Possible Nebulizer Configuration for Rats
Since nebulizers are designed for a more human audience, and since rats are considerably smaller, I had to think of some way to get the steam (and
thus the medicine) in the rats without restraining them (because when they're really sick pinning them down is really one of the worst things you
can do as it stresses them out) and while providing enough "air," enough space, to make them feel at least remotely comfortable.
Oh, and at the time we had 20-some sick rats so we wanted something big enough to do group-therapies :o)
So, using one of my favorite products in the whole wide world, I found myself a Sterilite tub large enough to meet both needs (enough space & batch
processing), made sure the plastic was flexible enough to cut (sometimes the plastic's a harder and thus more brittle), got some glue that would
withstand moisture (aquarium sealant seemed to be a logical choice there), and with my brand new ProNeb Nebulizer in hand, I set myself to the task
of finding a way to make a little steam room for the rats.
Nebulizer and all associated parts
(tubing, mouthpiece, power supply)
Some kind of containment device
(that pictured on the right would be an ideal nebulizing container for 1 rat)
Lighter (or matches or heat source)
Sealant (e.g. aquarium glue)
This is our nebulizer set-up
1) Find the mouth piece and find the place where you'd like it to be on your container.
Tip: I failed to take into account that there's a little cup above the mouthpiece. I placed the mouthpiece as close to the upper rim as I
could. This was dumb: It's a challenge to take the cup out of the mouthpiece for filling. So, don't forget to take the cup into account :o)
2) With a marker, draw around the mouthpiece onto the container.
3) With the board cutter, cut a rough circle inside the hole.
4) With a lighter (or matches, or something hot) heat the inside edges of the hole to soften the plastic.
5) Quickly insert the nebulizer mouthpiece. The heated plastic will cool around the mouthpiece giving it a snug fit.
6) With the aquarium glue, draw a circle around the mouthpiece by the plastic of the container on the inside and on the outside to completely seal
7) Fill the cup with your desired nebulizing solution.
8) Plug the nebulizer power supply into an outlet.
9) Add rat(s) to the tub.
10) Close lid.
mouthpiece as seen from inside the container
11) Start nebulizer and leave nebulizer run until the contents of the cup are depleted (or as instructed by your veterinarian).
12) Leave rat in tub for a few extra minutes so s/he can continue to breathe the medicated air (while we humans are better able to utilize what
comes out of the mouthpiece, mostly because it fits in our mouths, it will take more time for a rat to utilize).
tip: When navigating through the RatTails,
clicking on the image that looks like the image above
will take you back to this table of contents!
Disclaimer: There are many non-sarcastic accounts and tips on the web regarding rat care. This is not
one of them. These are merely accounts of our experiences with rats, our perceptions of these experiences, where we've failed
and where we've succeeded. These accounts are here for two purposes:
2) To help avoid repetition of mistakes
Remember! Your rat is not a science project, he is your friend!