Pituitary Advice?

Discussion in 'Health & General Care' started by TheHermit, Oct 11, 2018.

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  1. Oct 11, 2018 #1

    TheHermit

    TheHermit

    TheHermit

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    I don't have any experience with pituitary tumors, so of course it's Henry that gets one. He's my heart rat...

    He can't hold food at all anymore. As of four days ago, he doesn't even try. He'll eat softer solids (carrot, bell pepper, etc) if I hold it but with some difficulty. He has a wicked appetite though and is inhaling baby food like it's his job.

    He can't jump on anything. It seems to take him a lot of effort and most of the time he slips and can't pull himself up. He's trained to let me help him on and off things if I hold my hand out, though (he knows I'll lower or raise my hand to help him get to places) so sometimes he'll just wait for me to notice that he wants something. His arms are stiff and his gait looks different. When he is free ranging, he only meanders around for five-ten minutes before returning to the cage to go to sleep.

    A little bit of knuckling... no circling, bumping or excessive bruxing. No seizures or fits. He is still grooming OK. He's in a single level cage, now, where everything is low to the ground and extra cozy.

    We have a vet appointment tomorrow morning. What should I prepare myself for? I know treatments are available but does it sound like he's progressed too far? He's 25 m/o and otherwise so healthy :(
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
  2. Oct 11, 2018 #2

    SQ

    SQ

    SQ

    Senior Member - Vegan for the animals

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    Henry has not progressed too far imo.

    You may want to offer Henry his rat blocks soaked in cool water to make mush (you can grind them into powder first so they are not as thick). Organic soy infant formula (recommended for orphaned rats) thickened with baby cereal is also good - if not available at your local grocery store, it can be ordered online from Walmart. Both of these are easier to eat, will provide needed nutrition, and help to keep him hydrated. You can also feed other soft foods such as cooked vegs like sweet potato, greens like broccoli and mixed greens, cooked quinoa, and baby food. In my experience rats prefer cooked foods instead of baby food.

    The treatment for pt is a steroid (prednisone or dexamethasone) and an antibiotics such as baytril.
    If he has the most common type of pt (which boys can get) then cabergoline can make a huge difference as well. (Cabergoline is better tolerated and more effective then bromocriptine and not given every day)

    Some people decide not to treat pt. Other people treat with a steroid and an antibiotic, but do not try cabergoline or bromocriptine to see if they will work on the tumour. How much you want to treat this terminal disease is a personal decision.

    How much treatment helps will depend on the tumour and how fast it is growing.
    I have had rats that had fast growing pt that treatment did not help and I have had rats that had an extra 6 months of good quality time

    A one level cage is good or a cage where there is no ramp to get to the levels - in case his friends want to go upstairs; hang hammocks low so he can easily get in and out, a water dish that can not be upset in addition to a water bottle is important imo. Feed soft foods in a shallow dish.
    Hopefully Henry will be able to live with at least one of his friends, if not like any lone rat Henry will need a great deal of time with you.

    Eventually Henry will need help with grooming and you will need to check him frequently for penis plugs
    Here is some information:
    http://ratguide.com/health/neoplasia/pituitary_tumor.php
    http://ratguide.com/meds/endocrine_hormones/prednisone_prednisolone.php
    http://ratguide.com/meds/antimicrobial_agents/enrofloxacin_baytril.php
    http://ratguide.com/meds/endocrine_hormones/dexamethasone.php
    http://ratguide.com/meds/central_nervous_system_drugs/cabergoline.php

    Good luck to both of you

    June 2018 Rhys.jpg

    Rhys in his hammock, his back legs no longer worked but he still got around and had a good life with a lot of support

    July 2018 Sandra lhas pt but still enjoys baby kale.jpg

    Sandra in the cage. Sandra had pt and did well on meds for awhile. You can see the hammocks hung so they are easy to get in and out of. Eventually she needed to be syringe fed several times a day.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
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  3. Oct 12, 2018 #3

    TheHermit

    TheHermit

    TheHermit

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    Thank you SQ. The vet recommended bromocriptine and is confirming medium (capsules that they'll take the powder from and mix at the clinic VS liquid) and pricing with the supplier before charging me for it. She gave me Meloxicam to try until we get that in to see if that helps in case he is also arthritic.

    I'll email her now about Cabergoline and using a steroid. She didn't mention steroids during our appointment and she's usually amazing with my boys. Hopefully she's open to at least researching it.

    Thanks again <3
     
  4. Oct 12, 2018 #4

    SQ

    SQ

    SQ

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    You are welcome
    My vet phones in a prescription to a human pharmacy and I buy cabergoline from the pharmacy - it is used to treat people re other conditions. I never had any luck treating with bromo and my rats would start to refuse it, but they might not have had the type of pt that responds to bromo and cabergoline.

    The steroid + baytril is used to treat all types of pt as well as other neurological issues - it reduces inflammation thus decreasing symptoms if the tumor is slow growing

    good luck to you and Henry. I hope you let us know how it goes

    lilspaz68 and Jorats have both had lots of rats with pt too :( so can likely give you more info
     
  5. Oct 12, 2018 #5

    lilspaz68

    lilspaz68

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    I always got a prescription for bromocriptine tablets (2.5 mg) to fill at the pharmacy. A LOT cheaper.
    The steroid is usually where I start also, then add in the bromocriptine to see if it helps (only works with most common of rat PT's, the prolactinoma). If you get the tablets, i can help you mix up a solution at home.
     
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  6. Oct 13, 2018 #6

    TheHermit

    TheHermit

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    That would be amazing, thank you Shelagh! Would I get the prescription from my vet? I'm still waiting for her to call me/reply to my email.
     

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