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I've been dealing with a URI since maybe two weeks ago. I started my 2 year old boy Piper on amoxicillin first, and then ordered some baytril and doxy. When it got here two days later, I started him on both. At the time he was just making noises when he breathed, wheezy sounds that didn't stop even when he was asleep.

Overall he's been acting like he's not even sick in most (not all) regards. His eyes are wide open, never narrowed like you see on most sick rats. He wants to climb and walk around, he has good reflexes and reactiveness, barely any pophryin (in fact, I've never seen it on his nose because he grooms it off so fast), and he's above all still very hungry and thirsty. When I try to give him food, increasingly over this last week he can eat less and less of it. He seems to want to eat more and then when he tries, he gets more sick and sometimes has gone into respiratory distress for an hour or two, only to come out of it after I let him rest. It's bizarre- one moment he's breathing very heavily and wheezing, seems like he's going to die right there. And then an hour later he's running around, looking up at me when I come to the cage as if he wants food, acting and appearing very normal. For a very sick rat, he doesn't appear to show the main signs of pain that sick rats show. He's never even been lethargic, sleepy and tired yes, but not lethargic.

Anyways, I have tried to give him food he likes but he increasingly cant seem to eat it. He started making gurgling noises as if he has a lot of spit in his mouth, sometimes looking like he's choking. I am assuming this is a very thick coating of mucus in his throat. It is really upsetting him, the last two days he hasn't been able to sleep much because he's so bothered by it. I am very worried because it is obstructing air and food, I have had to start forcing glucose water so he won't die from dehydration. He has also started refusing any doctored medication, on account that he really cant swallow it. When he smells it he rubs his mouth on the ground and won't even try it. I am not going to force him to take it because I know it would just make him go into respiratory distress, something he might not come out of.

I have tried a cool mist humidifier, he hates it. I tried sitting in the bathroom with him with a hot shower running for steam, he is only made worse by how anxious leaving his cage makes him. Today I tried Mucinex for the first time, it seems to be helping but I don't know if it will help more than short term. I have tried liquid ensure, something he LOVED the first time i gave it, then decided he absolutely despised because I mixed it with medication one time. I mixed meds with strawberry syrup, mayo, applesauce and yogurt, all of which he won't take anymore after the first day of it.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I am a very empathetic person and this is killing me. I stay up with him all night most nights, just to make sure i'm with him if he passes, and he never does. I just want him to get better or pass peacefully, and unfortunately there is no way to get him to the vet (just trust me on this, he is the most anxious rat I've ever met and would panic himself to death before he even got there). 馃槩
 

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I forgot to add, he's had a lump where his stomach is since this started. I have seen it grow and shrink as he eats or doesn't, and a tumor couldn't grow that fast, so I'm pretty sure his stomach is distended with air from the respiratory distress he's had a few times. I tried giving him a little simeticone a few times, but I don't think it helps enough. He won't take a full dose anyway.
 

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Err the vet? Call the vet and explain, they will probably give you antibiotics.
You shouldnt have waited this long before doing that honestly

If hes in pain you need he may need putting to sleep. A lump on the stomach is the sign of a lot more going on in the inside, it is unfortunatetly common with the little guys, my last two developed similar internal tumors and symptoms and eventually became fully paralyzed so I had to euphanise, it still hurts now.
 
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