Recurring chest infection

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Oscar's home!

Post by shanty on Sat May 12, 2012 9:30 am

Great news everyone! Oscar is back home where he belongs! Delighted Smile Got a phone call from the vet today and nearly didn't answer it as I was so terrified it'd be bad news, but they said he was ready to come home. So I went to collect him and he got so excited, it was adorable... I think he thought I wasn't coming back for him! His breathing is perfectly normal sounding, no rattling or wheezing whatsoever, but it is still quite fast. Hopefully it'll calm down over the next few days. He'll be on antibiotics and pain meds for the next week, and I have to bring him in a check-up next week. The vet didn't diagnose CK thank god, although I am aware that he could well have it... He has improved drastically overnight. The diuretic and antibiotic shots combined with the nebuliser or whatever it's called really seemed to do him good. Fingers crossed he continues to improve over the next week. Thanks so much for all your support and kind words, it means a lot! Smile xxx
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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by Zoundz on Sat May 12, 2012 9:46 am

I really hope that it's a misdiagnosis on my part (of course, I can't see/feel him) - but CK is generally silent, so being free of noise doesn't mean it isn't it if you get me. Having said that, sounds like the triple jab did him good. Keep us updated on his progress.

xx

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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by shanty on Sat May 12, 2012 9:51 am

Yeah I know that he could very well have it, hopefully not though... What kind of signs should I be looking out for? Or are there any? The main thing I'm focusing on now is that he's back to his normal happy self, I know there could be more lurking under the surface but he is definitely better after his hospital stay. I'll keep you posted and let you know how his check-up goes next week Smile xxx
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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by Zoundz on Sat May 12, 2012 9:53 am

The main thing is serious thinness/lightweightness/weight loss - combined with a hunched posture, staring coat, uncanny desire to be out *all* the time, but not liking being held much and side sucking/abdominal breathing.

xx

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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by redrach on Sat May 12, 2012 8:53 pm

Glad he's back home with you and doing a little better. I hope he continues to get better!
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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by shanty on Sat May 12, 2012 9:52 pm

Thanks Redrach, I hope so too! Smile Cheers Laura, I'll keep an eye out for those symptoms... Looking ok so far though as the little tubster has put on weight (793g, up from 700g last time! Embarrassed ), his coat and posture are normal, no change in how often he wants to come out - he's always happy to come out whenever I open the cage, like he doesn't usually "demand" to be let out unless I'm doing something near the cage and he feels like he's being ignored! Then he'll come to the door and do his big-sad-eyes thing that I can't resist Smile Still loves his cuddles as much as ever and will happily snuggle up and fall asleep on anybody he pleases... So, none of those symptoms, yay Smile BUT he has been experiencing the abdominal breathing lately, which I know is a very bad sign, so I'll be keeping a very close eye on that. Also, he has slight diarrhoea last night from the meds, the vet did say to look out for that but I can't remember what she said to do about it?? xxx
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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by Francois on Sun May 13, 2012 2:12 am

good stuff!

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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by Zoundz on Sun May 13, 2012 4:35 am

His weight sounds much too high to be CK which is great. However, abdominal breathing can be a sign of pain, heart trouble and resp illness such as pneumonia. I would guess not pneumonia which leaves the others. Again, heart trouble usually causes weight loss... is there anything that could be causing him pain?

xx

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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by shanty on Sun May 13, 2012 6:07 am

Not that I know of, Laura. The vet did say that there could be underlying heart problems, but did not actually diagnose any. She gave him pain medication as well as antibiotics but I'm a bit worried about the diarrhoea. Also, it was an awful struggle getting him to take his medicine this morning. After about a minute of eagerly licking the yoghurt/medicine mixture off my fingers he copped on and refused to take any more. In that situation, is it ok to give him a bit more of the meds mixed in something else to compensate for what he didn't eat earlier? How can I judge how much more to give him? (if you know what I mean) xx
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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by Zoundz on Sun May 13, 2012 6:21 am

Very difficult... I would try and give him a very small bit more, but don't worry tooo much unduly. Just try and make sure he gets his dose tomorrow.

