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Discussion Starter #1
I know many of you have worked in vets, etc. Any ideas for me??<br><br><br><br>
I came home today and noticed my Ratty, Ophelia, looked extra slow and sad, and she had sticky fur around her mouth, under her chin...<br><br><br><br>
Normally she is a ball of energy, but right now she's just lying here, sleeping on me, wrapped up in a blanket.<br><br><br><br>
I tried even giving her a peanut treat, and she took it from me, dropped it and looked at it, then ignored it totally- very unusual!<br><br><br><br>
I dunno what to do! When I got her, she had a bad bad sneeze and I treated her for it, but it cost about $100 when it was all said and done. I feel terrible, but I don't think I could really spend a carload of money on her again if she gets sick. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":("><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":("><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":("><br><br><br><br>
Does anyone know anything about symptoms like this in small animals? Anyone else kept rats?<br><br><br><br>
I'm so upset!
 

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((((((Avalon))))))))<br><br><br><br>
I know a bit about small animal health, so hopefully I can help you. Maybe some one more knowledgable will come along.<br><br><br><br>
Okay, with the symptoms you described (wetness around mouth, lethargy, apparent non-interest in food), I am thinking it could be her teeth. Rats are monophyodont, which means that they have one set of teeth during their life, that grow continuously, and have to be worn down. Sometimes, for whatever reason rodent teeth will get what's called a malocclusion, meaning the teeth aren't lining up properly, and can't be worn down. This means that the animal can't eat.<br><br><br><br>
Usually, if the animal has a malocclusion, they will drool a lot, because they are hungry, but can't eat. Which might explain the stickiness around the mouth.<br><br><br><br>
A vet will have to diagnose this for you to be certain. But try to take a look at her teeth, if she'll let you. Fixing it is simple, the vet just needs to trim the teeth down. It shouldn't be that expensive.<br><br><br><br>
Another possibility is maybe she has another URI (upper respiratory infection), which would explain the lethargy and the not eating. Hold her up to your ear and listen to her breath. If it sounds wet or rattlely, the infection is still there, and she'll need more antibiotics. What kind of bedding do you use? Never ever use cedar bedding with small animals, because the oils in it can cause problems. If you think she has another URI, switch your bedding to something less dusty, maybe even just towels. That might help. Also, I've heard people put an open jar of vicks next to the cage, or even use a humidifier helps. But if it is a URI, she will need medication again.<br><br><br><br>
Anyway, like I said, I'm not an expert, so I would recommend going to the vet. My gut feeling is a malocclusion, but I could be wrong.<br><br><br><br>
I hope someone will come with more definite answers. And I hope your rattie will be okay!!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Oooh! You're good! I have been trying to get her to grind her teeth down, but have been worried lately that maybe she is not doing it well enough.<br><br><br><br>
She did grip an item I gave her today with her teetch- but maybe they are too long for chewing, just grabbing.<br><br><br><br>
I will keep an eye on her overnight, and if she looks drooly again I'll take her to the Vet tomorrow. She perked up a bit after we snuggled, but now she's quiet again. Hard to tell if it's just not her time of day, or she's feeling unwell.<br><br><br><br>
I also just soaked one of her chew toys in juice, to make it more appetizing, so that if she CAN chew, maybe she will.<br><br><br><br>
THanks so much!<br><br><br><br>
If anyone else has anything to add, I'd love to hear it. She's just the sweetest little creature, I'd hate for anything to happen to her.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
(ooh- also, I just got the mail and noticed that the 2nd part of my tax return came in- so I have some extra $$ just incase).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have an appointment for tomorrow am. She got a little spunkier for a few minutes once or twice last night, but is still not eating properly. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":("> Though she has begun to drink a bit more, which is good.<br><br><br><br>
I think it may well be the teeth. I have been trying to check them out, and they don't look right to me. Anyway, we shall see on the morrow. In the meantime, she is still as licky as ever, so I will try going to the grocery store to pick up some baby food, and see if she will go for that. (If it is her teeth, she'll still be able to lick that up).<br><br><br><br>
Mmmmm. Warm baby food even. Yummy. Lucky rattie.
 

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Avalon, if you can't get to the store, you could try just soaking her regular pellets in water for a couple of hours. They'll turn into a nice mush that you can feed to her with either a syringe or a spoon. We did this for a bunny who had a malocclusion. Pretty messy, but it works. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Oh... she is usually on a nut and seed mix. Should she eat gunea pig pellets too, or something?<br><br><br><br>
Anyway, I went to the pharmacy and picked up a baby syringe and some pablum and apple/oatmeal mush. When I got home I offered it to her, and once I squished a little in her mouth she went hog wild! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
She must have eaten a whole syringe worth, which I guess is a lot for a rat. After that she went zipping about as though she was brand new. She's sleeping again now, but at least I know she has a full belly till tomorrow. Yeay!<br><br><br><br>
Thanks for your advice, guys. We'll see in the morning what the Vet thinks.
 

