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Discussion Starter #1
Hi so the last 3 weeks or so my rat has had some labored breathing. I right way had him put on a general antibiotic for almost 2 weeks and that did not work. So now he has been on a stronger and different medication for a week and if anything he is much much worse...
He was a healthy weight last week and now he is bones. His breathing is heavy and I came home from work and he is covered in retch on his mussle and his backside is covered in poo. It has taken him 15min to eat 1 cheerio... His eyes are also half closed which tells me he is in pain. This has happened so, so fast and I am heart broken...having him PTS would wreck me and this brother and cage mate....:sob: is it the right this to do...?
 

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What medications was he on? If you don't see improvement in 3-5 days, then the medication isn't working and you need to try a new one. Combination medications can work really well to cover a wide range of what is wrong (doxycicline and enrofloxacin are usually a good combo. Clavamox can be good too). What has your vet said? Rats are actually physically incapable of throwing up, so it must have been something else. Some antibiotics can cause loose stools too which may have been why he had a poopy butt.

Have you tried giving him a lot of food to put weight on him? A high quality wet cat food is usually something they enjoy and the protein is good for weight. Nutrical is also very good and most animals really like the taste. Yogurt (given a few hours away from the antibiotic) can help his tummy issues probably. Try goat or sheep milk yogurt if you can. It's fattier and also easier to digest than cow dairy. Avocado and seeds and nuts are usually good too, or just give him tablescraps of plain meat. Give him a meat based baby food and also Ensure. When my old men were sick and on their way to being pts soon, they really enjoyed the chocolate Ensure and its good for putting on weight and making sure he's getting fluids which is really impotant. Pedialyte or a little gatorade might be good for fluids too, or the vet can give him an injection to give him extra fluids for usually pretty cheap which will make him feel a lot better.

I'm so sorry, this sounds so awful to deal with.. I hope he's better soon, but if he's truly miserable then it might be best to pts unfortunately. Some painkillers/anti-inflammatory from your vet like Metacam might also be really helpful.

Let us know how he's doing.. I'd definitely take him back to the vet and tell them what's going on, or try a new vet. Poor boy :(
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sorry for the late reply. I'm actually a tech at an emergency vet and I had our vet look at him. We took xrays and found his whole body was filled with fluid.
I am so angry because my normal vet said it was just a little cold. He also told me an abcess on his side was just a fatty tumor and the vet I work with actually thinks the abscess started it all and caused a massive infection.
I'm only using the vet I work with now.
Anyways. Ending to a longish story- We decided to put him to sleep. And once he was gone we drained fluid and concluded it was that of heart failure.
He was so weak that just a little shot of ketamine made him nice and drunky and he curled up in my arms (his favorite spot which he directly went to as he was getting sleepy) and passed peacefully in my arms as I kissed the heck out of his wee beautiful little face.
He was my baby and my love and I am going to miss him so, so much.
Please do your research with vets...apparently I trusted every word mine said and I shouldn't have in this peticular case. I would have spent thousands if it ment saving him but unfortunately there was absolutely nothing that could have been done at this point.
RIP Tesla, my swe-swe, my lovey.
 

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I'm so sorry... unfortunately vets that actually know anything about rats and their special care is hard to come by. For one, rats don't get "colds"!! It was a respiratory infection or virus which needs to be treated quickly or it could advance really quickly into something deadly like pneumonia (and this can sometimes seem to happen overnight). Based on the location of the lump, the vet should have known that it wasn't a tumor, and especially since he was a boy, it's less likely to be a mammary tumor which is common in female rats. My old men had tumors, but that was caused by them getting brain/pituitary tumors which messed with their hormone levels, and ended up giving them both high levels of more female hormones which is what caused them to grow mammary tumors and shrinkage of the testicles. Did that vet even tell you to do warm compresses to see if it was an abcess that could have been drained after it came to a head? Argh, I'm so sorry you had to go through this and that this stuff was all new to you. I'm sure you feel bad especially since you work in the vet field. They probably don't cover much about rats in vet tech school either. It makes me so frustrated that many vets know so little and inadvertently cause so many rats to die or suffer.

Does he have a cagemate leftover now that he has passed, or was your little guy the last one of your group? So sorry for your loss again.. at least it sounds like his passing was peaceful.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I know. I do know a lot about rats but I don't want to think I know more than the vet so I let it go...thank goodness the vet at my work place is so knowledgeable now. Def transferring.
He does have his brother who I can tell looks for him. They were born together and have never been separated :( good news is that he does have a buddy still. They are not as close but he does have a friend at least...
 

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Aw, that's good. I always worry about surviving members of a group when one is sick. I'm glad the brother isn't alone, I'm sure that will help him a lot. I'm so glad the vet where you work seems to know more. I'm sorry you had to go through that with your boy though. :(
 
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