Acquired megacolon - temporary?

minnow

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My chunky monkey and one of the XRC girls Sienna seems to have developed megacolon - almost certainly secondary to the trauma of her spay and the cellulitis that developed afterward. Many tummy rubs, antibiotics, and a dose of Senokot later, she's deflated but I can't tell yet if her poos have returned to normal (they were painfully large). Could this just be a temporary thing caused by a temporary gut slowdown? Or is it more likely that I'll have to keep treating her long term until her quality of life is sub-par?
 

henry's_mum

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this is something i'd be keeping a REALLY close eye on hun...
There is a diet that you can feed for the older rats that's get MC after the general 4-6 week old time period. I will look it up for you and post back.
 

minnow

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She's a PEW from (psychology) lab rat lines, so it's unlikely to be genetic unless there was a mutation. She was also defecating without assistance after a blockage was cleared, so there's at least not a total lack of normal peristalsis in the bowel.

She's about 7-8 months now, I believe. There was a very very brief mention of acquired megacolon in the rat guide, and apparently it happens with humans too.
 

Moon

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You can't develop true megacolon, but I suppose a long-term intestinal issue could be an option, although I'm inclined to say that it's more likely a temporary thing, possibly due to a different post-surgery diet.
 

lilspaz68

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yeah I would say its a reaction to something and should pass.

I have only had rats bloat up with gas when they had internal masses inside their digestive tract.
 

minnow

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It could be a combination of the post-anasthetic gut slowdown and the inflammatory process related to the cellulitis and possibly not enough water...

Go figure, my rats always get the odd complications. :panic:

I guess I'll have to keep a close eye on her, keep the Senokot handy just in case, and keep y'all posted as to whether this continues.
 

jorats

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The good news is that it's probably not megacolon. But following the diet might help.
Hopefully she'll get passed this quick.
 

minnow

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She hasn't bloated up again, and she doesn't have the hard lumpy oversized bowels anymore, so I *think* she's over the worst of it. I'll give her a couple hours alone in a different tote to check on her poos today. The Senokot should be out of her system by now, so anything unusual should be genuine.
 

minnow

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Poos are still way too big and hard, though she's passing them without assistance. If they stay this way after this dose of Senokot, she'll be getting Ensure and baby food as her primary diet to help soften things up and hopefully let her bowel shrink.
 

Marylou

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minnow said:
It could be a combination of the post-anasthetic gut slowdown and the inflammatory process related to the cellulitis and possibly not enough water...

Go figure, my rats always get the odd complications. :panic:

I guess I'll have to keep a close eye on her, keep the Senokot handy just in case, and keep y'all posted as to whether this continues.
When was the spay? Our rats tend to bloat after Phenobarbitol, depending on the anesthetic used, it may just be residual effect
 

jorats

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Have you told your vet about this? I really think your vet needs to change her surgical protocols. :(
 

minnow

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Over the phone, yes. All she got for drugs were iso, metacam, and baytril. Do you have a recommendation for a vet she could confer with on how to change her surgery protocols for small animals? She'd probably be receptive to another vet's advice... if I just mention 'high complication rate' and 'I'd really appreciate it if you discuss surgery protocols with vet X before I schedule any more spays'... is that too specific? Just specific enough?
 

minnow

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As a final update on this, Sienna is back to her normal self with normal stools and my vet is reviewing her surgical protocols with help from a more experienced (with rats) vet. My chunky monkey appears to be in the clear, even after having classic megacolon symptoms for something over a week.
 

LA

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I wonder with the issues if giving some probiotics would help. It would have helped with the gut slowdown and the stools. What do you guys think?
 

minnow

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Post-mortem: she had a severely enlarged cecum and impacted stool, GI stasis is the suspected cause of death.

I guess it wasn't so temporary, and by the time she started showing symptoms again, it was too late to save her.
 

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