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Pet Rats/Rat Stroke?

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Question
Hello! My rat Bee is a year and a half old, and she is currently battling a severe respiratory infection. My vet has her on a treatment including metacam, theophyilline, doxycycline, and azithromycin.

She's been on her medication for about a week, and since then has begun to gain weight back and her energy level gets better everyday. Her breathing is still heavy, though, and I also noticed that a few days after I began giving her the medications she started having what seemed like choking fits. During these "fits," she would start running frantically around the cage while extending her neck like she was choking. I called the vet's office two days ago and asked them about what was going on, and they suggested I make an appointment to bring her in the next day.

Yesterday I found that Bee could barely move because she was having trouble using her right hind leg. She would take a few steps, but then the leg would just fall and drag behind her as she tried to walk. I called the vet and brought her in immediately. However, as soon as I got to the vet's office and Bee was being evaluated, she was walking without trouble, as if nothing had ever happened. The vet examined her leg but found no issue.

Now that she is back home, she is still occasionally having trouble with her leg. She can walk pretty normally, but every once in a while her leg will just collapse under her. She doesn't seem to mind, however, and is still trying to climb and play despite its occasional limpness. As for her cage situation, she's separated from my other rat and I took out all of the levels in her cage. The bedding I use is called Vitacraft Eco Bedding; it's basically like paper shreds. It doesn't seem like its contributing to her walking issues.

My question: What do you think caused this sudden limpness in her leg?
I'm wondering if maybe the choking fits I observed were actually strokes? I'm not really sure what signs rats display when having a stroke.

Thank you so much for your time!

Answer
Hi Nichole,

*Definitely* write to Debbie on this one. I know it looks like I have better ratings, but it is because one person misunderstood the ratings system and she doesn't have enough questions to even it out.

I am supposed to check a box to send you an automated refusal when it is out of my expertise, but I want to make sure you know to ask Debbie. She is awesome. In fact, I was on the telephone to her immediately as it turned out my rat was having a stroke at Christmas :(

I will say one thing. Metacam is not for long term. It should only be used for a few days. It can cause severe liver damage and death. It's true for people too-- that long term use of ibuprofen (about the same thing) causes liver failure.


Do write to her. Don't feel like I am blowing you off. And explore the sites listed at the addy I have on my profile.

If *after* you write to her, you are not happy with her response, write back to me.

squeaks,

Natasha  

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Natasha Millikan

Expertise

Consider me a sub, when no one else is available. NOTE YOU MUST NOT HAVE ONLY ONE RAT. JOIN MY FACEBOOK GROUP (because there are smarter people than me there!!): ***** https://www.facebook.com/groups/RatsandMiceareAwesome/. ***** Excellent sites: http://ratguide.com/ **** http://lilspazrats.wikispaces.com/ **** http://www.ratbehavior.org/rats.html **** http://www.ratfanclub.org/ **** http://www.sandyscrittercity.com/ **** http://www.ratwhisperer.net/ ****

Experience

I have had rats for 3-1/3 years and have researched them extensively. I am a mouse expert with 40 years' experience with mice. The two species are similar and yet also quite different.

Organizations
My Facebook group is Rats (and Mice) are Awesome. https://www.facebook.com/groups/RatsandMiceareAwesome/

Education/Credentials
I have a Bachelor's and two Master's degrees in Linguistics

Awards and Honors
I am honored that my rats love me!

Past/Present Clients
My Facebook group, Rats are Awesome, serves at the moment 5300 members, and, considering all the huge rescues, probably averages 5 rats per member. That means my clients are about 25,000 rats!!!

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