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Do you guys answer questions regarding pet rats? He is a…

Hello! Do you guys...

Hello! Do you guys answer questions regarding pet rats?

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with the rat?

He is a 7-month old male who suddenly today became quite lethargic. At first, we thought it was just depression because he's been separated from his cagemate for the last 5 days, but then we noticed that he was unable to eat with his front paws. No obvious injuries and he hasn't gotten into anything unsafe that we're aware of. We'll definitely have our vet check him out tomorrow, but we were just looking for some advice that might help us get through the night. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Veterinarian's Assistant: Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help the rat. What is the rat's name?

Remy

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Remy?

Hmmm...no weird lumps or bumps that I can tell from feeling around. His stomach doesn't feel hard. He does have a history of sneezing which we've given him a couple rounds of Baytril prescribed by our vet. However, no wheezing or difficulty breathing. I can't think of anything else?

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Answered in 31 minutes by:
10/9/2017
Dr Linda
Dr Linda, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 1,792
Experience: I am a practicing veterinarian with over 20 years experience in a mixed animal practice.
Verified

Hello, this is Dr. Linda. I hope I can help with your question this evening.

I am so sorry for your concerns about Remy. I treated a young rat about 6 months ago with a very similar clinical history. She had a respiratory infection that seemed to clear with a course of Baytril. Then a couple of months later she presented with loss of appetite, lethargy & front limb weakness. Through diagnostics ( CBC, Chemistries, including PCRs to ID the pathogen ), it was determined she had meningitis from Staph. pneumonia. This bacterial infection was probably what caused her previous respiratory infection, & unfortunately, rats can be an inapparant carriers of this for the rest of their lives, requiring periodic treatment. We put her on a higher dose of Baytril for a longer period of time, & so far, so good. Of course, Remy could have another bug, such as a Mycoplasma, or even something much more serious like a neoplasia, but I hope not.

Until Remy is seen by your vet, all you can do is keep him in a very clean environment, & encourage fluids. If you have any nutrical, you can see if he will take any to keep his energy up, but I think he should be OK to just let him rest tonight. You are jumping on things pretty quickly.

I hope this makes sense & you find the information useful. Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns.

Thank you.

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Going to turn in for the evening, so if you get a chance, let me know how Remy is doing tomorrow.

Good night.

Dr Linda
Dr Linda, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 1,792
Experience: I am a practicing veterinarian with over 20 years experience in a mixed animal practice.
Verified
Dr Linda and 87 other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Thank you so much, Dr. Linda! I really appreciate the information and it actually does make quite a bit of sense. Remy is getting lots of rest and we will get him in to see our vet first thing in the morning! We'll make sure his cage is as clean as possible and he has plenty of water available (he's not drinking much, though we can sometimes get him to lick a drop or two off our fingers). Thanks again for getting back to us - we appreciate it very much!Dana M.

You are so welcome. I hope Remy is feeling much better soon.

Take care.

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Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Customer
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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Hi Dr. Linda -We took Remy to the vet first thing on Monday morning. He was extremely weak and so they put him on an IV and gave him Baytril and Dextrose and kept him for the day. However, Remy did not respond at all to the medication and at the end of Monday, our vet said there was nothing more they could do and sent him home.They suspect that he may have had a brain tumor and/or a possible stroke, due to his front-end weakness. Remy passed away Tuesday morning. We had inquired about euthanizing him, to lessen his suffering, however our vet said he was not in any pain and advised against it. I'm not 100-percent sure that this was the right decision, since it took many hours for Remy to pass...but our vet has rats of his own, so we trusted him on this.I do appreciate your advice and willingness to follow-up. We certainly wish the outcome could have been different and are heartbroken about Remy, but we also understand that this kind of thing is unfortunately common in pet rats.Thanks again,Dana M.

I am so sorry to hear about Remy. A brain lesion was my primary diagnosis, although I hoped for a better outcome.

Please accept my condolences on your loss.

Take care.

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Dr Linda
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