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OK, so Peanut had a second tumour removed last week (turned out not to be an abcess), and seems to be doing well - no more lumps and bumps yet. Stiil waiting for histology results though.<br><br><br><br>
But - while we were up at the vets yesterday having a check-up, Polly suddenly starting gasping for air and panting like a dog, and drooling all over the place. The vet whisked her away and put her in an oxygen tent, saying "It's not good, every breath counts". He gassed her and had a look down her throat - no blockages - and gave her some steroids and anti-inflammatories to help her breathe. She stayed in the oxygen tent most of yesterday, and seems to be doing better this morning, though as of a couple of hours ago, she was still a bit wheezy.<br><br><br><br>
Any ideas? I'm picking her up at 2.30 so will hopefully get to have a chat with the vet then. I can think of a few options - she might have been allergic to something in my hand cream (I used a new once for the first time yesterday), or something in Peanut's medication if she grabbed a bit of food off her, or maybe she had a stroke? Can rats have strokes? She didn't seem 'paralysed' or anything, just really, really short of breath.<br><br><br><br>
I'm really stressed out. If it's not one, it's the other - they're my babies so of course I will do anything and everything to help them, but the heart-ache is quite exhausting!
 

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I doubt it was a stroke, my sisters hamster had a stroke and yes she gasped for breath like her throat was blocked, she also went limp, glassy eyed, then passed away quite quickly. They're very small animals, and rats aren't much bigger, so if your rat had had a stroke I don't think she would have made it.<br><br>
I think it could be one of the things you mentioned - eating something she shouldn't have or allergic reaction.
 

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I'm sorry to hear about Polly.<br><br><br><br>
Rats can have strokes (it's quite common in older rats) and can often come through them nicely.<br><br><br><br>
However, this doesn't sound like a stroke (which has very different symptoms). It sounds more like an allergic reaction, panic attack, or possibly even a heart attack.<br><br><br><br>
It could also be the beginning of a respiratory infection, although gasping tends to be an end-symptom rather than one seen at the beginning. If the anti inflammatories and steroids help but she continues to wheeze I would ask the vet about antibiotic treatment.<br><br><br><br>
Good luck and scritches to Polly.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The vet says it's pneumonia, it's just odd it happened so quickly. She had a shot of steroids and is now on antibiotics (Baytril) and a decongestant, we're going back on Friday for a check-up. She hadn't been sneezing, or wheezing, or coughing, so we don't know what brought it on all of a sudden - maybe the stress of going up to the vets?<br><br><br><br>
I looked up Baytril, and apparently it's the one they give you when the condition is quite severe. The vet didn't seem too pessimistic though (unless he's trying to sugar-coat it!)... should I prepare myself for the worst? Is it just downhill from here?<br><br><br><br>
Good news re: Peanut though, her tumour was benign and was completely excised in the last op, so hopefully she'll be OK for a while.<br><br><br><br>
Opinions on Polly? Is there anything else I can do to make her feel better? I'm going to bring the cage into the bathroom when I shower, apparently steam helps to clear the mucus. I've put echinacea in their water bottle to boost both their immune systems.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>TinyGirl</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
The vet says it's pneumonia, it's just odd it happened so quickly.</div>
</div>
<br><br><br>
Actually it's not odd at all. My guinea pig died of pneumonia two years ago. One day she was happily chirping and munching the veggie ends I put in her cage and the very next day I found her laying on her side barely breathing. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":("><br><br>
The vet told me rodents tend to mask symptoms of illness until they're about dead. It's an instinct that saves them from being prey in the wild, don't show weakness. Makes sense. Unfortunately it works against them in our care.<br><br>
I hope your rat feels better soon. At least you were able to catch it before it was too late.<br><br>
Mary
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm just grateful we were already at the vets then! Even if it was the stress of the trip that caused the attack, if it was going to happen anyway then I guess we were in the right place.<br><br><br><br>
She seems quite happy this morning, a few sneezes but otherwise OK. She took her antibiotics and decongestant well (Peanut tried to steal it, it's obviously quite tasty), and is now snoozing.<br><br><br><br>
Thank you for all your advice!
 

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What kind of bedding are you using in their cage? That can often cause respiratory problems, depending on the type of bedding that's being used.
 

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We're using cat litter made from compressed recycled paper called BioCatolet, they both got sneezy after using wood shavings. They have newspaper on top of the bars so they don't catch their wee footsies, and toilet tissue (clean, obviously!) to bed down in because they love ripping it up and rearranging it. Could it be the toilet tissue?
 
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