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Rats Rule! => Rat Care Corner => Topic started by: MinervaThonosi on January 03, 2018, 03:48:15 PM

Title: What Did Irish Do?
Post by: MinervaThonosi on January 03, 2018, 03:48:15 PM
So I was attempting to trim Irish's nails. He's the most cooperative rat for that. But today he seemed off. He then started squeaking. A lot. Even after I let him go and he retreated to my hoodie. He sounded like he was in pain. After I looked him over I came to the conclusion that it was the right ventral side of his chest that was the painful part. Worried, I called the vet and got an appointment for this afternoon. Brought him in. Irish tried to hide from the vet. He managed to grab the carrier and lift it slightly while the vet was examining him. Because of adrenaline, he didn't squeak. Vet's hoping he just caught his hand while climbing in the cage and just pulled something. Other thought is that it could be something with his spine. Vet prescribed honey flavored Loxicom for pain.

Got home. Put Irish back in the cage and gave him a treat. Then got the meds out. Tried just offering it to him. Nope. Tried putting it a treat, like how I gave him his pain meds after his neuter. Rejected. Tried holding him while trying to put the syringe in his mouth. Mostly got on his face, but some in his mouth. Put him back in the cage and watched as he wiped his face on the bedding, two different boxes, and the bass pan. Irish then retreated to the waffle box and, from the sounds I heard, wiped his face on the inside of the box.

It strange to sit on the bed and just hear him squeaking in that box, because he's in pain. He doesn't seem to trust me much now. I don't know what to do with this chunk of a rat. (He's 681 grams.) I can't get him to take the pain meds, so we can find out if he just pulled something or if it's something worse.

What are you guy's best ways to give a rat oral medication?
Title: Re: What Did Irish Do?
Post by: purple rat on January 03, 2018, 10:03:40 PM
I've always mixed meds in with baby food. The one time I had a rat that refused it, I dipped my finger in the baby food/med mixture and he licked it off -- it took a while, but he got the full dose. Good luck
Title: Re: What Did Irish Do?
Post by: BigBen on January 04, 2018, 02:56:03 PM
I've had good luck with maple syrup.  Load the dose into the syringe first, and then a couple of tenths of a cc of the syrup, so that the sweetness is the first thing that hits his tongue.  For times when you have a day to get a medicine compounded, beef flavor and peanut butter flavor generally make medicines palatable.  If a rat can make the connection between the bad taste and feeling better, sometimes the resistance to being medicated decreases--but not always; we're talking about ratties, after all!

In the case of Meloxicam, you can get it in injectable form.  Ask your vet--they can either give you syringes preloaded with the dose, or show you how to load a syringe.  I have found that my rats who reacted so violently to the oral syringe hardly even noticed the prick of a sub-cutaneous injection.

When giving a rat an oral medication, I've found it helpful to poke the tip of the syringe through the diastema--the gap between the incisors and the molars.  I also try to get the syringe aimed at the back of the rat's throat before plunging, because if you aim it right, it triggers a swallowing reflex left over from babyhood and the rat can handle a greater quantity faster (one of our GM-ers called it the "power suck" reflex).  If you hold the rat in your lap, facing your belly, with your thumb and forefinger circling the neck and your other fingers holding on below the paws, you have the most control and can overcome resistance most easily.

Good luck with Irish!  I hope he feels better soon.
Title: Re: What Did Irish Do?
Post by: MinervaThonosi on January 04, 2018, 07:00:02 PM
Thanks for the tips, guys. I just gave Irish today's dose. I brought him out to the living room and sat on the couch with him. I waited for him to calm down before I attempted anything. He wasn't happy about it, but I helb him in my lap, with his butt against my stomach and got it in him about a fourth at a time. I gave him brakes in between, so he could relax again. After that he got a yogie and we hung out for a bit, before he went back to snooze with Tobi.  :BlueDumboSmile:

He did seem less painful, so I'm thinking he just pulled a muscle.
Title: Re: What Did Irish Do?
Post by: MinervaThonosi on January 08, 2018, 02:18:04 PM
Gave Irish his last dose of Loxicom last night. It seemed to help. Everyday he was less painful. But! He seems to be eating less and (for a lack of a better word) “chewing” his tail. The tip of his tail looks brused and indented. It wasn’t like that Wednesday.
Title: Re: What Did Irish Do?
Post by: Been to the Mountaintop on January 15, 2018, 08:51:46 PM
Hope he gets better!
Title: Re: What Did Irish Do?
Post by: MinervaThonosi on January 15, 2018, 10:37:09 PM
Yep. He's back to his normal shy self. I don't know what the tail thing was about, but it's back to being a normal pink. He also has his appetite back and will wait at the front of the cage for meal time.  :)