possible steroids for life :(

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possible steroids for life :(

Post by Rattie_baus on Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:51 am

well, after yet another vet visit with reid, seems he is going to need steroid injections for the rest of his life to ease the strain on his wee lungs Sad
i'm hoping i can do it myself (doing an ANA course now to be followed by vet nursing) but the thought of having to inject him every couple of weeks just because a girl couldn't read a rat care booklet is upsetting and infuriating me to no end... even more so because he is Such a loving, cuddly little boy who Craves human attention. gideon likes watching people, but isnt happy when he sees his brother coughing after plays.

does any ones elses ratties need steroids; how often etc...
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Re: possible steroids for life :(

Post by Zoundz on Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:28 pm

Steroids for life is really not advisable - certainly not injectable - I don't know who told you that this would have to be the case, but unless I'm totally out of the loop on something - I don't think this is a good idea at all. What are his symptoms?

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Re: possible steroids for life :(

Post by Rattie_baus on Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:57 am

i am concerned it could do him harm what with my own experience of medical steroids being rather bad...

he is excersising loads more than he did when i got him, and i think that is adding to his problem; it's almost like he has chronic asthma- wheezing when he is out of puff or been lying in the wrong position. he is still bright and bubbly- just having issues breathing after playing... and all infection etc is 100% gone, this does seem to be scarring of lung tissue or something similar. i'm trying to find a vet who knows specifically about rat respitory issues, but i'm having a hard time. any suggestions/recommendations would be very appreciated!
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Re: possible steroids for life :(

Post by Zoundz on Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:18 am

Well, for what it's worth I wouldn't administer steroids. If he has lung scarring anyway they won't make a jot of difference - it's something he'll have to live with until you decide his quality of life is too poor. There's really very little you can do for these very long term chronic resp. issues Sad

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Re: possible steroids for life :(

Post by Rattie_baus on Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:37 am

I'm hoping once I upgrade to the srs he'll have far more floor space so only climb when he wants to- although he does love playing on the rope bridge!
it would really be a sin to pts any time soon, he seems to have accepted it and honestly I think it bothers me watching him more than it bothers him... He's curled up in his hammock with Gideon ATM; big brov looks after him Very well! Love
Is there anything like an essential oil I could stick in the burner to ease his chest at all?
As I say unless it is the only option and works extremely well I wouldn't want to have him on steroids- if for nothing else other than the immune system compromise.

See these darn creatures! Don't ya hate loving them soo darn much! Tongue
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Re: possible steroids for life :(

Post by Francois on Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:49 am

I had a male rat (Gowron) that had the same problem, lots of scaring due to an infection gone bad. While the infection was brought under control, he remained rather wheezy with rattling noises. He was put on prednisone tablets, started out with a quarter tablet a day. It was easy to administer when mixed in with chocolate milk for kids. He managed to hold on for another 6 months, the dosage had to be increased to have effect. He remained a spirit-full fellow for that time until the prednisone no longer had effect (and he was on twice a full tablet daily) and he would get panic attacks because he couldn't breathe at times. I then decided to put my lovely big guy to sleep Cry . Now that was 20 years ago, so hopefully vet medicine has improved.

Still miss the little fellow...


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Re: possible steroids for life :(

Post by Rattie_baus on Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:17 am

Gowron was a beautiful little man. Does sound very similar to little Reid- I think him still being so young is working to his advantage...

I'm definitely going to ask my vet about other options- I didn't think tablets long term would s workable, but now I think about it Reid took his baytril straight from the syringe for me!
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Re: possible steroids for life :(

Post by Zoundz on Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:27 am

I think pred is easy enough to administer in tablet form. I don't really advise it unless you have no choice though. Are you sure it's lungs? Nasal scarring can be very noisy and upsetting to listen to, but has little effect on the health and wellbeing of the animal.

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Re: possible steroids for life :(

Post by Rattie_baus on Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:42 am

Actually zoundz, that makes more sense! Before I make a proper choice on long term I'm going to get him to the best rat at I can find. My vet has suggested having his chest x-rayed to check for scaring- I don't think he thought of nasal scaring either tbh; he is the best be I know with the dogs, but doesn't really like dealing with rodents- and the small animal vet focused on rabbits and piggies...
Would BVA be the best place to tell me where would be best to go, or should I ask around vets? I've never needed to find a specialist (or rat) vet
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Re: possible steroids for life :(

Post by Zoundz on Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:27 pm

I would post on here and see if there's anyone nearer to you who can advise someone? Smile

xx

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Re: possible steroids for life :(

Post by lynnthered on Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:38 am

My little Superfly has lung (or nasal...) scarring and sometimes she sounds bloody awful and other times she sounds grand. The same with my little one, Ruby. I bring them to the vet every month or so just to get them listened to in case there is anything underlying the noises that I hear. Superfly in particular is awful at times with her constant 'mutterings'. My vet has assured me that her lungs are perfectly clear but that to discover if it is lung or nasal scarring would require alot of in depth work that really wouldn't benefit little 'fly in the long run. If she sounds particularly bad at all, or is getting bad, I give her a half a 1mg Pred tablet (crush it up and mix it with cream cheese, yoghurt, jam, egg, syrup... bascially anything at all; Superfly has the best appetite!) for a day or two and it just goes back to being a slight rumbly-rattly-noise.

I was surprised when I got my little Ruby though - the people who had her and gave her away didn't know that she wasn't meant to sound chirpy Cry As soon as I walked into the room and heard her I knew she wasn't well. I went straight from their house to the vet with her and got a course of baytril which she took dutifully - but she also has the rattly, mutterings that Superfly does.

So for my two snuffle-upagusses I make sure to keep the cage warm (I have a heat lamp in one corner that Superfly favours) and clean. I have a small little AirWick thingy-ma-bobber that I pour small amounts of olbas oil into every now and then and let it blow it around the room for a few hours. They love the smell of it Shocked There is echinacea and vitamin powder in their drinking water too.
The single most useful thing I do for them, however, is observe them. I watch their behaviour and note if they are not feeling themselves or acting like themselves. Superfly and Ruby are both 'people-rats'. They love being out of the cage and stashing food or organising cushions and stuff - they eat everything (EVERYTHING!). If any of that changes at all it is a sure sign to me that something isn't right.

One of my other rats, Powder, at the moment has a really bad case of the resps Sad She has an infection and is sneezing alot with it - Superfly & Ruby don't have sneezes at all (no more than usual). It is really obvious when your rat has the sneezes and when they just 'sneeze', if you know what I mean. I always worried that I wouldn't be able to tell the difference, and I would panic everytime they woke up and sneezed. Now that I have heard what it is with Powder; I know exactly what bad sneezing sounds like. It is unmistakable. Powder had to have baytril injections for a couple of days recently (she is not a big eater and I couldn't convince her to take baytril by syringe at all Sad )and is currently on Ronaxan tabs because we were starting to see evidence of baytril-burn. Once there was any sign of harm from the injections we stopped and put her on the lower dosage tabs which are much easier to mush and administer than the nasty baytril.

The best thing you can do is observe his behaviour and if he is acting lethargic or out of character bring him straight to the vet. I have found that the Ark people in Dun Laoghaire are super (especially Lisa!) and whilst not rat specialists, they have proven to know more than I originally gave them credit for.

Wow - that turned into a novel. Embarrassed
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