Constantly shaking head

Discussion in 'Health & General Care' started by DanielZielwolf, Nov 12, 2019.

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  1. Nov 12, 2019 #1

    DanielZielwolf

    DanielZielwolf

    DanielZielwolf

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    Has anyone come across this before? One of my rats spends periods vigorously shaking/flicking his head and body for a second every couple of seconds. Like you might if you were trying to shake a bug out of your hair. This goes on for a while and seems to be worse at night. I thought he might have mites but wouldn't he be scratching a lot instead? Anyway he's been treated for them previously just in case. It doesn't seem to bother him greatly, it's more disturbing to me I guess. He's otherwise very healthy although getting quite old. I'm just wondering what could be irritating him like that. Has anyone seen this symptom before?
     
  2. Nov 13, 2019 #2

    Kye

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    He could have an ear infection. I'd get him to a vet and consult with them on possible treatments for them if it is one.!
     
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  3. Nov 13, 2019 #3

    Renee

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    I'd say it's possible he has an ear infection, I would get him to a vet as soon as you can. Is there a head tilt as well?
     
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  4. Nov 13, 2019 #4

    lilspaz68

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    check for mites - rub through the fur over his shoulders and neck looking for little scabs. Lice would be visible on back and rump. If you see them, treat with Revolution.

    smell the ears for any foul smells even if its faint. You can go back and forth between ears to see if you can smell a difference. This would be inner ear infection, look for a possible head tilt as well.

    Is your rat older and more compromised physically? He may just be itchy and cannot reach it, rub his ears, shoulders, along his spine where he cannot reach anymore. If he goes mad and enjoys it, then that might be the issue.:)
     
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  5. Nov 15, 2019 #5

    PiddlePod

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    Get your nose up close to those ears and take a good couple of sniffs. If it smells like rotten fish, a sewer or like a funky belly button, it is undoubtedly an infection. I'm actually dealing with this very same thing right now with my old man Pi (ear that is on the same side as his microphthalmia). He's had a funky ear on the same side a little over a year prior that cleared up pretty quickly with antibiotics and ear drops. 3 weeks of treatment did the trick.

    A couple days ago Pi had the same symptoms with the head shaking and ear digging but thankfully no dizziness, head tilt or rolling. The clear indicator was his stinky fish ear. As soon as I smelled it, I went into Dr. Deb mode and immediately started him on oral Baytril/Doxy, along with twice daily baytril otic drops (and a pretreatment 1/2 before baytril otic w/ an alkalizing ear drop...helps break up the gunk). 3 days later into treatment and his ear smells like a normal rat ear. Just for my own peace of mind, I had him checked out today by his exotics vet to have a professional confirm that he is on the mend. :)

    Get a good whiff of those ears....anything funky smelling and youre likely dealing with an ear infection but a trip to the vet and some antibiotics will clear it right up. :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2019
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  6. Nov 27, 2019 #6

    Rocket99

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    My boy Gollum has been yhis way his entire life. I always thought ear infection but he also forcefully sneezes a lot. Its due to his bloodline. He is a double Rex and has a deviated septum and inner ear canal issues caused by hereditary traits. Inbreeding can be bad.
     
  7. Dec 5, 2019 at 11:47 AM #7

    DanielZielwolf

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    I think he had excess mucus in his respiratory tracts and was trying to shake it off. He was making a noise too on & off, sounded horrible, like a deep gurgle, as if he was full of fluid, but it didn't actually seem to bother him that much. He's hasn't lacked energy, appetite, responsiveness or anything. He's doing a lot better now. I got him old as a rescue/foster, age 2+, have had him 2 months now so will have to keep close watch.
     
  8. Dec 5, 2019 at 4:38 PM #8

    ViciousCurse

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    What you're describing sounds incredibly concerning. I'd almost say a severe URI or pneumonia, which can kill a rat if left untreated. I'd definitely recommend a vet for antibiotics.
     

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