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Discussion Starter #1
just some background information, i have a PEW and a feeder i rescued who have been living together for about 3 months. the PEW developed bad scabs and a red residue around the eye and 2 weeks ago the vet told me it was mange. only the PEW showed signs of illness/stress, but we treated both with some kind of topical treatment in a syringe.

a few days after i left for costa rica for a week+ and left them under the care of a good friend. when i returned this past sunday, the PEW's skin was clear of scabs and his eye was looking perfect. the next morning i realized he was chattering his teeth non-stop and picked him up to discover severe weigth loss. having an appointment already scheduled for today for more mange treatment, i hand-fed him and looked after him the past few days.

today the vet said he may be in the early stages of pneumonia, so he administered an antiobiotic through a dropper. i drove home for 10 minutes, walked into my place, picked him up out of his box and he looked up at me and then passed away.

my questions are

1. the antibiotic was not necessarily for rats, could this have caused his death?

2. i still have 1 more treatment for mange left for the other guy, do i wait 2 weeks and try to find him a friend or go for it now?
he's very depressed, looking for the PEW everywhere and not wanting to be handled. he's become very weird.

i feel very bad, this is my fault because i did not catch it in time.

please no negative feedback, i've spent a lot of money taking care of him and i tried my best to do what i could. if anything i should have rescheduled an earlier appointment, but i had no idea he had become so ill.
 

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Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry! :(

I don't know anything about mange I'm afraid, but my instinct would be to wait until your current rat has the all clear before you bring in another rat.

If you have a separate airspace in which to quarantine the new rat, then I would perhaps go ahead and get a new rat, but if not, I would not risk it just yet. Your current rat could be particularly susceptible to illness if his immune system is weakened at the moment. Also, you don't want to give any current illnesses to any new rat and have to go through all this again before they can be together.

From what I understand about grieving rats, they do come around eventually. I would just give him lots of extra love and cuddly time and concentrate on getting him better.

Hopefully, someone will be along soon who knows something about mange/pneumonia.
 

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your grieving rat will definitely eventually come around with lots of love and treats, i'm sure that even though you may not have noticed your PEW getting so sick, he was right there with him the whole time and is a little messed up from it - not your fault, it's hard to tell because animals don't necessarily tell you when they're sick or whatnot.

you did what you could, and you're a wonderful pet owner for that, don't feel bad for anything. i don't think that the meds meant for another animal would have had anything to do with him getting sicker - vets usually know what meds can safely be used cross-species, and rats are generally very strong about meds and can use anything a dog can, and many people stuff.

the pneumonia could have come up from a culmination of circumstances that snowballed from mange, but many other things can contribute to pneumonia, so don't feel that it's solely because you didn't catch the mange in time. with all the other skin problems that rats can have, who would have thought it was mange anyway, you know? :( either way, you did good, and we're all very sorry for your loss! poor PEW is much more comfortable where he is now though, and i'm sure your remaining boy will come around with time.
 

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I don't have any advice, but I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your little friend! My first rat, Gregor, got fatally ill very quickly...or so it seemed. As it turned out, he had internal tumors, but we just didn't know it. It's possible that things were going on, as far as general health was concerned, that you simply didn't know.

I'm sure that NO ONE thinks you didn't do everything you could! You obviously love your little furries, and want what's best for them. Believe me, you are among people who understand.

I hope that everyone there gets/stays/is healthy and happy, and I agree with OnlyOno in that love and treats go a long way to healing a rat with a broken heart.
 

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Mange is Sarcoptic Mange = Mites.
Your vet did the right thing and it sounded like it was working. Did he apply Revolution to your little PEW? Its a once only, you're covered for 30 days drop of liquid. Or was he putting on liquid Ivermectin which has to be repeated every week for 3 weeks?

Very smart to treat both rats, but most likely the PEW with the Porphyrin (red residue) was already starting to get sick. Mites usually attack rats whose immune systems are compromised due to stress or illness. Signs of mites in one rat could mean an illness is brewing, which seems to have happened in this case.

Pneumonia is a tricky thing. Our rats hide their illnesses as prey animals. An obviously sick animal is lunch to a predator, so they cover their symptoms well. Sounds like your fellow was sick and no one could tell. Once those symptoms show up by then its really advanced. :(

About the meds, do you remember what he was given? Most meds out there are not made for rats so thats most likely not the case. It sounds like your little fellow just was too weak and passed.
Most meds were made for other animals and someone used them on rats and they worked. For eg. Zithromax is actually a medication that is made for human children. Some meds were created for dogs and cats, some for birds...If you tell us what he was given we might be able to figure that worry out for you.

I would wait and treat your other rat before introducing him to a new friend. He is grieving as well. He will need lots of love and attention from you, but also keep a close eye on his health as well (just in case).

Sorry to hear about your PEW, what was his name anyways?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thanks for the advice/comments

by the way his name was Caesar.. he was chill. i received him from a friend's sister who had an unexpected litter and he was the male so i offered to give him a home. the other one Weezy is just a feeder that was too cool to be food.

Weezy is coming around now, but now he has the red fluid dripping from his nose as of this morning..


also.. the vet said he is applying revolution (twice so far) and Weezy still has one more treatment right between his shoulder blades in 2 weeks. is the vet ripping me off? he seems like a really nice and caring person, and he was only charging me for treatment of one rat and treating both of them before the death.

so any advice on more red fluid from the nose? he is also eating ONLY the blocks and very little of the seed mix. he will occasionally eat a piece of banana but i cannot catch him in the food bowl.

by the way here is a picture of Caesar..

 

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Revolution should only be used once (you can do twice 3 weeks after the first dose) but since its good for 30 days you usually only need the one dose to deal with the ectoparasites.

Is the pophryin dripping? or just sitting there. Can you get a pic of him too?
 

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cant get a picture right now, but i saw a small drop of clear liquid yesterday and now it has become a little runny and red, it smeared onto my finger

no breathing problems right now, but whats scaring me is the full food bowl, because caesar stopped eating too
 

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no sneezing? porphyrin has been called rat snot so don't worry if its only a little. Porphyrin is a red stained pigment in the fluid of rats (eyes, nose, salive, blood etc).

Offer your guy something he absolutely loves and see if he has any interest.
He could be depressed without his cagemate.
 

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You vet was spot on with the mange/mite treatment. Ivermectin does need to be repeated, so no, your vet isn't ripping you off. The cat/dog monthly spot on treatments are very, VERY strong, so most small animals specialists won't use them on pocket pets like rats. There have been incidences of poisoning, so giving smaller doses of something like ivermectin is a lot safer.

As for you PEW boy, my condolences. :( Without knowing what kind of antibiotics and what doses was given, I really can't conjecture if that was detrimental to him. Your vet sounds like he's on the up and up though, so I wouldn't think it.

The rat that is left will be a bit depressed over the passing of his freind, but with lots of attentions from you, he will get better. :)
 
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