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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Pro tip: any symptom is a symptom enough. Caius had barely any symptoms and died. Now Remus...

Remus was flank breathing so I called the vet. Then he went lethargic. Skinny. Won't groom. Remus has pneumonia.

He is on rimadyl, Viagra, and Zithromax. The Zithromax is a huge dose and I was wondering if I could give half of it in the morning half in the evening? I'm afraid **** aspirate his meds.

He is also separated from his cage mates. They never recommend this usually so I'm inclined to believe them. Is there any other care tips for the next 10 days?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Bumping this. Remus is in bed trying to sleep and I can see him breathing from clear across the room.

I was recommended life long meds if he recovers. How important is this? I'm currently unemployed.
 

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They normally get over pneumonia in a few weeks or dont make it, i've found theres normally improvement in the first week if theres going to be. I've not come across rats with pneumonia who have needed lifelong meds. Sometimes after a bad spell they may suffere from on and off chronic myco as they will be weakned going forward, sometimes they may suffer from lung scarring which can mean they make noises when they breath and again are more susceptable to lung issues. Those rats should still only be treated when they are acutally unwell though.

I would also split the med dosage if it means getting it into him.

In terms of splitting him off from his cage mates, i would let him choose. Some rats prefer space when they are feeling miserable but some just want familiarity, at the moment he needs to be as low stress as possible to give everythign to getting better. The reason your vet will have recommended this is in case its a virus thats caused it. However if it is then all the major rat resp viruses tend to be spread via air bourne particles (so hed need to be in a different room) and are also generally contagious before the rats show symptoms, so they will already be infected if they were going so be.

I would see if you could get him on steroids alongside the Abs, this can often give them a bit of space for the antibiotics to start working. Another good option is to nebulise or ask for an inhaler for him (you can put a couple of puffs into a tupperware tub with him in, close the lid, count to 6 and then let him out). The best ab combo i've found for this is coamox and baytril, high end doses, but the steroids really make the biggest difference in many of the serious cases.

The other improtant thing is to keep him warm (heat pad or hot water bottle next to where he sleeps in the cage) and well hydrated. Give him whatever he wants to drink and eat. I've found apple juice tends to persuade most reluctant rats to drink, as does sometimes warming things up. The more fluid and food he will take the better his chances.

Best of luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys. He's picked up some already. He is drinking and grooming some, still hasn't ate food but will take bread and such.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Annnnd he sounds worse. He is clicking when he breathes now. Give it more time or??
 

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with the clicking i would try steaming him, maybe with some eucalyptus in the water see if it clears him any.

Otherwise i would try and get him some steroids as soon as possible to see if it can help. Oh and if you know anyone with asthma the bronchial dilator inhaler can be used in rats
 

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So far the only way I've found to cure pneumonia is with amoxicillin. Baytril, doxycycline, and all the other hardcore meds that are hard to get without a prescription may not work, in my case did not work. Those hardcore meds are meant to treat mycoplasma which isn't pneumonia. Pneumonia is a secondary infection caused by mycoplasma, since mycoplasma reduces your rat's immune system. A rat having a flair up from mycoplasma can last for months before he or she beings to have some real issues from the secondary infections. Understand that pneumonia, the secondary infection, can kill your rat in a matter of days. So common sense, cure the pneumonia rather than the mycoplasma FIRST or at least treat both at the exact same time. Ask your veterinarian to prescribe your rat amoxicillin in additional to one of those other drugs (baytril, doxycycline, ect), they may say that it's not meant for rats, or that it's ineffective, or whatever but don't let them convince you. I've had my fair share with MANY inexperienced vets, I don't trust any of them anymore. If you have trouble calculating meds for your rat, definitely go to the vet and ask for amoxicillin.

