I don't know what to do! - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
Degu Discussion Twitching whiskers, curious noses, and all things degu related.

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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-21-2006, 04:20 AM Thread Starter
 
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Unhappy I don't know what to do!

I'm in turmoil over this one, and could really do with some advice!

A year ago, Rummy got a cold and got very wheezy, and we managed to trat him with antibiotics and he was fine. Since then, he's been a bit szeezy and i've doen loads to try and figure out what it could be, including looking at it being an allergy since it only affects him, not the other two.

about 6 weeks ago, the heavy sneezing and wheezing came back, so we took him to the vets again. He's had three courses of antibiotics (two different drops and some injections), but he's still not better. The vets doesn't think he can do anything more for him. Over the past few days his chest has become a bit swollen and we are going to take him to the vets again.

I don't know what to do about it... if the vets can't do anything else, and he is getting worse, how much longer do i let this go on?
Its killing me that he is not well and doesn't have the quality of life he should. He is still eating and drinking well and even tries to go in the wheel still, but is really struggling for breath sometimes, particularly when i try to look at him, or after a sand bath.

I don't want him to suffer, but i don't think i could actually say yes to putting him to sleep. He's getting on a bit now (about 4-5 years old), but he's still curious and as lively as he can be...

I really dont know what to do.
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-21-2006, 04:37 AM
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Aaaawwwww i'm so sorry you are having to go through this If you have ruled all chances of an allergy out then i maybe would seek a second veterinary opinion try looking for small animal vets with exotic pet experience (i know there are some over here in the UK who know about degu's so they might be worth looking into if you haven't already) as sometimes someone different can see something that was previously unseen. If he still doesn't get any better than its a day by day thing, you will know instinctively what is the right thing to do and when and whatever decision you have to make i'm sure Rum knows you love him and want the best for him

Kirsty


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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-21-2006, 04:44 AM Thread Starter
 
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The vets is pretty experienced with degus... we already travel to see them! I guess i could look around elsewhere. do you know where to start looking for experts?

The vet believes that it could be caused by a bit of dust/sand thats caught in his lungs, that keeps getting infected which is why it acts like an allergy and is irritated by sand baths and dust. as soon as the infection is cleared then the irritant becomes re-infected again. its probably why we can't clear it now! Fortunately, raisin isn't affected, and jerry is seperate, so isn't either.

I was cuddling him last night, and he was so down. it really difficult seeing him struggle for breath one minute, then snuggle up to you and nibble you the next, and then try to run in the wheel.
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-21-2006, 04:59 AM
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What bedding do you use?

Kirsty


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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-21-2006, 05:08 AM Thread Starter
 
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various.... tried the soft stuff... tried shredded paper, tried kitchen roll... tried every type the pet shop has! we've changed the chincilla sand and tried at least three different types, we've tried chnaging the sawdust to wooden pellets, and at the advice of the vet, went without altogether (smelly)!
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-21-2006, 05:20 AM
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Did he improve any with the various types? Does he have regular access to the sand or is it just when you let them have it?

Kirsty


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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-21-2006, 05:22 AM Thread Starter
 
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he was better with the most expensive sand. they used to have it all the time, but thats not been for a while. i took it away as soon as he started wheezing again!

i cant think what else it could be...
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-21-2006, 05:30 AM
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I'd definately use the best sand and only allow them access to it occasionally especially if it is affecting him in that way. Limit his use of it to just once a week or less if it is affecting him and when they use it try to maybe do it in another cage so the dust doesn't linger in there home as sand tends to get everywhere. Which bedding material does he respond best too? As if your not already doing so i would use that as well and make sure the cage is cleaned once a day or something. Thats the only thing i can really think off at the moment. As if he is allergic to the dust then its a matter of removing anything dusty from his environment which is easier said then done but worth a go.

Kirsty


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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-21-2006, 05:55 AM Thread Starter
 
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at present, they only have it for about 15 minute once a week, because it iritates rummy a lot!

i pressure washed the cage the other day to get it super clean. the different beddings made no difference to him, and i'm using the wood pellets as base as they cause the least irritation. I think its gone past the stage where this is really going to help him though... the vets has said albas oil might help his breathing.

i just don't like seeing him getting worse regardless! i feel bad for not being able to help him more!
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-21-2006, 05:58 AM
 
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Sorry to hear about your sick degu I hope you can figure out what's wrong and get it fixed. Best wishes for the little guy.
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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-21-2006, 06:07 AM
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aaaawwww the poor little guy. I'd keep up with what you are doing and also maybe try the olbas oil as this will help open the chest up and expand it helping him to breathe. My aunty did a simular thing for her last dog as he had a bad chest and she used to have a small indoor water fountain to add humidity to the air and open his chest up on the advice of the vet. Have you tried researching it as there might be something for another animal that has been done that could help Rum be more comfy and something that maybe your vet hasn't even heard off?

Kirsty


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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-21-2006, 06:25 AM Thread Starter
 
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I read dusterbeds Odontoma post, and did wonder, as rummy and raisin have a long history of tooth problems and malocclusion.... i did wonder if it was possibly related and was going to bring up the subject with the vet.

since its only rummy, i was wondering if it wasn't an infection/allergy thing, and possibly some kind of growth. i hope not, i've already lost one degu to cancer and don't think i could cope with losing another one the same way!

thanks for all your help by the way! i was running out of ideas about this! i'll try the olbas oil, and try and do a bit of research at lunch!
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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-21-2006, 06:26 AM Thread Starter
 
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and thanks kandy for your concern
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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-21-2006, 06:34 AM
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Animals are like humans though an allergy can affect one but not another. I wouldn't give up hope yet maybe do some research and talk things over with your vet and seek a second opinion if your unsure. I hope there is something that can be done, please keep us posted

Kirsty


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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-22-2006, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
 
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I have an appointment with the vet tonight.

done some research... results suggest allergy, pneumonia resistant to the abs used so far, cancer and heart defect/failure! this is from internet research and from another vet (not one that specialises though).

either way, i don't think its going to be a happy ending
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