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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had my rat Bella for a little over two years now, and for the past couple of months she's had chronic respiratory disease. She got it from another rat she was with for a while, and when I took her to the vet, he diagnosed her with pneumonia and gave me antibiotics. It turned out that we couldn't get rid of it, so she is permanantly on a dose of antibiotics and breathing medication each day. Her breathing isn't normal and I can hear her sometimes. She often breathes rather heavily and quickly, but she seems fine otherwise. She moves quickly, has a good appetite, and doesn't seem to be in any pain. Sometimes I just look into her little face and I hope I'm doing the right thing by keeping her alive and on this medication. I don't want her to be suffering. She is such a sweet little girl.
 

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Dinky Gerbilelbow
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My rat Tessie was diagnosed with pneumonia and unfortunately it killed her :( one of my other rats Pepper caught it off Tessie before she died and lost all her weight and was breathing how you have just described and i separated her from the others and syringed warm salty water into her on a daily basis to get her fluid and energy levels back up plus i was feeding her baby food as it was easy for her to eat and she too was on antibiotics from the vet (baytril) thankfully i am pleased to report that she has bounced back totally fine and is back with her cagemates but she is only young so that is probably what gave her the second chance,unfortunately Bella is old already so i would say it would probably be kinder to have her PTS if she is showing no sign of improvement as she will suffer in the long run :( xx
 

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Fashion Animal Freak :)
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Hun, My baby toto was around year and a half when all of a sudden he started showing signs of an illness of which you are describing, He was breathing bad but still running around,playing,eating but then one morning i woke up to him he looked awful so lame and wasnt responding to me. The weeks 3 weeks before that the vet gave me antibiotics but told me because of his age its 50/50. So that day i looked into my boys eyes and he told me he was ready to go. He bruxed the whole way in the car as i was taking him to the vets and it was the first time that he had ever bruxed. And i took him in to be PTS the vet said to me that i made a right choice! So hunny all i can say is "he will let you know" when he starts to show signs of unhappness,not eating and being depressed then you might want to think of getting him PTS. Im only telling you my experiance but im sure alot of people will tell you that your pet lets you know.
Good luck hun i wish you all the best i really do.
*Hugs*
Claire x
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
:( thanks guys. I dont know what to do because she's eating well and she seems energetic.. I guess I will know when the time comes..
 

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It sounds a lot like what I went through with my rat Zorro. He seemed fine other than his breathing. It was very heavy and I could see that he was laboring, but he never let it affect him otherwise. I felt that as long as he seemed happy, which he did, I would continue to just try to treat it. However, when he did finally pass away I could tell in the last few hours that he was in extreme discomfort. I tried called my vet to bring him in and put him down, but they couldn't take us right away and he died at home. I felt really terrible because he was so obviously hurting and I could have prevented it.

Animals like rats will try to hide their illnesses. I agree with everyone that your Bella will let you know when the time comes, but I advise you to try to look past what she is showing you and see what is really there. Good luck. :hugg2:
 

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Have you tried asking your vet for stronger antibiotics? I had one that had what I thought was chronic respiratory problems (Rat Fink) until I changed vets and got stronger meds. He's fine now. So maybe you just need to switch her treatment.

But one way or the other you'll know when it's time. She'll stop playing. She'll sit still a lot. She'll lose weight and lose interest in games and treats she liked. Then you'll know. Until then enjoy your time with her.
 

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Rat Rescuer and Hospice
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What antibiotics were you given? What antibiotics/treatment are you using now?

Btw very rarely is a respiratory thing contagious. Mycoplasmosis is in all our rats and actually attacks the rats immune system all their life. When the immune system is stressed or the rat ages (the immune system gets worn down) then the myco will allow a secondary infection in to make the rat sick. :( Some rats have very weak immune systems and end up on maintenance meds for the rest of their lives. I have a few like that.

BUT if the rat is quieter, has heavy breathing with not much congestion, cool feet and tails (extremities), even bluish or a pale cast to their skin, and never truly respond to antibiotics I think of heart next. You can always do a diagnostic dosing of heart meds (enalapril and lasix)and if the rat responds then you have a heart condition rather than an infection. If the rat doesn't respond in about 3-4 days there is not heart condition (CHF - congestive heart failure). I have one of those now too.

Sometimes you need to change up the meds.
For my girl who had pneumonia i started with baytril/doxy, then went on to chlorpalm, then had to learn how to inject her sub-q with gentocin and dexamethasone, finally found the magic treatment with baytril and zithromax and she recovered fast :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks guys. I like to think she is in a better place right now. Some of these posts helped me make that awful decision.. I looked at her little ratty face and knew it was time, and it was only fair to her. I still love her and she showed me how to be a better person, I think all animals do.
 

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exactly. i miss my nibbler, but i knew it was right. may i share? in the end, we were feeding her by hand every day. she wasn't eating on her own, which is the ultimate sign that an animal is ready to go. when she was PTS, she wouldn't close her lil eyes. she looked at me the whole time, with her lil happy peaceful look she always gave me when we played. it was like she was watching to make sure I was okay. she was my best friend her whole lil life. you did the right thing babe. no worries. :)
 
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