Recurring chest infection

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Recurring chest infection

Post by shanty on Fri May 04, 2012 12:51 am

Hi everyone, just looking for a bit of advice regarding Oscar's respiratory problems. A few months ago I took him to the vet (Bairbre O'Malley) for the strange chesty noises he was making. He was put on Baytril and an anti-inflammatory for 10 days, which seemed to do the trick. Now though it's back and worse than ever, he does not seem to be in any pain or having trouble breathing as such, but the noises are awful. Sometimes it's mainly coming from his nose and other times it's really deep in the chest, so I think his whole respiratory system must be infected Sad He isn't even doing anything strenuous when he's making the noises, just sitting quietly on my shoulder or sleeping. His cage isn't in a draughty or cold area, and I haven't changed his bedding, so I don't know what the specific cause is, if any. I have made an emergency vet appointment for him this evening but I'm wondering if I need to get him checked out again or if I should just ask for another dose of Baytril? I mean, will they just tell me what I already know and charge me €50+ for it, or do you think he needs to have another check-up? Even though I don't think they'll be able to tell me anything I don't already know, I think I should get him checked out fully just in case. Poor Oscar, he sounds so sick, it's breaking my heart to listen to him Sad What do you all think I should do? x
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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by redrach on Fri May 04, 2012 1:15 am

I'd be inclined to not bother with antibiotics if he's otherwise fine. My Albie had one bad infection and since then has always made some pretty horrific breathing noises if he lies certain ways or it's a little dusty. It's just lung scarring so while it's noisey there's nothing wrong with him. Saying that, if you are concerned do see a vet or if it's been a sudden change to his behaviour or if he shows other signs of sickness.
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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by shanty on Fri May 04, 2012 1:33 am

Thanks for the advice, do you think I shouldn't bother with the vet then? Is there anything I can do to ease the noises? Yeah he seems to be fine otherwise but I know rats are excellent at hiding pain so I'd be a bit worried about that. The infection he had last time wasn't bad, so I don't know if his lungs could be scarred from it.. it was a minor infection with an inflamed windpipe, the vet said. Do their lungs get damaged/scarred quite easily, do you know? Thanks again x
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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by redrach on Fri May 04, 2012 1:42 am

I'd not feel comfortable telling you not to go, you know what is best for him. If it was me I wouldn't unless he was showing other signs, ie. off food or water, change in personality, fluffing up fur, lethargic, to name a few. But I'd go with your gut, if you think something's wrong, then go to the vet. I've never found anything to stop Albie's noises, but it's never been constant, as I said, it depends on dust, temperature, the way he lies. I'll be entirely honest, I don't know anything really about lung scarring or infections really, all I know is from my experience, that Albie was pretty bad (he was off food, really bad infection, and we did really think we were going to lose him over it) and he's retained the noises.
If you're in two minds about it I'd maybe hold off and see what Laura or anyone else suggests and she has more experience.
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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by shanty on Fri May 04, 2012 1:53 am

Yeah maybe I will hold off a bit, because he does seem perfectly fine in himself otherwise. I would never normally hesitate to spend the money going to the vet, the only reason I'm a bit hesitant today because I don't think they're going to tell me anything I don't already know! "He's got a chest infection, that'll be €50" kinda thing. He has none of those signs, and he is eating normally except for the fact that he hardly touches his dry mix anymore - I think this is just down to him getting older though, because he gobbles down anything a bit softer like yoghurt, potatoes, spinach, etc. He was never a big fan of the dry mix actually, come to think of it (it's a Shunamite variation). I feel like I'm being a bad rat-mummy by not taking him to the vet, but at the same time he HATES going and got completely stressed out last time, which is not good for his health either. Sigh. What to do... Confused I might cancel the appointment for this evening and see what the others think. The only problem is that I won't have the opportunity to take him again until next Thursday, and if there is something wrong with him then a week without medication isn't going to help. I'll wait and see what the others think, thanks a million for your advice Redrach Smile x
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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by shanty on Fri May 04, 2012 1:59 am

Forgot to mention one change in his behaviour that I have noticed - he has started sleeping in his igloo instead of his hammock recently. Again, I figured it was just down to him getting a bit older and I lowered everything in the cage so he could get around easily, but he still seems to prefer sleeping in the igloo. He has dragged bits of newspaper in and made a nest. This is unusual as up until a few weeks ago he always slept in the hammock.. Confused
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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by SaraBloo on Fri May 04, 2012 2:16 am

When Gideon my old rat got older, he barely ventured to either of the upper levels of his cage. He even pushed his food bowl down to the bottom level so he didn't have to go up.

