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Handling meds, needles, and myco treatment
9 years ago
I found this conversation on another rat group and thought it was really informative so I wanted to share. The original post was asking how long meds last, etc.
The Baytril bottle that you purchased from Global Pigeon is good till the expiration date stamped on the bottle. Don't worry about that.
If you choose to dilute a small amount of this Baytril by mixing it with a flavored syrup, which will make a less concentrated medicine, THAT small amount of mixture that you are using to medicate should not be kept indefinitely. The only reason I recommended diluting it is to make the dose easier to handle ( in other words, you would be drawing up 0.5 ml instead of 0.05 ml) but since your rattie is spitting it out, you will not want to increase the quantity of what has to go into his mouth, so keep doing it the way you are doing it. I recommended not keeping this DILUTED, smaller bottle of meds more than 30 days, because most people tend to stick the actual dosing syringe INTO the meds to get a dose for administration. That dosing syringe, despite rinsing after use, will be carrying some mouth bacteria. This potentially contaminates the bottle. Having diluted with a sugared syrup, there is a greater chance bacteria will grow in there. That is the only reason I recommended keeping this secondary diluted med only 30 days if not used up.
(By the way, DO NOT REFRIGERATE the Baytril, either in the original bottle, or after dilution with a syrup).
'The alternative method of drawing out the medicine dose, which I do, is to reserve a clean syringe, one that is never put into a rattie mouth, for pulling out the recommended dose, which is then squirted into a small glass dish...then I suck that dose up into the syringe earmarked for administration to the rat.
In your case, however, since you are having trouble now getting your rat to swallow the meds, I would stick with giving the very tiny amount of UNDILUTED Baytril. Just take my advice, though, and keep a special syringe for your bottle of Baytril, that does not go into rattie mouths.
As far as spitting the meds out, yes, some ratties get very good at it. They refuse to swallow, and actually spit it out or let it dribble out. Once they learn that trick, it really gets hard to medicate them. Are you getting the meds back past the two mouth flaps that separate the front incisor teeth from the rest of the mouth? Also, try giving a little more time between the Baytril and the doxy, so there is not so much stuff in her mouth at one time. Squirt in the Baytril, then carry her around and distract her with petting, a trip to the couch, anything to get her to forget about spitting...sometime s they will swallow if they are thinking about something else. Then give half of the doxy distract her, then give the last half, rather than giving all the meds quickly into the mouth and putting her back in the cage.
Sometimes your only recourse is to find something, anything, that they will willingly eat, to put the meds in. Try Redi Whip. Any ideas out there for Daniella?
And, keep up the nebulization. They have to breath it in, so that is one way to get some meds into them. We will get a nebulizer in the mail to you.
As far as why the Baytril doesn't seem to be working: please remember that you are only supressing the growth of Myco, not killing it or curing the disease. At some time in the course of the disease, the Myco will not be affected by any medications we give and there is just nothing we can do to save the rat.
One thought would be to try a different antibiotic, but there are no guarantees that the new one will work better than the Baytril/doxy combination, which is currently the "gold standard" for treating Myco. I have found that Zithromax works sometimes, especially if I start medicating early in the course of the disease and use it continuously. However, I have not been pleased with Zithro when used in a seriously sick rattie, near the end stage of Myco.
The new website I found from Scotland recommends pairing Zithromax (10 mg/kg once a day) with doxy. I intend to try it out, will let everyone know how it works. You might ask your vet about that. There are some other drugs that have strong activity against Mycoplasmas, too, that your vet may consider: Chloramphenicol palmitate, can be mixed into a flavored suspension by a pharmacy at the direction of your vet, dose 25 - 90 mg/lb, two to four times a day ( TASTES TERRIBLE) but has strong activity against Myco.
Clindamycin ( brand name Anti-Robe) 5 to 10 mg/lb twice a day for 2 to 4 weeks, would have to be mixed into a flavored suspension at the pharmacy at the direction of your vet ( TASTES TERRIBLE):
Tylosin, active against Myco, 4.5 mg/lb twice a day, can be given long term, have it mixed at the pharmacy, (TASTES TERRIBLE).
As to your last question, how long will the saline last:
Once you have started withdrawing the saline, our rule of thimb at work is to discard any unused portions after 10 days.
If you are really clean when handling it, wiping the rubber stopper with alcohol pads before and after, you can probably get away with 2 weeks. It is he indavertant bacterial contamination that we are worried about.
If you are buying the saline form the pharmacy, see if you can get it in 250 ml plastic bottles with a rubber injection stopper at the top. This is way cheaper than getting it in the IV bags. We are paying about $1.25 per bottle wholesale, so it's feasible to pitch the bottle after 2 weeks. ( Your pharmacy may have a mark-up on that cost, however.)
If you have a lot of needles at your disposal, I would change needles once a week as well, or immediately if contaminated by dropping it or touching it.
Syringes, if you leave a needle on the