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Hi all,
I haven't posted in a while, but thought I'd take some time today to post about Mango's seemingly chronic URI and also to rave about an incredible vet that I'm thankful to have found. I don't know how many of you live in Ontario, Canada (specifically York Region).. it's a small area so I'm guessing the chances of members being from around here are slim..but I just am so pleased with the vet care I've been receiving that I thought it'd be worthwhile to post about it.
I got Mango & Tango (sisters, born in April of this year) in June - they're my first ever rats so it's been a bit of a learning experience. Shortly after getting them, Mango began to show signs of what a Google search led me to believe was a URI (poryphin from nose, sneezing, and soft wheezing when breathing). I immediately took her in to our local vet, LeGallais Vet Hospital (in Aurora) and saw Dr. Jacqui who has looked after our dogs & cats for years. I wasn't sure what to expect in terms of bringing a small animal to a vet clinic (I wondered if they'd have experience in treating "pocket pets") but it was truly a very positive experience. Dr. Jacqui did a full exam (complete with listening to Mango's heart rate and breathing, as well as a weight check) and I have to just brag here about how good Mango was through being poked and prodded! Anyways, Dr. Jacqui spent over a half hour with Mango and even consulted with another vet during the appointment. Mango was prescribed Baytril and Doxy, which worked quickly to alleviate her symptoms (interestingly, her sister Tango was fine). Dr. Jacqui called twice a week, even some Friday evenings, to see how Mango was doing (phone convos were never rushed, she's genuinely interested in Mango's care). After about three weeks, we stopped the meds, only to have Mango's symptoms reappear about a month - a month and a half later. I should note here that we addressed possibly environmental causes such as bedding (switched to paper and dust free), air quality, toys etc. And again, her sister Tango remained fine. Anyways, her symptoms returned so I got in touch with Dr. Jacqui again who did a check up and we started her back on Baytril & Doxy (again, worked like a charm). Now that we're thinking it's going to be a chronic and ongoing issue with Mango, Dr. Jacqui has begun to do even more research into rat health (esp. URI & Myco). She's started consulting with various vets, reading certain studies and articles, and even has posted Mango's case on "VIN", a message board for vets to consult with other vets worldwide. What impresses me is how dedicated she is to Mango's case, which is refreshing considering how so often you hear that small animal cases are so easily dismissed. And the fact that she's interested in spending her time searching for additional info and educating herself truly impresses me. Mango has now finished round 2 of meds so we'll see what happens from here. Dr. Jacqui just called and said to let her know when/if symptoms start reappearing and we'll go from there, in the meantime she'll keep researching. She consistently keeps in touch to hear how Mango's doing.

I wanted to share this with you all because I truly feel so fortunate to have found a vet that a) takes rat care seriously and b) is willing to further educate themselves to the benefit of small animals and pet owners. If you're ever in need of a vet and happen to live in York Region, I'd highly recommend Dr. Jacqui.
 
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