View Full Version : So many things wrong!

02-11-08, 04:31 pm
Someone I know has two rats. She rescued them in August of 2007. Their names are Dora and Degio (both girls). They were put in seperate cages. Diego is brown and Dora is a whiteish-gray. First, they both started off with red blood crusting around their eyes. I researched this and found out it could be stress from the new home. Dora's blood went away after the first week. Deigo's blood went away after the second week. But came back the next week. Some time after that I was insepcting them and I found out Dora was getting fat, but Deigo stayed the same weight. Then, Dora started to grow a lumped out of her side. My friend didn't do anything about it. Because it wasn't growing any bigger. (I thouhgt that was wrong. Being much older than me I didn't want to "boss" her around). And Deigo started to lose hair. Next I noticed that Dora was staring to get really fat! So fat that she had wrinkles wrinkling up on her legs. Also, she started to lose hair. A week later I saw on her foot a medium-sized sore-looking thing. By then it was Christmas and they were in the same cage. I asked her to call the vet and see what was wrong with them. The only info she gave me back was that she was supposed to put neosporn (yes, the cut treatments for humans) on Dora's sore and Visine (yes, the eye drops for humans) on Deigo's eye. At the time she had asked me to baby-sit them for Christmas. Of course I said yes. After one week of the medicine I found out neither one of the medicines was helping (I wonder why). From that time to now nothing seemed to get worse. but now Dora's lump has gotten bigger and her sore-thing is huge! Bigger than her foot! Their tails are kind of brown, skin wise. Well, just today I also noticed that the tip of her tail was white and had lost the brown skin, and more hair. Deigo's eye is still not better, either. Sadly, they are almost two years old. Today, esecially at 2:00, Deigo was really week. One she climbed up on my friend's shoulder and almost feel off (that was the last time we let her do that). You can she her ribs. It is a sad sight. Her time may be up:weepy:. What can I do? I see them 5 days a week and I hate seeing them that way. Also, does anyone what could be wrong with Dora and Deigo?

Rattie Mom
02-11-08, 05:32 pm
Well, of course my first comment will be, that they need to both see a rat knowledgeable vet, pronto!>(

With that said, it would be hard to diagnose or help with suggestions based on just what info you have supplied. It certanly sounds like Dora has a tumor. But the "sore" on her leg sounds horrible!

Neosporin is not bad to put on cuts on ratties. You just need to put a very small amount on and give the rattie a cookie to keep it's mind off the neosporin while it soaks in.

I've not heard of visine, though plain saline works fine for a flush.

The red crusty stuff you mentioned is called Porophyrn. It's actually "tears". When you see it on their noses, it's like a runny nose for us. This can mean anything from stress, illness or just from having a bit when they wake up. (ever wake up with crusties around the corner of your eyes, or a runny nose?).

However, I would guess that both of these girls are in poor health. Porophyrn is also a sign of respiratory illness. Do they also sneeze? What type of bedding are they on? If it's Pine or Cedar...it's BAD! That alone can cause severe respiratory problems in a rat.

When ratties get older, they do tend to lose weight. I would suggest getting her some higher calorie foods like scrambled egg, A/D canned cat food (from the vet), Ensure, avacado, cooked pasta. But something tells me, they aren't very well cared for anyway, so if your friend won't take them to the vet, will she try to give them what they need to feel better?

Hair loss can be from a slurry of things. Lice/mites are huge contributors to hair loss. Do these ratties itch alot? Do you see tiny red dots in their fur?
Another reason for hair loss is uterine problems, like cystic ovaries. Another quite common illness in older ratties is kidney failure. Hair loss, increased drinking and peeing are also signs of kidney failure.

When rats get old, they can also begin to lose the use of their back legs. If the rattie wobbly on your shoulder, she should be held on your lap instead.

I certainly don't mean to sound rude or mean. But these two should go to the vet!

