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Spoke too soon, Charlie & Bosley RI

I’d posted all was going well with my male rats, Charlie and Bosley. Tempting fate I fear. Bosley is always a sneezy boy and I don’t worry about that any more but recently he has been making ee ee noises when eating, like he was congested. Yesterday Charlie started the ee ee, clicking, sneezing etc noises and generally wasn’t himself. So both boys went to the vet and are on a course of AB injections. I was worried when we got back yesterday as both boys were scratching hugely, and I feared a reaction to the injection. But it stopped eventually. This morning Charlie is still sorry for himself. He cannot get comfortable, is pooing and weeing in strange places (normally he is fastidious about doing both in their toilet) and eating paper. He has just had a crusty piece of toast so is eating and drinking ok. Fingers crossed.
Mum to Bosley the rat and Teddy the hamster.
Never forgotten - my lovely fancy mice Jill, Kate, Eve, Kris, Sabrina, Dylan, Kelly, Abby, Tiffany, Natalie and Alex and wild mice Harry and Wills and Charlie the gentle-man Rat.

Comments

  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,285
    It`s hellish when rats and mice suffer from these persistent breathing issues Sarah and most of the time the causative agent is a form of Mycoplasmal bacteria in the airways. A bacteria which lacks a cell wall, so is usually resistant to all the antibiotics vets try. Baytril is their favourite but does work sometimes when given at a level that targets the bacteria and given more often than once a day. 

    I can only speak from my experience with mice because until my vet realised that such small rodents with fast metabolisms requited Baytril two to three times dosed per day. I used to do the `one drop a day` routine and realised I was wasting my time and money. It had zero effect. So my vet, who is now retired sadly, advised giving it more often and I seen an improvement in the girls symptoms, but injecting antibiotics is a faster way to hit the problem and should be long acting depending on what was given.

    Baytril burns can occur, so check the injection site in a day or two just to check for any inflammation or rdnss all the same. 

    Don`t know if you read my post about the TV series Bondi Vet recently who nebulised an older rat as he was having noisy breathing, red porphyrin staining around the eyes and nose etc...it worked so well! It was strange watching the rat inside a plastic box filled with a steam solution which is administered through a tube into the box. Something to ask your vet about if the injections fail to work well. Not sure what the cost is,but there should also be some online videos of this procedure and I have known people to do this at home, although I think you need the set up and get instructions from a vet on how to use it correctly. It`s not something I would advise doing without proper back up by professionals.
  • SarahnashSarahnash Lemming
    Posts: 346
    Hi yes I did read the post and had a look on line. I was slightly daunted as yes, felt a bit too clinical for me to attempt. If the symptoms don’t respond to AB (indeed is baytril) I will ask. They had their injection earlie4 and it was quite traumatic for Bosley, he struggled and screamed and the nurse lost control for a while. My poor baby (I don’t blame her at all) but my baby fled into my sweatshirt after and laid their crying. No scratching when we got back but they were both basically zonked. Charlie tried to climb onto his shelf and fell off and that about finished me. But they have just had loves and a bit of brocolli and actually looking brighter than this morning.
    You and Nicky are right. Is it worth the heart ache. I think my next pet will be a pet rock.
    Mum to Bosley the rat and Teddy the hamster.
    Never forgotten - my lovely fancy mice Jill, Kate, Eve, Kris, Sabrina, Dylan, Kelly, Abby, Tiffany, Natalie and Alex and wild mice Harry and Wills and Charlie the gentle-man Rat.
  • AnnBAnnB Mouse
    Posts: 1,006
    Oh no, poor Bosley and Charlie. I do hope they respond quickly to the meds.
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,285
    That`s the one thing that daunts me when keeping rats, mice, hamsters, gerbils etc....not the wonderful feeling we get from having them in our lives, but the sometimes ongoing vet trips that they just don`t understand and the stress it can place on them. If it was a simple collect some Baytril from the vet or home remedies we could action, things would be a lot easier on them. I never cared about cost, it was more the thought of having to prepare them for that visit, the taxi journey, the waiting in the surgery with dogs yapping and not having my own car to leave when I was ready to. It really played on my mind when many of the rodents I kept had a daily routine of their own where I barely changed anything and then suddenly  they were plonked into a carrier and manhandled by a vet! 

