Register    Login    Forum    Search    FAQ

Board index » Fancy Rats Forum » Rat Care » Health




 Page 1 of 1 [ 10 posts ] 



Author Message
 Post subject: Medical advice needed
 Post Posted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:49 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2016 7:24 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Sutton, Surrey
(Note to admin: I can't seem to post in the Health section; not sure if I'm doing something wrong or if the new layout is not playing nicely with my computer)

The short of it: I might have an illness in my colony and I have no idea what it is or how they got it. Symptoms are signs of pain (puffed fur, squinty eyes, stiff whiskers), lethargy, reduced appetite and clicky breathing where there wasn't respiratory problems before.

Background:
On 2nd of February, Flower received a Suprelorin implant to reduce aggression. The implant worked perfectly. Flower lost a bit of weight but I thought it might be because she didn't steal the others' food as much anymore.
On 10th of February three rescue bucks came to live with us. They were with a local rescue since early December and show no signs of illness. They are housed in the same room as my other rats.
On 19th February, I noticed Flower had a sprained foot. She was limping, and the foot was swollen and bruised. She was still dashing around the room, her usual lively self. The next morning (20th Feb), my boyfriend took Flower to the vet where she was prescribed Metacam.
Around 22/23 February Flower had stopped limping, her foot looked normal but she showed signs of pain so I continued giving Metacam. She had puffed up fur and was less active than usual. Over the next few days, the pain seemed to get worse and she became less interested in food and play. She developed audible breathing, a clicking sound. She often felt cold to the touch and slept away from her cage mates.
The 28th of February was the day of the follow-up appointment for her foot. Flower hadn't come out of the cage for play time the night before and looked seriously ill. The vet prescribed Baytril and Ronaxan, along with continued Metacam to try to fight off whatever was affecting her. My usual exotic vet has been off for a few weeks and the other vets have limited experience with rats so they rely more on my knowledge of rats than their own. For the next two days, Flower seemed to be doing slightly better - less puffed, came out to play, didn't feel cold.
On 3rd March (yesterday), Flower clearly felt worse. She had laboured breathing and kept moving away from her cage mates (like rats do when they know they are dying). We were discussing taking her to another exotics vet a fair distance away, but Flower passed away in the evening. In her last few minutes, she was lying on her side gasping.
Today, the 4th of March, I saw that one of my other rats, Meg, has puffed fur, squinty eyes, audible breathing and is lethargic. I've given her Flower's meds (Baytril, Ronaxan and Metacam) until I can get a vet appointment. I did notice last night that Meg was lying with Flower and didn't come out to play but they were bonded so I thought she knew Flower was dying and was mourning her.

I wondered if Flower's illness was connected to the Suprelorin implant, her foot, or even the other rats I adopted. Now I have to consider that it might be a virus. I'm hoping that it is just a horrible coincidence since Meg is elderly, has a suspected pituitary tumour (head tilt that doesn't respond to abs), and has just lost a close cage mate. But I can't be sure, and none of the vets near me will necropsy Flower. I asked Sarah, the lady who runs the rescue I adopt from, if there was any feedback of illness in her recent rescues that went to other homes and she says no, everyone is healthy. The only other place I can think of where we could have picked up a virus is the vets' office when Flower went in to have her foot seen.

I honestly have no idea what to do to help Meg get better or protect my other seven rats. Any advice?

_________________
Mummy to Meg, Luna, Mulan, Claidheamh mor, Sgian dubh, Firedrake, Norbert and Smaug.


Top 
 Post subject: Re: Medical advice needed
 Post Posted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 10:18 am 
Offline
Fancy Rats Team

Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 5:22 pm
Posts: 343
Raggedtoothguppie wrote:
(Note to admin: I can't seem to post in the Health section; not sure if I'm doing something wrong or if the new layout is not playing nicely with my computer)

That must be a glitch in the new layout - thank you for highlighting it. We'll try to sort it out asap, and will move your thread once it has been corrected.

