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Discussion Starter #1
Odin and Bastian have had chronic sneezing, but I've been watching them really closely to make sure it didn't develop further. Usually echinacea would keep the sneezes down and they would be fine.

But now it seems Odin is sneezing more often and starting to slightly breath more heavily. He still eats and drinks but he JUST started getting hunched and lethargic (but he still plays). I am going to call the vet first thing tomorrow and get over there as soon as I can. This is difficult as I really don't have a vehicle but I will see if I can't borrow Chris's van tomorrow which will be an adventure because I havn't been behind the wheel in forever.

So hopefully I will be able to get him into the vet tomorrow or wednesday morning. I already had planned on taking them to the vet friday to check on their myco and make sure it wasn't developing further.

I'm doing the best I can to recover my vet fund after the loss of Joshu, but money is still tight. Regardless I know the vet has mentioned taking my credit card number and taking the money out at a later date. I'm going to have to do this, and hope she works with me (She knows I'm reliable at paying my bills, I've had to pay a bill later in the past due to computer issues on their part). But I'm just so worried about the poor fellow. I hope Joshu didn't have that SDA thing and it's gotten to Odin now D: It's been a month since Joshu passed away and I'm hopeing I can bring Odin back to health. He's never been really healthy, being a feeder rat inflicted with myco with only one eye. I do hope antibiotics will help him anyway.

Please send warm wishes to Odin and some luck to me in finding a ride to the vet D: I think I might bring Bastian along to get a checkup as well to make sure he doesn't have the same thing.
 

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What were Joshu's symptoms? I can tell you if he had SDA :)

Good luck at the vet's office, and let us know how it goes! I hate how prone rats are to respiratory issues.
 

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yes good luck at the vets office :) tell us how they are asap.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Joshu was lethargic, wouldn't eat or drink, breathed and later on in his last days GASPED for breath (I made an appointment for euthanasian but never made it in time, Joshu passed on his own) Baytril didn't work at all, Joshu didn't want to eat or drink and I had to feed him baby food. We tried different things for around a month and then he passed.

Hrm, his eye also appeared to be injured and at the very beginning his head was tilted. This didn't last long and the baytril did cure that but not the breating. X-ray's revealed a mass in his chest.

I'm sorry if that is long winded, it's hard to recall because it's still painful. Does that sound familiar?

Odin is still playing, still eating and still drinking. I THINK his head is slightly tilted but he only has one eye but then again I've never seen it tilted before. He just seems to be sneezing lots and occasionaly breathing deeper. He doesn't sound watery.

I'll keep you updated. Still not sure whether it can be tomorrow or if it will be Wednesday. We need a morning appointment so Chris can drive me. I'm just not very comfortable driving since it's been nearly half a year since I've touched the wheel. Darn I need a car D: I think he will be fine, I just caught him at a sleepy momment earlier. And yes it sucks but at least I know not to 'rescue' any feeder rats anymore. These are my first batch, I brought Odin to be a friend for Joshu before I knew much about rats and the pet store claimed the sneezing would just go away D: WELL THEY WERE TOTALLY WRONG D:
 

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I must admit i've never had good results from baytril, when my little girl misty was sick it did nothing for her breathing and head tilt. Then with Baby it also did nothing for her breathing. With Topaz's breathing once again it did nothing. Topaz is breathing perfectly again after steam theropy and little little bits of dark chocolate. I'm not saying don't use baytril just so fare for me it's never worked :(. Hope to hear good news about your babies.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It doesn't seem like home remedies are working well for him at all D: It might be the lice, I don't know. Echinacea was working beautifully for a while but it seems to have gotten a little worse.

I just wish Odin would open up more, hopefully maybe making him better will be a bonding experiance for him. He's an incredibly shy guy but last night he actually crawled on my arm and took all feet off of the cage! That was a huge accomplishment as he is VERY afraid of being out of the cage or have any feet not touching the cage at all. Poor guy will have a very frightening time.

Appointment made tomorrow at 9:20, I'm going to wait on Bastian until I get my tax check, he's fine he just has the sneezes. I just can't afford $98 just for the vet check on two rats, especially when medicine will be involved as well and possibly x-rays... who knows D:

But yeah Bastian will be in there as soon as I get my tax check *sighs* No ferret nation for the ferrets, no rats inheriting the ferret cage. I will have to go a cheaper cage building route I'm afraid ): But it's better for them to be healthy I think.
 

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Do you have a good relationship with your vet? Maybe you can just ask for some Baytril and Doxycycline while you're there, instead of having to come in for another exam.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Our relationship is good, but just kind of starting. I can ask, no harm in that. From my understanding they need to be on this most of their life anyway.
 

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Nazarath said:
I'm not saying don't use baytril just so fare for me it's never worked :(.
Baytril on its own is usually not enough. My vet doesn't prescribe Baytril on its own except for very small problems like a mild abscess.