    I done this routine many times and looking back, only some of the treatments worked or were necessary. My wee male gerbil Grubs who injured his teeth on a barred play pen run had to have his two lower teeth cut back each month and it was as gruelling for me and moreso,for him. I adored that little gerbil and was gutted when this incident made his like hell. I can`t say it didn`t affect me personally because it did. I`ve never kept any gerbils since losing all my boys and they were one of the rodents (apart from the mice) I truly loved to keep. I had to have scent gland tumours removed, teeth trimmed back and medications administered all at various times in their lives. 

    My wee `meercats` were such characters! 

    Sarah, I hope Bosley doesn`t have to go through that again as it sounds as if the injection gave him a lot of stress. I absolutely know the anxiety these things can cause so take it a day at a time. 
    Thanked by 1Sarahnash
  • SarahnashSarahnash Lemming
    Posts: 346
    We have the last injection today with the vet. I’m sorry to say I don’t think it has helped this time for Charlie. Not sure what to do. He does want to eat but doesn’t attempt large crunchy food. Last nite he gorged on brocolli, peas, scrambled egg, soya milk, fresh sweet corn, digestive biscuits and soft dog food. He grunted and eeked and snuffled through it it enjoyed it, then I syringed some water down his throat. He isn’t drinking from his bottle any more (but will dip his head in his water bowl). Bosley, who can eat crunchy food came out in sympathy and also enjoyed the feast. My gut feeling is it is not respiratory but giving the symtoms of. I am considering the options. Carry on hand feeding the soft stuff, ask the vet if an exploratory knock out would help diagnose. Then if he has to leave, what to do with Bosley? Much like the pain of loss of mice personally I don’t want to go through it again with rats, so getting companions for him will just continue the cycle.
    Perhaps selfish, but there it is. As a neutered male he could go back to the breeder and live his days with her rats there. But would he miss me? Is it better to stay with us alone or go to other rats without his mummy and daddy? Or am I being fanciful and overestimating our appeal! They are both nearly 2 so not youngsters.
    Mum to Bosley the rat and Teddy the hamster.
    Never forgotten - my lovely fancy mice Jill, Kate, Eve, Kris, Sabrina, Dylan, Kelly, Abby, Tiffany, Natalie and Alex and wild mice Harry and Wills and Charlie the gentle-man Rat.
  • SarahnashSarahnash Lemming
    Posts: 346
    Last injection done. Charlie is going in tomorrow for a knock out, exploration, X-ray.
    Mum to Bosley the rat and Teddy the hamster.
    Never forgotten - my lovely fancy mice Jill, Kate, Eve, Kris, Sabrina, Dylan, Kelly, Abby, Tiffany, Natalie and Alex and wild mice Harry and Wills and Charlie the gentle-man Rat.
  • AnnBAnnB Mouse
    Posts: 1,006
    I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Charlie. I don't have any answers for you if Bosley is left on his own but I'm sure you'll make the right decision if and when necessary (but let's hope it doesn't come to that yet).
    Thanked by 1Sarahnash
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,285
    Such a sad time Sarah when your boys are not right, I know that feeling all too well. If your vet is puting their issued down to RI issues alone, you could ask her to nebulise both lads at the same time? When I saw an older rat have this done on Bondi vet recently, the rat`s breathing and overall appearance really improved after this method was used, but you also have to ask the question, how often would nebulising have to be done to stay in control of their overall problem? Is it a `quick fix` or a longer term treatment?

    I would personally keep a single rat if his cagemate passed on, but obviously, it depends on the rat and whether they would feel that loss too much and go downhill as a result, or if they dealt with any loss okay and appeared to be managing well on their own. I had this dilemma with Jack & Victor and when Jack died from kidney stones, Victor was very nervous and his breathing got so bad I was asking my vet for beta blockers! It was a strain on me too over worrying all the time until he eventually passed. He wouldn`t eat and just seemed to not enjoy life anymore as he was the more nervous of the two rats and possibly relied upon Jack as his strength. 