xx

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Update

Post by shanty on Fri May 25, 2012 10:03 am

Hey everyone, just updating you all on Oscar's progress. He was doing great after a few days on the meds, the noises had totally disappeared and he was not using his ab muscles to breathe anymore... I thought he was all better, but two days after the course of antibiotics finished I started hearing noises again Sad Straight back to the vet, she reckons he is going to have chronic respiratory problems for the rest of his life - it can't be cured, but it can be managed. There is still fluid on his lungs, and he's quite wheezy. She couldn't detect any heart problems though. He is on a whopper course of meds now - 3 weeks of antibiotics (septrin this time, not baytril), an anti-inflammatory and a diuretic to help clear out the fluid. Had serious trouble giving him the medication today, he took the full dose of diuretic but I'd say only half the dose of the other two, and I've given up now after trying EVERYTHING for the last four hours Sad First thing tomorrow I'll go on the hunt for new things to mix it with, as he has copped on to everything I've used before... smart little fecker. I attempted syringing into his mouth but that was a disaster, very stressful for both of us so I don't think I'll be trying that again Sad So, obviously not great news, I'm quite upset that he relapsed after doing so well last week. But at least it's manageable apparently, and he's still happy in himself. Oh, and he's put on more weight... he's now a very big boy at 800g!! Embarrassed Really hope this 3 week course of medication sorts him out, fingers crossed xxx
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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by Datoria on Sat May 26, 2012 12:05 am

only things i've found to covince my girls to take their meds consistently lately have been meaty broths an such from stews, chili, casserols etc that i have for dinner. Peanut butter mixed with flour and a touch of syrup worked for me in the past. It can get really tough when you have them on meds for so long. Good luck.
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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by smokierat on Sat May 26, 2012 4:52 am

Smooth jam worked for me recently enough when not much else would,mixed with egg food....keep trying Smile I would be careful with peanut butter,it can cause gagging,I didn't realise that myself until a few months ago and wouldve tried it if I hadn't found out Shocked

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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by katherine on Sat May 26, 2012 8:36 am

Woop for weight gain! That's a really good sign Grin There's 2 ways I've found to disguise septrin. The first is to mix a weeks dose in with a teaspoon of nutella, a teaspoon of smooth peanut butter and flour (the amount will depend), then mix it up til it's a dough and roll it into a sausage. With a ruler then divide into equal portions - one for each dose. The other way is to mix it with a pea sized blob of nutrical - it's how I'm giving it to Forz at the moment and medicating him was so awful before I was considering giving it up and now he jumps to the door for his medicine when I come in.

I assume the anti inflammatory is metacam Confused which I've never had any luck giving to rats but it may well be incorporated into the above methods (I've not had to give it since I discovered either of these).

Good luck anyways! Big Grin

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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by Zoundz on Sat May 26, 2012 9:24 pm

Y'know, with his weight, if he's OK in himself, I'd be inclined to not medicate for a while - chances are it's not doing much and he has scarring which will always make him noisy. Of course, you have to do what's right for you and your own mind, this is just what I would do if he were with me Smile

xx

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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by shanty on Tue May 29, 2012 4:51 am

Thanks so much for all your input, it's much appreciated Smile Thanks Datoria, yes it is exhausting battling with him every day!! Smokierat, don't worry, I mix the peanut butter with soy milk so he doesn't choke on it. I've been using nutella/avocado/peanut butter+soy milk to disguise the anti-inflammatory and the diuretic with great success, he doesn't seem to taste it at all and gobbles it down every day. Those are easy because they are just one dose a day and don't seem to have a strong taste. I just have to be careful to change it up or he gets bored and that's that. But I'm still having no luck with the septrin Sad I feel awful but he hasn't gotten the full dose of it any day except yesterday (almost) when I resorted to trying it in 4 doses, a quarter of the amount each, but he didn't even finish the last dose. I've tried everything you guys have said, and everything in my press/fridge... most of it has ended up in the bin! Katherine, I've tried a variation of the nutella/peanut butter sausage thing, it didn't work but I didn't use flour so I'll try that tonight. I've even tried doing it ONE ml at a time (he's supposed to be on 5mls twice a day) so you can imagine how painstakingly slow that was... there is not enough time in the day to administer it that way!!! I've also tried holding him down and squirting it in his mouth, which was (needless to say) horribly traumatic - I won't be trying that again, I'd be afraid that trust issues might develop, and that's the last thing I want. I'd rather him not take the medication than be forced to take it and never trust me again. I've been feeling terrible about him not taking it, but Laura do you think I should hold off for a while? He's meant to be on the antibiotic for 2 weeks and the other two for 3 weeks. Since we got back from the vets he hasn't been making any noises, and it couldn't be the antibiotic making him better because he's barely had any of it!! So the anti-inflammatory and the diuretic must be working. Maybe he doesn't need the antibiotic at all... or maybe I just want to believe that to make my life easier?!

