Need help, don't know what to do.

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Need help, don't know what to do.

Post by Ravien715 » Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:08 pm

Hi, I am fairly new to the forums so I will try and keep this short and to the point.

This Sunday just gone my rat had choking episode. Of course I wasn't sure what was happening so it was immediate emergency vet trip for me and my friend. He thankfully fully recovered, but as of yesterday late afternoon his breathing pattern became odd. He is breathing rapidly, there's audible wheezing, of course another emergency visit, two hours, two different vets and the same conclusion - lungs are clear, no fluid, no obstruction they can't see anything wrong with my boy. I was given precautionary antibiotic in case he aspired and is brewing pneumonia ( septrin), I also use Bisolvon powder to loosen his secretions but the breathing and wheeze remains the same. Should I be concerned? Could it be that his throat swelled up a little after choking and that's where the unusual pattern of breathing comes from? He's eating and drinking, a little less active but other than that I can't see anything different, other than the breathing pattern of course. Any help appreciated.

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Re: Need help, don't know what to do.

Post by [cub] » Wed Sep 23, 2020 2:52 pm

Choking rats normally sort themselves out without intervention (and indeed leaving them to it is generally best, unless they actually cannot breathe), though it can take a few hours or even overnight for them to feel properly better. Given that it's been a few days now though, I would worry that there is something more going on. Aspiration pneumoia is possible as the vet suggested, though I would normally want enrofloxacin and/or doxycycline for a respiratory infection in a rat rather than co-trimoxazole (Septrin). If he's been on his current AB for more than a few days with no change in his condition I would definitely see about changing antibiotic. A normal hours vet is fine for this; no need for an emergency vet as he sounds more or less well in himself. It's worth trying to find a vet who has experience dealing with rodents as they generally bark up fewer wrong trees on their way to the solution. :lol: In my experience most emergency vets don't have much rodent experience, though occasionally you get lucky.
Poo-shoveller to: Calyn (NLA32); Zephyr Nyahir; Zephyr Zymandis; Zephyr Blasto.
Fondly remembering: Zephyr Mick Jagger "Edgeworth"; Din (NLA28); Zephyr Donovan "Phoenix"; Xeltan; Lita (NLA32); Lia (NLA28); Zephyr Delanynder (NLA28); Falere (NLA36); Mirala (NLA36); Zephyr Opold; Rila.

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Re: Need help, don't know what to do.

Post by Little_Lovelies » Thu Oct 08, 2020 4:52 pm

Hi Ravien715, welcome to the forum :)

How is your is little guy now? & has he ever had any noisy breathing before?

If you don't have a regular vet who you know is experienced with rats and are happy to say roughly where you live, it's possible that someone here might be able to recommend one in your area. As Cub says, getting an experienced ratty vet makes such a difference. So many sound knowledgeable but see cat, dog, cat, dog, some other animal, cat, dog (you get the picture ;) ), so they never get the chance to become experienced or expert with any of the little'uns.

I'm not the ratty expert that many people here are, so I could only guess that like you said, he might have hurt his throat coursing it to swell and that's what's coursed the change in breathing. Or maybe the stress of the choking incident could have made him just under the weather enough to get a bit respy? Those are just guesses though sorry. Either way it sounds like you're taking very good care of your little guy! One of mine choked 6 days after we got him and we were straight on the phone to the emergency vets too. Thankfully he cleared it 5 minutes later.

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