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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-26-2012, 06:08 AM Thread Starter
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Question Rat on antibiotics, improvement?

Hi guys, this is my first post here but I have a burning question. It's a bit of tale but here goes. I could really use some advice from anyone who has had a sneezy or licey ratty before

My new rat, Merlin, was infested with lice when I got him and was also very small and fluffy. I suspect that I was lied to about his age as he was only 78 grams yet I was told he would be 7 weeks. I'd guess that he was maybe 4 or 5 weeks at the time. At any rate, we gave him the spot on treatment and the lice went away. I noticed that he was sneezing but that could have been stress, the new move, his old bedding etc so I left him be for week. I also wanted to let him gain some weight before he had any further medication because he was so fricken tiny and thin.

He was eating and drinking but the sneezing and noisy breathing continued so nearly two weeks after I got him I took him to the vet. There we learned that he was up to 150 grams (yay) and he was prescribed 0.04ml of baytril twice a day for 7-10 days. That was three days ago and he has had 4 doses so far and will get his 5th tonight.

So. I have seen improvement. He has gone from a sleepy, uninterested rat who just snuggled down and slept when outside the cage to a perky, curious little man who now tussles with his cagemate Darwin over food and dashes around wanting to see what's going on. He's suddenly got character is how I would describe it.

My issue is that his sneezing and breathing haven't really improved. It seems to bother him less but there is no real improvement yet in that area. I called the vet and she said to keep going with this medication and see how he is on Monday.

My question is; do you think the medication is working? Does he maybe need two types of antibiotics? He keeps getting little breathing fits where he gets very noisy for several seconds, and his normal breathing is audibly snuffly almost all the time. Does he maybe just need more time on the current meds?

Also, on the night I got back from the vet I saw some lice on him again. Only about 4 or 5 but we treated him for that even though it had only been two weeks since his last dose of beaphar. Darwin was also treated. Was I right to do this?

Any advice would be massively appreciated!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-26-2012, 09:39 AM
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Yes you were right to treat him with the ivermectin (spot on) BUT you need to dose him 3 times, once a week to kill off the lice. Ivermectin only kills hatched out adults, and each week a new batch of adults hatch out, so you need to kill them then scrub the cages and everything else. If you have wood or paper-based beddings you will need to freeze them for 48 hours before use to kill off any stowaways in teh future.

As for getting better, that is great! Usually improvement is seen at 4-5 days so you are ahead BUT he is going to need more than 10 days of baytril to get better. At 7-10 days the infection seems to be gone but its not, and if you stop antibiotics then the URI usually flares right back up You need a very minimum of 2 weeks of abs (antibiotics).

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-31-2012, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for your reply. It looks more complicated now though unfortunately After nearly a week on baytril I took Merlin back to the vets because he started getting sneezing fits. He got septrin (sp?) to have alongside the baytril (.02ml and .1ml). Today, a week since he started treatment) I was given some steroids for him as his sneezing fits aren't improving. They are proper little fits, he'll stop whatever he's doing, hold himself very still with his eyes shut and his legs out in front, and sneeze/cough for about ten seconds. He sounds quite congested and I'm pretty worried. They seem to be getting worse and more frequent. Should I ask for a different antibiotic? I'm hoping it's still an uri as the vet checked his lungs two days ok and seemed happy with them. Argh, the worry/uncertainty!
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-31-2012, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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He just had a really bad fit. He sort of stretched his body with paws out front and back arched and just stayed like that while making congested noises
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 07:19 AM
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Could he have choked or was it respiratory for sure? Did he open mouth gasp?

This is tiny baby Pinta who was congested and gasping.

http://s61.photobucket.com/albums/h7...bywithresp.mp4

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-03-2012, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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He's been back to the vet who doesn't know what to do with him. He isn't responding to the antibiotics or steroids, yet outside of his sneezing episodes (which are now accompanied with squeaks, clicks and gasps) which happen once an hour or so, he's utterly fine. Fur is smooth and sleek, he's putting lots of weight on and he's active and playful. She's reluctant to try doxy on him because he's so young so he's now on 0.05ml of baytril and half a tablet of synulox twice a day plus steroids once per day. He has been on the baytril for 10 days, the tablets for 3 and the steriods for 4. In addition I've tried natural menthol, children's anti allergy meds, steam and dark chocolate when he's having trouble but nothing seems to work. I'm beginning to wonder if he's going to make it as nothing seems to be having an effect and the fits are getting worse I can only afford so many trips to the vet and its currently working out at 1 and a half trips a week since I got him. He's such a sweetie pie though, I've never seen a sweeter face, and I can't give up on him. If you have any suggestions I could give to the vet I would be grateful.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-03-2012, 12:04 PM
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Honestly? I used Apple Cider Vinegar on my sneezy rat. I used approximately 1/16 teaspoon every day in baby food for several weeks, and he hasn't sneezed since. I also use it on the cats when they get a cold, and their colds clear up in 2- 4 days.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 08:47 AM
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[QUOTE=Oselle;642471]He's been back to the vet who doesn't know what to do with him. He isn't responding to the antibiotics or steroids, yet outside of his sneezing episodes (which are now accompanied with squeaks, clicks and gasps) which happen once an hour or so, he's utterly fine. Fur is smooth and sleek, he's putting lots of weight on and he's active and playful. She's reluctant to try doxy on him because he's so young so he's now on 0.05ml of baytril and half a tablet of synulox twice a day plus steroids once per day. He has been on the baytril for 10 days, the tablets for 3 and the steriods for 4. In addition I've tried natural menthol, children's anti allergy meds, steam and dark chocolate when he's having trouble but nothing seems to work. I'm beginning to wonder if he's going to make it as nothing seems to be having an effect and the fits are getting worse I can only afford so many trips to the vet and its currently working out at 1 and a half trips a week since I got him. He's such a sweetie pie though, I've never seen a sweeter face, and I can't give up on him. If you have any suggestions I could give to the vet I would be grateful.[/QUOTE

A little confused as to why your vet won't try doxycycline because hés a baby but have him on the same effect with baytril and a steroid. Those are both antibiotics/medications not indicated for young rats BUT I have used them myself (with doxy) for a very sick baby to save their lives, depends on the severity of the illness.

Can you video him and post it in here? It would really help us to understand what is going on.

So you are telling us there's not been one bit of improvement at all on any of the treatments?

What bedding is he on, what strong scents is his cage near?

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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Don't quote me on this, but I may be seeing a slight improvement in him today. He's still having his moments but they're less severe and not as frequent. Haven't seen a gasp or a click yet today either. He's also veeery frisky. Guess something is working? Possibly the tablets as they contain amoxicillin? He's been on them four days now. He's not got anything in his cage apart from paper towels as we were trying to see if he was allergic to the stuff we were using (dust and pine free). I'll see if the improvement continues
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