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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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Update on Russell...suggestions?

Well, Russell is now rounding out week 2 of 6 of his Baytril/Doxy combo, and I'm still concerned about him. His sneezing has definitely decreased, but his breathing has gotten worse again over the past two days. He squeaks and sometimes wheezes as he breathes, and nothing seems to help this. Most of the time the noises are coming from his nose itself, but tonight when I listened to his lungs he was a bit congested there as well.

I bought some Children's liquid Sudafed and have given him two doses today, so I'll see if that seems to help his breathing at all. He is still eating and drinking normally, hasn't lost any weight, and he is still as energetic (and naughty!) as ever. I'm just not sure what to do to get his breathing better.

Any suggestions? I've tried Benadryl before, and that helped only slightly, but not for long. This is his third time on Baytril, and his second time with the doxy combo. I don't know if there are any other medications that might help his respiratory problems... any ideas or suggestions? I just don't want him to get any worse. At least he is still really happy and energetic. The boys will be 14 months old in one week from today, so I'm really hoping that Russ will be around a lot longer.


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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 07:48 AM Thread Starter
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His breathing is still really bad this morning, and I'm going to call the vet at 8 am to see what more they can suggest...though I'm not sure if there is anything more they can really do. Are there any good bronchodilators that can be prescribed to rats? A big part of the problem seems to be that his nose is congested... he is wheezing a lot right now and I'm really worried.


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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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Called the vet, she said that the last resort would be a steroid shot to decrease inflammation. She wants me to try Afrin first to see if it will help clear his airways--she recommended 1 drop Afrin mixed with 1 drop water 2x daily, so I've just tried the first dose. If he's not better by tonight I'm going to have to take him in tomorrow. He's pretty bad right now. I'm afraid I might lose him...


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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 04:00 PM
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Oh no Breyer, I just read your posts and I am so sorry that Russell is not doing better!
I hope the new med helps him, I truly do. You know, I feel for you because Marc and I are in the exact same situation with Klausse. Every morning for the past few days,when I get up to check on him and Wolfgang, Klausse is doing the same thing as Russell. He is sort of grunting/squeaking and he sounds like a car trying to turn over its motor on a cold day, you know? So we freak out, give him a dose of Benadryl on bread and we also have two other meds that our vet gave us. One is called Theophyline, which is a bronchial dialator that helps his lungs, and also Metacam, the liquid ibuprofen/painkiller. This is in addition to the 2 weeks of Doxy that we have him and Wolfie on. Their two weeks is done tomorrow for the doxy. I called our vet about all this and she said that even though the doxy is helping with the bacteria, that Klausse has basically a ratty version of human asthma, in a way, and he probably had a flare up and has some mucus in his lungs/airway so that causes the breathing problem.

I did tell her that his breathing clears up almost immediately after we give him Benadryl and the Theophyline and she said that was great, BUT, if he keeps being like this every morning for more than a few days, I need to call the vet again and see if he needs something stronger.

Sorry to ramble, but I hoped that explaining some of the meds that my boys take might help you out or give you some ideas. Maybe you could mention that Theophyline to your vet (the bronchial dialator). It is raspberry flavored and both boys love it on a Triscuit bit or small chunk of bread.

Hope I helped a bit and I KNOW exactly how you feel right now. We do not want to lose our sweet Klausse. Our boys are the exact same age as your boys and we know you love your kiddos as much as we love ours. I will keep good thoughts in my head for Russell and hope he gets better. Please keep me posted!!

Vlad

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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much, Vlad. I just checked this to see if anyone had any suggestions. I talked with my boyfriend and we're going to watch him overnight to see if there are any changes. If not, then tomorrow I'll call the vet. She had said on the phone today that the steroid shot is the only other thing she could think of, but that it would potentially worsen him in the long run, though it would relieve his breathing problems temporarily. I'll tell her the medicines that you are currently using. Do you know the dosage for the Theophyline and the Metacam? Those are both drugs I've seen mentioned elsewhere for rats, so I'm going to write them down and take them in with me if I go tomorrow.


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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 04:37 PM
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Hi Breyer,
Yes, I will write down the dosages below for each of those two meds you asked about as well as Klausse and Wolfgang's weights because Klausse gets a bigger dose, as he is bigger (and fatter) so you can compare weights with Russell's weight if that helps!

Klausse weighs 709 grams. His dosage for the Theophylline (the bronchial dialator medicine) is 0.14 mls (milliliters, yes?) and his dosage for the Metacam is 0.45 mls.

Wolfgang weighs 618 grams. His dosage for the Theophylline is 0.12 mls and his dosage for Metacam is 0.41 mls.

I hope this helps! I also found out that I was still giving Klausse the Benadryl dosage from when he was much smaller and my vet said I could give him from .5 mls up to a full 1 ml (a full syringe) of Benadryl. So now he gets a much bigger dose. Let me know if I forgot to write anything down for you. Keep your spirits up Breyer, and send my love to Russell. I am thinking of him.

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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Vlad. I wrote those down and will save them in case I need to go to the vet. I just talked with my mom and she said that if he doesn't seem any worse, I might just want to keep him home, because going to the vet (for an injection, no less!) will really stress him out. I've noticed that when I take him into the bathroom with the shower on for steam, for instance, he gets so nervous that his breathing worsens instead of getting better. I'm not convinced that a shot is the best thing for him, at this point. If he's not better tomorrow, I might still give the vets a call to see what they think of the possibility of metacam and the bronchodilator. I'll update here for sure tomorrow.