02-11-08, 08:27 pm
Thanks soooo much Rattiemom! You don't not sound rude. Tommorrow weather I am being "bossy" or not I will tell her to take her to the vet as soon as poosible. No, they don't sneeze. They have carefresh bedding. And yes they itch alot and have tiny scabs. Deigo has lost weight, but certinalty not Dora. She is still fat. I do think it is a tumor that Dora has on her side. Would you know what kind? It's not that she won't take them to the vet, it is that she has to find time. (Which is going to be tommorrow, I hope.) And I am going to inform her of everything you have told me. Thanks again.

Rattie Mom
02-11-08, 08:44 pm
Well, the most common tumor for females are generally benign mammory tumors. They can also be removed quite easily IF the vet is knowledgeable rat vet, experienced with surgery. Many vets will say they see rats...but don't know their delicate needs.

The porophyn could definitely be from the stress of lice/mites. The hair loss, itching and scabs (usually around the cheeks, under the chin, and on the shoulder blades) are all classic sypmtoms.

I just adopted a little rattie girl 8 days ago. Poor little thing was absolutely covered in lice. She had been this way for so long that she was miserable. She was also deyhdrated, anemic and her skin was so dry.

Revolution is the best choice for rats. However, you have to be very careful to dose them appropriately. With just two rats, Ivermectin is another treatment. Both should come from your vet and appropriately dosed based on their weight.

Did you say Dora ballooned in weight very quickly? I wonder if she might have some other things going on. This could be a stretch (maybe she just likes to eat), but she could also have a few things that would cause tummy bloating. An internal tumor, though not nearly as common as the mammory ones, pyometra, or congentative heart failure, can all cause stomach bloating. All of which are not good. So hopefully a trip to the vet can rule those out.

Good luck with telling your friend. I hope the little ones will be ok.

02-12-08, 06:57 am
I do know a vet who is very knowlegable. This is the one I will recomened for the ratties. I kind of guessed theyhad mites. She has really balloned up, she just gets fatter, also more wrinkles. In about an hour I will she them again. As soon as possible I will report. I glad the rattie, you adopted, has been put in very good hands.

02-12-08, 02:53 pm
I am really mad! I asked her to take the rats to the vet and all she said was, "I don't want to take the rats to the vet because I don't want to go and spend $60-100 and hae them tell me they are justing getting old and may die soon,". It makes me really mad!:mad:

Rattie Mom
02-12-08, 05:51 pm
You did what you could. I'm just so sorry to hear your friend feels that way. The sad truth is they WILL die soon at the rate they are going. And to think I'm spending a small fortune (and will spend much more if need be) to save my dear Little Blue, after coming from an owner that felt much like that.

Lice/mites alone do horrible things if left untreated. They literally suck the blood out of animals! They become anemic, not to mention can you imagine having bugs crawling all over you all the time, biting you? At the very least, perhaps you can talk her into trying to find them treatment for the lice?

02-13-08, 06:54 am
Yes, I will. Would Ivermectin be a good treatment? How much would it cost? And where could she get it?

Rattie Mom
02-13-08, 04:40 pm
Ivermectin is an option and is still being used on rats. I personally have not had good luck with it, as you sometimes need to treat them several times. For just two ratties, I think it works well. I have 20 rats, and it just doesn't seem to kill all those dredded bugs.

The vet would have to prescibe it, so we are back to the vet visit again.

However, (and I am not personally recommending this) you can get the Horse Wormer paste in feed stores. Many people use this. It's my understanding, you have to squeeze the entire tube into a bowl and mix it EXTREMELY well! Then, take a dose about the size of a GRAIN OF RICE. It would be mixed into something yummy and make sure each eats his own, and doesn't drop it and the other be allowed to eat two. This should be done in two or three doses, each ONE WEEK apart from the other.

Because there is serious risk to their health if you overdose them, I've always felt more comfortable getting Ivermectin mixed from the vet. I now use Revolution on my rats, as it seems to work so much better, but it too has to be dose exactly, based on the rats weight AND the strength of the Revo.

02-13-08, 08:47 pm
Yes, I will tell her to take them to the vet again. I don't think she realizes that they have mites (event though I told her). Also, genrally, how much would it cost?