Most of the time respiratory problems need to be hit with a baytril & doxycycline combo. Some people also say baytril & zithromax is a potent combination especially in younger rats though I have never used it myself.

If your vet knew that Baytril wasn't working, and didn't offer to try a "cocktail" ie: a drug combination therapy on your rat I would think about finding a new vet.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
She did a x-ray and found a mass in the heart before we could get to other antibiotics. She put him on lasix but she claimed it wasn't working. But he did seem a little better after he came back, each time after the vet and then dropped immediately after.

There are no other vets in Indy that will treat rats. Dr. Lennox is suppose to be the best and like I said, she did an x-ray before trying anything else and found it to be uncurable. Do you think the coctail could of saved him even with the mass there growing too close to vital areas for surgery?

I don't know, I think she is a good vet. Maybe not the best when it comes to rat knowledge but certainly better than the vet at All Things Wild who did nothing for Joshu but sent him home with flea dip and an invetermicin shot and hoped that was what was ailing him*sighs*

I will suggest the combo this time. There really is no other place I CAN go as far as I've found. If someone knows of a really excellent rat vet in Indianapolis, IN please suggest it.
 

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If it was a tumor there probably wasn't much else that could be done. Though I personally have never heart of a "heart tumor" before? But tumors in the lungs are unfortunately somewhat common.

Generally for heart issues, like congestive heart failure the treatment is a diuretic (the lasix) as well as an ACE inhibitor such as enalapril. Just for future reference. If there was indeed a mass, then even aggressive antibiotics would not have helped him. :(

Ratguide.com is a really excellent reference. Some vets are more open to reading articles from it than others. It never hurts to take a print out in with you, it at least shows your vet that you are researching.

For initial treatment of the sneezes/respiratory infection your vet shouldn't need to do an x-ray. The only time I have asked for x-rays is in chronic problems to see how much damage has been done to the lungs, or in cases where congestive heart failure may be suspect. I would just try to get all of your sneezy rats on baytril/doxycycline combo!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Gah! So I'm back from the vets. Aparently Odin is lice free he just has nasty skin crud. She adviced against giving him the horse paste again because it sounded like I wasn't giveing him an accurate measurement. Everything I read said horse paste the size of an uncooked grain of rice was fine though. But I think I will take her advice as I really am a first time rat owner here, best to listen to her.

And she wanted to x-ray Odin but I thought antibiotics were the best way to go. I think it's the slightly harder breathing that she thought was needed for an x-ray, but I told her I'd rather just see if the antibiotics work again before I decide on an expensive x-ray D: I'm not made of money.

I suggested the combo you guys did, and she said yeah sometimes it's needed but it's best to see if just Baytril will work as she advises against over useing antibiotics as it creates disease resistant strains to those antibiotics if overused. She said she COULD give me the combo but she advised just doing the Baytril right now. She said he looked fine, just slightly verging on breathing too heavily. She also commented on his HUGENESS and that I need to watch to make sure he's not a feeder rat bred from a strain of lab rats that were genetically bred to be huge and diabetic or have heart disease. So yeah probably due to his size and the fact he is a feeder a diagnostic x-ray at some point will be needed to make sure his heart is fine.

The thing is, when I suggested that people in rat forums and the stuff I had read had suggested the combo of Baytril and doxycyline she did agree combinations are sometimes needed but it's best to try just one first before you start combinations. She also said I need to take 'hobbiest' suggestions with a grain of salt because most of the time they can't even remember what they were given. This lack of concern for what I have researched made me feel slightly belittled. She said she had treated thousands of rats before in a lab setting so has tons of experiance with this thing and she is a certified exotic specialist. Still I think taking the time to hear my concerns without scolding me would of been nice. Perhaps she was just mad about the treatment with invetermicin but I had ran it across her vet tech before and she said it sounded fine D:

I don't know, I'm just a little upset at her right now. Should I be? There really are NO other vets that will see rats in Indianapolis as the other one is a HUGE quack, her office is a mess, her kid runs around her office, she has a raven flying around sick animals, and she didn't even give Joshu antibiotics.

She was disapointed I didn't bring Bastian but gave me enough Baytril for him as well. She just seemed so annoyed at me.
 

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I'm sorry to hear this was not the most wonderful experience. Often vets will start with just baytril, but thats okay. as long as the dosage is high enough, sometimes it will work if this is the first time medicating a particular rat.

The dosage of Ivermectin was correct on your part, and its one thats very important...since Ivermectin can easily poison your rat if you give too much.

We'll discuss the cruddy skin another time.