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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 05:40 PM
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Thanks for the update Breyer! You know, I have to agree with you about stress at the vet's. Marc and I HATE to have to take our boys to the vet as it really upsets them and they get so scared and stressed out that it just breaks our hearts. They both got that reddish poryphin on their noses when we took them in 2 weeks ago, and they have never had that. The vet said the nose discharge was because they were stressed out, poor babies. So I agree..the vet can be so stressful for these little guys. I know they must be much happier safe at home in their house than getting shlepped off to the vet! It is always a hard call for us to decide whether to take them in or not.

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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-17-2010, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
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Well, I'm still waiting for the vet to call back, but Russell is doing better this morning so far. He was waiting for me impatiently this morning and was really bright-eyed and hyper--doing his "jail rat" routine (that's what we call it when the boys hang on to the cage door from the inside and shake it trying to get out!). He has been sniffling, but I can't hear his breathing so much now, which is definitely a good thing.

I called the vet hoping to get an answer about how long I can use the Afrin. For people it says not to use it more than 3 days in a row, so I'm assuming it's the same for rats. I wonder how many days I would have to wait before administering it to him again? That and the sudafed seem to be helping his breathing a bit. I also wanted to ask the vet about theophyline and metacam in case his breathing gets worse again. So, hopefully I'll hear back from them sometime today.


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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-17-2010, 11:01 AM
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Yay, good news for Russell with his improved breathing AND doing his jail rat routine too, ha ha. That means he has energy! That is great to hear Breyer, I am so glad. Sounds like you are on top of this and doing all you can. I know it is so frustrating to just want to cure this stuff for good. Believe me, I am doing the vet call today too to ask some questions on Klausse, so you and I are in the same boat. But it does cheer me up to get an update on Russell. Let me know what the vet says about the theophylline and metacam. Talk to you soon.

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post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-17-2010, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, just heard back from the vet. She wants me to give Russ one more dose of Afrin tonight, then a morning dose on Saturday and Sunday. I'm supposed to call her back on Monday morning with a progress update. If he's still having problems breathing, she is probably going to get some theophylline through the pharmacy.

Vlad--do you happen to know what the mix of the theophylline is? (#g/#mL?) I hope your little Klausse is getting better, too. It seems like our boys always have to be the same in everything they do--including getting sick! Good luck, and I'll keep everyone posted here about Russell. Hopefully he'll continue to breathe better.


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post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-17-2010, 11:41 AM
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Breyer,
Thanks for the update! Nice that your vet gave you a game plan to try. I will keep my fingers crossed for Russell and hope you have a good update to give your vet after the weekend. Hopefully he won't have to do the Theophylline, but if so, it could really help. The good thing about that stuff is that my boys like the taste of it, so it is very easy to give them. Raspberry flavored.

As for your question on the mix/dosage for the Theophylline, I have the bottle right here in front of me and I will type out exactly what it says on the label. I am a dork when it comes to understanding all the mls and so forth, but here goes: The label says:

50 mg/ml (I think that is the total contents of the bottle) and then it says: Raspberry 10 mls. Klausse give 0.14 ml orally every 8-12 hours for wheezing-bronchodilator. That is it. Then it says the same thing for Wolfgang, with his dosage. I am not sure if this helped or not. Just typing out what the bottle says.
At the very bottom of the label, it says: Theophylline 100 mg. tab, which makes no sense to me actually! As you can see, I am not a vet! Ha ha.

You are right...our boys are so the same in just about every way, Breyer, even with getting sick, unfortunately! But at least we know how the other feels when both our kids are not feeling well. I actually told Marc last night that I felt very close to Russell and Stanley as they seem like real "cousins" to our boys since they were all born on the exact same day, both dumbos, both boys, both brothers, both in the same type of cage, and the list goes on! So, I do feel like their auntie for that reason.

Thanks for your well wishes for Klausse, that is nice to hear. I just left a message for my vet, as a matter of fact and now I am waiting to hear back from her. Sound familiar?

Good luck and keep me posted of course!

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post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-15-2010, 07:55 AM Thread Starter
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Well, yesterday Russell finished his LONG course of meds, and of course, today he is still sneezing and sounding congested. I've got to call and update the vet, and see what he'd like to do next. He might just recommend letting him go off meds for a bit to see how he does...it can't be great for him to constantly be on ABs... we'll see what happens.


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post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-15-2010, 08:09 AM
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Well, for louna, 4 weeks of doxy+baytril worked but after a month it all came back, but not as bad as before. She's been sneezing the same without changes since then, without porphorin and without too much noise when she breathes. I'm watching her closely to make sure it doesn't get worse, but it doesn't seem to. So she's been sneezing like this for almost a year now and she doesn't act sick at all... perhaps she's just a sneezy rat and it's not the same thing as russell, but there is a chance russell can live with the sneezing without being on meds for a long time
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post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-15-2010, 02:08 PM
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Breyer,
Just read your post about Russell...that poor baby! Always on the meds and still sneezing.
I hope your vet can think of something new that has not been tried yet. I know it must be SO frustrating for you! Please keep us updated. Send kisses to Russell and Stanley for me.

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