Rat Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Jeez, everything happens in all at once in my house. First Molly and her litter, and now Toby and Mocha are sick! My mother is being a stick in the mud, not allowing me to take them to the vet. :(
"For the cost of the vet bill, you could buy a whole cage full of rats."
Blargh.

I think it's her myco acting up. It all happened so fast. One day she was fine and now, for the past 2 days, she has been sluggish, coughing, sneezing, etc. Mocha is the same, but not as severe, she is still a bit of her goofy self. I came home from school today to find the pair of them really cold and droopy. I tried to perk them up with some bagel & hot chocolate, but they still seemed off.

I've been researching every known "home remeady" available on the internet to try to get them back on their paws. At least, until I get my mom to cave via the vet. So far I've tried:
-heat pads (Toby loves them)
-small amounts of chocolate (supposed to be good for sick ratties, right?)
-hot oatmeal
-lots of TLC

Tonight I'm going to try the "steamroom" in the bathroom with them. It breaks my heart to see them sick. Any advice? :cry: I don't want my babies to get any worse.

And before anyone asks about their bedding, we were using some sort of pine chip things. *ducks and hides* Please don't hate me for it, my mom somehow aquired a huge bag of the stuff "for free" and despite my protests insisted upon it being used up before we bought anything else. I've finally convinced her how stupid and selfish of her this was, now that my ratters are sick and all, so their bedding has temporarily been replaced with old towels and t-shirt shreds. It seemed to help a bit.

*Molly and her babes have been moved into a temp home in an old aquarium. Anyone know where to find/make used/cheap cages? Her and her rittens have not shown any signs of illness, thank goodness.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
227 Posts
I'm really sorry to hear about this. You need to find a way to make your mom understand just how important their health is to you, and just how delicate rats can be. Sure you could buy a whole other cage-full with the money you'd be spending on the vet, but that's not really the point. It's like telling a kid their puppy isn't worth taking to a vet because you could buy another puppy with the funds. Rats may be smaller and "cheaper" creatures, but it doesn't make them disposable. It also doesn't mean you'll be any less attached to them than some other sort of pet. :(

As for cheap cages, you could try looking up what's available on Craigslist in your area.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,479 Posts
i know what you mean, my parents are always like "in the wild they live in sewers and eat garbage, they dont need that much care!" grrrrrrrr
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,509 Posts
rat_ratscal said:
i know what you mean, my parents are always like "in the wild they live in sewers and eat garbage, they dont need that much care!" grrrrrrrr
I'll second that. I get that lovely quote everytime I happen to mention to mention I have rats to the people at work.

Human's..so closed minded!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,095 Posts
Unfortunately, they need to go to the vet ASAP and get on antibiotics. There are no home remedies for myco flareups or URIs. Some may dull the symptoms, but if the rats don't get proper veterinary treatment and medication, it will just get worse.

In all honesty, if you can't properly care for your rats, you should re-home them. They shouldn't be refused vet care, healthy bedding, or spacious well-ventilated cages because of your mother. I know you want to do well by them, but if your mom isn't letting you, there really is no alternative.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
527 Posts
mothers are just so..arrgh.
i feel your pain, believe me!
you have to convince her to let you take them to the vet.
they need to be on meds asap, as they can go downhill REALLY fast.
sending good vibes your way..i hope they get better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
First of all, I'm in the "get them to a vet" camp, and that's my first advice... maybe sitting down with your Mom to see if there are any opportunities for you to work out the cost? i.e. extra chores that could be done, or any way you could earn the money to help your pets. Maybe explaining to her that they have personalities, and that since they are your responsibility you don't want to let them down by letting them die without trying to save them.

If she still won't budge, perhaps there are relatives that need some chores done, or the like, and would be willing to pay you for them.

Just a heads up on one thing: I've read all the same stuff about chocolate in small doses being good for certain rat ailments, and so I tried it when my rats started sneezing. I was so worried when one of my rats seemed to go downhill, lying on her side, unresponsive to me and not moving. We flew to the vet, and he checked them out and said that they were healthy, and that the sneezing was environmental.

So, home again, and Mokey was still the same... and I noticed that she seemed to have a bit of digestive troubles (judging by some truly gigantic piles of "waste")... so, I decided no more chocolate for her.

