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Manic tilty rat with loss of wanting to play

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Nyn

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Hey all,

Here I come again with another health wise question on my babies. One of my little ones (6 months old now) had a several inner ear infection when she was very young (8 weeks old) which was treated perfectly. Unfortunately she kept her head tilt and is now classified as a manic tilty. I am always careful with her as I know she can easily get infections. She also got spayed a while back which went fine as well. Unfortunately, Since 4 days she hasn't been so enthusiastically coming out of the cage with her sister to play. She has sort of gone out and in and seems really quite scared (totally different behaviour for her as she is usually the energetic crazy one). She does still eat but not with as much enthusiasm either. We took her to an experienced rat vet for a check up and she did not have an ear or lung infection, all seemed well. But her behaviour is still the same so we thought to check if she'd respond to pain meds.

We gave her a normal dose of Meloxidyl (for 4.6 kilos as she is 460 grams) and she responded within the hour with getting much more playful again and her usual self. From this I think it is clear that she is in some sort of pain but I have no idea what could be causing it. Now that the medication is wearing off, she is back to her scared in pain self, which is very sad to see. I will definitely call the vet tomorrow as well but if anyone has any tips to be on the look out for, that would be great.

Kind regards,

Nynke
 

Big Schpog

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All 3 of my girls are on metacam now. My oldest is just starting to get arthritic and HLD and weighs 503g and we're giving her .1 mls twice a day. My other two are only just coming to a year old and they are also getting .1 mls twice a day. All of them are being treated for a mild/moderate URI for a month via Baytril and Doxy. Sometimes you gotta just do what makes the rat feel better. Find the lowest possible dose of metacam to keep her happy and comfortable. Also, check to see if she has any symptoms of blood in urine or coming from the vagina. Use white fleece/white tissues to figure out if she's bleeding.
 

Nyn

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Thank you for replying. We haven't noticed any blood from her urine (yet) but will keep an eye out for it. I have checked for bleeding from the vagina last week when this started and didn't notice anything strange. Would it be very noticeable if there is blood on the fleece where they are peeing? We have light grey fleece on there now but no blood stains are showing. Is a URI something that happens as frequently as a respiratory infection? And how do they contract it usually? We clean the cage weekly and the fleece blankets in the cage every 1 or two days depending on which ones they are (they have their favorite peeing spots).

I would like to not put her on medication (especially antibiotics) if I'm not sure what is wrong for the risk of making bacteria resistant for the antibiotics we are administrating. I know the pain meds are anti inflammation as well so maybe they'll help if it is something small?

Kind regards,

Nynke
 

Dena

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Check her teeth. If they are growing funky, that could be her problem. Also, message lilspaz. She may have more of an idea for you. Hope she gets better soon!
 

lilspaz68

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You are smart to get her back to your vet. Changes in behaviour like this often indicate something wrong,plus the relief when you tested for pain is concerning.
If you have carefully examined her all over (her body, limbs, smelled her ears, checked her mouth/teeth) for anything more obvious then a vet visit is definitely in order.
 
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Nyn

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Hey all,

I called the vet this morning and unfortunately our normal vet who is experienced with rats is on holiday. The woman who I had on the phone advised to continue with the pain meds until Thursday as there are also inflammation stoppers in the pain meds. She also said that check-up was probably not necessary at this time but that we should check in again on Thursday to see how she is doing. Both my rats were checked on respiratory illnesses on Friday and were found completely healthy in that aspect. I hope we are doing the right thing:)

Kind regards,

Nynke
 

Nyn

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Just a little update, her urine was clear and we have no idea what she has. She is doing a bit better we think but she is still on pain meds. She's had a tiny lump in her cheek which the vet checked out yesterday and which has gotten smaller with the pain meds/anti-inflamitory. So the vet checked her eye for damage (all fine) and gave us some eye medicine (soligental) to drop 3x a day in her eye to be sure if it is a clog it will clear. Her teeth were fine as well so that is not the issue. We were going to leave them home home a pet sitter this weekend when going to a cabin, but decided to take them with us. Hard choice though as it will also be stressful for them to be moved.. but at least we can take care of them (with the eye drops and pain killers). If anyone has any more advice on what could be wrong with her, we would love to hear it. She's been eating, peeing, pooping and drinking normally. She's just restless and scared and really unfocused when she is out of the cage..
 

Smythius

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Just a little update, her urine was clear and we have no idea what she has. She is doing a bit better we think but she is still on pain meds. She's had a tiny lump in her cheek which the vet checked out yesterday and which has gotten smaller with the pain meds/anti-inflamitory. So the vet checked her eye for damage (all fine) and gave us some eye medicine (soligental) to drop 3x a day in her eye to be sure if it is a clog it will clear. Her teeth were fine as well so that is not the issue. We were going to leave them home home a pet sitter this weekend when going to a cabin, but decided to take them with us. Hard choice though as it will also be stressful for them to be moved.. but at least we can take care of them (with the eye drops and pain killers). If anyone has any more advice on what could be wrong with her, we would love to hear it. She's been eating, peeing, pooping and drinking normally. She's just restless and scared and really unfocused when she is out of the cage..
Are there ANY other animals in the house? Dog or cat especially. If medically the animal seems fine then something about it’s surrounding must be making it uncomfortable.
 

Nyn

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Thank you for the reply. We have no other animals in the house and even bought an humidifier which should help with the dry winters. We have now given her the eye medicine for one week and have another check up tomorrow with the vets. When we give her the medicine for her eye, sometimes this releases more polyphorin and she starts sneezing. But her eye has cleared up a lot. The lump in her cheek is gone as well. Last week Thursday her ears were still clear. The vet should be able to see an ear infection right? She is still on some cough medicine as well which is being put in her water (bisolvon)
 
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Nyn

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This is video of her getting the eye medicine. She really hates it and wants to scratch. Now she isn't sneezing when she got them and there is no poryphorin. But sometimes the poryphorin comes out of the corner of her eye while administrating the medicine. I gently try to massage it into her eye as the vet said it was of importance she didn't immediately wash/scratches it out which she has a tenancy to (as you can see in the video). The lump in that cheek is gone and she isn't squinting as much. The lump had been there since her previous ear infection (last August) and she didnt show any of the problems in the mean time.
 

lilspaz68

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The scared and unfocused behavior makes it sound like shes dizzy. The only way to see infection in the base of the ear canal is with a camera or scope.
 

Nyn

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Yes indeed, well she is a manic tilty so she is always a bit dizzy. Our vet always checks the ears with the otoscope. It is slightly challenging as Cis is always moving but last Thursday her ears were fine (according to the vet)
 
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Nyn

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She has recently gained a bit of wait (470 grams now, she accidentally ate the kidney food of our other rat). Our vet did say she might be less playful due to her weight? She isn't super fat and we have put her on a strict no snack diet (normal pallets) and hid the kidney friendly food of her sister.
 
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Nyn

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I have added a photo from before (3 months ago) and now. She usually cleared up a bit when waking up as this photo was taken when she just woke up. But her eye is a lot better now. It looks like im holding her quite tightly, but I swear I'm doing it gently. She moves her head a lot so it is difficult to take clear photos of her
 

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