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Discussion Starter #1
It's eleven PM here, and I just noticed that Boo has red stuff running from his nose. I know that it isn't blood, but I forgot what it was, or what it means.

I called up the answering machine at my vet's, and requested an appointment ASAP for both rats, however, I can't go in the earlier part of the day tomorrow, because I don't have access to a car. So, if they can't give me an appointment later in the day tomorrow, it may have to wait until Wednesday.

Right now, I'm just looking for some knowledge and information about this. I know that it sometimes happens to rats, but I don't know what it indicates, or how serioius it is.

If anyone has information and/or advice, Boo, Gus and I would be very grateful!

Thanks,
Holly
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Re: Boo's Red Nose - HELP, please!

Thank you! I'm planning on taking him to the vet first thing in the morning, but if people here think it's an emergency, there is a place I could go right now. (My regular vet opens in approximately 8 hours, and I'm so panicked about little Boo that I doubt I'll be sleeping.)

What do you guys think? Should I rush him in? He's only dripping a little bit, not loads and loads, and when I called the emergency place, they said that he would probably be fine if I waited until the morning.

But "probably" is not "for sure." I need to do whatever my babies need to be healthy. I'm so scared for Boo, and also for Gus, who might have caught it. Gregor Samsa was fine one day, sick the next, and two days later, I had to put him to sleep. I don't want anything like that to happen to my boys again! I would miss them so much!

So, if you think this can't wait for 8 hours, then please let me know, and I'll be off like a shot to the emergency room.

Gonna read the article. I've been looking for stuff to read. Thanks so much!
 

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Re: Boo's Red Nose - HELP, please!

Porphyrin is more of a concern to get the rat to the vet if it continues, more than an emergency.

However, porphyrin does NOT always mean Myco, or sickness. It can mean stress as well. Small amounts of porphyrin are actually normal. But if it's running, I'd advise getting him into the doctor as planned. Better safe than sorry.

I wouldn't jump to say it's Myco (there are so many other things rats get), but I will say it could be anything... Something "small" like the start of a URI, or something more serious. Either way, it's good to get him checked and on meds (especially antibiotics if needed) ASAP. The sooner you catch something with rats, the better, since they can go downhill very fast.

You're doing the right thing by getting him into the vet, but I wouldn't call it an emergency unless he has serious symptoms such as wheezing, or is gasping for breath. If these signs show up, or you're worried enough that it could affect him (rats will sense how you're feeling), then by all means, take him to the ER vet. Otherwise, he should be okay until the morning.

In the meantime, if you want to be proactive and there are any respiratory signs (you didn't mention), then try taking him into the bathroom, close the door and run the shower as hot as it will go. Steam treatments work well with the beginning of URIs. Also, small pieces of chocolate (dark is best) may help. And of course, lots of lovin'.
 

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Re: Boo's Red Nose - HELP, please!

Thanks so much for the good advice!

There are no symptoms that I haven't mentioned...so far. In an hour and a half, we'll be at the vet's for when she opens. (We have the greatest vet.) I'm glad that we can go to our "usual doctor" who knows us, instead of someone who just happens to be working the emergency shift.

I've been trying to think about the "stress factor," and I don't think that Boo or Gus suffer from much stress, but I really don't know. Maybe it's stressful for them when one wants to wrestle, and the other doesn't.

I'll keep in mind the "shower trick" and the "dark chocolate trick." (Mommy happens to be a big fan of dark chocolate as well, and since the playroom is in a bathroom that just happens to have a shower, it couldn't be easier to give them the "steam treatment.")

I was thinking that they could probably sense if I was worried about this, so I turned off the lights in the room, turned the TV on quietly, and got into bed as if nothing was happening. I think they stayed pretty calm, although I was biting my nails.

So, we'll be heading off to the vet's pretty soon, and I look like I haven't slept, but I'm sure she'll understand. She loves animals too, and I know that she'll take good care of Boo and Gus, whatever the cause of this is.

Again, thanks so very much for the post! When someone is sick, reassuring posts go a long way towards keeping Mommy from going crazy! :)
 

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Re: Boo's Red Nose - HELP, please!

OK, here's the latest news:

I was dressed and on my way out the door when I got a call from my vet's office. Dr. Lori (the vet's) assistant said that she would not be in today, and that only the other doctor who works there would be on.

This is a very small place, and I know the assistant very well, so we discussed what was going on. Right now, Boo's porphyrin "drip" from his nose is so minimal that either he or Gus keeps grooming it clean. She asked about their attitudes, which couldn't be better. They are eating, drinking, and, despite my efforts to keep them quiet, wrestling around inside of their house.