Rattie Mom
02-14-08, 02:52 pm
Vet costs could vary depending on where you are and even within the same city. If you can have her go to the rat knowledgeable vet you said you know, you might call them and ask their pricing on rat exams.

My vet is pretty expensive, but comparible to many in my area (Oregon). They charge $48 for an exam, and $35 for each additional pet. So, two rats would be $73. The Ivermectin is actually not that much. Maybe $10-15 or cheaper...definitely less than Revolution.

You may find that the vet in your area would charge you just one exam fee and look at both rats. But again, you might want to call ahead and get an idea from them.

good luck!

Rattie Mom
02-14-08, 03:01 pm
I forgot to mention: If you can't "see" anything in their fur, it's probably mites (which can sometimes be harder to get rid of...so could require more treatmetns). Lice are VERY noticeable. Especially if the rat is a light or white rat. The bugs are tiny red dots, and you can see them moving! Their eggs are tiny clearish white dots that cling to the individual hairs. Look around the areas of their back and shoulders. Even on their backside on their rumps...if it's lice, you'll see then. :weepy:

Over the years, I've treated my rats a few times when i've seen them itchy or have some scabs. But I never actually saw a louse until we adopted our Little Blue two weeks ago. OMG, she was just covered in them and they were jumping off on my own arms (SHUDDER). They are not like human lice, so they wouldn't try to nibble on humans...but still, just having a couple land on my arm was just horrible. I can't only imagine how Little Blue felt, having them mulitplying and sucking her blood for months before I adopted her and got her treatment.

02-14-08, 05:16 pm
Thank you so much RattieMom for giving Butterscotch all the great advice. And Butterscotch, I can only hope that you can talk your friend into taking these poor, poor girls to the vet, at the very least to treat the mites/lice. :ashamed:

I have 3 rats myself, and they are the sweetest little things. I rescued them last November, and one of them has chronic URI's (Upper Respiratory Infections), and has been sick 3 times just in the 2 1/2 months I have had him. He is currently battling sickness again as well as a bad case of mites. My exotics vet charges $50 for the office visit and exam, and then extra for tests and meds. I took my little guy to the vet earlier this week, and spent $111 in one visit, which included the $50 for the exam, mite treatment, and 3 different meds for his URI. Unfortunately, rats aren't cheap pets, and if you take in rats, they become your responsibility. And owner's should always have a vet fund set aside, since they are prone so easily to illness and infections. I thank you, Butterscotch, for trying as best you can to talk some sense into your friend. I sure hope you're making some progress. :weepy: I've got my fingers crossed for those sweet little girls.

02-14-08, 06:24 pm
I will call the vet to see how much it would cost. But I doubt she will take them to the vet (unless it is under $40). I will try the best I can, though. Thanks for all of the help and support.

03-06-08, 05:15 pm
Today I was holding Diego and then gave her to my friend so I could go get Dora. My friend yelled "Look at the bugs on us!" So I took a look at my shirt and there was LICE! The rats were so cold they were hiding in my shirt and the lice had cralwed to my shirt! Ewwww! :yuck: I was wondering if the lice will lay eggs on me and be like normal human lice. I tried to get them all off. I think I did... And guess what? She still won't take them to the vet! I am really mad.

03-07-08, 04:04 pm
Finally! She called a vet in and they decieded to put them both to sleep. I am terribly sad, but also filled with joy. I will be missing them, but I know that they won't suffer anymore. I cried all day today. :weepy: But, like I said, I am glad they are not going to suffer anymore.

Jess Z
03-07-08, 05:50 pm
I'm so sorry for you! There was nothing you could have done at this point. I know how serious tumors can be, I just had to put down my hamster because of a cancerous tumor. Even though they weren't yours, at least they know that you cared for them more than their owner did!

03-07-08, 08:45 pm
I am so sorry Butterscotch. :weepy: At least they are happy now over the Rainbow Bridge, and not miserable anymore. Thank you on behalf of those precious babies, for not giving up. My heart goes out to you. :ashamed:

03-08-08, 07:43 pm
Thanks everyone. I am only trying to think of the good times we had. But I will always have a hole in my heart where they were.