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 Post subject: 2 y/o buck drooling and lethargic
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:36 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:51 pm
Posts: 116
Location: East Yorkshire
Hi all,

I have been out for most of the day and got back in around 21:45 to find one of my 27 month old boys very sick. He didn't come running to greet me with the others like he normally does so I went looking for him. I found him in an igloo on the ground floor, face bright red with porphyrin, sitting in a pool of drool and not really moving. I scooped him up for a cuddle and to check him over and he started doing what I can only describe as a slow motion gagging action. He was quite cold but started to wander about on my knee and asking to go on the floor. I put him down on the hard wood and he was walking very slowly. I put him back in the cage and he walked a few steps and then fell over and started doing the gagging thing again, he then pulled himself into the corner toilet and just laid there with his eyes closed. His chin and chest were really wet and slimey but there was no odour and the liquid is clear so it isn't an abscess in his mouth that has burst or anything. Thinking I may well lose him overnight if I did nothing, I took him into the emergency vet. She listened to his chest which sounded clear and palpated his tummy which was nice and soft. Neither of us can find any lumps around his throat or anything. He was clamping his jaw quite tight but when he did let us look in his mouth his teeth and mouth all looked okay. She gave him a shot of antibiotics and an anti-inflammator/pain killer. The vet is hoping that it is come kind of resp issue that will be treated by the antibiotics. Her main reason for this is the only time she has seen rats with a lot of porph is because of myco infections but she admits she doesn't get to see that many rats (the vet I normally see was not on call tonight). I have never had a rat with a normal respiratory issue have these kind of symptoms, could it be some sort of pneumonia? Any help to shed some light on this would be really appreciated! He has five days of ABs and an isotonic powder to put in his water, not that he is drinking. He is sleeping now which I guess is the best thing he can do right now. I have put extra bedding in his igloo and am going to leave the heat on overnight for him. Really worried that I am going to lose him overnight but I guess I have done all that I can for today and he looks quite comfy at the moment :cry:

_________________
Rose with Rescue boys Frank, Dean and Sammy
The rat-friendly cat Beans and the Russian (vertically challenged) hamster Horatio Hamblower
Sleep well my beautiful girls Pip and Loki :girly: :rattyrainbow: :hearts:
Wildie baby boy: Moley :baby: :rattyrainbow: :hearts: You are always in my heart little one


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 Post subject: Re: 2 y/o buck drooling and lethargic
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:27 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:02 pm
Posts: 2731
Location: warrington, cheshire
Poor fella. Hope he is ok today? I don’t think it sounds like pneumonia, I think they breathe heavy from their abdomen with that. It sounds like he had something stuck in his mouth/throat but you said there wasn’t anything. I do hope he is better.

_________________
My current gang :hearts: Kevin, Drax, Rocket, Groot, Star-lord, Yondu, Neb
:rattyrainbow: To all those who have filled my heart, have fun at the bridge.


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 Post subject: Re: 2 y/o buck drooling and lethargic
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:42 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:51 pm
Posts: 116
Location: East Yorkshire
Hi Cazza, thank you very much for the your early response!

Frank is like a different rat this morning! I went in first thing to find him in one of the very top hammocks. He looks so much brighter and his neck is now bone dry. He still isn’t himself and doesn’t seem to have much energy but after what he went through last night I am not surprised, I don’t have much energy this morning either :lol: He took a piece of avacado and a piece of banana this morning but he didn’t really eat them, which surprises me as he didn’t eat anything last night. He just held them, gave them a few licks and a quick nibble and then put them down.

I think that maybe your theory about something being stuck in his throat could be right, we didn’t see anything when we looked at the vets last night but we didn’t get to see down deep into his throat as it was causing him too much stress. He has early stages of HLD so I am guessing that was exacerbated by the fact that he had no energy last night, making him walk very slowly and fall over a lot. I still don’t think he is out of blue, especially until he starts eating again but I am a much happier mummy than I was last night!