    One of the main reasons I gave up keeping rats and switched to mice. And then single dwarf hamsters after that. 
    Thanked by 1Sarahnash
  • SarahnashSarahnash Lemming
    Posts: 346
    I understand exactly how you feel RM and I’m the same. I won’t have mice or rats again. It’s not good for my health or mind. I’ll have to see how Bosley is if the time comes. He is a nervous boy also and relies on his big brother. When I took Charlie to the vet and not Bosley yesterday, his concern was palpable.
    So yesterday Charlie was knocked out, examined and xrayed and they did a nose swab and the vet thinks pneumonia based on the look of the lungs. Initially I was happy as I thought it was a tumour but now horrified and blaming myself as is so obviously a RI. And I’ve since read it’s not curable and terminal.
    I’d never heard the really bad sounds before, I thought it was a mouth obstruction causing the guttering and choking sounds. We have to wait for the results to come before they give AB; the baytril injections didn’t help so possibly no point in giving those I guess the vet thinks. 5-7 days wait.
    We have metacam to give general support and as painkiller and I stand with him in the shower room with a hot shower going, so far 3 times and I think that is helping. I am hand feeding whenever he is awake and responsive with all sorts of stuff, anything to keep him interested in food and keep calories going in.
    Soft dog food, partly cooked pasta and rice, soya milk, scrambled egg, brocolli, peas, sweet corn, anything he will take.
    Personally I am not doing well with little sleep and no appetite for food. I go check on him and burst into tears!
    Thank heavens for an understanding boss - I can work at home and take holiday with short notice.
    Mum to Bosley the rat and Teddy the hamster.
    Never forgotten - my lovely fancy mice Jill, Kate, Eve, Kris, Sabrina, Dylan, Kelly, Abby, Tiffany, Natalie and Alex and wild mice Harry and Wills and Charlie the gentle-man Rat.
  • SarahnashSarahnash Lemming
    Posts: 346
    Tuesday was the worst day I thought we were losing him. The noises were terrible he was in obvious distress/discomfort. We steamed and then I gave him his metacam which was traumatic for both of us. After I rang the vet and requested that if he was still with us Wednesday we do a metacam injection instead. Imagine trying to take down medicine when you can barely breathe. Tuesday nite he was quieter in breathing and I kept waking to check he was still alive. And yes he was. And quieter. And more peaceful.
    And yesterday he was a different rat!
    We still had the injection and I expect the nurse thought I was the worse kind of rat owner who baulked at giving a rat medicine and because he didn’t make a sound, but I don’t care. He got the right amount and neither of us had to struggle. Last night he was coming for food and interested and wanting attention, still making a noise but not so much.
    Hope the results come back and suitable AB can then be started.
    I accept all things must die, but peacefully at the end of a good life, not in pain or discomfort, that’s my goal.
    Mum to Bosley the rat and Teddy the hamster.
    Never forgotten - my lovely fancy mice Jill, Kate, Eve, Kris, Sabrina, Dylan, Kelly, Abby, Tiffany, Natalie and Alex and wild mice Harry and Wills and Charlie the gentle-man Rat.
  • SarahnashSarahnash Lemming
    Posts: 346
    Ps just had my first proper meal since the weekend as I feel happier now. Scrambled egg on toast. Shared it with the boys of course :x
    Mum to Bosley the rat and Teddy the hamster.
    Never forgotten - my lovely fancy mice Jill, Kate, Eve, Kris, Sabrina, Dylan, Kelly, Abby, Tiffany, Natalie and Alex and wild mice Harry and Wills and Charlie the gentle-man Rat.
  • AnnBAnnB Mouse
    Posts: 1,006
    That's such good news, Sarah. I hope he's on the mend now and you can relax a bit.
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,285
    It`s good to hear things are steady now Sarah, it`s all you can ask for really and Metacam may be the answer if his breathing responds best to this. See how the next few days go and take things from there. Obviously keep a daily note of symptoms, eating patterns etc and see if anything changes. The main thing is, don`t deprive yourself of nutrition! I love scrambled egg with toast, or spaghetti with toast! 

