The Problem with Rats

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by punk-a-doodle, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    -prone to respiratory infections and mammary tumors
    -fast metabolism means they crash hard and fast
    -short lifespan
    -shortage of rat savvy vets

    Really just beyond unhappy. I have a male rat I raised from a too-young-to-be-weaned ratling from a pet store feed rat bin. He was so thin his vertebrae could be counted down his tail, and so small he was the size of rats half his age. He had a horrid respiratory infection, and I didn't know if he would make it. It took weeks of care to get him healthy again, but he turned into a nice, muscular guy. He's a dumbo, tame as can be, and licks you like a puppy. I always knew that when he goes, it'll probably be from that darn mycoplasma. Well, two days ago, he wasn't hanging off his cage front waiting to be fed like he usually is. He seemed to eat down the berries he got that night as a treat eagerly, so I didn't think too much of it. Tonight, he looks like a mess. Full blown respiratory infection, and his rear foot is swollen. I don't think it is a break (he lives in a converted bookshelf, so no bar platforms to twist paws in), and think instead it is some sort of infection that either brought about his respiratory infection, or started up because his immune system is knocked down extra hard. It's really hard to find a vet in this area that will even look at rats (wish our normal vet practice would handle them...they do an amazing job with our bigger pets), and what you usually do find tends to be less than knowledgeable. We'll see what they can do for him though. Right now he is sitting in a warm steamed up room to help loosen up the mucous. I'm not sure he is going to make it this time around. He keeps burying into my lap, looking at me with wet eyes yet somehow still 'purring' when you stroke just where he likes it. Wish I could bring him somewhere tonight. His breathing is so rapid. [​IMG] Hate the thought of putting him down, but hate seeing him like this more.

    Why do they have to be so darn sweet even when they are in pain?
     
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    [​IMG]I'm sorry he's sick. [​IMG]

    Imp
     
  3. dewey

    dewey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    north of eternity
    I'm so sorry. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

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    Im sorry..how old is he? A rats life expectancy is only about 3 years:( I work with mice and I see them go thrugh respiratory things all teh time have you tried any antibiotics. We use SMX-tmp Its for pneumonia but we also pre-treat to prevent. When I get to work I'll look up the specifics and see what I can find? Its something they need to stay on for life to keep it at bay.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2011
  5. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks guys, keep those fingers crossed if you could! He's two but I'd love for him to get his full 3 years in. Thanks so much for the antibiotic help. The earliest we were able to get him into a vet that takes rats is tomorrow at 8. [​IMG] I'm not sure what antibiotic they'll put him on either, as they only do drop-offs for rats. Better than nothing I guess, but I sure do wish more people worked with rats around here. Never had such a problem before and it's even a city area.
     
  6. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    He went to the vet yesterday and is on antibiotics...we'll see if they work. None of my other rats have ever had respiratory problems, but I'm afraid this will keep cropping up in him. We've been keeping him in a little iso cage we can clean twice a day, keeping half the cage on a heating pad (seems to help alot), trying to get some echidnacea in him to up white blood cells, changing bedding twice daily, giving him time daily in a steamed up bathroom to help loosen mucous, and giving him some infant Tylenol to help with pain/swelling. He is being allowed to eat anything that he will touch, on top of what we drip into his mouth. Any other tips?
     
  7. VioletBlueIvy

    VioletBlueIvy Chillin' With My Peeps

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  8. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks so much Violet. [​IMG] So sorry to hear about your two ratties, and hope they pull through. It never seems to get easier to lose one.
     

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