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our first poorly rat,

Posted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:00 pm
by toofluffy
Hello! This is my first post. I have 4 girl rats, 3 roan sisters and a topaz. One of the sisters, Alto, has a respiratory illness and has been unwell for around 2 weeks. I have been to the vet and started on 10 days Baytril followed by more of the same until I saw the practice's exotics vet. She was more knowledgeable and we started all 3 on a different antibiotic, K, in their water, Loxicom (0.1ml twice daily) as an anti inflammatory and F10 via nebuliser (1:250) 10/15 mins daily. I have been doing this regime for a week now and just sad as I'm really not sure if there is any improvement at all. She had lost weight so that is a concern and I have been syringe feeding soft foods but she hates it. She has been eating a little by herslef, is able to climb and get around the cage but is clearly tired by this. I am seeing the vet in the morning to review so I guess I'm just venting as no one here understands and my husband is asking the question re quality of life and how long do you want to treat for? In other words when do pts? (he doesn't get my love for animals). Sorry for rambling but I guess I'm asking the world.. will she get any better? and how long do you treat this chronic condition in this way? thank you in advance XXX

Re: our first poorly rat,

Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:34 am
by Valeria1
Hello, I 'm also a new person to this forum, and can tell you about the experience I had with my rat, who has just died at the age of three years from something very similar to what you describe - the vet said it was probably myco. My rat had respiratory problems her whole life, but Baytril and, later on, doxycycline added in always worked, she never stopped eating, and the exotics specialist I saw confirmed this was the standard treatment. My understanding is that dispensing antibiotics in water is a bad idea, because there is no guarantee it's going to get inside them in the correct dosage.

You don't say how old your rat is, and I think her age would be the determining factor for you. All changed when my rat turned three - it was like someone had flipped a switch. She started panting, and the specialist, after x-raying her (conscious), added in a salbutamol nebuliser and anti-inflammatories. She carried on like this for a few months but then stopped eating and drinking. In retrospect, I wish I had had her pts shortly after she stopped eating and drinking. I gave her water through a syringe but she became too weak even to move, and then very frightened. She died in my arms last week. I was too inexperienced to know that a home visit by the vet would have been the right thing to do.

I hope this information helps you. I'm not a vet but I do know what it's like to want to do the best you can for a beloved rat.

Re: our first poorly rat,

Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:26 pm
by cyber ratty
Why is the vet treating all 3? If they aren't all showing symptoms they shouldn't be treated. Also, antibiotics should never be given in their water - even if they all should be having it, you can't know how much each is getting, and the taste may stop them drinking normally. Nebulisers seem fashionable at the moment, but their benefit for rats has not been proved. I'm afraid it seems like this other vet knows less than the first, but certainly not enough.

I've never heard of an antibiotic called K, do you have the full name?

If Alto is not improving, then either the meds need to change - a combination of baytril and doxy can work well for myco (as Valeria1 has said), or it's possible the symptoms could be due to something else such as a heart problem. I would go back to the first vet and discuss different strategies.

Re: our first poorly rat,

Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:52 pm
by [cub]
I agree; antibiotics in the water is really not the best route of administration at all. I'm actually kind of shocked that a vet in 2018 would still be recommending this under normal circumstances.

Re: our first poorly rat,

Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:34 pm
by toofluffy
Hello! thank you for your replies. To give some more info... all the group were exhibiting sneezy symptoms, the 2nd antibiotic is Karidox (sorry, wrote K and meant to go check the name!) I'm a bit dismayed about your feedback re the medicine in the water and will check about the efficacy of this, no point treating this way if it doesn't work! Her breathing was just so noisy the vet couldn't hear her heart properly and I declined X-ray. My poor Alto had lost a further 30 g in weight in that last week and was fighting so hard to breathe, after lengthy discussion of other plans of action we decided it would be kinder for her to be pts. I'm heartbroken, yesterday was a sad day. Thank you for your help.

Re: our first poorly rat,

Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:27 pm
by Valeria1
I'm very sorry for your loss of Alto but it sounds like you did the right thing for her.

So far as the other rats are concerned, the other posters have confirmed antibiotics in the water is a really bad idea. I know some people lace bits of chocolate with antibiotics for their rats. I soaked a piece of flapjack (very absorbent) with the correct dose of antibiotics for my rat, as she had always accepted Rat Rations DailyRat3 like this, but she wised up to my sneaking in the antibiotics after the first time and wouldn't touch it again (rats are indeed very smart). There was no alternative to the syringe injected directly into her mouth twice a day.

Karidox is just the brand name for doxy. But the doxy needs to be given in conjunction with the Baytril, not instead of. I hope your other rats recover soon. But I would look around for another exotics vet as soon as possible. If you're within reach of London, there is the Trinity practice in Maidstone (which is where I went) and the Exotics service at the Royal Veterinary College in Camden.

Once again, I'm very sorry for your loss.