How do you know PT stage?

Nyn

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Hi all,

My girl Ciske of 1.5 years old was diagnosed with PT today. I am not sure what to say more then I am super sad about it and that I worry about her.
As she is a manic tilty, she always was circling and acting a bit funny compared to the other rats. But since 5 days her eating slowed and she has had puffed up fur more then usual.
She also seems very disoriented and just confused and is bruxing more. She sleeps more and has a slight trouble holder her food (not perse not being able to hold it at all any more, but just dropping it occasionally).

We had her examined by our experienced vet today, who thought of early PT which I was fearing.
We are starting her on Prednisone today and the vet suggested waiting a little with the Finilac (a prolactinome) because they have seen very often it doesn't work on spayed females. (I am not sure if you guys agree on this as I have read conflicting stories?).

I am not sure how much hope we should have for her and how long her life expectancy is as this is the first rat that is getting a very life threatening issue.
I have read up on PT but it seems very difficult to estimate what to expect, as I see some people see a quick decline, while others (with medication) see that the rat perks up a little.
I know it is untreatable in the end, but I am just hoping for a little more information on what to expect and what to be able to hope for.

Thank you for any answer.
 

lilspaz68

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Can you post a video? I've too much experience with PT.

At this point to keep her condition up offer soft foods. Baby cereal, baby food, lab block mush is good.
 

Nyn

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youtube.com/shorts/QQH6qUrDCL4?feature=share

So far I just took this one of her. She is now asleep but I'll take another one when she is up.

She is a bit confused and tripping here. Mind that she is a manic tilty so the running around and the headmovements for her is quite normal. She can still hold solid food but sometimes drops it and then seems a bit lost in where it has gone. So she might pick up a nibble and then half chew it (quite slowly) and drop it and forgets it was there. Liquid food off a spoon goes well still. She is also fine drinking from her bottle still. She does wash her head much more then often and has puffed up fur when she wakes up or walks around.
 

Nyn

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youtu.be/LR3tKD6NKo8


I hope this works. This is her taking her Prednison medicine
 

Nyn

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Sending you two more. I had to delete the www because it wasn't working, without you can just copy and use it in a tab?

One of her eating:

youtu.be/pZnIffjIROE

And one of her failing over with puffed fur

youtu.be/KGMxBExx1po
 

lilspaz68

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The symptoms sound like early PT. I've never had a manic tilty with PT so I had to keep discounting it as a symptom while watching the videos.

I think you are right but if you want to play it safe make sure she's on antibiotics as well just in case she's got an inner ear infection.
 
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Nyn

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Great thank you so much! Would you say it would be good to, next to the Prednison, have her start on the Finilac as well? That's the only doubt I really have.

I thought about inner ear infection but our vet is very experienced with her and has been seeing her since she was a tiny little ritten. She always caught the ear infection in time and this time didn't see any sign of an infection, so I want to trust her on that one :) but thanks for the great suggestion!
 

lilspaz68

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I would put her on a broad spectrum antibiotic as the steroid can suppress the immune system. As for the finilac I don't think you need to start just yet.
 
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Nyn

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Do you maybe have some tips on how to see if she is taking in enough fluids? I know she sometimes still drinks from the bottles and i have a lower type bottle on the way (and a little standing cup for them to drink out of). I'm not sure how much she is drinking though. We are giving her some dissolved convalescence powder in water every day, but that's only 2 mL and I've read they need at least 15 per day. She is still eating her normal food, albeit slow and she finds it more difficult to find it, and she is getting some baby food mush which contains quite a lot of liquid. Do you think this is enough?

Edit: I am a bit worried because it seems like she is losing weight every day (about 5 grams a day). She is a quite hefty little girl, so so far it's not a bad thing.. but in the long run I'm afraid it means that she is just not eating enough.

Also one more question, how long should it take for the steroid to have an effect? She has been on them for 3 days now, and not much improvement is seen but maybe I'm being premature?
 