_________________
Rose with Rescue boys Frank, Dean and Sammy
The rat-friendly cat Beans and the Russian (vertically challenged) hamster Horatio Hamblower
Sleep well my beautiful girls Pip and Loki :girly: :rattyrainbow: :hearts:
Wildie baby boy: Moley :baby: :rattyrainbow: :hearts: You are always in my heart little one


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 Post subject: Re: 2 y/o buck drooling and lethargic
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:32 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:02 pm
Posts: 2731
Location: warrington, cheshire
Hope he keeps getting better.

_________________
My current gang :hearts: Kevin, Drax, Rocket, Groot, Star-lord, Yondu, Neb
:rattyrainbow: To all those who have filled my heart, have fun at the bridge.


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 Post subject: Re: 2 y/o buck drooling and lethargic
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:03 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:44 pm
Posts: 2092
Location: Glasgow
HI, I just read this and am glad to see he is getting better :)
From what you describe it does sound like a serious choking event, likely from something getting stuck in his throat/airway. The prophyrin is likely from the stress of it - must have been quite traumatic for the wee guy, and exhausting - and the drool around his chin is what they bring up when choking in order to help free the blockage, which it sounds like it did.
You did the right thing getting him to the vet, even just as a precaution, it sounds like he had a hard time clearing it. Keep an eye on him for any signs of further resp issues as a result.

I can be very stressful and scary for them, and a huge strain physically - hence the lethargy.
Equally it is massively stressful for us when we see it happen as they lurch forward a few inches, heave as they bring up the drool, lie still, then lurch forward again. Its a distressing sight.

For info, they do tend to manage it themselves, but should it happen in the future and you are there to witness it, there are things you should do:
Let them carry out their own actions, it does work for them.
Meanwhile, check for any sign of blueness to the lips, ears, tail, feet - this is significant of asphyxiation and is an emergency. Straight to vet or if the rat is not able to breathe at all carry out "rat fling" *
If they are managing ok, then let them deal with it. If it persists for more than 20 mins or so then take them to the vet as they may need help to unblock.
Once they are cleared, offer some nice food that is easy to eat and will provide energy for recovery. ie yogurt with a little jam mixed in, mashed banana, that sort of thing.
Avoid overly sticky treats such as mash potato, peanut butter etc, unless watered down sufficiently.

*"rat fling" is considered an emergency first aid action to unblock a rat who is at risk of death from asphyxiation. Its is not for simple choking - I cant emphasis that enough, its for actual do or die scenarios. Thankfully in 10 or so years of keeping them Ive seen a number of choking episodes yet never had to do this, but always better to know in advance.
Rather than explain it incorectly, heres a link to the NERS first aid page, and you can scroll down the the part about choking.

Hope the wee guy is all clear and stays that way now :)

_________________
Doug, witless provider to :
Ratties :smile: ex-lab boys Boxer and Spot and :girly: Jess.
Budgies Freyja and Haiku.
:rattyrainbow: 42 storytellers loved and lost, most recently : Washburn :rattyrainbow:


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 Post subject: Re: 2 y/o buck drooling and lethargic
 Post Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:42 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:51 pm
Posts: 116
Location: East Yorkshire
Hi Doug, sorry for my delayed response! Frank is doing REALLY well, he has made a full recovery and is not showing any sign of further complications (touch wood). He had his last dose of baytril last night.

Thank you so much for all of your advice. I don't know exactly how long he had been struggling when I got to him as we had been out for most of the day but judging by the state he was in I am guessing it was much longer than 20 mins. "Rat fling" sounds terrifying :shock: I am glad to know about it in the event of an emergency but, like you, I hope that I would never need to use it. Yes, it was very scary and heart braking to watch, I really thought I was going to lose him. If anything positive came out of it I would say that he greatly improved the emergency vet's confidence around rats, she asked me three or four times at the beginning if he bites, I don't think she quite believed me when I said he didn't but after all of the poking and prodding with just a few sad squeaks from Frank she concluded that he was the best rat that she has ever met :lol:

_________________
Rose with Rescue boys Frank, Dean and Sammy
The rat-friendly cat Beans and the Russian (vertically challenged) hamster Horatio Hamblower
Sleep well my beautiful girls Pip and Loki :girly: :rattyrainbow: :hearts:
Wildie baby boy: Moley :baby: :rattyrainbow: :hearts: You are always in my heart little one


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