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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,

I have a 5-6 week old girl (Himalayan Rex) with a rather aggressive URI.

My vet prescribed Doxycycline in liquid form with a Raspberry flavor.

At the vet appt. she said even though it's flavored you have to administer it to the rat and she is not going to like it.

Vet: First try holding the rat on her back and inserting the dropper in her mouth.... if she resists then scruff her and while holding her by the scruff insert the dropper in her mouth and slowly depress the plunger till the proper med dosage is gone.... do it slow enough she can take it and not oxygenate (Sp?) it into her lungs.

Here is my issue, she started out a VERY affectionate and VERY tame sweet baby girl. Now when I go to pick her up she shrieks in terror and tries to hide under the other girls. I know I must have freaked her out but before taking the vet's stupid advice on giving her meds, I tried every other known and suggested method... but she ate around it in treats, on bread, in bread balls, in pill pockets.... trust me I tried them all and she refused the meds.

I called the Vet back to tell them and that's when they told me I HAD to do it the way they showed me. She even holds the meds in her mouth to spit out later but I hold her for almost an hr till she gives up and swallows at some point.

I've been doing that for a week now and she is absolutely terrified of me and fear pooping and peeing all over me.

Honestly, her sniffling, sneezing, and raspy breathing hasn't improved much... a bit better but I have 3/4 of a bottle to go.

I told the vet about her responses and she said "It's okay, meds are stressful, she will get over it"

The Vet also told me I need to move her to a SOLO cage until the med regime is done which I have yet to do because I thought it would add to her fear but the Vet called to check on her today and scolded me for not having moved her to a SOLO cage.

I'm kinda lost, do I keep going as the Vet wants? My rat is plain terrified of me now and wont come out at free roam and won't take treats and when it's lap time I'm covered in poop and pee and she trembles the whole time I hold her... usually for a solid hr or so.

I have always trusted and valued your opinions, even over that of vets so plz help me out!
 

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Is there a reason why it can't be mixed with something tasty?

EDIT - Just realised you wrote you couldnt get her to take it in food....
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
It's Raspberry flavored which is probably gross but I did try mixing it with other things at first. I accessed every help comment and e-guide I could find.

Yogurt
Jams & Jellys
Fruit Juices

Believe me, I have that covered.

I fell and broke my elbow in 3 places at work on Saturday so I'm stuck at home for the next week so I am hoping to help her more and name her obviously lol.

The Vet thinks she will be more receptive to me if she isn't hiding behind all the other girls and there is less of a chance that her URI will spread.

I am about to head out to occupational hazzard and physical therapy, do I need to move her to a separate cage now? I have one prepped just in case.....the vet is very insistent on it.

The Vet thinks she will be more receptive to me if she isn't hiding behind all the other girls and there is less of a chance that her URI will spread.

I am in new territory here as all my other ratties who have gotten sick happened when they were much older and learned to trust me... like Sophie who is nearly a year old and will chow down on anything I give her.... meds or otherwise.
 

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Oh dear. Trouble with very young rats is I think they can be quite wary of trying new foods at the best of times. Don't suppose you've tried malt vitamin paste for ferrets? I got some to keep on hand for sick rats and the boys go daft for it like I've never seen - chewed a hole through the tube and ran away with the cap.

I suppose the vet doesn't want her to spread the URI to the other rats and thats why you've to separate? Poor wee girl. I suppose you need to weigh up her immediate health needs with her emotional state.

Hope someone else chimes in soon to give you advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
She still struggled a bit today and fear pooped/pee'd but she is a bit calmer now and comfortably resting on my neck... albeit sneezing away but seems content for now. My appointment changed so I am just going to let her be on my neck for now....I'm kinda restricted to my recliner so maybe we can use this time to bond.

I guess the vet has a point and a URI can spread anytime, especially an aggressive one so I better move her.....that being said I can spend time with her.....I am assuming having her out of the cage %80 of the time with me (With food/water breaks) can't necessarily hurt our relationship.

I panicked a bit cause I am on edge with being laid up myself but we are doing alright... just gotta suck it up an accept it. I am guessing a rat can tell being medicated vs abuse so she won't hold it against me forever.

