Rat Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So i got 3 male rats on march 21st 2015. They are approximately 6-8 weeks old.

I noticed the sunday/monday after i got them one of them seemed off, sneezing for more then just new home sneezes, he would sleep all day in a small box hardly ever moving for food or water. By Tuesday i was sure he had an URI.(The other boys were showing no sign) I took him to the vet that tuesday and the vet said he did have an URI but it didnt sound like pneumonia yet. So he prescribed Baytril and Doxy for all 3 rats to make sure they were treated as they were from the same little and living together.

So i started the meds and everyone seemed ok. The one who was sick seemed to be getting better. Eatting drinking and playing a bit but still having sneezing fits. I steamed him a few times when he seemed like he needed it most.

So today saturday, 1 week since i got them. i had them out for some bonding time then left to run an errand. I came home to a different rat, who i was just playing with, Gasping for air and acting scared and distressed.

I freaked out, scooped him up and ran a steam shower, he gasped off and no for about 5mins then calmed down after the steam. I put him back with is brothers and noticed the other other rat started making clicking breathing sounds.

All vets that can see rats are closed all weekend and i can't get them to a vet till monday!

I'm scared for them and i don't know what to do or why the sudden turn. What can i do for them in the mean time? Do i have any hope of them pulling through all this and being able to live and grow up?

Baytril dosage is currently 0.9 and doxy is 0.4 for all of them twice a day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
187 Posts
It sounds like they probably have pneumonia now. It can turn very, very quickly. Mine had URIs and Daisy's turned to Pneumonia over two or three days. I had just gotten them from the petstore, as well. Give them dark chocolate and see if it helps them improve. You also may want to consider building a nebulizer chamber for your boys. It brought mine back from the brink. A human nebulizer (like the ones people use for asthma) and a plastic tupperware container with holes drilled in it should be just fine. I already have asthma so I had some albuterol and diluted it with saline solution. I have also read you can nebulize them with baytril and doxy. I will include some links for the dosages. If you don't have any medicine, you can use a saline solution. It is actually a lot easier to build them than you might think, as long as you have the equipment. It took me five minutes to build mine and it was a split second decision that saved their lives. Here are a few resources for building them:

http://ratfanclub.org/nebuliz.html
http://www.rmca.org/Articles/albuterol.htm
Important information on dosages. The others also contain some info that you need to read but these are very specific:
http://www.afrma.org/med_nebulizing.htm
http://ratguide.com/meds/respiratory_drugs/albuterol_sulfate.php
Here is a website that I found that has nebulizers for rats and mice. I assume it's the kind used in labs but it's their size so it should work. If you don't have the time to wait, which you may not, you need to build one right away. If you don't have a nebulizer of your own, look on craigslist. You can get them new only with a prescription, but there are people selling/giving their used ones out all of the time on Craigslist and Ebay. You may even find a kind friend who will let you use theirs.
https://www.kentscientific.com/products/productView.asp?productID=6165&Mouse_Rat=Respiratory&Products=Aerosol+Nebulizers


I think you need to get a second opinion on your rats if possible, and by that I mean you need to find an emergency vet that will see them after hours/weekends. Most vet hospitals have emergency procedures, and if you have one in your area that treats pocket pets they should see them. Things can go from bad to worse in an instant with ratties. Where did you get them? If you got them from Petco or Petsmart, you may want to call the store and see if they're willing to treat them as a last resort. I would discourage going to them unless it's absolutely the only thing you can do, as they often refund you and say you can "buy them back" and then you'll likely not see them again. But, if your rats lives are at stake and this is the only option you need to do whatever you can.

Do some research and you might be able to find a vet somewhere near you that will see them in the event of an emergency. Even a regular vet may be compassionate enough to do so since they are in a lot of pain.

If they will not eat or drink, try to feed them and hydrate them with a needle-less syringe. Don't do it too fast, or you may aspirate them. (It may be good to have a baby aspirator in case you do, then you can suck it up in the event that they start gasping after feeding). Feed them baby food through the syringe and/or pedialyte. Sports drinks like gatorade or fruit juices (no orange or mango, and nothing too acidic like pineapple) are good for replenishing electrolytes.

Your least active boy should probably fed with the syringe, as it sounds like he is so sick that he's too lethargic to eat or drink on his own. If he can't take a piece of dark chocolate on his own, see if you can get dark chocolate syrup and make sure that it's real dark chocolate in it, not just the artificial stuff. That *may* work similarly to just giving them semi-sweet chips or pieces of dark chocolate if he absolutely will not take solid food. If he will eat out of your hand, then go ahead and try solid. If he's not drinking but will eat out of your hand, try feeding him watery vegetables and fruits like celery, bell pepper, and cucumber. Grapes, strawberries, blueberries (these would be good to puree and feed through syringe as well, so may even be easier) are also excellent.

Try raw honey. Not too much, just coat your finger in a thin film of it and let him lick it off (if you give it to rats in globs they can choke, as they don't have a gag reflex). It can help your rat in addition to the other treatments.

Keep on with the warm showers if it seems to be giving him relief, but if you can run a cool mist humidifier as close to the cage as possible. I ran mine right next to the cage at all times for about five days, and it worked. The kind of vaporizer/humidifier that is used for humans with respiratory ailments and sore throats is perfect for this.

To know if he has pneumonia or not, this is very important for you to do. Pull him close to your ear and listen to his lungs. Are they crackling as he breathes in and out? If so, this is pneumonia. That is not to say that if you don't hear anything it still might not be pneumonia - because the human ear is not as keen as a doctor's stethoscope. You said you hear clicking when they breathe, which might mean they have pneumonia that has already progressed. It is important to get them whatever medical attention that you can as soon as you can. If breathing stops, you can also give them CPR. That isn't to scare you, but it's important to know in case worse comes to worst.

