Pepper has Pneumonia

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claireabelle19673
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Pepper has Pneumonia

Post by claireabelle19673 » Wed Sep 21, 2016 11:21 am

My daughter (16) has two male rats both 1.5 years old. Jasper is now on his second dose of Baytril after having an upper respiratory infection 8 weeks ago. Poor Pepper was in good health. 3 Weeks ago he had an abscess on his tummy and was given an injection of Metacam and a 5 day dose of Baytril given from which he recovered, healed well and back to his old self. Saturday just gone he started to become slightly chesty and an appointment was made for Monday afternoon (daughter wanted to be there). Monday morning he started to gasp, chest was clicking so I rushed him to the vet in Bristol. I was told that he had Pneumonia and he was given two injections in the back of his neck, one of Metacam and one of Baytril. I remember her saying rats can have between 5 and 20 and I have given the 20, we were then sent home with Baytil 0.4ml one a day for 7 days. Apart from a tiny 5ml of Baby food on Monday has not eaten or drank anything. If I try and syringe water it sounds like it is going straight to his chest and doing more damage so I have been trying to moisten his mouth but he pushes me away. He is still putting up a fight and running away when we try to do this. He has also bitten 3 times which he never has before so I know how poorly he is.

I feel that after 2 days and no improvement he needs to be put to sleep but daughter said I am not allowing enough time for meds to work and will not let me take him. I have been reading up and it seems as if there is more medication that he can be given but mine only give Baytril.

Please can you advise me, he is still gasping for breath and I am heartbroken here. I feel that the injection he had Monday morning should of made some improvement by now to his breathing/eating.

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KatieD
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Re: Pepper has Pneumonia

Post by KatieD » Wed Sep 21, 2016 12:21 pm

I think you need to see a different vet, to be blunt.
I would advise asking for twice daily baytril (orally) and another antibiotic to address this more aggressively.
Nebulising and some time with higher levels of Oxygen will help Pepper cope better and give him more chance to fight this.

As an emergency measure - keep him warm and well hydrated - letting him lick water (you can mix honey and Dr Squiggle vitamins in for energy and sustenance - Complan is also wonderful) off your finger rather than syringing - it is less scary and far less risk of inhalation. But I completely agree that he needs more medication and I would ring your current vet and ask for this as an emergency; if not, I'd be taking Pepper elsewhere ASAP.

Much love to Pepper :hearts:
Katie x
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claireabelle19673
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Re: Pepper has Pneumonia

Post by claireabelle19673 » Wed Sep 21, 2016 12:44 pm

Thank You KatieD xx

I called the vet back and asked if there was anything else they could give him but they advised to wait and see how he is or have him put to sleep, they were more for having him put to sleep. I said can he be given a steriod injection to boost him and maybe help him feel like eating again but he said it would ulcerate his gut because of the metacam and baytril he has had. So I have located an exotic vet but cant be seen until tomorrow at 9.45am as fully booked Rowe Vets Bradley Stoke and they will get his history transferred over from the other vets.

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ElizabethW
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Re: Pepper has Pneumonia

Post by ElizabethW » Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:05 pm

So sorry that your little one is poorly; it can be scary and battling a stubborn vet can just add to the stress. Hopefully the vet you will see tomorrow will be more on 'your side' so to speak.

When one of ours was very ill and refusing to drink, Complan as KatieD suggested was great. We also resorted to jelly, made up to a very sloppy consistency, which he was willing to lick off a finger.

Let us know how he gets on xx
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claireabelle19673
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Re: Pepper has Pneumonia

Post by claireabelle19673 » Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:27 pm

Thank You Elizabeth xx

I tried the finger and he bit me, daughter bit 3 times too so keep offering different soft food from a spoon, strange but if he has a tissue near him he tries to eat that, if only tissues were edible

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[cub]
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Re: Pepper has Pneumonia

Post by [cub] » Wed Sep 21, 2016 7:47 pm

Steroids absolutely can be given with Baytril; it's steroids and Metacam (or any other NSAID) that's potentially dangerous. But if the last time Pepper had Metacam was as an injection on Monday then he should be fine to have steroids now. So your vet is talking rubbish.

0.4mL Baytril once a day is not a totally ridiculous dosage (assuming the rat in question is 250-500g), but 0.2mL twice daily would be better. I agree though that if he hasn't gotten better in a couple of days then he needs more and/or different medications: steroids definitely sound like they're indicated to me, and I'd be inclined to add another antibiotic at least. Also, if he hasn't been either eating or drinking, he'll probably need some subcutaneous fluids as well. Ask the vet to show you how to do it yourself, so you can at least keep him hydrated at home.

Good luck at the exotic vets. :luck:
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claireabelle19673
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Re: Pepper has Pneumonia

Post by claireabelle19673 » Thu Sep 22, 2016 5:03 pm

We went to new vet this morning. He gave him a shot of Steroids and at first prescribed something banana flavoured but it was 1mg everyday and we were struggling to get anything into him. I asked vet if he could do the first dose for me and show me ( we watched lots of You Tube videos and he would choke and gasp every time that we tried ) The vet couldn't even get it into him so he gave him an injection of Convenia and said it would last 10 days and basically said to try all the foods we have been trying.

