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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all..
So, something's up with precious little Mango. She's just under a year old and yesterday I noticed that something is strange with her breathing. It's as if she's breathing from deep in her belly. I have difficulty explaining it so I took a short video and uploaded it to youtube. Here's the link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRam8JI_Fqk
She's been treated for URIs before, but has never had this particular breathing pattern. But here's the thing - there are absolutely NO other symptoms. No sneezing, wheezing, poryphin (all of which were present in previous URIs). She's active, playing with her cage mates, affectionate, eating and drinking, and thoroughly enjoying treats still.
But, at the same time, I can't help but be incredibly concerned that this might be a sign of something terrible...
Please help. I'm so upset and have no idea what's going on with my baby!
 

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She looks to be in respiratory distress, can you get her to the vet? Abdominal breathing is a bad symptom, and usually means it is a lower resp. infection.

I will say, she didn't look to be in respiratory distress. That indicates less illness and could indicate pulminary abscesses or an abdominal growth - for example, Iris' tumor began to press on her diaphragm and caused this symptom essentially because she could not fully exhale or inhale. I would get an Xray and some steroids.

Edit: For clarity, I meant the symptom was indicative of resp distress but her condition did not appear to be that case.
 

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So she's been breathing this way for a day now?
I think a vet trip is in order.
Remember that rats are prey animals, so they will hide their illnesses (with great success) for as long as they can. Just because you aren't seeing sneezing/wheezing/etc doesn't mean it isn't there.
It looks like her lungs are working very hard. Likely, she has an infection in the lungs, possibly pneumonia.
Definitely could also be an internal problem, such as something pushing on her lungs.
Can you rat phone her? Put her up to your ear, try to listen to roughly where her lungs are. Listen to both sides. Do you hear anything besides a gentle woosh-woosh?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I rat phoned her, and couldn't hear anything. One thing that concerned me when I checked on her just now is that she's a bit dirty (pee on her coat and a little poo by her bum) when normally she's the cleanest rattie ever. I called the vet and we'll be going in two hours. I hope this isn't signs of end of life :(
 

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This looks very much like CK, it's characterised by silent abdominal breathing. It's also not well known by most vets. I would print out and take along the following article

http://www.fancyratsforum.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=47

I've had a rat with this and had some improvement on amoxycillin but not for long. i had to let him go in the end. i did hear about someone having luck with septrin. The main opinion from a very experienced forum i wad on at the time was that some rats survive and recover and some don't and meds don't usually help that, they just draw the process out
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Okay, so we're back from the vet, and this is what went down.
Our vet is usually very good, but today she was incredibly stumped by Mango's condition. She listened to her chests and even her sinuses and could detect no noise/rattle whatsoever. She's completely silent. So, she then said there are so many possibilities of what it could be - anything from a heart condition to cancer to nothing at all. Mango has been previously treated for URIs - three times in six months. The vet long suspected there was some sort of structural damage done to Mango's lungs, so it could also be that.
Here's the thing - she said the only way to proceed was to get an X-Ray done. But, she refused to do the X-Ray without anaesthic. She proceeded to tell me that use of anaesthic with rats is extemely risky, especially if there is some internal damage...she said that it is very possible Mango will not wake up after having the anaesthic for the X-Ray.
I didn't know what to do, you guys.. what an awful position to be in. I have to decide whether to proceed and risk losing her even if something's not wrong..
What holds me back the most is that other that the strange breathing, she is absolutely, 100% a very happy rat. She's eating abundantly like usual, comes running for treats, is playing with cage mates, is drinking, running around, affectionate as always..it's JUST the breathing.
I feel like if I risk the X-Ray, then I could end up killing her..depriving her of days/weeks/months to come (she's still under 1 year) because in fact there's a possibility there's nothing wrong with her..
The vet didn't detect any bumps or anything..
So for now, we're sitting at home, absolutely stumped on what to do. She's such a happy girl that I don't want to take unnecessary gambles..but I'm also not sure what's going on.
My current plan of action is monitor her like crazy, and if new symptoms or behaviour changes start happening, go back to the vet and contemplate the X-Ray again. I don't want to be selfish, and I don't want her to suffer. But I'm terrified of making the wrong decision.
What would you guys do? :(
 

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I would get the xray done. Whatever is causing it will probably be painful if let to get worse. Caius had pulmonary abscesses and was anesthetized for her XRAY the day she was eventually put to sleep (which I wasnt expecting). However, it comes down to your preference. Caius was abdominal breathing and was lethargic within a week.
 

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I would get the X-ray done also. She could be living in a lot of pain currently so getting this X-ray could potentially help figure out what's wrong so she can be helped. If it's just left alone it will most likely stay the same or get worse, which isn't good.
 

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I also meant to add, if Caius' abscesses were caught sooner we could've tried treatment. I waited and they weren't treatable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi guys.
The last few days have been rough - I decided to wait on yesterday's XRay because I was so terrified that the anesthetic would kill Mango.
But today, she's worse.. her breathing is ragged and with each breath there is a clicking noise.
I just held her to my chest and cried.
I don't want to say goodbye to my baby girl..but something is nagging at my heart saying this is the end..
I don't know what to do from here. Please help.
 

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I'm sorry. It's a hard decision every time and you'll always wonder if it was the right one. If you've the money, I would spring for a visit/Xray and see if there is a treatment option. Maybe chloramphenicol would help her.
 
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