RAT CPR ARTICLES
http://www.dr-mikes-maths.com/thotz/index.php?itemid=143
http://www.tinytoesratrescue.org/#!shock--cpr/c34f

Pneumonia Info, Respiratory Distress and Choking Procedures (important, because it is possible for ratties to choke on mucous):
http://www.tinytoesratrescue.org/#!respiratory-distress/c1l1j
http://www.tinytoesratrescue.org/#!choking/c1bd7
http://ratguide.com/health/lower_respiratory/pneumonia.php

I really hope that these help your boys. It is possible for them to pull through with the right care, though it is tough because their systems are very fragile. If you need any help, please do not hesitate to reach out and I will try to find more resources.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Red: all rats were bought from a specialty store from there personal breeder(they say that is) not a commercial store

Millie: Thank you for all the information. I have very limited options in what I can do right now.

To clarify all 3 rats have different kinds of distress. At this moment they are all sleeping.

The original sick one(butterscotch) is earring and drinking and taking treats from hand but is still having sneezing fits and clicking while breathing

The one who had a gasping attack(Toffee) showed no signs of distress, no sneezing or clicking while breathing but I had noticed the night before when he breath it sounded dry if that makes sense. Since the gasping he has clicking sounds

The last rat (Necco) is very shy and gets kind of scared stiff in a way. Very skittish. He had no sneezing or clicking until today when I noticed him standing in one place breathing heavy and herd clicking.

This all happened today at relatively the same time. They just all started going.

As of right now they are calm and cuddling in the corner of the cage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm not sure and if he did I don't know on what. He is currently in my arms gasping and squeeking and honking for air. I can't live him and fear he won't make it. Anything listed to help I don't have. I don't know what I can do but comfort him...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just to update. Steamed toffee and rubbed him for about 15-20mins. Gasping stopped. Cleaned him up a bit and put him in his cage. He's sleeping with his brothers and I'm checking on him every 15-30mins. Hope he can make it till Monday to see the vet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
863 Posts
Read up on choking, because this sounds like it. Choking looks terrifying but it's actually not an emergency. Sorry you had such a scare.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Minky: I did look up choking and he wasn't foaming or drooling. Just gasps and squeeks and honks. I gave him and his brothers there nightly medicine and there after med treats and they all ate it and arm resting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Toffee had another gasping episode. Took him for a steam and rubbed his sides and it ended it in about 10mins. I had went to check up on them and he looked freaked out in the corner and ran and jumped on me and started gasping. Any thoughts on why this keeps going up and down?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,526 Posts
I have skimmed this thread. Sorry.

Butterscotch, unless I'm misunderstanding, sounds like he should be okay until Monday. The third boy sounds the same. Sorry, on my phone can't remember names.

However, I believe you are seeing seizures in Toffee. First, go get a towel and toss it in the dryer. Next, get some liquid into him that works well for dehydration. Look up sugar/honey water. He needs electrolytes. Try for at least 1mL. Anything yummy he'll drink will work to be honest. Now warm him the towel, keep his temperature up but not too hot. If you can, check his gum color (and even better, press down on them and count until the color returns). Keep him calm, in a single-level cage, and keep the cage dark. Ratguide should have info on seizures. As soon as possible he needs a vet, without it this sort of seizure activity is usually fatal. Phenobarbital can help.

To rule out anythig else, hold his tummy to your ear - what do you hear?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I don't hear much. A hear mostly sniffing/sneezes and some congested clicking. He's eating bits of food and treats I give him but I can't recall the last time I saw him drink. He's snuggling with his brothers.


I have skimmed this thread. Sorry.

Butterscotch, unless I'm misunderstanding, sounds like he should be okay until Monday. The third boy sounds the same. Sorry, on my phone can't remember names.

However, I believe you are seeing seizures in Toffee. First, go get a towel and toss it in the dryer. Next, get some liquid into him that works well for dehydration. Look up sugar/honey water. He needs electrolytes. Try for at least 1mL. Anything yummy he'll drink will work to be honest. Now warm him the towel, keep his temperature up but not too hot. If you can, check his gum color (and even better, press down on them and count until the color returns). Keep him calm, in a single-level cage, and keep the cage dark. Ratguide should have info on seizures. As soon as possible he needs a vet, without it this sort of seizure activity is usually fatal. Phenobarbital can help.

To rule out anythig else, hold his tummy to your ear - what do you hear?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Toffee had a total of 3 episodes on saturday. Since the last one(lasted 10mins where the other ones were 30mins) he's been back to normal(At the very least he's acting how he was when i first got him)

He's a very greedy little guy and is the first one to come when i open the cage and takes treats and food. He's also the most energetic, the first to explore the cage and is climbing all over the bars and is always test nibbling my hands and fingers. I'm not sure to see if there is food or he's playing but he sleeps the least of them all and sleeps alone off and on.

As far as an 8 week old rat does this sound about right? The other two do get bouncy and worked up but not near as much as him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
337 Posts
What do they eat? Stan used to bolt his food when he was little and get it stuck in his throat. Even now he can't have anything squidgy or claggy. He never drooled with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
There staple is lab blocks with a little fiesta rat mix thrown in for some variety. He also has some oats on occasion (to try and firm up there loose poops)and loves broccoli but not very interested in fruits and most other things I try to give him.


What do they eat? Stan used to bolt his food when he was little and get it stuck in his throat. Even now he can't have anything squidgy or claggy. He never drooled with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The vet said he seemed fine and think he asperated some food. he's popcorning around like a crazy little rat, being a little piggy and drinking well. Whatever it was he seems perfectly fine now.

Have you been able to get to the vet yet?\>> (my rat is walking on the keyboard right now so the odd markings are from her
^_^)
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top