noticing the problem about a day after I put more variety in their food; some dog kibble, lab blocks, generic hamster food, dried mango, almonds and oatmeal squares cereal. Of course after I made the connection I switched it out for the other stuff immediately. At first I thought it was constipation because I didn't notice any respiratory signs before a couple days ago but now she's breathing a little harder than she should be. I gave her milk of magnesia today to try and clear a blockage... My mom said it wouldn't hurt her... Her stools are occasional, small and fairly dry with a different appearance to them compared to my other healthy rat. I'm so worried about her, I don't want her to die. She's only two months old. I read another thread about a rat showing similar signs who had pneumonia. Should I start giving her baytril? Baytril is really safe so I don't think it would hurt her... I just don't know what to do, I can't take her to a vet but I want her to make it through this... She's so young...
     
  2. Dec 3, 2018 #2

    Emmabeeee1996

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    She could have mega colon, she would look bloated and would have problems pooping, it’s very dangerous. If it’s pneumonia it’s also very dangerous. I encourage you to bring her to the vet, she might be suffering. If it’s either of those things she really needs to go. I’m very sorry you’re going through this, I’m future if your parents won’t let you bring your ratty to the vet than don’t get anymore. It’s a hard lesson to learn. I wish you the best and I understand how hard it is.
     
  3. Dec 3, 2018 #3

    Lexvettechstudent

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    She doesn't have any bloat... In fact she's losing weight. Like I said, my parents won't let me go to the vet so I don't know what to do...
     
  4. Dec 3, 2018 #4

    Emmabeeee1996

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    You’ll need help dosing the medication if you buy it yourself but I’m not much help in that department. I hope someone else see’s your post very soon and can help you, I know they often ask you to buy a scale to weigh her for the dose. I’m very sorry. In the past when my rat had pneumonia my vet prescribed doxycycline and baytril. Also I’ve seen them warn not to put the medication in with the water and to give it on a piece of food. I wish I could be more help, you’re in a really unpleasant situation! I wish there was a way you could convince them but I understand.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
  5. Dec 3, 2018 #5

    Emmabeeee1996

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    There is a thread a couple pages down called how to
    Keep a sick or dying rat comfortable maybe there is useful
    Info in there! I really wish I could be more help! You’re doing your best under the circumstances. I just read that if they have breathing problems steam from the bath can help but also might make it worse and a tiny bit of dark chocolate might help. Oxbow is a good food if you’re worried about what food to give, or if she’s not accepting that I think they often suggest baby food.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
  6. Dec 3, 2018 #6

    Lexvettechstudent

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    Me too... I shouldn't have gotten her knowing I couldn't take her to the vet... I've had them for years and they've helped me through so much but it's selfish not to take care of her the way I should.
     
  7. Dec 3, 2018 #7

    Emmabeeee1996

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    I’m very sorry that’s happening to you, really not fair that they won’t let you go, it’s very upsetting to have a rat die of something like pneumonia as it’s not a quick death and she’ll be in pain, if there’s anyway you can convince someone to go that would be best for her as it sounds pretty serious. I’m very sorry, if it makes you feel better I’m sure she’ll appreciate all the care you’ve given her especially now that she’s sickly and ultimately death and the dying process is a natural thing, we all go through it eventually. I’m sure if this happens you’ll have learned a life lesson and will maybe plan something in future. I hope someone helps soon with dosing and she makes a full recovery.
     
  8. Dec 3, 2018 #8

    Lexvettechstudent

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    I'm so worried that she's too far gone, I don't want to give up on her but treatment for anything is stressful and I don't want to put her through stress that she doesn't need
     
  9. Dec 3, 2018 #9

    Emmabeeee1996

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    I had a rat die of suspected pneumonia even though the vet had him on two different medications, it was just his time to go and I brought him to be put down. I saved a couple rats from a little kid but before I could save one of them he died naturally in my boyfriends arms of megacolon and it was really awful but again just remember these things happen, if your parents let you get a pet knowing they wouldn’t take them to the vet than it’s not really your fault and you’ll learn from others mistakes. If she won’t accept any food at all and you’d have to force medication down her mouth than I’m not sure if you should or not but it could save her life! I guess you’ll have a gut feeling if it’s too late for her. Poor baby. It’ll be okay no matter what happens.
     
  10. Dec 4, 2018 #10

    Lexvettechstudent

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    So a quick update: She seems to be feeling better today; I hope that's not a bad sign. She's more active but she's acting like she's hungry but she won't take much of anything I give her. I made her these peanut butter dough balls with flour, maple syrup and peanut butter. I'm just not sure what to give her... She likes maple syrup, but that doesn't give me much to go off of. She's acting like she's hungry but she won't eat and I'm not sure what I should give her. Should I force feed her? I think that's a bit extreme but I don't want her to be hungry yet too weak to eat.
     