On another note, I'm awful worried about how obese he's going to be after 3 weeks of eating nutella and peanut butter! He's a good weight now, not too blobby, but he'll definitely get unhealthily fat after the course of medication if I continue to mix it with such fatty treats. Should I be worried about that?! Katherine, where do you get the nutrical for Forz? That's one thing I haven't tried!

Thanks again for all the advice Smile xxx
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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by Zoundz on Tue May 29, 2012 6:56 pm

He sounds like my boy Ori - noisy but otherwise fine. I would give him the stuff he will take and leave off the antibiotics. See how he progresses. Nutri-cal is from Rat Warehouse! Smile

Can you get a pic of him for us? Grin Would love to see him <3

xx

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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by shanty on Wed May 30, 2012 3:07 am

Great, I'll get some of that for him. Just had a look at the website and I know I'm going to end up spending a fortune, haha! That's good to know, he is taking the other meds no problem, and he looks & sounds good. Here's a few pics I took of him recently Smile





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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by Zoundz on Wed May 30, 2012 5:41 am

He doesn't look too fat to me Smile

xx

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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by smokierat on Wed May 30, 2012 8:49 am

How handsome is he Love he looks like a soppy dude Grin

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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by katherine on Wed May 30, 2012 8:59 am

Aw bless him he's gorgeous Love he looks like my guy Monty Love When I had Theo on a long run of meds he did get terribly fat but a week or 2 off it with a bit of dieting and he was back to normal so I wouldn't worry too much if it helps

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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by redrach on Wed May 30, 2012 9:32 am

He's gorgeous! Love
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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by shanty on Thu May 31, 2012 7:50 am

Aw thanks everyone, he's a lil cutie alright - very soppy! You're right Laura, he isn't TOO fat but I'm worried that he'll balloon over the next few weeks with all the nutella and stuff! Haha. He actually looked fatter a few weeks ago, but he's put on weight since - maybe it's gone on as muscle? He's been quite active lately. Bit worried about him again tonight, he seems to be using his abdominal muscles to breathe again, and it's very fast and shallow Sad Other than that he's doing great, but the breathing is worrying me. Thanks Katherine, once he's off the meds it'll be rattie bootcamp for Oscar... he's not going to be too impressed! Oh god, it looks like I'm strangling him in that last photo Laugh
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Re: Recurring chest infection

Post by Zoundz on Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:36 pm

The abdominal breathing might never go away - especially if he has signs of CK (plausible), or heart failure (also plausible). Both his brothers here do it (to varying degrees) and they're fine in themselves, but a bit heavy on the breathing.

xx

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Another hospital stint :-(

Post by shanty on Fri Jun 22, 2012 8:05 am

Well poor Oscar is in the vet's again, this time I had to rush him to the emergency vet out at UCD - it was too late to go down to Bairbre O'Malley unfortunately. He has been ok lately, still breathing very shallow but fine in himself, although he has been drinking an awful lot more (don't know what that means? kidney infection?) Then when I came home this evening I took him out as usual - he's been VERY eager to get out of the cage lately, which has been worrying me, but he still always wants to be held and petted. All of a sudden he started gasping for air, opening and closing his mouth and breathing heavily through his nose - as if he was sucking the air in through his mouth and forcing it out his nose. Lots of porphryin around the eyes and nose, which he didn't wash off. He seemed to be panicking, it was heartbreaking to see him like that Sad Trying not to panic, I ran Bairbre and they said they'd be closed by the time I got to them, so they directed me to the UCD vet. It took us ages as it was rush hour and we got lost, but Oscar didn't seem to be getting any worse at least. He stopped gasping for air and was breathiGot to the vet, really wished Bairbre had been open as she knows Oscar and his history. The UCD vet was very nice but she didn't seem to know all that much about rats Sad Anyway, she's keeping him in for a few hours on oxygen and meds, and I'm going back to collect him at around midnight. I'm so worried about him. I didn't see any improvement after the last course of antibiotics, and he's lost weight - I know that's a really bad sign. This is the first time he's actually been gasping for air though, it was so scary. I think things are taking a turn for the worse Sad Please everyone keep your fingers crossed for him... xxx
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Re: Recurring chest infection

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