I dunno what your vets are like, but if you think he does need antibiotics.. maybe if you explain you already know what's wrong with him etc maybe they'll prescribe you the antibiotics and let you collect them and charge you for the meds only rather than the consultation charge if you explain you're unable to bring him in. My vet did it for me cos I couldn't take them round, but it might be different if there's been a long time between illnesses. Mine had been in the week before.
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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by shanty on Fri May 04, 2012 3:06 am

Thanks Sarabloo, it's been 2 or 3 months since I took him so the receptionist said that the vet would want to see him again... the time has come to leave now so I'm going to go for it, even though it might be a waste of time at least my mind might be put at ease a bit... Thanks for the advice guys, I'll let you know how we get on. Fingers crossed for Oscar!!! xx
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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by Zoundz on Fri May 04, 2012 3:59 am

I wouldn't waste extra money on an out of hours or emergency appointment though, it can almost certainly wait until you can get a normal appointment. Might be that a course of anti-bs would help a bit, but it does sounds like lung scarring.
Quite a few of that litter were struck by resp trouble Sad it was a crying shame. Indy was the best girl we had really, closely followed by Ber (who has a PT now :*() - and they're the ones we bred on from, so hopefully it won't have passed on... having said that, these things are exceptionally rarely genetic, though a predisposition to succumbing to them can be.

xx

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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by SaraBloo on Fri May 04, 2012 4:37 am

Hafta say, if you can afford it sometimes going just to ease your mind is the best. Hope it goes well. Smile
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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by redrach on Fri May 04, 2012 7:11 am

How did you get on?
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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by shanty on Fri May 04, 2012 10:39 am

Sorry guys, I didn't get a chance to post until now. Well, we ended up not making it to the bloody appointment after all that - we sat in traffic for over an hour and hadn't even made it out of Dublin, so I had to reschedule for next week... I'll keep you updated! xx
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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by Zoundz on Mon May 07, 2012 11:56 pm

Ugh, how annoying! Sad let us know what happens.

xx

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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by shanty on Thu May 10, 2012 3:46 am

Bringing Oscar to the vet tomorrow - the noise seems to be coming from his nose more often than his chest, is this a good or bad sign? Well I suppose either way it's not good. He is very snuffly and still making those weird noises, and has definitely lost weight, but that could be down to me feeding him a little less of the bad stuff (he had gotten very tubby!) Aww just hope it's nothing serious, I'll let you all know tomorrow what the vet says... fingers crossed everyone! Thanks xxx
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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by smokierat on Thu May 10, 2012 4:02 am

Hope everything goes well at the vet Smile

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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by Zoundz on Thu May 10, 2012 4:06 am

Nose is better than chest, having said that I'm looking at the data on his siblings and there were quite few respiratory issues. Enough to make me think we either had a bug going around when they were tiny, or that this is the dreg ends of the CK that we had.

I would perhaps try antibiotics and see if it makes a difference to him.

xx

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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by shanty on Thu May 10, 2012 4:15 am

Aw, have a lot of his siblings passed away already? Yes I presume she'll put him on a course of antibiotics, hopefully it'll clear up whatever infection is lurking in there, or maybe it's the scarring on the lungs ye were talking about. Hope it's something that a good dose of antibiotics can fix xxx
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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by Zoundz on Thu May 10, 2012 4:24 am

About half I'd say Sad it wasn't a great litter health wise by the looks of things Sad

xx

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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by Francois on Thu May 10, 2012 10:04 pm

sounds a lot like our Bubbles troubles, but she got an anti-inflamatory and diurectics treatment. She has cleared up so much with that.

