: When is it time to euthanize.
08-22-2011, 12:15 AM
I've been watching my girl a lot lately and I'm wondering if I should get her treated or if I should have her pts. I can't really tell if her quality of life has really been all that affected, but I'm not sure. I was petting her earlier and I could feel every single tiny little bone in her body, but her belly is still huge (though she has regular BM). I've been giving her boost and some egg along with her regular diet to help her keep her energy up. She goes pee nearly every two hours or even less and while it doesn't smell bad it still smells like rat pee and it's a bit annoying, but I just keep telling myself that she's sick. Also over the past week and a half I noticed a growth in her neck. I didn't notice it until each one was the size of a pea, and it's slowly been getting larger and merging together. Oh, and I noticed that her lungs were crackling the other night.
She spends a lot of her time sleeping or cuddling with me, but sometimes she walks around on the bed checking stuff out and stashing food or paper. Her vet appointment isn't until the 27th and I've been trying to keep her comfortable, but everyday I look at her I just feel like we're fighting an uphill battle and we're losing terribly. If you were in my shoes would you try to see if she can be helped or if I should have them put her down.
Also what's the best method for humane euthanization for rats? If it is her time I don't want her last minutes on earth to be painful and scary, I want them to full of love and safe happy feelings. This is really hard for me seeing her like this, because I've grown so attached to her. Right now I'm watching her sit on my artwork (that she also peed on) and brux her little heart out.
08-22-2011, 01:32 AM
how old is she? have you considered treating her for her illnesses/issues before letting her decline to the point where she needs euthanized? as long as she is still comfortable (and not in pain), grooming herself, able to move around and eat on her own, and interested in her surroundings, it's not her time to go yet.
08-22-2011, 02:26 AM
She's almost one yr old, and yes when I made the appointment my first and foremost thought was to get her healthy. She is constantly grooming herself when she isn't sleeping/eating/or going poop. I just feel so guilty that I'm not able to do more for her and I'm worried that the vet will just look at her and say, 'best we can do is keep her comfortable until it's her time'. It would kill me to watch her slowly get sicker and sicker until life just isn't worth living. I've read stories of people doing that with their beloved pets, but I don't think I could cope with it.
08-22-2011, 02:51 AM
one year? she's barely an adult... she has a good year and a half (at least) ahead of her, it is not really fair to let her fall to an illness that could potentially be cured... find the right vet, even if it is a few hours drive away, and help her. :( if she is declining as bad as you say she is, you WILL have to sit and watch her suffer a miserable and possibly preventable death. the swelling in her neck could potentially be a virus, i know that sda causes swelling of the lymph nodes.
08-22-2011, 06:05 AM
There is only one good vet in the city I live in and he's on vacation until next friday and I'm taking her on saturday. I've been saving all my paychecks for her medical bills and hoping that he can save her. And a few hours drive is not really possible for me, but I would have taken her to another vet if they weren't such freaking idiots. I felt it was best that we at least wait for a vet who knows something about rats. Basically I'm doing everything within my power for her, it just doesn't feel like it's enough.
08-22-2011, 06:03 PM
Huh, weird. I posted, but it didn't show up. Anyways I talked about my vet and the other idiot vets I called in the area, but how they are all dumb about rats (and some a just plain dumb) and I just need to wait till next saturday for my vet appointment. Oh when you mentioned SDA I was curious and looked it up. I think my little brood may have it, but I'm not sure because the new rat seems perfectly healthy. (My family got a new rat and broke quarantine) My normally hyper girl was making whistling noises yesterday (yet I can't hear a thing when I listen to her lungs) and today she was acting like her normal self when she saw me. Usually she's climbing the walls of her cage the moment she sees me, but today she just watched me. And then there is Flapjack my sickie rat with the swollen neck, the porphyrin around one eye, the crackly lungs, and she seems like shes squinting to me, but my fiance told me I'm probably just imagining things. Either way the vet app. stays and now I'm going to have him check my other girl out as well. I'd like to bring the other rat my family got as well, but I keep telling myself it's not my problem it's theirs (I just know they won't do anything about her and she's such a sweet girl.)
:\ I probably will bring her in too just because they are all sharing one house (not one cage) and SDA is airborne. Ugh, any ideas if I should bring her in too? It would have to be on the same day in the same car, but I can make sure they have different carrying cases.