  11. Dec 4, 2018 #11

    Emmabeeee1996

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    I’m glad she’s seeming better. Peanut butter can be a chocking hazard but if it’s mixed with flour and it’s a different consistency maybe it’s okay. I think rice or yogurt or baby food would be worth trying, maybe peas in water my rats love that, if she’s not drinking that could be very dangerous too. Hope I’m helping... I’m no expert on these types of things.
     
  12. Dec 4, 2018 #12

    Lexvettechstudent

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    She's actually drinking just fine... She's well hydrated but she's just been really picky lately
     
  13. Dec 4, 2018 #13

    lilspaz68

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    peanut butter should be only used thinned down.

    Lets start with an overall exam of your little one (can you post a pic?)

    1) Hold her sides to your ears and listen to her breathing (is it crackly, rough, congested, fluidy or constricted or do you only hear a gentle whoosh of air in and out or nothing at all)?
    2) Check her teeth to make sure they are straight and even across the tops (malocclusion or misaligned incisors can cause real problems and make them not want to eat).
    3) check her water bottle/water source, make sure its working as she sounds a bit dehydrated (dry poop) which is more worrying than not eating.
    4) gently feel over her body for lumps and bumps especially (and gently) her abdomen).
     
  14. Dec 4, 2018 #14

    Lexvettechstudent

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    1) it sounds clear but it looks more labored than it should; I think she might have pneumonia
    2) her teeth look good
    3) I think her water bottle is fine... It seems to be working but when she drinks she seems to want more water to come out of it
    4) no lumpy bumpies... Just skinny :(
    I separated the girls for the night... My other rat is very energetic and she runs on the sick one and steals her food. I hate separating them but I thought maybe she would be more inclined to eat if I separated them.
     
  15. Dec 5, 2018 #15

    Dena

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    You could also offer her some ensure, or some organic soy baby formula mixed with baby cereal. I used to give my sick boy a mix of baby cereal, ensure, and a spoon of strawberry yogurt. He loved it, but would ONLY eat it if he was sitting on my shoulder, and I offered it on a spoon! :rolleyes: He was a character! He would get so excited watching me fix it, that he would dance his front feet, and make little diving motions toward the bowl as I was mixing it. He'd start that as soon as I would start getting the ingredients. And yes, if they have pneumonia, that's really tough to watch them die of! Mine died curled on my chest a week ago today, and it was really hard to see.
     
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  16. Dec 5, 2018 #16

    Emmabeeee1996

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    Awww I’m glad he snuggled you until he passed :) he sounded like a very sweet baby.
     
  17. Dec 5, 2018 #17

    Dena

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    He was! And so spoiled! But the dying process was so awful! I'll spare the details, but it's not the way you want to remember your baby, and definitely not the way they want to go out, I'm sure. He was actually doing really good the night before, but when I went to feed him the next day, he was just at that point of no return. Rats will hide sickness as long, and much as possible. So by the time you notice his symptoms, and treat, they are really sick. I'd say if you can't take him to the vet for treatment because of cost, maybe if he starts to continue downhill, go have him euthanized. It shouldn't cost much, and it will be best for both of you. Or take him to the vet, and maybe someone there will adopt him and treat him. But if you go the euthanasia route, make sure you stay in there, and it's done properly. Not the shot in the heart, which is very painful and awful. There's others who can fill you in on the proper way. But I'd definitely try the formula, ensure, baby food (different mixed fruits/veggies, etc...) before making the decision. Also, just check the vet. Sometimes they will work with you on cost, payments or whatever. And you can get the meds cheaper online sometimes. Good luck!
     
  18. Dec 5, 2018 #18

    Emmabeeee1996

    Emmabeeee1996

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    I agree with Dena I think it would really be worth the while to get that ratty euthanized if its to that point, it’s a hard thing to do but worth it. Best wishes.
     
  19. Dec 5, 2018 #19

    lilspaz68

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    I think we need to determine true symptoms before considering euthanasia.
     
  20. Dec 5, 2018 #20

    Dena

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    I agree, but that's why I said if they absolutely can't get to a vet for treatment, and if the rat continues to get worse. But there are definitely more options to consider, or try first. I wouldn't and couldn't give up on mine that easily. Were you able to get a video of the rat, lex? I know that would be helpful. Also, it's worth it to at least call the vet and explain your situation. They may be able to work with you. At the very least, get an exam. That's usually not that expensive. It really may not be what you think is wrong with your baby.....
     

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