    Rats can be a labour of love and hard work when they succumb to RI issues as they can be prolonged in nature and life limiting for the rat. I look back to when I kept mine aswell as the gerbils and the mice and even when I had two rescue degus, one of those died having an operation on a nasty abscess. 
    :( 

    You need to have a strong will to keep small furries, that`s for sure.x
  • SarahnashSarahnash Lemming
    Posts: 346
    Up,down,up,down. Vet called yesterday to report swab showed no infection of bacteria or yeast. So what about the pneumonia? Well could still be pneumonia. But cannot treat it with AB? No, could be a cancer in there.
    So what treatment can we give? Support with metacam, anti inflammatory, helps with symptoms.

    Seems metacam is the aspirin of the animal world - quite good for many things.
    So thrown into a down at that point, worse thing you can give me is a problem I cannot fight.
    But last night he was eating ‘normal’ rat food from their dish and drinking from the water bottle.
    Today he has started making the bad noises again.
    Off to vet shortly for metacam injection, if we can keep on even keel I will continue orally for as long as it helps him. I don’t think you have to finish the dose like AB and can give when required.

    Boys are restricted to top half of cage (effectively are in a single critter nation), I felt Charlie was happier like that, didn’t have to go far to food and toilet. Can they stay in that size home indefinitely?
    Mum to Bosley the rat and Teddy the hamster.
    Never forgotten - my lovely fancy mice Jill, Kate, Eve, Kris, Sabrina, Dylan, Kelly, Abby, Tiffany, Natalie and Alex and wild mice Harry and Wills and Charlie the gentle-man Rat.
  • AnnBAnnB Mouse
    Posts: 1,006

    So frustrating but at least Charlie is eating and drinking again of his own accord so his breathing must be less laboured.

    I tend to restrict access for the mice when they have health issues, it would be far worse for them to be struggling to negotiate their cage than it is for them to have a bit less room generally.

  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,285
    Sounds as if it`s going to be a day to day thing Sarah but it`s a shame you need to keep having Metacam injections often if the symptoms are responding to it. Is there not an oral Metacam? If memory serves me well, is that a steroid? Sorry if I`m wrong on that haven`t used small animal medications for a while so memory is a bit slow!

    Keeping their immune systems strong is also good although if that becomes compromised chances are the infection/bacteria can flare things and that`s possibly what you are seeing. Both boys are probably already fed many good foods like raw broccoli and those foods that the Rat Shunamite diet suggest. Look online for that Shunamite diet as the pages can be informative with what to feed old rats, ill rats and give suggestions.
  • SarahnashSarahnash Lemming
    Posts: 346
    Some changes since my last post, not good. Charlie’s terrible noises stopped with metacam and we are now on daily oral which he doesn’t like but I feel happier doing now as his breathing is better. Metacam is anti inflammatory anti pain.
    But last Sunday he developed a lump. Right side of face, in front of ear, backwards of eye. Back to vet last Monday, hoping it is an abscess. His right ear has had troubles - infections, green pus historically, which cleared up. Now his ear has a bit of waxy discharge, a bit smelly, but not smelly enough for an abscess.
    The lump has grown in size this week and is encroaching into his ear space. He (or Bosley) is starting to scratch it so is starting to bother him more. He is also losing weight. But eating really well. Not good signs.
    He is in the vet Monday for a general and exploration/diagnosis/removal I hope. I will say do anything they think possible, except PTS. Charlie will let me know when that is required.
    But I very much fear we are not coming back from this.
    So we are spending all the time they want with them and treating with huge amounts of treat foods.
    Mum to Bosley the rat and Teddy the hamster.
    Never forgotten - my lovely fancy mice Jill, Kate, Eve, Kris, Sabrina, Dylan, Kelly, Abby, Tiffany, Natalie and Alex and wild mice Harry and Wills and Charlie the gentle-man Rat.
  • AnnBAnnB Mouse
    Posts: 1,006

    Poor Charlie, he's certainly having a rough time of it. I hope the vet can perform miracles on Monday.