The assistant, who has rats herself, thinks that this isn't anything urgent, meaning that needs to be dealt with today. I asked her to ask the other doctor if he treats rats, when he comes in, but those chances are probably slim. I asked her if she would call up Dr. Lori, and she told me that she ~would,~ if she thought it was serious, but that what my boys have doesn't sound too serious, and she really hates to disturb Dr. Lori on her day off, unless it's life and death. She assured me that, if things got to a critical stage, she would call Dr. Lori then.

So, as things stand right now, I have a 9:45 AM appointment tomorrow with Dr. Lori.

The assistant will call back if the other doctor has anything to add, but we don't think that's going to happen.

--------------------------------

I'm trying to think of what I should do in the meantime.

Definitely:

1. A steamroom/sauna treatment
2. Some dark chocolate

Should I:

3. Keep them in their cage, and try to encourage rest?
4. Pick them up?
5. Let them have their regular playtime, if they want it?

--------------------------------------

Again, please let me know if you think that these vet arrangements are not going to be good enough, or soon enough. There are no other symptoms at all, except for a miniscule amount of porphyrin around Boo's nose.

Thank you!

_____________________________

EDIT FOR QUESTION: What kinds of things cause a rat "stress?"
 

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Re: Boo's Red Nose - HELP, please!

I think you are fine, and he will be fine. We get porphyrin here every once and a while but they clean it up. It's when it's really messy and they're sneezing lots that I worry. But he seems fine.

It is good to get him to a vet though and get his lungs listened too. He may not even need antibiotics if they find his lungs and heart are clear and it's a small enough amount. Sometimes it could just be a tiny case of the sniffles and they will get over it themselves.

There are lots of schools of thought on when or when not to medicate rats showing signs of respiratory. But it comes down to being up to you and your vet if you want to put him on antibiotics or not.

I would just bring him in when your normal vet is there. He will be fine. If he's showing no other signs of respiratory distress I don't even think the dark chocolate or shower is necessary.

Make sure everything is vacuumed and dust free. With my rats dust causes porphyrin to happen so I have to keep up on keeping vacuumed. A huge challenge for me since I'm a messy person.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Re: Boo's Red Nose - HELP, please!

Thank you for the message, and for the advice! I'm calming down some, since more than one person has expressed that this probably isn't a dire emergency.

You guys are great, here! I really appreciate all of your help! :D
 

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Re: Boo's Red Nose - HELP, please!

Yeah, if he doesn't have any symptoms, other than small amounts of porphyrin, he'll be just fine going tomorrow. In fact, if he's like so many rats, he'll be bouncing around at the vet tomorrow, perfectly healthy. ;)

If it puts you at ease to give chocolate and the steam treatment, go ahead and do that. It won't hurt. But I'm with Poppy - sounds like he's probably okay!

As for your question, what would stress rats, the biggest one I see is when they're moved around from home to home. I notice when they're surrendered to the rescue, they (many, not all mind you) tend to have porphyrin for a few days that clears up. When they're moved here to the rescue after q-tine, they often have porphyrin for a few days again. I've also had adopters report the same. Many people experience it after taking rats from pet stores and whatnot.

Also, car trips sometimes spur on porphyrin. Beyond that, just "normal" things that even humans get stressed at can cause some porphyrin - moving "houses" (cages), new "roomies", squabbles with roomies, situations such as baths, etc.

I think he'll be fine. YOU will be too! :)
 

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Re: Boo's Red Nose

I really appreciate all of the good wishes and help. It does a great deal towards calming me down about the situation.

Since I won't be able to see the vet until tomorrow, at 9:45 in the morning, I did everything I could tonight. Got some dark chocolate Hershey bars, and left little bits of them in places where they could be "found." Also, we all took a nice, long "sauna" together. The steam was good for their breathing, and also good for my skin.

I am not seeing any porphyrin drip now. However, Boo's nose still looks a little bit "runny," so I think it's wise to have the boys checked out. I would always rather be safe than sorry.

I'll post an update when I know more.

P.S. I took the "help please" out of the original title, because I've come to realize that it's not an emergency that requires immediate help, and also, because you've been so helpful already.
 

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Re: Boo's Red Nose

Thanks!