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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by shanty on Fri May 11, 2012 2:55 am

Not great news guys.... poor Oscar has been hospitalised for the night, and maybe two Sad He has a respiratory infection as suspected, but also fluid on his lungs and probably some scarring too. He started using his ab muscles to breathe which is not a good sign, the vet says it means he is having more trouble breathing than he has been letting on. He's also quite a bit sicker than he was letting on too - she said there could be underlying heart problems but not to think the worst as there are some good signs: his temperature, weight, appearance etc is all very good. He has actually put on weight since his last visit Embarrassed She gave him an injection which is supposed to help move the fluid off the lungs and into the intestines so it can be processed by the kidneys, and a shot of antibiotics. She's put him in some sort of incubator thingy which will hopefully help clear out his chest, and she'll be giving him antibiotics etc for the next 24-48 hours. I'm absolutely devastated at having to leave him there, he has never been away from me for a night (unless being looked after by a family member) and watching her take him away was so upsetting. He was trying desperately to get back to me and couldn't understand why I was leaving him, it was heartbreaking. My boyfriend keeps reminding me that it's for his own good and it would be cruel if I didn't leave him there to get the right treatment, and obviously I know he's right but I just feel so guilty. I know I shouldn't but I can't help it! I have friends visiting for the weekend and I just don't even feel like talking to them Sad But I have to snap out of it. Francois, how long did it take for your Bubbles to get better after the diuretic and antibiotics? xx
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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by Zoundz on Fri May 11, 2012 3:57 am

:*( Oh Shanty - this is awful. I can be pretty sure he's got CK (Corynaebacterium kutscheri) - if you want to phone the vet and let them know I said that - and to be honest, so far we've not found a single thing that shifts it. It's horrendous as illnesses go, and by far our worse fear. If we can help in any way at all, let me know Sad

xx

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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by shanty on Fri May 11, 2012 4:18 am

Oh god, I didn't think it was that bad from what the vet said. She said I had no reason to get overly worried.. maybe she just didn't want to upset me. I haven't been this upset since Lenny and Mike passed, I am trying to be strong and optimistic - he is still alive and happy in himself (apart from being sick obviously) - but I can't shift the sick feeling in my stomach Cry Just trying to think positive, that's all I can do for now... I just want to be with him, I feel so awful that he's all alone down there. Hopefully he'll just go to sleep after all the medication? xxx
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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by redrach on Fri May 11, 2012 4:20 am

That really sucks, I'm so sorry. Sad
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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by katherine on Fri May 11, 2012 5:27 am

Ah Shanty I'm so sorry *hug* It sounds like he's getting the best available treatment though. It does sound to me like CK too though I'm no expert. I've lost 2 rats to it and we're pretty certain Forz has it too. With Reggie it was so sudden we didn't know he had it, but with Algy, yes it was horrible and I'm devastated at the thought of losing another that way BUT he was a happy lil guy with it for a good year. He coped well and it never seemed to affect his attitude to life, it was far more horrible for me than it ever was for him.

The vet told me that he didn't remember feeling any different and he had good quality of life too, and there's a few things you can do to help him. An ordinary asthma inhaler helps and I've heard sudofed does too if he'll take it. We medicated him with antibiotics and tried heart medication but I wouldn't recommend either as they did little to no good. The biggest challenge I've found/ am finding is keeping weight on them so you're doing really well if he's put on weight. give him lots of healthy, high calorie foods and fuss Kiss

Good luck *hugs*

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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by Francois on Fri May 11, 2012 9:39 pm

shanty wrote:Francois, how long did it take for your Bubbles to get better after the diuretic and antibiotics? xx

Bubbles was notably perking up the very same day, we went back for follow up shots the week after and she was already so much improved. Today we are going over for a final checkup and may a last dose of the cocktail, but I haven't heared her rattling for a good few days and her nose looks clean again with no ratty snot. I think the diuretic realy worked well in combination with the anti-inflamatory.

I hope your boy responds the same way...

Hugs from Bubbles, Shiva, Ted and Jack

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