08-22-2011, 07:58 PM
sda is probably unlikely and the testing for it is expensive, but see what your vet thinks (if you make it in time). viruses aren't really treatable but you can give them a broad spectrum antibiotic to combat any secondary illnesses that can happen while they're compromised. it's hard to say what the swelling in her neck is... it could be mammary tumor(s), as mammary tissue does extend up their chest, but it could also be the rat variant of strep throat (streptococcus pneumoniae), which does cause lymph swelling and respiratory infection-like symptoms... this is one article i found:
The organism is ubiquitous among humans & animals but is not considered to be zoonotic. It is frequently recovered from respiratory tract lesions in guinea pigs, nonhuman primates, and some domestic animals. URI of conventionally raised rats has been reported to be common. However, it is seldom present in barrier-maintained, commercial rat sources.
The causative organism, Streptococcus pneumoniae, is a gram-positive coccus. A number of serological types have been associated with respiratory disease in rats.
Via aerosol droplets.
Poor husbandry and general stress factors predispose to streptococcal infections. Biting facilitates transmission, as does the traumatic effect of overgrown teeth.
The infection often remains localized in the nasopharynx without the development of overt disease. A shift in the host-parasite balance due to stress or concurrent infection with another pathogen may result in bronchopneumonia and bacteremia.
The most common signs disease are serous to mucopurulent nasal and ocular discharge and "red tears" due to porphyrin pigments secreted from the Harderian glands, ruffled fur, anorexia, weight loss, dyspnea, rales, hematuria, and depressed activity. Torticollis may exist if the inner ear is affected, and abortions are associated with both general and uterine infections.Young animals are more apt to be clinically affected. Transmission is by aerosol droplet. Animals often die within a few days after onset of pneumonic signs.
MORBIDITY & MORTALITY
High in the acute phase. Variable in prolonged epizootics.
Gross: The most characteristic gross lesions are pulmonary consolidation and fibrinopurulent pleuritis and pericarditis. An extensive fibrinopurulent peritonitis, otitis media and interna, metritis, orchitis, or meningitis may occur as well. If a bacteremia occurs early, the disease may be acute with few gross lesions.
Histo.: Streptococcus pneumoniae induces an outpouring of exudate rich in fibrin, neutrophils, and erythrocytes into the alveoli. Bronchioles are filled with neutrophils. Embolic lesions may occur in multiple tissues which include the spleen, liver, kidneys, joints, and brain.
Clinical signs and lesions. Recovery of S. pneumoniae on blood agar culture in the presence of 10% carbon dioxide confirms the diagnosis. The organism is alpha hemolytic and bile soluble and is inhibited by ethylhydrocupreine (optochin), an antibiotic. S. pneumoniae ferments inulin.
There is no effective means to control S. pneumoniae infection once it is enzootic in the colony. Antibiotics will not eliminate the organism from rat colonies. Hysterectomy rederivation of breeding stock from infected colonies is an effective method of initiating new stock free from pneumococcal infection.
Benzathine penicillin (30,000 units/200 gm BW) or Oxytetracycline (0.1 mg/ml in drinking water) for 7 days may be helpful in reducing the severity of the disease and as an aid in limiting infections to a subclinical mode in some animals. Selection of an antobiotic is based on sensitivity testing. A carrier state often develops following treatment, and rats may experience a relapse during a subsequent period of stress.
SIGNIFICANCE TO RESEARCH
Carrier animals are prone to clinical disease following experimental manipulations, e.g., peritonitis following intraperitoneal injections of any kind, encephalitis following placement of intracranial implants, and pleuritis following cardiac puncture.
Streptococcus pneumoniae can cause respiratory and meningeal disease in man, esp. in the elderly and in people lacking spleens, and in some cases the serotypes that affect animals may also affect humans.
keep an eye on your new girl and if she starts exhibiting similar symptoms you might want to take her in as well. quarantine was already broken when your family brought her in, so having them in the car together isn't really an issue. :p
08-22-2011, 08:49 PM
Right now I have them in separate cages (more for Flapjack because she's so frail plus the new baby is to small and will slip through the bars.), but I have been visiting her three times a day usually for medicine (she has a sore on her tail) and every other day I have taking her out for bonding time and getting her used to me and the household. She seems healthy though, a little sneezie earlier, but it was when she was grooming. And while she has some of those symptoms she is still rather active. Also since I have been giving her boost and hard boiled egg every other day she has been looking better. Her poop is a normal brown and she no longer looks like she is on her death bed every night. I'm about to get them out for the night and lets them roam around on the bed. And since you say it shouldn't matter whether the new girl is in the I'm going to call the vet tomorrow and letting them know I'm bring all three girls in just to be safe.