I've only been a rat owner for a little over a year now, but I've been through a LOT in that year O_O

I know what it means to lie awake. I bet my vet thinks I'm more paranoid than needs be but he seems to like me *coughs* perhaps it's all the money I spend there and I'm one of just a handful of exotic pet clients he gets to see at his local and he is indeed an exotic vet. It's sad with my new job I will probably go there less because I will get meds and services cheaper at my work, or at least I SHOULD with 20% off.
 

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Re: Boo's Red Nose

I just wanted to give our friends here an update.

Dr. Lori said that neither Boo nor Gus are ill. She said that what Boo had was "like a runny nose," but since he's still eating, drinking, playing, and enjoying life, and since the porphyrin hadn't come back, it was nothing to worry about.

She also approved of the dark chocolate, and the steamroom treatment. :)

So, everyone, thanks for your help!!
 

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Re: Boo's Red Nose

I think that the knowledge I accumulate here is great! It always helps me from panicking if I know what to do. I have Debbie Ducommon's book about rat health and health emergencies, but people here can tell me in a more personal way, based upon things that have happened to them.

Just curious...what does the dark chocolate do that helps? (Not that chocolate doesn't always help me with ANY problem, but I didn't know that it helped rats as well. :) )
 

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Re: Boo's Red Nose

Gee...I think I might feel a cough and some congestion coming on. I'd better eat some dark chocolate, just in case. Better safe than sorry! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I thought that it would be important for me to post an update regarding what's going on with Boo.

The first thing I should say is that our vet, Dr. Lori, knows all about what's happening with him, and I talked to her this morning, and she advised me to continue keeping track of the symptoms, but at this point, she would choose "not to treat" him. We will be keeping in touch, regarding how he is doing.

Every once in awhile, though, Boo will turn up with porphyrin on his nose. It's only a little porphyrin, and they always "clean it up." It isn't a steady stream, but only a small bit, every once in awhile. And Boo is acting as healthy as can be. He wants to eat, drink, run, and bother Gus, the big brother. (I think that's influencing Dr. Lori a lot. If he's acting so healthy, he probably isn't feeling too badly.)

I give both of my boys dark chocolate now, and about every other night, we do the "steam room" together, which Boo thinks is pretty cool! I'm trying to keep their lives as stress-free as possible. For instance, I could have rushed in with Boo ( and, of course, Gus, since they go everywhere together,) today, for Dr. Lori to see them, but after discussing it on the phone, we decided that it was a cold, nasty, rainy day, and since they weren't behaving in a sick way, it would probably stress them out more to go down there, than to simply stay at home, and for me to keep her abrest of the details.

Here is the "log" of when Boo has had his porphyrin "spells," and a couple of pictures, so that you can see what we're talking about. It's clearly coming from the nose, and not the eye. However, I got a good look at his nostrils, yesterday, and everything seemed clean and clear. No obvious breathing problems.

Boo has had "nose-porphyrin" at these times:

1. Mon. Oct. 8 - sometime in the PM. (We saw Dr. Lori about this on Wed. Oct. 10, and she chose not to medicate, comparing it to a "runny nose.")

2. Sat. Oct. 13 - 12:00 Noon. This is when we took the picture. I called up Dr. Lori's office, to see if I should rush him in - they work a half day on Saturday - but it was decided that this wasn't serious, and it could probably wait until Monday (today.)

3. Sat. Oct 13 - 5:40 PM

4. Mon. Oct 15 - 10:30 PM





---------------------------------------

So, right now, I'm just hanging in there, recording what happens, and planning on keeping in touch with Dr. Lori about this.

I'm a little worried, though. My animal companions' health is about the most important thing in the world to me, and a part of me is afraid that something is starting, here, that should be "nipped in the bud." Of course, I have a professional opinion that assures me that everything is fine, so far. But I DO want to make sure that I am doing everything possible for Boo.

Do you have any advice, or thoughts regarding this situation?

Is there anything that I should be doing that I'm not currently doing?

Thanks very much!
 

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Re: Boo's Red Nose

Sorry that the pictures are huge. Don't really know what to do about that.
 

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Re: Boo's Red Nose

Hmmm. That's tough. It's a bit more than I thought maybe there was. Not a *lot*, but I would have some concern with porphyrin like that if it continued.

That said, your vet does sound like she's pretty good. Of course, that said, I have and do question my vet if I think I may disagree. And he's an exotics specialist, who focused on rats in college. :p

I'd say give it another day or two, and if it continues, I'd insist on bringing him in anyway. I don't *think* it's anything serious, but it looks a bit crusty, and does continue to come back (so far), so I'd keep an eye on it.

I just remembered this site... Worth a look:
http://www.ratballs.com/RatTails/Tails081.html
 
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