I was up most of the night trying to get him to drink or eat something and most of today but no luck. Daughter just got home from school with a chocolate Muffin and he ate a small chunk of chocolate and he has had a small piece of bread soaked in cat milk and licked the remaining milk up. He has diarrohea, not much as he has hardly eaten anything so hopefully he will take more bread as that is stodgy, vet said it was ok. He also had a spoonful of Yogurt and I have lots of jars of baby food to try in desperation. We have everything crossed that he will pull through. Oh and the exotic vet was cheaper. I even had a phone call this morning from the original vets as they had to forward his notes over and she admitted that they dont have the range of antibiotics that our new vet had. I will be using the new one from now on.

claireabelle19673
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Re: Pepper has Pneumonia

Post by claireabelle19673 » Thu Sep 22, 2016 5:04 pm

He said not to give Baytril now that he has had this medication.

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Rhian33
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Re: Pepper has Pneumonia

Post by Rhian33 » Thu Sep 22, 2016 5:57 pm

Convenia certainly does not last 10 days. In cats it may do but not in rats. I have just checked my formulary and it only has the dose for ferrets which says to give every 2-3 days. Rats have a faster metabolism still so would require it even more frequently.
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Jemma
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Re: Pepper has Pneumonia

Post by Jemma » Thu Sep 22, 2016 6:51 pm

I've had a hunt for info on convenia and the best I could find on rats is estimating weekly N."". http://www.goosemoose.com/rfc/index.php?topic=4093900.0

I'd recommend asking for draxxin as a longer term option, it lasts 5 days for rats and is good against myco, possibly a good option in combo with the covenia as that looks to be good against pasturella and strep

claireabelle19673
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Re: Pepper has Pneumonia

Post by claireabelle19673 » Thu Sep 22, 2016 7:48 pm

I thought going to this new vet he would know all this :( I wonder what the Banana flavour one was and if I can get that from him, after what Pepper has now had injected. He said it could be mixed in food and Pepper is licking the cats milk from a small dish. Its Friday tomorrow and we have the weekend coming up. He may turn round and say It does last 10 days and give it time. I feel like I am running out of options now.

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ElizabethW
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Re: Pepper has Pneumonia

Post by ElizabethW » Thu Sep 22, 2016 10:14 pm

Try giving the vet a ring in the morning and asking for the draxxin - it also has the benefit of being another injectable antibiotic so neither of you will have the added stress of oral meds.

I hope things get better for you soon x
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[cub]
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Re: Pepper has Pneumonia

Post by [cub] » Fri Sep 23, 2016 10:49 am

Rhian33 wrote:Convenia certainly does not last 10 days. In cats it may do but not in rats. I have just checked my formulary and it only has the dose for ferrets which says to give every 2-3 days. Rats have a faster metabolism still so would require it even more frequently.
In the BSAVA 9th edition formulary it says under contraindications for cefovecin (Convenia): "Do not use in small herbivores such as rabbits, guinea pigs and rodents. This is mainly due to its relatively short duration of action in herbivores." Not that rats are actually herbivores, but between that and the dosing regime in ferrets, I definitely wouldn't expect it to last in rats.

If Pepper is voluntarily drinking on his own now that's a positive sign. :luck:
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Fondly remembering: Zephyr Donovan (Phoenix) the big dope, Xeltan, Lita (NLA32), Lia (NLA28), Zephyr Delanynder (NLA28), Falere (NLA36), Mirala (NLA36), Zephyr Opold, and Rila.

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Helzie
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Re: Pepper has Pneumonia

Post by Helzie » Fri Sep 23, 2016 4:11 pm

the only banana flavour one I'd had before is Septrin (they hated it - there is also an aniseed one which they also hated. Fussy beasts.)

I am really, really sorry about this. Pneumonia is awful. I've sat up all night with rats in this condition, listening to each breath and it breaks my heart to see them in that state. It does sound tho if he's eating that there is hope. I really have my fingers crossed for you.
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claireabelle19673
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Re: Pepper has Pneumonia

Post by claireabelle19673 » Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:22 pm

Apologies for not replying sooner, I really do appreciate all of your help.

Pepper is so much better :) We were like zombies all weekend but we fed him small amounts of baby food (couple of licks) every hour, let him have lots of rest and kept him warm. When his breathing was really bad we did a sort of tapping on each side (in my mind I was thinking try and release the phlegm similar to Cystic Fibrosis suffers) and he would drift off to sleep while we did this. We steamed the room twice a day, bought Vitamin drops for his water bottle. He has lost weight and was dehydrated but he is eating lots more food now although mostly baby food. He will not eat his nuggets even if we break them up small but will eat a custard cream (biscuit) He is drinking more water

We had to separate him from his brother as his brother who is twice the size of him anyway was being too rough and nasty so he is now in a big cage but his brother comes to see him and goes in his cage and Pepper loves to see him but we keep an eye on them and vice versa with the other cage.

Today he started playing and jumping, with spurts of energy. It was amazing to watch :) We are keeping a close eye on him (his cage is next to my bed) The gasping has gone, slight clicking when he is sleeping but this is getting lesser each day.

When I think of the amount of times I was ready to make that call to the vet as his struggle was heartbreaking to watch. I know he is not 100% but I do have so much hope for him.

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