    Thanked by 1Sarahnash
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    edited September 23 Posts: 1,285
    This really is rotten news Sarah given the RI issues and now this. My first ever rat Winston took a lump at the side of his ear/cheek and the vet diagnosed a zymbal gland problem. Don`t know if I`ve spelt that correctly but it sounds correct when you say it. Your vet should know what that is. Winston was well into his second year so a good age. He had lost a lot of weight too and also had hind leg degeneration. I had to let him go that day and I couldn`t eat for days afterwards, but I hardened to it as the years went on and I had other losses, especially with my mice.

    Wishing Charlie well at the vet and lets hope they can give you an answer to what this is and Charlie can come home to carry on his life. Your right also to say that they let us know when they are ready to leave. When they are still eating, know where they are and can generally manage daily things, that tells us they are not unable to cope. x


    Thanked by 1Sarahnash
  • SarahnashSarahnash Lemming
    Posts: 346
    Charlie had his procedure today. And it was the best news possible. It was an abscess. It has been lanced and drained and he is home with a shaven face and small scar. I am beyond ‘happy’ as I know you will understand. I may have a small hangover tomorrow.
    I had researched (google is a terrible thing) and found zymbals gland tumour RM, and the symptoms fitted exactly and Charlie also has hind leg degeneration. I was 90% sure we were saying goodbye today. OH stayed home from work to be there in case it had to be ‘now’, but not today, not this time.
    I am planning a critter nation rebuild to put 2 levels to 1 longer level, should give both the space and exercise potential. Boz is getting very fat with all the treats. Goodnight all and god bless.
    Mum to Bosley the rat and Teddy the hamster.
    Never forgotten - my lovely fancy mice Jill, Kate, Eve, Kris, Sabrina, Dylan, Kelly, Abby, Tiffany, Natalie and Alex and wild mice Harry and Wills and Charlie the gentle-man Rat.
  • AnnBAnnB Mouse
    Posts: 1,006
    Amazing news, I'm so happy for you.
    Thanked by 1Sarahnash
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,285

    =))  So happy for Charlie AND you Sarah! Hope the wee man feels better today and can enjoy some quality time with Bosley. x 
    Thanked by 1Sarahnash
  • SarahnashSarahnash Lemming
    Posts: 346
    Yesterday his abscess had got bigger again. Very gently manipulated it and wiped with boiled cooled salt water. This made him scratch it, bingo, bit more green smelly pus! Better out than in. He was happier when the lump was flatter. Going in right direction I hope.
    Mum to Bosley the rat and Teddy the hamster.
    Never forgotten - my lovely fancy mice Jill, Kate, Eve, Kris, Sabrina, Dylan, Kelly, Abby, Tiffany, Natalie and Alex and wild mice Harry and Wills and Charlie the gentle-man Rat.
  • AnnBAnnB Mouse
    Posts: 1,006

    I'd be tempted to bathe the site regularly with the saline solution for a few days if more pus is building up. Definitely better out than in.

  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,285
    Abscesses are an accumulation of dead cells from infection. If the vet had a good go at it and it`s filling again, did they say just to keep manipulating it and trying to drain away any further puss Sarah? Or did your vet suggest going back if it became problematic again? So annoying for wee Charlie though that it hasn`t stayed away. x
  • SarahnashSarahnash Lemming
    Posts: 346
    We expressed copious green smelly pus again this evening. As well as the vets inscision it has broken through into the ear canal so two exits. Yes vet said to keep bathing in saline, keep on the AB etc and the vet will ring me on Saturday. They sent some pus for analysis so If there is a better AB to use we can be advised. It is slightly concerning the pus is continuing, obviously means infection still there and AB not really working (in my head).
    Mum to Bosley the rat and Teddy the hamster.
    Never forgotten - my lovely fancy mice Jill, Kate, Eve, Kris, Sabrina, Dylan, Kelly, Abby, Tiffany, Natalie and Alex and wild mice Harry and Wills and Charlie the gentle-man Rat.
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,285
    Keep at it Sarah and hopefully once the vet phones, you can go from there. Sounds like a nasty one but those can be trickier to get rid of. x
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