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Ventipulmin - Respiratory Illness/Lung Scarring in Rats

I've posted this on another forum and thought some of you guys might have some ideas so have pasted it here :)

Little bit of background: Rosanne has always had respiratory issues, we lost her sister at about 18 weeks old to pneumonia. She's 18months-2 years old. She's had repeat respiratory infections pretty much since I got her. After a variety of antibiotic combinations my vet came to the conclusion that she has lung scarring as the noise eventually was not lessened through antibiotics. I've been treating her with antibiotics as and when she appears porphy and more unwell. She's been on Bisolven every day for the last few months but with little results.

Over the weekend she seemed to be struggling even more than usual, very laboured breathing, wheezing and side sucking. Took her back to the vet and she's back on antibiotics. She's also to stay on the Bisolven. I've been given Ventipulmin today to give twice daily. I've looked on google and ratguide and cannot find any information on this drug in relation to rats. Has anyone here used it before and with any success?


  • _racingmouse_racingmouse Legacy
    Posts: 328
    Hi Lauren, sorry to hear Rosanne is having breathing issues. They can be a real curse in rats. Kallan will be the best person to advise you on Ventipulmin. It sounds like some sort of respiratory airway expander? I can`t say the name rings any bells with me but then, I`ve never used it even when I kept ratties. I was always given Baytril, Synulox or Zithromax and had to advise the vet sometimes as he wasn`t sure about the dosages! He was great though for prescribing me what I asked for once I had found the dosages online from well respected forums and websites.

    Bisolven is a mucylactic?.. so clears mucous from the membranes as far as I understand it`s mechanism of action. I once rang my vet about a mouse I had with ongoing crackly breathing and asked him if it was just advisable to use Bisolven on food and he said quite directly, no. I would be much better using Baytril. He`s the boss so I always listen to him!

    Sorry I can`t be of more use here but just wanted to say I`m thinking about little Rosanne and hope she`s comfortable. Did your vet listen to her heart? I would think he did given that breathing issues can affect the heart. I only ask because I have read that heart drugs can sometimes be used if heart failure is found. It`s been years since I discussed ratty medicine though!

    Edited to add: I had a quick look on some online forums through google lauren and it seems to be a bronchial dialator used in horses. It has been prescribed for rats though and one person said it worked very well and others mentioned that rats with heart failure can also have fluid and mucous build-up and can be given heart drugs like Atenolol combination with other therapies to ease their breathing. Hopefully the drug will show some improvement for Rosanne. x
  • _lauren_lauren Legacy
    Posts: 1,214
    Thanks April :)

    I think it's some kind of expander, yes. Someone said it's used with asthmatics. I gave it to her last night and it really seemed to knock her out :( i went in and she was just passed out in the middle of the cage :( I'm not comfortable with that. I know she might not have long left and I don't want her to spend the rest of her days in a stupor, she's a very bubbly and sociable rat, more so than any other I've had. Affectionate too.

    Bisolven is a mucylatic type drug, I'm not sure how I'd give it not on food as it's a powder. People on FR seem to dose food with it, to be honest though, it's had no impact on her breathing at all anyway.

    I believe the vet listened to her heart but she didn't seem concerned by it.

    Her chest sounded wetter this morning but I wonder if that's because the drug loosened it up?
  • Posts: 258
    I'm not much help on meds for Rats but I just wanted to recommend menthol crystals. You buy them from boots, or any pharmacy, melt them in hot water and place the bowl near the cage. It really helps clear the airways and has worked well for all the mice I've had with chronic problems.
  • _GhostsInSnow_GhostsInSnow Legacy
    Posts: 522
    Awwwh I'm really sorry to hear about Rosanne :hug:
    I've never tried it on any of our rats, our vet only ever seems to prescribe Baytril :roll:

    Maybe keep her on it for a day or two and see how she goes?
    Our contact the vet and ask if it's normal for her to be in such a bad way on the medicine
    I do agree with you about not wanting her to spend the rest of her days knocked out though
    I hope she perks up a bit for you :(
  • _lauren_lauren Legacy
    Posts: 1,214
    She's quite perky - she's the most nutty animal I've ever owned. It seems to catch up with her in waves, I'm giving her the odd bit of Metacam when she's really struggling and it seems to help. I've been giving her a smaller dose of the Ventolin but haven't noticed much of a difference in her breathing.

    Thanks for the tip about Menthol crystals Georgia - I'll look into that :)
  • _T-bear_T-bear Legacy
    Posts: 548
    I know this is a bit old, but what is the humidity in your ratties place, My vet had me keep my mice in a 35 percent or less room when I brought Ms Peanut home and she has some scaring and that seemed to help her breathing.

    In the winter is when it is bad for her breathing, and she gets that wising and coughing then it's antibiotic time and the dryer room.
    where it's nice for her and the others.
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