In the second week after my operation, I found that Maarit was just sneezing and snottering a little too much for my taste, and I was slightly disturbed by all the biting that Valo was doing. Just my by the way, not Maarit. So I decided to ask my dear rat-hating dad, who had also made a plexi-glass separating plate for the cage, to drive me to the vet.
As she took Maarit out of the travelcase, the little devil of a girl just sat in her arms. Docile, calm. Not so much sick, but just… relaxed. Way more then she had relaxed with me so far.
The vet listened to both ladies and thankfully, they were both ok. Maarit did get a cure of antibiotics to get rid of that nasty cold, but Valo was all clear. Healthy, happy, at a good weight and looking fine.
The next day, I went to give Maarit her AB’s and fed it to her mixed with babyfood. Afterwards I decided to give Valo some of this too. Bad choice. Within a few minutes, Valo jumped out of the sputnik, ran to the bottom of the cage and started breathing heavily, through her mouth. It took me about 10 minutes to arrive into a state of complete panic, complete with sobbing, crying and calling just about everyone I know.
I still wasn’t able to drive a car myself, so I called my friend who had planned on coming over a little later. He rushed over to me, but it still took too long for me. I was panicking, stressing out and just wanted to gogogo! After a few attempts, I got hold of the lady of the shelter that Valo used to be in. Thankfully, she was able to calm me down and talk me through the whole thing, as I was waiting for my friend to come. In the mean time, I had called the vet’s office at least 3 times. I had put Valo in the travelcase and watched her closely. Her ears were turning white, her lower lip was turning blue and she was kind of dropping herself on her right side. I was sure it was over.
Right before my friend arrived, she had started sneezing and snorting and the heavy breathing had surpassed. As we arrived at the vet’s everything was fine with the world again and she was active and seemed happy. The vet gave her an injection of antibiotics and gave me a dose to start giving 2 days after the visit, if things hadn’t gotten better.
So there we went again. More meds to give, but hopefull she would recover. For the next 3 days, every morning, clockwise between 9 and 9.30 am, Valo started ‘hyperventilating’ again. The sound woke me up 3 mornings in a row. Obviously I didn’t panic that much anymore, and on the second day, I got the advise to give her nosedrops. Miraculously, these seemed to work, because after 3 days (and 4 days of meds) the attacks stopped.
She probably choked on some food and had some left overs stuck in her system, or perhaps damaged her airpipe in her panic attack.
What I have learned from the whole experience is that I NEVER, EVER want to see a rat getting into this condition again. There’s probably nothing worse than seeing a rat choke. And to illustrate, I uploaded a vid (the vet had asked me to tape it in case it kept happening). You be the judge. (the cracking sound is my bandage rubbing against the phone..)