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aww good to hear.<br><br><br><br>
my friend has rats and usually just feeds them whatever she has around, fruit and veggies, plus those flavoured wood chews for rabbits. i think she usually has a bowl of nuts and seeds in the cage too, but i don't think she buys any specific rodent feed.<br><br><br><br>
good luck at the vet!
 

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Yay! I'm so glad to hear that she is feeling a bit better!<br><br><br><br>
About the food, from what I have read, a seed/nut mixture may be too fattening for every day use. As a treat, it's okay. I found this chart about the different types of food for rats, and their pros and cons.<br><br><br><br>
Good luck at the vet!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><p> </p>

<span huddler_attributes="{"plugin":"attachment","params":{"id":"1220","name":"rat food guide.doc","description":"","size":34,"type":null}}" huddler_plugin="attachment">
<a
class="attachment loginreq" href="/attachments/1220" title=""><span class="file ">rat food guide.doc <span class="details">34k . file</span></span>
</a></span>
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Oops. I can't open that. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":("><br><br><br><br>
When the bunny gets here I think I will split the rat's diet with that.<br><br><br><br>
My friend, who gave her to me, feeds hers cat food most of the time. -!!
 

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Well, $56 later, I now know she does not have a respiratory problem, or cancer, or any gut problems, and her FRONT teeth are fine... but they still suspected that her back ones might be problematic, and couldn't see them with the little looker-inner doo-dad.<br><br><br><br>
So (SNIFF!) they wanted to put her under anaesthesia (!!) and check them theat way, and keep her under observation... The whole thing was going to cost over $200 though!! I don't have that kind of money. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":("><br><br><br><br>
So for now, I am going to try to get her to eat some more mush and see if she gets a little better on her own. If not, and it gets way worse, I'll know what the next step is. But in the meantime, I am not going to spend $200 on a problem she may not even have. (They said it's quite rare in rats- happens more in rabbits- though it is possible.)<br><br><br><br><br><br>
I also haven't seen her be sticky and drooly since that first time, so maybe it was a fluke??<br><br><br><br>
I'm looking for ways out here<br><br><br><br>
But also, I don't like the idea of anaesthesia- from what I understand that alone can easily kill a small pet if not done right.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
My aunt's cat was killed by being put under during a routine teeth cleaning.<br><br><br><br>
Just imagine what could happen to my rat! A tiny rat, needing a tiny dose, and by the tiniest squidge of a mistake she could OD and die.<br><br><br><br>
Makes me too nervous. When they told me I got all teary eyed. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":(">
 

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yeah i'd probably be nervous too. just do whatever you feel is best for her. let us know if she starts to feel better!
 

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I wish the best for your rat. I know how agonizing it can be when they aren't acting "normal." I had several hamsters and they are such nice little guys. It's so hard treating them sometimes, too, as they haven't developed enough proper medicines for them.
 

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Here is the link to the rat food guide. Not sure why the attachment didn't work, damn 'puters!<br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.icubed.com/users/mfichten/rats/rats-article-18.htm" target="_blank">http://www.icubed.com/users/mfichten...article-18.htm</a><br><br><br><br>
Yeah, with small animals putting them under is tricky. I would be scared to do that too!<br><br><br><br>
Here is a couple links to rat discussion groups. Maybe someone on there has had experience with rat malocclusions and can offer an alternative.<br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.ratpalace.com/" target="_blank">http://www.ratpalace.com/</a><br><br><a href="http://www.goosemoose.com/rfc/" target="_blank">http://www.goosemoose.com/rfc/</a><br><br><br><br>
Paws crossed that Ophelia gets better! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I've had her teeth double checked out now, and everything is supposed to be fine. She is eating some things, but less so her food- I think she is just being picky. She is alive and kicking and not losing weight, so I figure I'm out of trouble.<br><br><br><br><br><br>
SHE, on the other hand, is in big trouble.<br><br><br><br>
Tonight she attacked my bunny, and I am NOT pleased. This is the second attempt and this time she made it, and hung on while the bunny (or the rat- couldn't tell) squealed, and ran away in terror. She chomped right on to her ear. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":("><br><br><br><br>
WE are very unhappy about this turn of events, and are thinking she may go live with my friend (from whom I got her) who will let her live with many other ratties and make ratty babies, and hopefully allow her to be happier.<br><br><br><br>
The rabbit has really been freaking her out.<br><br><br><br>
I love Ophelia, and I don't want to see her being nasty or unhappy, but I think some rat friends might be better for her now than the company I the human can provide. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":("><br><br><br><br>
We'll see what Brigit says tomorrow.
 

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I doubt if animals are happy without their own kind around them. Even dogs rush up and sniff each other outside.
 

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not so much with cats, unless they're raised together. the cat at my mom's (who was put down yesterday*sniff*) hated all other felines. we once rescued a small kitten who was wandering outside in the winter and let him stay at our place long enough to warm up and get some food in him before finding him a home. he thought she was awesome but if he went near her she'd hiss and spit and run away.
 
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