And, a couple days later, she was back to her old self. Still sneezy, (and we're still going through her environment, trying new things to see if we can help... this week's change = our laundry detergent, in case it's US she's sneezing at) but responsive again, and not just lying there in one spot, not responding.

So... that was my experience, and it's probably not what's wrong, but as I experienced first hand, some rats just don't deal with chocolate very well. Might want to focus on getting to the vet, and giving chocolate a day or twos rest so you can see if they feel a bit more like themselves off of it.

(Just to clarify though: my rats were never cold... so you definitely have something different going on, just pointing out my experiences.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Okay. Things are looking up, but still no vet :(
I gave them pretty much constant care last night, and the cough has been eliminated. I'm pretty sure it had something to do with their old bedding. They seems to be getting better, both have ceased their sluggish behaviour and were scurrying about the cage last night, not in top form, but close. Worst comes to worst I'll take them to the vet myself after school today, I've found a small animal vet locally, it's just the transportantion I have a problem with.
Does anyone know of any rules/restrictions about age, etc. via seeing a vet? I'm only 16...

EDIT
In all honesty, if you can't properly care for your rats, you should re-home them. They shouldn't be refused vet care, healthy bedding, or spacious well-ventilated cages because of your mother. I know you want to do well by them, but if your mom isn't letting you, there really is no alternative.
As much as I agree with you, Night.
My rats do have a "spacious, well-ventilated cage. The bedding was my mothers fault yes. Molly is the only one currently in a tank because I needed somewhere to put her, fast. If I can't find her a proper cage I'll probably go out and buy her one. Not everyone has the money to do everything, especially if they're going to need to pay a vet bill (hopefully) in the near future. I'm trying as hard as I can to provide a safe and happy environment for them, comments like this are discouraging. I'm sure the first time you ever owned rats was full of ups and downs. They are such amazing creatures and I feel privaleged to be able to even own them. I've had a very lonely childhood, these possibly the closest things that I've had to friends in a long time. I'm sorry you don't approve of my mother, or me owning rats, but really it could be worse. I'm working on my mother, I'm dragging my pile of research around with me everywhere, forcing her to read it. I know they should see a vet. My mom knows they should see a vet. She's just having a hard time justifying paying a medical bill for a "replaceable animal" (her words, not mine), despite the fact that I will personally pay it, no problem.

I hate arguing with other people, and I realized someone would make a reply like this if I posted about Toby and Mo being sick. I'm doing the best I can. I'm trying to be the best I can for them. I'm sorry you don't appreciate it, but my rats do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
I've had similar issues when I started up as a rat owner. not really my mom not helping but more of lack of funds. I was a poor college student when I got my first rat and sadly she didn't make it because I couldn't pay for a 500 dollar emergency visit and overnight observation and oxygen.

One thing that I've heard about is pet insurance. I breifly looked at some of the options and some seem reasonable. At 9 dollars a rat per month it may be worth it. I don't know what it all covers because I just haven't had the time to read through the whole website but it looks like a really good deal. Its something that you could probably look into. http://www.petinsurance.com/ It takes some poking around the site but you can find the rat or small animal section fairly easily. Good luck. Keep us posted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
Pet insurance might be a good idea, but make sure you read ALL of the fine print. Most of them include a clause where they won't pay for anything that your breed/animal is genetically predisposed to, as a friend of mine learned when her bigger dog developed hip problems later in life... which was the whole reason she'd taken out pet insurance in the first place, since she knew that breed could develop hip problems and wanted to be on the safe side if something did come up.

So, for a rat, URIs in particular would not be covered with a clause such as this.

As a final thought:

Sometimes it's hard to hear advice from people who are very passionate about the subject at hand, since they tend to give passionate answers. Here, at a forum for rat lovers, you will definitely meet people who feel very strongly about levels of care, and thus their viewpoints may very well seem harsh at times, especially when directed towards you.

A lot of people on this forum work in rat rescue, or know people who do... it comes with being passionate about the little guys. They've seen, and heard of, so many sad stories when it comes to rat care that they aren't responding so much to you, but to your story, which they've heard many times before: pet owners who cannot afford vet bills or proper housing/care, and so their pets are doomed to a life of being sickly, or eventually being abandoned, or when a vet visit isn't in the budget and not needed, a preventable death.

However, remember that it's not a personal attack, that their goal is the same as yours: to ensure the best care possible for the rats in question.