08-22-2011, 10:24 PM
I don't understand, what makes you think SDA is unlikely? There have been a LOT of outbreaks I've read about recently, and with a new rat and suddenly all the rats are sick...
On the new rat not being sick, if you do indeed have SDA, not all rats will show obvious signs, especially if they had recovered already.
Can you post a picture?
Where about do you live, we may know of another vet you can see.
08-23-2011, 03:45 AM
Ottawa, but I have looked into all the vets that see rats and some of the answer to my questions about rats and such made me want to slam my head against a desk because they were so dumb. And no can do on the pics just yet, my camera went missing a week back. I just read over my last post and I never mentioned which rat I was talking about.
Right now I have them in separate cages (more for Flapjack because she's so frail plus the new baby is to small and will slip through the bars.), but I have been visiting her three times a day usually for medicine (she has a sore on her tail) and every other day I have taking her out for bonding time and getting her used to me and the household. She seems healthy though, a little sneezie earlier, but it was when she was grooming.
This is about the new girl.^
And while she has some of those symptoms she is still rather active. Also since I have been giving her boost and hard boiled egg every other day she has been looking better. Her poop is a normal brown and she no longer looks like she is on her death bed every night.
This is about my little sickie, Flapjack.^
I read that symptoms show within the first week of having SDA and usually nothing after that. Anyways Twinkie (Flapjack's cage mate) was making whistley chirps yesterday (which I have never ever heard from her before) and today she didn't get excited to see me when I brought them their food for the day. Normally she flips out and climbs all over the place, but instead she just laid there watching me. Also she has been clingier than normal today since she's been out. Usually she sleeps under the pillows when she's sleepy, but she has spent the whole evening in my lap. Not sure if that means anything, but I figured she should get her checked out as well.
08-23-2011, 04:36 PM
Just wondering since quarantine has been broken if I could begin introductions? I feel really bad about the new girl because all she does all day is sit in her cage by herself. I think she gets maybe an hour of out time from her owner and maybe two hours every other day or so with me, while my rats get at the very least five hours of out time.
08-23-2011, 05:08 PM
Yes, at this point it is pointless to wait, my only concern is depending on how bad your rats are, the stress could make their breathing worse. I'd try it but if they get stressed and that causes them to have increased symptoms then stop.
08-23-2011, 05:38 PM
Alright. They're breathing hasn't been that bad just the occasional wheeze (every few hours you might hear one) and very faint crackling in the lungs. I'll begin the introductions now then. I don't think she should have to wait another minute. Also are there any cheap and easy ways to baby proof a cage? She's so tiny she'd slip out the bars in the big cage and get lost.
08-23-2011, 05:54 PM
Hardware cloth is really the only way I know of, but it is cheap and sold at places like home depot.
08-23-2011, 05:56 PM
the reason i said the virus was unlikely is because her illness has been going on before the new rat was brought in :(
08-23-2011, 06:27 PM
Ah, I missed that.
08-23-2011, 11:44 PM
Her main illness which was a tumor/growth inside of her belly. I, unfortunately, do not remember when the swelling in the throat started. I just remember being on the phone with my dad and touching her neck and it was swollen slightly. However, the new rat (she's kind of nameless right now), has been lethargic and I'm not sure, but I do not think she has been eating and her lungs also have a very faint crackle to them. This has started just last week and the new rat showed up wednesday and Twinkie started acting odd two days ago. So some of may have come from the new rat or not. I talked to the vet and I asked if it was alright to bring in all three rats and they said it was fine.
08-24-2011, 02:38 AM
Introductions went amazingly well. I figured there would be some conflict with Twink and the new baby, but they got along well. Flapjack could have cared less, but when the baby snuggle with her Flapjack didn't seem to mind. And the new baby is surprisingly active, she's play fighting with Twink right now and just moments ago she was trying to play fight with me. :) It's a shame she has to go back to her single life for the night, but when I get home from work tomorrow I'm letting them all hang out again. Btw how do I curb some jealousy issues? Should I give Twinkie a special treat? (I can tell she's a little jealous because of how she's trying to be a cuddle hog. She does this when I pay attention to Flapjack.)