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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This all started a few day ago, about 3 if memory serves. Queak is my oldest at about 6 months old, and has never shown any signs of health problems or illnes befor this. He began breathing oddly, making this wheezing clicking sound, became lethargic and began losing weight. We thought it was a cold/pneumonia, or possibly even mega esophagus because of how he hunched his neck. But as I syringe fed him foods he began to stabilize, and even get a bit better. I noticed that he doesn't have the energy he used to and he is desperate to be with us, out side of the cage, and his feet weren't as capable as they should be, as if he couldnt quite grip with his paws (back or front). He has not continuously made the wheezing-clicking sound, but his breath and heart beat has been consistently rapid for days. He prefers to sit with either his top half propped up or his entire body on a downward slant. He occasionally waves his front paws as if trying to dry them when he sits up to eat. The red stuff has begun to come from his nose, and he lacks the balance to clean himself from the back down, or on his elbows (where I often find a collection of wiped away red residue). He eats and drinks much less and is very thin. He leans to the sides a lot, though not one in particular, but he sits with his front feet crossed and stands arched up on his toes, and often only one front leg at a time (especially when eating). I waited to take him to the vet because he was getting better and the stress of travel can sometimes stress them out and kill them. We have been feeding him ensure and chia seeds and peanut butter water and avocado paste to get his weight and nutrition up.

But today, just this evening, he has begun to have fits. He will begin the wheezing, go very still, then he needs to go, climb things and be in motion. He freaks out and climbs up me, the couch, anything, and then after he has zoomed about he draped himself over the edge and began to open and close his mouth. There was a very bad one where he made this tiny squelching sound when he did it, and then he was tipping over and curling up on his side while opening and closing his mouth. I panicked, it seemed like he couldn't breathe and was passing out, so I tried to do the ratty fling, but he wouldn't let me, so I began to gently blow into his nose and mouth a few times. He seemed to stabilize, but he sits still, breathing heavily, and every now and then he freaks out and has to dash up something... usually me. He won't drink or eat at all and his poops have been rather dry and infrequent. Is this a bunch of seizures? A stroke?!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
He's breathing very heavily now, and that wet wheezing clicking sound is back, it's almost a whimper. He doesn't do much but move a few feet and wheeze.
 

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It sounds like seizures, which can happen as a result of serious infections like pneumonia which he has I'd bet.

Have you taken him to the vet yet? He needs serious antibiotics very aggressively. Contrary to the idea of stress killing your rat, it really won't but pneumonia really will. You can alleviate stress but not pneumonia without a vet. He needs steroids and I would do azithromycin/amoxicillin. Failling treatment, euthanasia may be recommended which is much more humane than suffocating to breathe or a brain-fever caused by seizures.

Until you get him to a vet, keep him warm and hydrated and in a dark environment.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I'm stuck at home, and it's almost 12:30 am and we just had a big snow storm, so I have to wait till my partner gets home, but in the mean time he won't drink. But he has the energy to resist me when I try to syring feed him water despite being so listless. He keeps freaking out, cleaning his face and grinding his teeth and opening and closing his mouth like he can't breathe, but he can.
It's fast becoming an emergency, so I might call a taxi to take me to a clinic... If it will come in the snow.
 

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When it becomes life or death, anything with fluid that you can get into him is worth it. gatorade, juice, etc. or even lettuce or watermelon or cucumber can work.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
He ate some watered down avocado very eagerly, but then ran away like he regretted it or it was uncomfortable and he cleaned his face and mouth. Teeth grinding, face cleaning and more heavy breathing. I keep talking to him and offering him food and petting him lightly.(Oh god I'm so scared, I wish he would get home.)
 

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Run a hot shower, let the bathroom steam up and then go sit in the steam for a few minutes with him. Hopefully that would help.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I don't understand his urge to suddenly move or be on an incline. Is it breathing problems?
 

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The frenzied movement is usually indicative of seizure activity. Draping his head is an attempt to ease breathing.

Do you have an inhaler?
 

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Mild seizures can make them "freak out". I had an epileptic hamster who would make sudden violent movements. Her face would twitch and she would rub her face violently during her bad episodes. Now I recall, she would open and close her mouth, making an odd noise but she did not have breathing problems. I would bring him to the vet as soon as you can. Just try and stay calm, animals can pick up bad energy. You can make him more nervous if he senses you are scared. Good luck!! & stay safe, I also got snowed in and the roads are bad where I live! Xox
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I don't have an inhaler nanashi7, but the shower helped a bit.I got the earliest appointment I could at a clinic with a small rodent specialist. I turned up the heat in the apartment and made him a nest of towels and my flannel house coat on the bed, he likes to sleep next to me. I have the carrier packed and ready to go, so my partner can come get him then go strait to the clinic. Thank you for all the advice, I hope he makes it. It's just will power and comfort until we can get him to the vet.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I can't sleep. He can't sleep. Neither of us can get comfy with his current condition. If every time he runs and spasms and does that mouth thing is a seizure, than Queak has had at least 5 in the past 3 hours, unless those are just a sort of aftershock... I mean, it's almost like a very strong involuntary gagging.
 

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I've heard that rats with significant breathing difficulty can sort of panic and thrash around like that when they can't get enough air. I really hope the vet can help him - you might want to consider injectable antibiotics for the first little bit to give him a kick start, dexamethasone/prednisolone will help reduce inflammation and open his airways, and nebulizer treatments with bronchodilators might be necessary if the pneumonia is bad. Best of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
He didn't make it. The seizures became more frequent, and then he had a really bad one a few hours before his vet visit... He stopped breathing. I tried resuscitating him, but he was too worn out to fight it for very long. My partner says that he probably had a brain tumor. I miss him so much.
 

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Sorry to hear he didn't make it :(
 

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Aww no I'm so sorry! :( You did everything you could do and I'm sure he had a wonderful life.
 
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