_________________
Regards,
Fancy Rats Team


Top 
 Post subject: Re: Medical advice needed
 Post Posted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:50 pm 
Offline
Fancy Rats Team
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:47 am
Posts: 5575
Location: South Cambridgeshire
It sounds possible that there could be a virus to blame, and unfortunately, picking it up at the vets is plausible. You could ask them whether they'd seen any other rats that day. If they had, then it's important they realise how easily infections can be passed on, so they can do better to prevent it in future. It could perhaps be bordetella, which is in the live vaccine given for kennel cough, something else the vets could check on.

Hopefully none of your other rats will get ill, but if they do and it's a virus, you can't treat it directly. The key is to tackle secondary infections, things like myco can make the most of the opportunity provided by the rat's immune system being low. Treat anyone who is ill with baytril and doxy, and consider blanket treating everyone with soluble aspirin.

This is taken from the NFRS article on SDAV
Quote:
There is no treatment for this infection but supportive therapy can help. This includes blanket adminstration of pain killers, such as soluble asprin or Ibruprofen in the drinking water to nursing for the worst affected. Rats who are not eating or drinking, should be dropper fed in order to improve their chances. I have found that diluted Nutrical, sweetened milk with a spot of alcohol and Polyaid can all make a big difference to a rat's chances.


This from the article on Sendai
Quote:
While antibiotics will not work against viruses, they do help control the bacterial species such as Pasteurella and Mycoplasma who are likely to cause secondary respiratory infections. Both doxycycline and Baytril (enrofloxacine) have been used successfully. Seriously ill rats need fluid replacement and keeping cool. Rats suffering severe respiratory distress are unlikely to survive.


This is what Midnight Rose did when her rats had Sendai
Quote:
When my rats started sneezing I started putting dispersable aspirin (Aspro clear) in the water at roughly a 10th of the human dose. I put Dr Squiggles in the same water, echinacea tincture and Mycoform-T (Peppermint Oil, Pine Oil, Eucalyptus oil, Origanum Oil, Hyssop Extract, Copper).

I made a massive batch of Brown Rice Booster without the garlic and froze it in tubs that were the size I'd need for one day. This was fed 50/50 with my normal grain mix. I'd defrost a tub and add freeze dried acai berry powder (I twisted open the Organic Burst brand capsules) and the garlic fresh just before feeding.

I put a large wall tile in the bottom of the cages too that some rats lay on when their temperature was up.

Two of the rescue boys developed worse symptoms and they had ronaxan just in case but everyone else has just been on the above 'plan'. I knew that it was likely we had caught something so I got in there quickly with the supplements and I believe that must have made a difference.

We are now definitely on the mend and no one has died, not even Phloem who is a right crumbly old bint.


And other people found it helpful to add honey to the water - it gives energy and encourages them to keep hydrated.

_________________
Mary x

my websites: Cyber Rats (picture site) / Zephyr Stud (rattery site)


Top 
 Post subject: Re: Medical advice needed
 Post Posted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:46 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2016 7:24 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Sutton, Surrey
Thanks Cyber ratty. I might make a Rat Warehouse or Rat Rations order to pick up a few things. I plan on phoning the vets tomorrow to ask if they've had viruses lately. This week I went to a different vet to get two boys neutered - should I phone them to warn them as I believe they had another rat in on the same day?

cyber ratty wrote:
This is what Midnight Rose did when her rats had Sendai
Quote:
When my rats started sneezing I started putting dispersable aspirin (Aspro clear) in the water at roughly a 10th of the human dose. I put Dr Squiggles in the same water, echinacea tincture and Mycoform-T (Peppermint Oil, Pine Oil, Eucalyptus oil, Origanum Oil, Hyssop Extract, Copper).


And other people found it helpful to add honey to the water - it gives energy and encourages them to keep hydrated.

Just a few questions. Is soluble aspirin the powder that comes in a sachet? Your quote from Midnight Rose states that she used it at a tenth of the human dose; does that mean I need to only put a tenth of a sachet into the water bottle? Or a tenth per rat? If you could recommend an amount of aspirin, Dr S and any other supplements to place in a 140ml water bottle, I will do whatever it takes. I've never given supplements in water before (only mixed in food or as a syrup). EDIT: Is the Dr Squiggles here the Calcivet or Daily Essentials?