There are some things to be thankful for with your vet. I have heard so many horror stories from people. They were given Tylan to mix in water for pneumonia or sever URI....ugh! Doesn't prescribe baytril or refuses to prescribe baytril and doxy together (at least your vet might in the future), gives tetracycline to a sick rat or prescribes tri-mth-sulfa/septra/bactrim for a respiratory infection where it is ineffective. :(

Your vet may not be the best vet, but maybe she'll work with you eventually.
The best thing to do is learn and research to get her respect. ratguide.com was originally created for vets and they modified it for petowners who want to learn. It can be a bit tricky to figure out, but thats what we are here for...those questions.

I hope the baytril works for you. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I suppose I should of mentioned ratguide specifially. I know I need to gain her trust, as every time I'm there I seem to bring up 'Well I don't have a lot of money right now' but I DO always seem to find it when it becomes and necessity to take my pets to the vet.

I'm sure my social anxiety and child like looks make me seem like more of a ignorant person. God I hate how nervous I get around people D: I actually may not look like I know a lot but I've done a lot of research and I think that earns some respect D:

But yeah you are right, she may be catty at times and overworked but she didn't give me horrible medicine like Tylan mixed with water DD:

And yeah Odin isn't that bad. His breathing is slightly heavy at rest but he still plays, and eats and eats and OMG does he EAT. He weighs 645 grams, that is 1.43 lbs. Is that huge?
 

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645 grams is on the heavier side, but don't worry I have a 750 gram fatgirl myself. She is 2 now and I am not going to diet her.

What does he eat? What type of diet do you have him on? Can you post a pic? He might be a big boned fella and thats totally different. I had 2 girls who weighed around 660 g each...big boned girls, heavy but not obese.

If you are able, you should print out the RMCA chart from ratguide and bring it with you. Then she will realize you are not talking about forum people giving you advice. :)

It sucks that you have a demeanor and look that makes people think you aren't worthy of respect. Its harder for you, but I am sure when you prove how serious you are as a ratowner, your vet will respect you in the end. I am sure she sees lots of people who say "I heard this...I heard that" and just discounts it. There is a ton of really bad info on websites that people take as the truth...its out of date, was never accurate, etc.
Be consistent with your vet, do not let her tell you to leave the research to her either. You love your rats and want to learn as much as possible. I tell my vet when I am researching something or even suggest something else, or even when I have self-medicated at home...she now trusts me and says I am one of their best/favourite rat clients. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #16
He's incredibly shy but has opened up some from forced socialasation. I still don't like to take him out much because he hates it but I think I will try more and more, especially now that he is on antibiotics. I was always afraid that stressing him with forced civilisation would cause it to flair up too bad due to stress D: I'll take pictures as I don't have very many of him as I lean towards being afraid to stress him out too much.

He needs a larger cage and that I will remedy when the tax check comes (this week or next week). I think that and forcing him out for some fun exercise everyday would be good for him. He's currently on just lab blocks (And I have JUST learned they aren't very good ones, I plan on buying the recommended blocks next week as well) with carrots and broccoli and other veggies at night. I feed him 3 blocks in the morning then all the healthy stuff at night? Should I JUST feed him at night it seems he eats things FAST and I don't like him to go without food for too long.

I will buy the things to make him a subeba mix this weekend, I have the noodles and cheerios (they have 1 gram of sugar per serving, is this too much?) mixed for a treat that I have just started. Should i discontinue this?

Like I said I'm new to rat ownership. Joshu was my first and Odin and Bastian didn't follow too long after that. I've learned a ton on these forums and really strive to be a good rat and pet mommy despite my financial troubles at times. I only work retail but do art commissions and create crafty things on the side. Night's business has really gotten me to consider purchasing a sewing machine and making pet stuff like her or do costuming on the side. Currently I make horns and fairy wings and sell them for extra cash. Pretty much all my extra cash goes into my pets anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Updated pics! I took them today, he looks so pitiful in the one I tried to show you his belly. He really HATES being out of his cage and HATES the camera with a vegance.








He's been missing an eye since I purchased him as a baby. I'm happy he hasn't pooped on me during socialisation anymore and hopefully someday he will fully come to trust being in my arms. He has been starting to climb on me from the cage but won't leave the area on his own D:

And his cage buddy Bastian, who is also a little shy but a lick-a-holic. He will lick your hand constantly as you hold him. It's so adorable.




they both need baths. You really can't tell they have that much buck grease on them just looking at them. I will probably bathe them today.
 

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Just quickly, free feed the lab blocks...3 is just not enough for a boy. I have heard all rats eat 4-5 blocks per day
 

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If you are concerned about weight I would feed only the lab blocks + fresh fruits/veggies for some variety. A quality lab block is complete nutrition.

IMO the Suebee's grain mix tends to pack on the pounds. Others have different experiences but I know my rats gained weight when I tried adding it to their diet... and as fun as "squishy" rats are they aren't as healthy that way.
 

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i just go nuts with the lab blocks LoL they eat em and when they are gone they get more LoL i feed my guys every night and i fill their bowls with lab blocks and a mix of my own. They also get left overs and none of my guys are over 1.5 pounds
 
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