P.S. She is downright adorable... started out as a beige standard eared rex but she was deceptive lol and is changing into a Himalayan Rex as she ages and molts... based on all the sneezing and her original coat color I was thinking Dusty for a name?... ill try to get a pic soon.
 

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I just got finished giving my girls a round of antibiotics and this is how I did it. And they began to look forward to med time!

Get some of that Real whipped cream in the can. Squirt just a little into a bowl or plate. Since you've only got one rat to dose, you only need about a teaspoon. Then measure up the medicine in the syringe. Take the spoon and get a little cream on it, about a nickle size, then squirt the medicine in and mix it up good. Get your baby on your lap, preferably in a bonding bag if you have one. Then hold the spoon out for her to smell and I guarantee she'll lap up every drop of it! They love cream and its a real treat for them. I know it's not necessarily healthy, which is why I use such a small amount, but it's better to get them to take their medicine than not.

Let me know how it works out!
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thank you Little Bird and Kitterpuss :)

I am heading out in a few hrs and will pick some whipped cream AND malt vitamin paste if I can find it... she may not take it today but I will keep trying and hopefully it will work.
 

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Kitten vitamin paste might work too! Good luck! Silver lining of you being off sick yourself is that you can give her extra attention and love - hopefully that will keep your bond strong!
 

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Here are some things that have worked for me.
I heat up some baby cereal, the Gerber kind, pour in some chocolate syrup till it switches colors to a dark brown and then add the medicine. I find that the heated baby cereal really helps since the consistency isn't as suspicious anymore and the chocolate masks the taste really well. We feed it on a spoon but if she is now suspicious of spoons, I would try feeding her separately on a dish. Sometimes we give the non sick boys a spoon of just baby cereal and chocolate at the same time and that gives the sick boy confidence to eat his medicated version since he feels that if they LOVE it, it must be safe. The idea is to break any negative presumptions she already has about things. Its a very sweet mix but perfect for medications if they are stressful already. Good luck! Also, I would not split them up and let her go solo contrary to the vet lectures. There is literally no good reason to follow that advice.
 

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The reason why moving her would be pointless now is because they have already shared the same air space and if mycoplasma is the pathogen, it isn't contagious anyway as all the other rats already have it in their systems. Moving her to a cage all on her own can have extremely negative effects on her recovery since she takes strength from her colony and social relationships. When our boy Finn had an abscess under his eye, our vet advised us to separate during the healing process and we followed his advice despite our own suspicions on the matter. We found just how quickly a rat can become depressed when subjected to being on their own. Whilst we did our very best to keep him around us that day, the only time his eyes sparkled was when we let him free range with his best buddies. The difference in his attitude was astounding. We put him back in with the rest of the boys the next day and he healed up swiftly.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Her name is now Dusty, she's sneezy and kinda looks like a dust bunny LMAO,

Anyhow thanks for the tips,

My only real concern is that the other girls are friggin' PSYCHO HYPER (as girls tend to be) and they don't seem to catch on that Dusty isn't feeling well and so they work her over, sit on her, power groom her, etc and she gets mad/ upset and it makes the sneezing, wheezing, raspy poppy breathing much worse.

The only one that isn't hard on her is my rescue girl Gypsy who has had a couple litters herself and takes on more of a motherly role.

Would it be ok to put Gypsy and Dusty together in my smaller martin's till Dusty starts feeling better? Gypsy is very hyper at times but affectionate, happy, loving, and an obsessive groomer to Humans and Rats alike. When I am not feeling well as I am now, Gypsy actually tries to get out to be with me and won't leave my lap or shoulder unless I remove her lol.
 

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Yes, it would be perfectly okay, if not desirable to do that. Ideally, you want to create an environment where stress is minimal and putting her together with the calmest and kindest cagemate sounds like a good idea. Remember that it isn't irreversible. If you see they are unhappy being separated, simply put them back. You can also still free range them as one unit. The name sounds fitting. I would like to see pictures - it sounds adorable.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I came home to Dusty popcorning, pouncing on Gypsy, and then they chased each other all over the cage... they seem content.
 
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