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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ever since the death of his previous cagemate, my rat Bion has been running on the wheel frantically. He squirts fowl smelling soft to diarrhea stool during his marathons. The smell is enough to make my entire room smell rancid and its hard to keep up with. He's had the red discharge from his nose too.I brought him to a vet and he had me give him kaopectate twice a day for a week. The only thing that has done is keep them in fowl smelling blobs. I wonder if he is inadvertantly forcing himself to soil himself while running? He does it for hours. He is barely a year and a half old and I don't want to lose him so young. He was the first rat I ever owned and I hand reared him from a blind fuzzy pup. He's the reason I've become a loving, dedicated rat owner. I'm at a total loss right now.

To make things worse one of the two cagemates I bought to keep him company has developed a deep loud sneeze he does for a good portion of the day (mostly when he is active). At the moment I've been giving Bob a single dark chocolate chip every otehr day to ease his respitory distress until my fiancee can afford to bring him to a vet, but the sneezes are becoming more poweful day by day with red discharge.

I live in a household where "cheap" animals aren't given the urgency they deserve by the other family members I live with. I'm a fulltime college student and my fiancee works at pet supermarket. We are waiting on a credit card that should be here any day so we can pay for Bob's vet visit and most likely his medicine. Bob and his brother Squeak are only about 3-4 months old who should I give priority? This is so stressful I'm getting close to tears.

Also I keep them on carefresh bedding and feed them Mazuri rodent blocks with grains and dried fruit added to encourage Bion to eat more. Any feedback is appreciated.
 

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It sounds like the rats may have some sort of respiratory problem. But Bion can be mourning the loss of his friend. And newer rats can sneeze for a few days during the intial adjustment to new bedding. If their eyes and nose is runny then I would try to seperate them (room wise) from the other rat. A humidfier can help ease their respiratory problems as well until you can get them into a vet. Make sure if you can that it is a cool mist humidifier. If possible get one that doesn't require you to buy replacement filters as it can become very expensive. sometimes heated humidifiers can irritate their respiratory system. A domestic rat will usually live 1-2 years but some can make it to 3. Bion is a senior rattie. I hope this helps and I hope the ratties get better.

ps fruits can cause diarreah I'd ease up on that a little bit. if he needs encouragement to eat try some stale wheat bread crumbled with the regular food.
 

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Shadiela,
Wow, I am so sorry about this situation with your ratties. I know how it feels to love your little guys very much and to worry over them. I am hoping that some of the very experienced rat moms on this forum will be able to give you some sound advice. I have experience with rats but not as much as some of the long time veteran rat people on this forum, like Lilspaz, who I hope will see your post and respond.
Yes, it sounds like all three of your boys need definite medical care, what with the diarrhea, the sneezing and the red poryphin discharge. Mousey was correct about limiting veggies and fruits as this can contribute to the loose stools. Hopefully you can get your boys to a vet right away, or as soon as possible. I have not heard of vets giving Kaopectate type medicine to rats before? Or is that the norm? Anyone on the forum know about this? I am really sorry your boys are having a hard time. :(
Is your vet a small animal specialist? Does he/she regularly treat rodents and small animals, as compared to cats and dogs?
 

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Kaopectate is for diarrhea. When I had a ri break out years back my vet gave them baytril (spelling might be a bit off) and another antibiotic that I can't seem to remember the name of
 

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Yeah, I knew Kaopectate was for diarrhea (for people) but I didn't know they had a version of it for small animals, that is interesting!
 

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OK so I need a bit of a timeline and more information here.

1) How old is Bion? What did his cagemate die of? When did the foul diarrhea start? What is his regular diet?

2) Just sneezing with a bit of discharge for the babies? How is their activity levels, eating, drinking, pooping, playing? What do you have them bedded on?
 

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The kaopectate would only treat the symptom itself, not the cause. Usually when there's GI upset a vet will do a fecal culture to rule out parasites and bacteria. The last time we had any rodent with foul smelling diarrhea, they had a clostridium overgrowth and needed Flagyl.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Shadiela,
Wow, I am so sorry about this situation with your ratties. I know how it feels to love your little guys very much and to worry over them. I am hoping that some of the very experienced rat moms on this forum will be able to give you some sound advice. I have experience with rats but not as much as some of the long time veteran rat people on this forum, like Lilspaz, who I hope will see your post and respond.
Yes, it sounds like all three of your boys need definite medical care, what with the diarrhea, the sneezing and the red poryphin discharge. Mousey was correct about limiting veggies and fruits as this can contribute to the loose stools. Hopefully you can get your boys to a vet right away, or as soon as possible. I have not heard of vets giving Kaopectate type medicine to rats before? Or is that the norm? Anyone on the forum know about this? I am really sorry your boys are having a hard time. :(
Is your vet a small animal specialist? Does he/she regularly treat rodents and small animals, as compared to cats and dogs?
My vet has some experience with rats, but he normally treats average pets. I found him in my search for a vet who treats exotics, which rats are usually classified under for the rat who passed away last November. I may switch to Banfield as they told me they had a rat vet, I'm just worried they will be more expensive than this small clinic.

OK so I need a bit of a timeline and more information here.

1) How old is Bion? What did his cagemate die of? When did the foul diarrhea start? What is his regular diet?

