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Abscess Figure 2b

Figure 2b: Facial abscess in a 2 1/2-year-old male rat (Bramble)
Case history and photos

History and Diagnosis

Bramble lived to 2 ½ , healthy and happy. A month prior to being treated for a respiratory infection, he developed a large abscess on his face, which was treated effectively and did not return. However soon after he developed severe respiratory problems. He had never had any respiratory problems before in his life. Either the abscess infection went systemic, or his immune system took a beating from the abscess ordeal and a respiratory pathogen took advantage of it.

Bramble’s breathing had become very labored. X-ray’s were taken, that showed some white out near the bronchi with patchy infiltrates, and no fluid. Scarring of the lungs was suspected.


Treatment was tried with antibiotics (even Gentocin) and Flagyl, and followed up with a probiotic after completion of the antibiotic. In addition, heart medications, Lasix, aminophylline, vitamin injection, and Sub Q fluids were provided, but the only thing that seemed to ease his breathing were daily anti-inflammatory injections. This took a huge toll on his weight and he lost condition rapidly.


Within the following couple of days Bramble decided he wasn’t going to eat or drink anymore and was just laid there looking exhausted. The decision was made to euthanize. We held him and stroked him and told him we loved him as he drifted under the gas. It was so peaceful, and also a relief not to see him have to struggle to take a breath.

Bramble was buried in the garden alongside his best buddy and litter-mate, “The Bear”. His angelic black fuzzy face will be missed.


In this photo swelling from the abscess can be seen around the right eye.

Case history and photo courtesy of Al and Robyn Arthur

Posted on June 28, 2003, 11:54, Last updated on May 24, 2012, 16:34 | Figures

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