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Discussion Starter #1
So I don't have an emergency rat vet. My rat vet is at a clinic, and it's really great and he's very knowledgeable, but they don't have emergency hours. The ONLY emergency vet in this area is strictly a cat and dog only vet, and they charge an insane out of money for everything (a lot of people in my community hate them and call them greedy). So what's the plan for you guys who don't have an emergency vet? I'm hoping I can get more stuff to prepare for as much as I can until the vet is open for appointments.
 

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I actually never thought of that. I just assumed the animal emergency vet would take care of my rats too. Idk why. Imma have to call today and find out! I think there is one the city over that is 24 hours. I took my bird there once. SoI guess that would be my go to. But they have a reputation of recommending surgeries that animals don't need to get money... Welp I guess I know how I'm going to spend my Sunday.
 

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I would call your vet and ask where they'd recommend you take your rat in case of an emergency when they're not open. I'm fortunate to have several emergency hospitals where I live, however only one of them sees rats. My veterinarian let me know which emergency hospital to use as well as gave me the names of her preferred vets who work there. Even if there aren't any emergency vets in your town, there could still be a place somewhat close by that your vet may know about.

I work in a veterinary hospital and have done so for over 10 years. I have to say that I've never seen a veterinarian recommend surgery a pet didn't need. If a veterinarian wanted to do things just to make money, s/he would've chosen another profession!

That's great you're planning ahead so you can be prepared if you do have an emergency.
 

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Call and ask. Many times, they'll have a number you can call in emergencies to reach the doctor. It'll still be expensive but it'll be your vet.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Oh I have my vets personal phone number, but I don't think I've established a relationship with him enough to be able to call in the middle of the night with an emergency. I've only been to him once
 

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Whilst its not a replacement for a vet in an emergency theres quite a lot you can cover in a first aid type box which will help tide you over until the next day. Whilst im lucky enough to have an excellent out of hours service now i've moved to a city in the past it was limited at best. Its worht noting that if your rat is in a really bad way and needs putting to sleep or similar in an emergency i very much doubt the dog and cat place would turn you down, they have morals and useually care enough about an animal to help end its suffering if things are bad enough.

In terms of a fairly comprehensive first aid kit, i tend to have the following in at all times (note UK brands on here)

Perscription Medication - i get this by asking the vet if i could get some extra to have on hand, this involves having a good working relationship with your vet but most will agree when they know you well

*Antibiotics - ideally you want Baytril, Septrin and Amoxycilin (synulux or Coamox are alternatives), doxy or similar can be handy but is useually used as a secondary antibiotic so not as neccesary - these should be used with care, just putitng a rat on antibiotics for a few days because its sneezing can cause resitant bugs to develop. Save it for when the rat looks ill and try and pick the best AB for the job, for example Baytril and Amox together make great resp meds, septrin is brill for a UTI, Amoxyscillin is great for abcesses.

*steroids - vets are less likley to give you this just in case but having some predinose in can be very handy if PT or stroke symptoms develop out of hours. This can often tide you over to the next vet opening day. They are also good if your rat develops a very nasty resp infection (think bad pneumonia, not a typical myco flare up), they need to be used with care though as though they are potent they lower the immune system too. Also never use these with a rat on metacam or another painkiller without speaking to your vet.

*Anti inflamatory / painkiller - I like to have some metacam in, i find it easier to dose than infant paracetamol or ibuprofen suspension (you need relatively less) though both of those are useable. This is great for swellings and any pain symptoms to buy you some time. Often with a break or sprain the vet will perscribe this first for a few days before investigating further. I tend to avoid using it for minor sprains and limps as the rat will use the affected limb less if it hurts a bit, but if the rat is miserable looking with it then pain meds are very useful.

*Brochial dilator - bisolvin is a good brand name of this, i also have a human inhaler for my rats (vets can write percriptions for them it turns out). The inhaler is better than biosolvin but harder to ahve on hand. When using put them in a plastic tub with a lid, puff 2 puffs under the lid and close it. COunt to 6 and then take the rat out. NOt as good as a nebuliser but handy to have on hand.

None perscription meds
*Ivermetcin (you can get this online without perscription) - for 1-2 rats occasional use beapher spot on is good, for more or more regular use Harkametcin or PHAMAQ are good option available in the UK. I have harkametcin as its an inbetweeney kind of amount, phamaq lasts forwever

*Wound treatment - this is stuff oyu can put on open wounds to protect them and help them heal. Dermagel is great (buy online, good for skin slash type wounds and bites), i would also have some wound powder in as its handy to dry out wet wounds. Keeping some hibicrub or purple spray is handy for abcess wounds too. Having some dressings in and plasters can be handy too. Manuka honey is an elternative thats worth considering

*Bleeding - keeping in some stypatic poweder (quickly stop bleeding) or cornflour is handy for over cut nails or bleeidng wounds. For over cut nails that dont stop with that within 30 mins then having a soldering iron handy to cauterise the nail is a good emergency measure (you need 2 people to do this though, its what my vet did the time my rabbit wouldnt stop bleeding, it doesnt hurt if done correctly. You can find this in many online petshops

Food stuff

*Food paste - Stuff like nutrical, liver paste etc, high calorie tasty paste/gel type foods are brill to have in to disguise meds or bulk up an ailing rat

*Soft food - i tend to keep egg food (sold for birds) in as well as a tin or two of baby food and a carton of coconut cream. These are great if you have an ill or skinny rat that needs bulking up in a hurry. Complan is also excellent as it can be made into a very smooth paste, whilst most rats dont love this it means you can syringe feed in an emergency

*Apple juice or honey - great for adding to water if you have a very unwell rat who isnt drinking, this will encourage them to drink and give them a small boost of energy

*Dark chocolate drops (over 70%) - these are handy if a rat is having respiratory distress as they are a mild bronchial dilator which is easier to get down rats than meds, though often a rat breathing heavily wont be interested in food.

Other useful things

*Cohesive bandage - This is great to cover wounds that are open or use post surgery to create a body sock (to limit movement rather than cover the wound) which is great if your rat is worrying there stiches. Sold in horse supplies and some pet shops.

*Teaspoon - for serving meds on

*Pill splitter/crusher - for dividng up doses

*Scissors and Wire cutters - cutitng up bandages and if needs be cutting cage wire (say a rat got stuck)

*Rat health book (available from the NFRS) - very useful handbook available in the UK written by ann storey, it has lots of doseage info and tends to be vet friendly too. Mine are happy to read and use it.

*Syringes, assorted sizes - 1 ml is the most useful size for meds but 2.5-5ml sryinges are handy for getting fluid and soft foods into them.

*Hosptial cage / carrier - i use my cat carrier for this, its fitted out to have a low water bottle and i can put vet bed down if the rat is recovering. Failing this a low level small hamster cage (the type you chouldnt keep hamsters in) is a good alternative or you can make one from a good tupper tub with clip on lids and some weld mesh

*Towels / vet bed - a towel is very handy for wrapping up an unwell rat in, or if you have to get meds in and nothing else works you can wrap them in a towel to syringe it in. Also if you have a rat who is bleeding or has an abcess your trying to clean this can be put on your lap to protect your clothes. Vet bed is handy as its a stable warm floor covering that keeps them warm and away from urine. Go for white if possible as it shows up blood and such better, so you dont miss anything.

*Heat pad - i'd recommend a snuggle safe if you can find one, this is a microwaveable chew proof heat pad that keeps warm for up to 12 hours. It also dont get too hot which means you dont have to worry about burns. This is good if your rat is so ill there body temp has dropped (you can feel serious cases by hand) or its recovering from surgery. You can get plug in ones which are better for longer use. Always set them up so rats can move away from them so they dont overheat. You can use a hot water bottle or heated grain filled bag if needed but put these outside the hospital cage or risk the rat chewing into them.. Also make sure they are not so hot that its uncomfortable to touch.

Theres more that i keep in too, such as vitamin suppliments for diffrent issues / ages, probiotics and such but thats the main things i can think of off the top of my head. With that lot in and a good understanding of what to use when, and Ann's book to remind me of the dasage i've not needed to call out the emergency vet for a while now and made do with taking them the next day (bearing in mind i do tend to spot stuff early). Theres some cases which are unavoidable e.g. birthing complications (stuck babys), closed pyometra (a girl rat whose abdomem inflates), uretha blockage (red swollen genitles), bleeding heavily or lightly for more than about 30mins to 1 hour or any wound where a good part of there insides come out (a minor hernia isnt an emergency, their intestines out is an emergency PTS in most cases). There are probably more than those, but again thats what comes to mind at the moment. Hopefully you will never have to think of those though
 

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Thanks for this Isamurat. Im going to do a RatRations order today and I think I will stock up on a few of these suggestions so that I can make my own medicine kit.
 

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Kit can you recommend anything on RatRations in particular? I always go on there, get lost then back away from it all slowly haha!
 

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My usual order is 1kg of adult complete mix No 7, and one Kg of harrisons banana brunch which I mix together at home.

usually pick up some plain yogurt drops for training. The boys refuse the apparently inferior yogurt drops from pets at home and only like these ones for some reason. Sometimes I get them a couple of antos crocodile chews which they like. Sometimes I'll try a new treat for variety, banana chips or pumpkin seeds have gone down well in the past. They also enjoy the metal salad ball with bell and lava ledge which I got in my last order.

They have a medicine section so today I picked up some bits from there - bandages, ointment, flea treatment, syringes etc.

I'm terrible, I can't go on that site without spending more than I intended!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'll be sure to add more of that to my emergency kit, thanks a bunch. By inhaler, do you just mean a regular human inhaler? The one that is shaped like an 'L'? My brother has asthma and my mom is a doctor who specializes in asthma and allergies, so those are plentiful
 

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I'm guessing it's the 'reliever' inhalers rather than the preventative kind? That's handy - I actually have a reliever for my rat allergies - every cloud has a silver lining :p
 
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