2) Just sneezing with a bit of discharge for the babies? How is their activity levels, eating, drinking, pooping, playing? What do you have them bedded on?
1.) Bion had his first birthday in september, and his cagemate died in November. At the time we had recently introduced a hairless rat that we got from a man who said he breeds them for health and temperment. If anything, only Bion and Harley had bad blood for each otehrand fought now and again. (Once got my hand bit by harley while I skooped some stray poo into the litter pan and they started fghting on my hand.) I think Squee got in the middle, where he got his eye injury. Within three days he became lethargic and weak and I had to syringe feed him water and crush up their blocks for him to eat. He died 3 hours before his scheduled vet visit. Bion had always had a tiny bit of soft stinky stool occasionally, but since squee died and we seperated Harley into a different cage it intensified greatly. He normllay ate the Mazuri blocks with occasional treats. At the moment I mixed up a ratty trail mix to encourage him to eat more, his weight is nothing compared to the young ones.

2.) Only Bob has the severe sneezing, Squeak has small sneezes now and again andf I'm just observing him for now. Bob is starting to sound like a guinie pig which is what has me so frantic. It's been goin on for 3 weeks, and me and my fiancee are trying our best to save up and buy more time. Asides from that him and Squeak play and bounce around like healthy rat teenagers. They are dogging down the trail mix and Mazuri blocks and poop looks normal, if not numerous. I have them bedded on blue carefresh that I freeze the prior night just in case of mites and other hithchikers.

It sounds like the rats may have some sort of respiratory problem. But Bion can be mourning the loss of his friend. And newer rats can sneeze for a few days during the intial adjustment to new bedding. If their eyes and nose is runny then I would try to seperate them (room wise) from the other rat. A humidfier can help ease their respiratory problems as well until you can get them into a vet. Make sure if you can that it is a cool mist humidifier. If possible get one that doesn't require you to buy replacement filters as it can become very expensive. sometimes heated humidifiers can irritate their respiratory system. A domestic rat will usually live 1-2 years but some can make it to 3. Bion is a senior rattie. I hope this helps and I hope the ratties get better.

ps fruits can cause diarreah I'd ease up on that a little bit. if he needs encouragement to eat try some stale wheat bread crumbled with the regular food.
Its not the dried fruits, thats something I just started giving a week ago and nothing about his bowel movements has changed, and it is a combination of rolled oats, dried cranberries, dried strawberries, dried bananas,crumbled plain rice cakes, the red and green dried pasta, and crushed total cereal. I'm just trying to encourage weight gain in Bion cause he feels mich lighter than the babies who now match him in size.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
*UPDATE* Brought Bob to the Vet today. She said his lungs sounded okay and prescribed a weeks worth of Baytril I need to give him twice a day. Gave him his first dose for tonight and keeping my fingers crossed that this works.
 

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Good luck for Bob and I will be pulling for him...keep us posted? I hope he feels better soon!:approve:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So far so good, the sneezing has become less hollow and loud sounding along with less in frequency. No change in playfulness or appetite so I don't think the medicine is having any adverse affects on him either.

Hopefully taking Bion to vet by next week for a more proper examination and fecal sample, cause that other vet didn't bother taking one.

Would you guys consider $45 just to look at him and recommend diarrhea medicine a rip off? I'm gonna stick with Banfield for now, they were really nice and gave the exam free since it was my first time, and even then the exam fee is $35.
 

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No, $45 is not hugely expensive for the vet. Saving $10 by going to a Banfield is not typically a good idea -- they're not exotics specialists. Individual vets may have experience with exotics, but I know that the Banfields around here have killed at least a dozen animals by prescribing the wrong antibiotics, not knowing common diagnoses for some of the small animals, and insisting that animals were fine when they weren't.

The price of a vet can range from 30-80 dollars for a checkup, but you shouldn't pick based on price, you should make sure that whoever you're seeing is an experienced rat vet.
 

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Unfortunately, exotics vets are specialists, and while a good one is worth their weight in gold, you will find that often you will be charged more than you would for a cat or dog visit. $45 is a good price. If you can find a good rat vet who is ALSO cheap, give me her/his name so I can fly out for my rats! LOL

I cringe when I take my rats to my vet, because an office visit for my rats is $70, plus the abs. which run about $35 dollars for prescription, though some rat owners would say /that/ is cheap. My two vets are really great though, and we can afford the cost...plus they are VERY flexible with regular customers. Out of 7 visits, I've paid the office fee 3 times, and now unless there's an unusual reason for them to have to see them, they just ask me for weights and prescribe the medicine over the phone for pick up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm not saying Banfield is the best, but so far they gave what I was looking for. I already knew what Bob needed so if they prescribed another med I would do the research on it before I used it. They recommended a clinic called Ravenwood, and said they had an exotics specialist so I'm gonna look them up in the near future and see if I can afford them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Bob's sneezing has cleared up and he's doing very well since he's finished his medication. I'm so relieved that he's recovered.

I removed the wodent wheel after their cage cleaning for a few days and I noticed that Bion has lessened his diarrhea by a lot. I can't even find the soft stool anymore. He is also less agressive towards his younger cagemates and will sleep with them more willingly. Has anyone else had this happen? I didn't know a rat could run himself sick on a wheel. I'll start putting in the wheel only twice a week so he can get exercise. The young ones barely use it (those little lazy fatties :D)so they don't care at all.
 

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Bob's sneezing has cleared up and he's doing very well since he's finished his medication. I'm so relieved that he's recovered.

I removed the wodent wheel after their cage cleaning for a few days and I noticed that Bion has lessened his diarrhea by a lot. I can't even find the soft stool anymore. He is also less agressive towards his younger cagemates and will sleep with them more willingly. Has anyone else had this happen? I didn't know a rat could run himself sick on a wheel. I'll start putting in the wheel only twice a week so he can get exercise. The young ones barely use it (those little lazy fatties :D)so they don't care at all.
No they cannot. It was just coincidental. let your baby run.
 
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