November 14, 2007
…. 2) Pepper was my second bit of bad luck at the weekend. I noticed on Saturday that she was sounding a bit snotty and even contemplated taking her with me Saturday evening when I took Doughnut and get some Baytril, but I thought that would be a bit cheeky. On Sunday afternoon I wished I had! I went out to clean the ratties out and Pepper didn’t come out of their house. Pepper is a nutcase, very playful and active and always one of the first out. I had to move the house to get her out, so I knew something was up. She was huddled in a heap, eyes half closed, all puffed up, breathing really fast and sounding very very mucus-y. When I picked her up I realised she had also lost an awful lot of weight – she felt so skinny. I bought her indoors and put her in my other plastic tank along with Charlotte as a friend/nursemaid and a pile of bedding to keep her warm. I gave her Lactol off my fingers and held the bottle for her while she drank as I was worried about her being dehydrated and she ate a little bit of potatoe and curled back up in a heap.
I’ve never had a rat as sick as she was and I was so worried, Steve was quite convinced she was going to die and we both led there in bed that night just listening to her breathing.
She was brighter by Monday morning, her eyes were open properly and she was moving about a bit more but her breathing was still quick and noisy, so I took her up the vets that afternoon. The vet confirmed it was a respiratory infection of some sort, though he didn’t say what and said her chest and heart sounded fine. He gave me a biiiig bottle of Baytril and recomended a does of 0.15ml a day but said I could double it if I felt it wasn’t enough (I think he’s getting to know me now – poor Ian). So I worked out a dose for her usual weight of 360g and she’s getting 0.2ml twice a day.
Thankfully she’s a lot better now. Other than the noisy breathing she’s back to normal – escaping from the cage as soon as it’s open and her weight is slowly going back up. She weighed 318g on Sunday (from 356g the previous Monday), 308g on Monday and yesterday she’d gone back up to 318g. I’m keeping her indoors for a while until her weight has gone back up closer to normal. I’m a bit worried about the rest of them – Mustard now has very noisy breathing but otherwise is well, so i’m dosing her with Baytril and keep listening to the rest breathing. They must think i’ve gone mad!