If you know how to calculate meds, you can get amoxicillin very easily, just check your local pet store or tack & feed store. The medicine is usually sold for fish, but the drug is otherwise the same. Use this guide for prescription reference, http://www.rmca.org/Articles/dchart.htm . How do I know amoxicillin works? Well for one rat I relied on the vet's prescription which was doxycycline mixed with baytril. That rat ended up passing away, hence why I hate veterinarians and will forever till this day, they're flat out scum. They did far worse things which I truly feel that I should of took them to court, but good luck with that, no one would of taken me or my deceased rat seriously. Anyway, just very recently my rat sounded terrible like my previous one did before he died. I was terrified and truly thought the rat was a goner and I wasn't going to take my rat to the vet because all of the vets around here suck at what they do. So I bit my tongue, searched online and found an article about using amoxicillin for pneumonia. After a day of treatment, my rat's symptoms completely vanished. Honestly it was like a miracle, anyone who knows a thing or two about treating a sick rat, should know that it takes days before you notice any improvement. Maybe I'm just lucky, but ALWAYS keep amoxicillin on hand for situations such as these. Also learn how to calculate meds for your rats because rats have a bad reputation and I'd be truly surprised if you found a veterinarian that actually cares about them. It'll even save you hundreds of dollars from a visit, where they will also sell you overly priced medicine.

If you want, I can tell you the proper dosage of amoxicillin required for your rat depending on how many grams your rat is. You also don't need an expensive scale to split up your pill dosage into something that your rat can take, I simply use a razor and start cutting it up into piles. Works everytime..
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks guys. HE went back to the vet and has lost ten grams in two days. I have LASIK now injected in him sub cu and some fattening food purée.
 

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Sometimes a rat's lungs are so badly scarred they cannot recover. It's best to use antibiotic synergy (using two different types). There are some antibiotics that don't work well on older rats and I think it is Zithromax. Clavomox is supposed to be a good antibiotic for pneumonia.

The clicking sound you're hearing sounds like your rat is congested and your rat is suffering which as rat owners is heartbreaking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The clicking has stopped, his breathing is still rough. I can take him in Monday if no improvement. So far the rechecks have been free.

He is eating for us just not hard foods. He had salmon, carrots, broccoli, rice and he has the critical care diet.

He is barely grooming himself meaning his fur looks awful. Should I wipe him down with a damp cloth? Im afraid to dampen and chill him.
 

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Wiping him down with a warm damp washcloth should be fine; just be sure to wrap him up in a warm towel or blanket afterwards so he can dry off and doesn't catch a chill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
He's had two wheezing attacks today. I don't know if it means he can't breathe or what. The vet said monitor and call Monday. It sounds like https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BjXwfemBY5M . Tails and feet okay in color. Porphyrin is dried all over his nose.

He's ate a ton but not really drinking. Refuses powerade. I put Iris in with him but he separated himself from her.

Any tips on what I should see Monday so I don't take him back? Should his wheezin cease; flank breathing stop; no porphyrin and eating? I just don't know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm gonna ask to switch meds Monday. No improvement. Flank breathing heavily, occasional chirp.

I'm soaking bread in Gatorade to keep him hydrated because I hvent seen him drink. I got excited because he ate so much yesterday but now I feel like nothing is working.
 

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Ah...the false hope our ratties give us when they eat and drink. We think they're on the road to recovery and feel less hopeless but then we loose them.

Your rat sounds in rough shape. Sometimes it's too late to save them, but I've read stories where a rat bounced back but it hasn't happened to me. It's hard to know if we should help 'keep them alive' by assist feeding them or if we should let nature take its course so they suffer less because nothing we do is going to change the inevitable and keeping them alive just prolongs their discomfort.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I've only force fed him once so he isn't quite there. Hopefully he won get that bad because that's time to pts. For now, he does seem happy when in the main cage. He grooms and eats and has fun as far as I can tell.
 

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What medicine is he on? Part of being a rat owner requires you to know what medicines your rats should need in case something like this happens. If you put all your faith in a vet, you're gonna wish you haven't. I made that mistake twice with two different vets. I was forced to learn how to legally get my hands on meds and do calculations on my own otherwise my rats would be dead, not kidding. You can say I'm doing the work that someone with a doctrine is doing. Really, I can't stress it enough, people honestly don't care for rats. These vets are going to prescribe you anything just to get money from your wallet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you guys. I'm aware of what meds are used, azithromycin targets bacterial pneumonia and pneumonia virals which is what he is diagnosed with. I have switched his meds to chloramphenicol. These are all meds that are on ratguide and rated to treat his strand of pneumonia and are considered the strongest for severe pneumonia.
 

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If you get past a few weeks without any improvement on the meds then there's a fair chance it's not pneumonia. Unfortunately lung cancer can mirror pneumonia in symptoms as can accessed lungs. i really hippie is not a lung tumour
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Good point Isamurat. Would an xray determine that?
 
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