I use DailyRat 3 sprinkled on food about two or three times a week. Should I get Dr Squiggles to add to water too or will that be too much in the way of supplements?

I've got Weight Up Baby porridge that I've been feeding the sickies, I guess I could make it a bit more watery to improve hydration. Meg has little to no interest in even eating the WUB porridge, which is usually a favourite :(

_________________
Mummy to Meg, Luna, Mulan, Claidheamh mor, Sgian dubh, Firedrake, Norbert and Smaug.


Top 
 Post subject: Re: Medical advice needed
 Post Posted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:06 pm 
Offline
Fancy Rats Team
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:47 am
Posts: 5575
Location: South Cambridgeshire
According to the NFRS handbook, Asproclear dose for analgesia is 100mg/kg every 4 hours, but two tablets in 500ml water is satisfactory. My box of maximum strength asproclear is 500mg per tablet, and a human dose is usually 1-2 tablets, so that would imply between 1/5 and 2/5 tablet per kg of rats, but it then depends how much they are going to drink. I'd stick with the two tablets in 500ml water (1/2 tablet for 140ml), then change after 4 hours? (I've never had to do this, but it's an important thing to clarify!)

The Dr Squiggles mentioned is daily essentials - rats usually go mad for it (Calcivet however tastes disgusting!) If you use that as a regular supplement then you'll need calcivet too. For now, I would stick with DR3 twice a week, the Squiggles is just to get them to drink enough, and won't do any harm for the short time you'd be giving it as an extra.

Fingers crossed for Meg. I've pointed some people with first hand experience towards this thread.

_________________
Mary x

my websites: Cyber Rats (picture site) / Zephyr Stud (rattery site)


Top 
 Post subject: Re: Medical advice needed
 Post Posted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:54 pm 
Offline
Fancy Rats Team
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:34 pm
Posts: 925
Location: London
Yep, 2 tablets per 500mls.

I used small water bottles so it got drunk pretty quickly.

_________________
Valiance Rats
London based rattery breeding away from end of life illnesses. Variety genes we can currently expect are agouti, black, chocolate, british blue, mink, PED, mismarked splodgy things and all combinations.


Top 
 Post subject: Re: Medical advice needed
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:29 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2016 7:24 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Sutton, Surrey
I can't find Asproclear - is generic dispersable aspirin alright? I can get 300mg generic, so I assume 3 tablets per 500ml water?

Meg is looking better today. She came up to the cage door for play time and walked around for a bit. Not my usual active girl but it's an improvement!

_________________
Mummy to Meg, Luna, Mulan, Claidheamh mor, Sgian dubh, Firedrake, Norbert and Smaug.


Top 
 Post subject: Re: Medical advice needed
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:21 am 
Offline
Fancy Rats Team
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:47 am
Posts: 5575
Location: South Cambridgeshire
I should think so, yes. Glad to hear about Meg, how is everyone else looking?

_________________
Mary x

my websites: Cyber Rats (picture site) / Zephyr Stud (rattery site)


Top 
 Post subject: Re: Medical advice needed
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:24 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2016 7:24 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Sutton, Surrey
None of the other rats appear to be sick, and Meg has returned to her pre-illness self (she had a head tilt before this). I'm keeping Meg on Baytril/Ronaxan for another week to be sure. I'm hoping it was just a terrible coincidence. I've been giving the rats water with aspirin, Mycoform T and honey in it.

_________________
Mummy to Meg, Luna, Mulan, Claidheamh mor, Sgian dubh, Firedrake, Norbert and Smaug.


Top 
 Post subject: Re: Medical advice needed
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:32 am 
Offline
Fancy Rats Team
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:47 am
Posts: 5575
Location: South Cambridgeshire
That's good to hear. :)

I would think you can stop the aspirin etc. now.

_________________
Mary x

my websites: Cyber Rats (picture site) / Zephyr Stud (rattery site)


Top 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
 
 Page 1 of 1 [ 10 posts ] 




Board index » Fancy Rats Forum » Rat Care » Health


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

 
 

 
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: