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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey fellow rat baby lovers.

I have two pet rats both around the ripe age of 3.5 years old. They both have paralysis in their back legs but have been coping just fine. Recently splinter has been breathing heavily I didn't think much of it until the other day when i had both Splinter and Ike out for a play. on close inspection i realised that splinter was choking/burping and had become very lethargic after minimal excercise..

That night his breathing was so laboured and he was not moving at all i thought he was going to die.
I rushed him to the vet @ 8pm. The vet said it was a very bad respiratory problem close to being phnuemonia and that it could have been caused by multiple factors. and that respiratory problems are quite common in old aged rats..
He gave him a shot and gave me two lots of antibiotics to take home and give to him for 2 weeks but he basically said if he doesn't dramatically improve by that night or the morning that he should be put down due to it being very stressful for him not being able to breathe in enough oxygen. This was a shock as his illness was so sudden and extreme!

since then i have kept him in the cage so that he doesn't exert himself.. have moved him to the laundry were there is constant air flow from outside and have kept the cage very clean. I had been filling up the laundry troff about twice a day with steamy water to try and open up the airways.. sometimes i even add a bit of vix.. he had not eaten very much at all in the two days following the visit to the vet. I was feeding him things like watermelon just to keep him hydrated and yogurt with the antibiotics in it. Amazingly 4 days later he seemed to be doing a heck of a lot better with the breathing but had lost weight..
I have been hand feeding him. He is very hungry still which is a good sign but eats a little bit and then can't eat anymore. I have realised that it is possibly not a respiratory problem but the food that is causing him to not be able to breathe properly (even though he does have other side affects of respiratory problems (sneezing & weeping eyes)

One of my thoughts was that there could be tumours that have developed and are blocking the airways but i checked and couldn't seem to find any lumps.. I have been trying to feed him soft food like advacado and egg.. even adding water and heating up his staple blocks so i can mush it up and feed through a syringe hoping it would slide down easy but it is still too much.
he gets quite distressed after eating a coupe tablespoons worth and doesn't recover from laboured breathing and choking for about 4-5 hours!! Then he seems to be fine! I believe that soon he will lose a lot more weight and become very weak as he isn't getting enough nutrition.

I was hoping some of you may have some suggestions as to what could be the cause of this and what to do to help my poor little buddy out before its too late. My poor baby, my darling Splinter :(

His brother Ike knows that he's not feeling great and is always by his side cleaning and comforting him I'm so glad they have each other!
Thanks for the read.. its a bit all over the place but such is life... xx Kate
 

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Can you get Critical Care for Omnivores from your vet? Failing that, nutrical for puppies/kittens is good. Also, soy milk and rice cereal are good. Those just will help him stay at weight or gain it.

He may very well have abscesses in his lungs or tumors. An xray may be able to tell. Can you get steroids for him? They might open hihs airway.

Sorry about this. If his condition doesn't improve, you may want to consider euthanasia. I just lost my rat to pneumonia, at about 11pm he went into respiratory distress and wasn't able to breathe and became almost a vegetable...it was hard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
i will have to look into that today. I feel as though an x ray will be needed but i am worried about the expense.. If he ends up needing surgery i am worried that at his age he won't recover properly! Im sorry for your loss x
 
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