September 4th, 2006


rat woes...

The meds haven't helped Dustin. Well, I think the diuretic might have had some small effect in that he peed a lot the first two days he took it and then the worst breathing episodes (when he sits there with his muzzle opening wide and closing, makes a horrible clicking sound and looks as if he was chocking and retching, even though rats can't retch food) have become a bit rarer, but his overall health has become worse.

He barely eats anymore, mostly just the mash I coax into him to feed him his meds and a little bit of fresh fruit, and has lost weight. He won't even eat treats like pumpkin seeds anymore. That his weight loss isn't even worse is mostly due to me mixing his meds with concentrated high energy nutrition paste. BTW my other rat Ben can smell the stuff from way off (no wonder, it has some truly disgusting fish oil in it, mixed with sticky corn syrup and other stuff, and it's really gross, but they love it) and goes nuts trying to get to it, so to buy me time to feed the medicine laced portion to Dustin, I have to placate Ben off with small amounts of the paste as well, i.e. I scrape it thinly over hard to chew food so he's occupied for a bit, trying to get all that smells so good (for certain rat-defined values of "good").

Anyway, most of the time Dustin just hides now, and while he hasn't been really active for some time, he used to at least still climb out to his favorite spot on top of the cage and watch me and Ben, occasionally wanting to be scratched and such.

I starting to consider whether I should have him put down. I mean, there are no further treatments I could try, and I don't want to prolong it until he dies some horrible death like suffocating. OTOH that doesn't seem to be imminent since despite his breathing problems his ears and tail and such are for now still rosy even during the worst wheezing, he still eats a little bit at least, still grooms himself (even if he isn't as meticulous as he used to be), and snuggles with his brother, and it's hard to say whether he's in any serious discomfort. Obviously his breathing problems aren't pleasant for him, and he avoids anything remotely strenuous, but I have no idea whether he feels miserable while he's resting as well.

Sometimes having pets sucks. :(
  • Current Mood: miserable