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Dena

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OK I can also give input on this, but lilspaz is the one you need to trust and take the advice of. I have a manic tilty, who is about 26 months old now, who I discovered has a PT close to Christmas. She was so bad off, she wasn't eating, had zero energy, would stand facing a corner for long periods at a time, and just seemed so mentally lost. I gave her dexamethasone, which is more powerful than the prednisone. But pred should be fine too. Baby was knuckling really bad with her right hand, and could only hold food with left hand and up against her chest and chin. A day after her fist dose, I noticed marked improvement. By dose two, she was trying to use her right hand again, but still weak. By day 4, she regained use of her hand, and was looking so much brighter and more alert. By day 2, she was responding to her name again, and coming running when she heard me come near her cage. Her fur was also down. She started cleaning her face like normal, and less bruxxing. Now, she is back to hopping up the stairs, climbing stuff in her cage, even though I made it PT friendly for her, and I catch her eating her blocks, even though I make her mush. She was scary dehydrated as well. Not going to lie, I really thought she was on death's door. So I made her mush with extra water, and gave her stage 2 baby food, so it was more watery. Plus I gave lots of fruits and veggies with lots of water content. She really goes for the apples, bananas, and green bell peppers. I did notice that it seems easier, or she prefers her open water cup to drink. She hasn't had steroids in a few days now. Well, a week I guess. When I gave her last injection, she actually FOUGHT with me, trying not to get poked! I test her daily, and she is just barely starting to show weakness again. If your baby gets too skinny, you can also offer either ensure, or organic infant formula with infant rice cereal to her. I do the pinch test often (pinch her skin on the back of her neck, if it falls back quickly, she's fine, it not, she needs liquids). They can live far longer without food, than without hydration. I hope you get the results you hope for soon! Also, if you give pred for more than a week, you'll need to wean her off. Oh, and baby is still a tilty, just not as manic anymore in her old age. But still sort of can see the remnants of the manic part. She's more like ADHD now. Haha
 

Nyn

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Hi Dena, thank you for this answer! It is good to hear that there is some hope. Unfortunately for us, the Prednison is not working on her. It has been more then 1 week and no improvement at all. We are now trying the Finilac and we are on day 4 of that. No large improvements and I can see she is in pain. We are giving it till after the weekend but if there is no improvement at all, I don't want her to further suffer. I love her so much but my priority number 1 is that she doesn't suffer to much before she goes. I am just seriously doubting if we should let her go today already as we haven't seen any improvement with the Finilac at all yet.
 

lilspaz68

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I'm sorry Nyn, I call these unresponsive PT's, nothing really works and after giving it a reasonable chance you just watch quality of life until it's time to make that decision.
 

Nyn

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This is what I was afraid of indeed. I'm a little hopeful that the Finilac will kick in, since yesterday she seems a tiny bit better. But we will definitely give it until Monday and if we do not see any real improvement, we will make the call
 

SookieObiRonny&Bear

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This is what I was afraid of indeed. I'm a little hopeful that the Finilac will kick in, since yesterday she seems a tiny bit better. But we will definitely give it until Monday and if we do not see any real improvement, we will make the call
I'm sorry about your rat. Unfortunately, PTs are incurable and rats will only survive even on medications for a few months at the most. On December 22, I noticed my 1.5 year old female had started showing signs of a PT and I took her to the vet on the 27th. It turned out she not only had a PT but heart disease too. I chose to put her on meds and see if she would respond to them, and she got a tiny bit better. Or at least she didn't seem to be getting any worse. But then she had a fall and I realized it was time. I had to put her down on January 4th. It was heartbreaking but I knew she was suffering and would only get worse. It was horribly sad she was gone, but I knew she'd been gone for a while, even before we went to the vet. Eventually, you'll have to make the decision. When I knew she needed to be put down was when she wasn't enjoying time outside of the cage and could no longer climb to her favorite hammocks. She'd lost a lot of weight and was unable to get herself out of tough situations, like being stuck between the wall and the leg of a chair. She couldn't control herself which led to her falling off something and injuring herself.
I know it's hard, but having some closure or memorial can help. Someone suggested making a bucket list of things to do for Bear before putting her down, like activities she would enjoy or foods for her to eat.
I would also recommend feeding your rat applesauce, baby food, mashed banana and oatmeal, my rat seemed to enjoy those when she was unable to eat solid foods.
Good luck, I'm so sorry this is happening to your sweet rat.
 
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Nyn

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We unfortunately had to have her put to sleep today. We will miss our little bundle of joy tremendously
 

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