My Experience with An Abscess | Part 1

My Experience with An Abscess

One of the worst possible scenarios when owning rats is to find a lump on one of them.
Lumps usually turn out to be one of two things: a tumour (benign or malignant) or an abscess.  Luckily (sort of) for my rat Korsakoff, a lump on his abdomen turned out to be a rather large abscess.  Here are descriptions of my two experiences dealing rat abscesses – once with Korsky in February 2002 and once with Ivan in June 2003.

Read moreMy Experience with An Abscess | Part 1

My Experience with An Abscess | Part 4

February 26

Within 24 hours the inflammation around the abscess has gone down and the size of the lump has decreased significantly.

Korsakoff is being very good at keeping the area clean. I decide to rinse the cavity by squirting the saline solution inside twice daily.

March 1

The cavity has shrunk to basically nothing so rinsing the area seems pointless now.  I am amazed at how quickly it has healed.

Read moreMy Experience with An Abscess | Part 4

My Experience with An Abscess | Part 2

February 21

After doing some research on the internet and asking some rat owners about abscesses, I confirm my suspicion that abscesses need to be drained to heal. Some owners suggest allowing the abscess to burst on its own while others say that the best thing to do is have a vet lance the abscess. Either way, the abscess must be drained in order to heal.  The vet did not discuss this with me. If an abscess is allowed to grow, there is always the risk of it popping internally which can lead to severe infection and death.

Read moreMy Experience with An Abscess | Part 2

My Experience with An Abscess | Part 3

February 23

I decide to do more to try and help the abscess to burst on its own.  Due to the increase in inflammation, the abscess feels like it is quite close to the skin. I take a very small amount of the skin over the abscess between the fingernails of my thumb and index finger and give it a quick pinch.  My reasoning in doing this is that a tiny area of bruised tissue will allow a scab to form. Korsakoff barely notices.

Read moreMy Experience with An Abscess | Part 3

Injectable Doxycycline = Vibravenous/Vibravenos

A wonder-drug for aggressive respiratory infections

Over the past year or so, a certain type of medication has received some slight but much deserved publicity as an amazing tool in the fight against respiratory infections in rats.  Practically all pet rats have a bacteria (Mycoplasma pulmonis) in their lungs, and this bacteria is usually responsible for the respiratory problems that are so common in pet rats because myco gradually damages the lungs –  making rats more prone to secondary respiratory infections. Vibravenous (or Vibravenos) tetracycline is an injectable, slow-release form of doxycycline.

Read moreInjectable Doxycycline = Vibravenous/Vibravenos

Injectable Doxycycline = Vibravenous/Vibravenos | My experience

In May of 2002 my rat Rimsky suddenly became very ill with a respiratory infection.  Previous to this, he had been on azithromicin for a couple of weeks to try and clear up some mild symptoms but then he suddenly went downhill. He was extremely lethargic, breathing heavily and refused to eat. He would only take a little water from a syringe. A trip to the emergency vet wasn’t very helpful (no proper antibiotics) but Rimsky did get some sub-cu fluids and oxygen.  Rimsky had to wait until the morning to see a regular vet. In the morning, Rimksy looked near death, laying on his side heaving.

Read moreInjectable Doxycycline = Vibravenous/Vibravenos | My experience

Injectable Doxycycline = Vibravenous/Vibravenos | Others’ Experiences

Direct quote from Jane Adamo, ratlist message 51601 “I, and a number of other RatListers have seen incredible, wonderful, fast, effective results in treating myco symptoms with this medication. …



I asked about the dosage of the medication that Rimsky had received and all the vet told me was that the concentration of the solution was 100mg/5mL.  I snuck a peek at one of Rimsky’s patient sheets and it said that he had received 1 cc (1 mL). I intend to get more detailed information and verify this information the next time I go to the vet.  From this information, I tentatively believe that Rimsky received 20 mg. He is roughly 500g (0.5 kg or 1 lb) in weight, so he got a dose of 40mg/kg (or 20mg/lb). This seems a bit low compared to some other things I have read.

Read moreInjectable Doxycycline = Vibravenous/Vibravenos | Others’ Experiences