As for myself... while I do hope you continue to work towards getting your rats to the vet ASAP in any way possible, I commend you for trying to find help in the meantime, and am glad that the little guys have an "owner" (sometimes I wonder about who owns who, when it comes to my rats...) who cares about them as deeply as you do. Get them to a vet when they're sick, and make sure they have proper bedding always, and by the sounds of it you'd be an almost perfect rat owner that we'd all hope EVERY rat had a chance to live with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
*insert triumphant music here*
I have done it!
My mother has agreed to allow me to take my rats to the vet. The reasoning behind it is ridiculous.
Although she doesn't support the whole "my rats are sick, they need antibiotics", she does agree that they need their teeth cut.
I may never fully understand my mother's sense of reasoning, but I have sucessfully gotten them a trip to the vet. Sure we're just booking a check up/tooth cutting session, but I will bring up their symptoms and hopefully they will get the proper care that they need.
Thank you to everyone, and I have a cage for Molly, I'm just waiting for it to get here, probably some time tomorrow.
The powers that be have finallly decided to help me, so the rats and I celebrate by making walnut treacle cookies. Huzzah! :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
That may be her own justification of why she would a gree and if thats what helps her sleep at night then so be it. eveyone wins. I totally agree about resaerching the pet insurance first. Like I said in my first post I found a company that covered rats but I hadn't read any further. Do lots of research and make sure that you get all your questions answered. a vet fund is a great alternative. lose change adds up and fast. godd luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,160 Posts
I'm glad your Mom finally agreed to take them to the vet

however, I'm concerned with the teeth cutting thing. Unless they suffer from malocclusion this procedure shouldn't be needed.

If they are suffering from teeth over growing then add some chewies to the cage. Apple wood sticks are great, I've hear pros & cons to the use of rawhide, greenies dog chews are good... toss in card board tubes from toilet paper rolls & so on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,095 Posts
Wait, what's wrong with their teeth now? Healthy rats who are provided a good diet don't need teeth trimmings. Do they have malocclusion? Unless your rats' teeth are extremely over-grown, you're probably going to end up trimming them without reason, which is extremely painful and will cause the rats inability to eat properly.

And while people don't always have "the money to do everything," that's why you plan ahead and NEVER do anything impulsively. If you want a new rat, or a rat at all, you buy everything first, find a vet, find a reputable source for the rat, et cetera. You don't get the rat home, and THEN realize you don't have anything you should.

I'm not yelling at you or trying to argue, I'm simply explaining things so you can understand. My mother used to pay for my pets' vet bills also, and it was a major hassle getting her to book those appointments. Now that I realize how fast you have to act when it comes to animals' ailments, I would never put my pets through that again. Days of trying to convince my mom, attempting to "home treat" the sick/injured animals, cajoling anyone I could into borrowing money, et cetera. I feel terrible about doing that to my pets, and also to my mom considering the fact that they weren't her animals to take care of.

At 16, you could actually be employed. A lot of 16 year olds get hired at grocery stores as baggers. Have you thought about applying places?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,509 Posts
I don't understand why the teeth issue should now be a problem; if the vet is even mildly competent, he/she'll realise it is unnecessary (if indeed it is)

At least the decision has been made for to the vet trip.

Well done and good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
....Incase anyone's interested, Toby and Mo have been checked out by a vet. They've been prescribed Baytril and Doxycycline. In ten days we have a check up to see how things are going. I was only charged for one rat as they both had the problem. Apparently they got sick due to a stress overload (Molly & Co were too much for them).

On another note, I do have a job. It's not a very good job, but it pays. I clean people's houses. I'm not a social person, I have problems being in social situations. Otherwise, I would have the generic teenager job at the local store. Unfortunately, most of the money I make goes towards "ye olde college/university fund". The rest goes towards my rats.

Well ya, that's about it. Everyone is on the way to a healthy recovery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
yea im glad you managed to get your mum to allow you to take them to the vets.
its as if she agrees with you but is chosing the whole teeth thing so its not letting you get your own way! lol silly mums.
dont worry i think your doing everything fine, ive just got 2 new rats aswel and we are learning just like everyone else learnt with thier first rats... and im sure soon we will be as experienced as them!
so good luck with it all and im sure they will be fine.. when getting new bedding if you can get hold of carefresh ive heard thats really good for rats and i got myself some they like it! xx
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top