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URI improving or getting worse?

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rmn34

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What are signs that a URI is improving on antibiotics?

Specifically how does the mucous that was once in the lungs and/or bronchial tubes leave the body? Is it absorbed internally or does it come out through the nose and mouth?

Could increased nasal noises be the result of an improvement due to medication? Or does that mean the medication is not working?
 

shaunavalon

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Usually, when treating rats for URIs, the right antibiotics causes them to improve. The phlegm and mucous tends to go away on its own - the antibiotics would not give them runny noses (or nasal congestion).

It could be a sign that they are not improving. Sometimes URIs in rats can be an uphill battle and it can take a long time to resolve.

How long has your rat been taking medication? How long have you noticed that they are unwell before treatment? What antibiotics are they getting?

Often times you will see an improvement in 2-3 days or even less - it depends on what antibiotics they are given and how sick they are and how they respond to the antibiotics.
 

rmn34

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Over a month on Azithromycin + Baytril. Then added Clamavox about 2 weeks ago.

It was previously just chirping and hiccups once or twice a day, then started rapid breathing last month, and recently over the last week it has turned into congestion and honking noises sporadically. Tonight the honking is very frequent.

Don't know what to try next. Maybe increasing the dose?
 
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shaunavalon

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Ouchies - if they have been on it for a month now, and they are getting worse still, I highly recommend consulting with your vet about it.

I am also hoping maybe some other members can comment along with me.

Usually if it is getting worse, then it is is not a great sign. Sometimes they can end up being on antibiotics for months and it eventually clears up, it is not always easy to tell.
 

rmn34

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He has said there's not much that can be done at this point.

I guess I will try pseudoephedrine and increase the antibiotic dose.
 

rmn34

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I gave him 0.1ml of children's pseudofed. I can't tell if its doing anything. Going to try nebulizing albuterol next.
 

Big Schpog

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What are signs that a URI is improving on antibiotics?

Specifically how does the mucous that was once in the lungs and/or bronchial tubes leave the body? Is it absorbed internally or does it come out through the nose and mouth?

Could increased nasal noises be the result of an improvement due to medication? Or does that mean the medication is not working?
I'm currently going through this with one my very healthy rats. She started that 'noise', that low honking noise they make about a week ago. I took her to the ER last night and she has no temp, eating drinking normally, no piloerection, still active, but she's making those little soft chirpy duck noises.

They gave me AB's but told me to wait and see if she can clear this on her own and told me it was very mild. It could simply be the change of seasons or, as the vet suspects, environmental. IOW, something is causing her to be congested but it's not an infection.

I clean their bedding every day/every other day. I clean up all their poop spots the same way. They are never allowed to sit or sleep on ammonia. However, the vet told me that rats will get into areas we don't clean as often. I have ONE spot behind my dresser that I haven't cleaned in a long time. This may be aggravating them. They don't sit behind there but they do TRAVEL behind there. THe solution, is to pull that dresser out and give it a good hot water/bleach cleaning. This will be done of course because it is the ONE spot that I can't access frequently, but they can.

Are there any environmental things you can think of? Also, rats are sensitive to where they are, for example, near a window or getting any kind of draft etc. or a space heater or something.

Also, this could be mycoplasmosis where your rat gets flare ups, some are major, some are minor.

There is also, as shauna just stated, the right antibiotic for the right bacteria. It may take amoxicillin or another type of AB.

Is there mucous coming from the nose of your rat? Does your rat have a temperature? These are important clues.

What about activity level? Piloerection? Excess porphyrin that isn't cleaned up by the rat?

Now, I'm not in your situation but if they're still making noises but they are OK otherwise, I wouldn't keep my rat on AB's, simply because they aren't doing anything and aren't good long term uses on anyone, even a rat. There is a natural balance in bodies that gets totally out of whack with AB's.

I'd be more proactive in giving breathing treatments instead of AB's just to assist breathing without internal meds.

If this is an environmental issue, you have to figure out what that is.

In humans, the change of seasons can bring about all sorts of sniffles and I imagine it's the same in rats.

Here's a little anecdotal analogy, I have trace amounts of blood in my urine. I've had every test to rule out nasty things and I'm healthy and active. My Kidneys are functioning properly but I just have that tiny tiny trace amount of blood that is picked up on urinalysis. There's nothing to be done about it. I've gotten all the tests, I'm functioning properly, I just have a tiny tiny tiny trace of blood in my urine.

Rats can be sniffly without something serious going on. I know with rats you do need to be extra careful though b/c of their sensitive UR systems, but sometimes there's really nothing major wrong that requires AB's.
 

shaunavalon

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Oct 16, 2020
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Location
Cape Town, South Africa
I want to warn you to be careful with Albuterol and other such similar medicines - it raises heart rate in mammals, and if you are not careful your rat could stroke / cardiac arrest / heart attack. Overdose in smaller mammals like rats who breathe a lot (rats have high breathing, high heart rate and high metabolism) is dangerous. I have had a rat who was nebulised who had a heart attack / suddenly and spontaneously died. She was terribly sick with mycoplasmosis though.

Also, what do you use for bedding? any wood and/or pine based woodchips and sawdust is a big no no if your rats are not 100% healthy. Rather use kitchen paper towel or newspaper.

My current rats were all born and raised by their breeder in sawdust, so they are totally fine with it, but it is still not recommended. I do use apple sawdust though, which is much better than pine.

I know it is really hard to have rats with sniffles and not know how to deal with it.

Also, bear in mind that it is also a good idea to get some probiotics to give with their food when you give them antibiotics long term. Make sure that for 2 hours before and after dosing that they do not have probiotics, but other than that, give them some - you can buy the powder to mix with their food and just remove the food 2 hours before and replace it 2 hours after.

It is also not always good to just keep increasing the dose over and over - try a different antibiotic.

If they have been on it for a month now, see what happens if you stop giving it to them for 1-2 days - do they get worse? If so, put them back on but I recommend trying a different antibiotic. I know that at one point I had rats taking 3 different antibiotics at once which finally worked out (doxycycline, amoxycillin and azithromycin).
 

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