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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello... Last night I noticed Milosh (2yrs old) was breathing heavy and sneezing. He had a good amount of porphyrin on his eyes and just wanted to lay on my lap and lick my hand all night. The vets were all closed so I brought him in first thing in the morning today. The vet said it sounds like pneumonia. He sounds congested and his lungs crackle when I rat-phone him. We went to Banfield (the PetSmart vet) because our rat vet is closed Sundays. I'm considering going to him this week for a second opinion because he's a genius... but anyway...


Milosh (and Cato since they're housed together) were prescribed Baytril and Doxycycline. It was recommended that I clean the cage daily for the duration of the antibiotics (2 weeks). I've never dealt with pneumonia before...... and he's so old... I was hoping to get some information from others who have gone through this.


Also, he is super fighting me on taking his antibiotics. Cato loves them and licks it right out of the syringe, but Milosh is fighting me until hi breathing is too difficult and he stops wriggling.... Any tips on making that easier. He was on antibiotics in the past and putting it in applesauce didn't work. It's quite a large amount too... he was prescribed .45ml of one and .5 of the other.
 

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I've gone through pneumonia twice now with the same rat. I don't think it is really contagious.

Get a humidifier (cool mist preferred) running. If he doesn't improve in five days, take him back to the vet and get new meds. If it gets worse, get more than just antibiotics -- support meds that will relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and help any fluid that may be in his lungs. Be aware that you need to treat for at least a month, and that it can cause damage that is irreversible and pneumonia can come back again.

Try http://ratguide.com/meds/figures/compounding_medications_figure_1.php.
 

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At this point, he might just understand that the syringe means "evil medicine". When one of our boys stopped accepting the syringe, we started feeding him his medicine from a spoon and he seemed to like that. You can also try "medicine balls" which work really well for a lot of people. If you do a search for it, it should come up. You basically make batches of delicious balls that are kept in the fridge and distribute the antibiotics that way. Things that helped me mask the more nastier tasting stuff are:

- Warm oatmeal or baby cereal with a little bit of honey or syrup.
- Meat flavored baby food.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I will have to try medicine balls... he won't take it from my finger or a spoon. I'm just concerned about turning the liquid into a solid and then finding out that he still won't touch it. Pretty sure the vet gave me just enough for 2 weeks... Are there any injectible alternativez I can ask my real vet about? After fighting with him to get the medicine in, his struggle really made the breathing difficult. I'm worried he'll suffocate or something.... I am really freaking out, guys.... I'm stuck at work and school all day so I'm just waiting around for update texts from my boyfriend.
 

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Yes, there is an injectable version of the medicine. Remus was nearly put on it. To give the injection you'll need someone to help you, however, and the rats definitely do not enjoy it. The vet/vet tech can show you, but you pinch the skin between the shoulder blades and insert the needle. You could possibly, dependin on availability, get nebulized medicines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you so much for the advice. I feel more calm just having more options to bring up with Dr. Feinsod
 
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