Possible PT? Tail thrashing?

jmk0900

New Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2020
Messages
4
Location
Australia
Hey, everyone. I hope you’re all well.

This is my first post here and it’s about one of my little old men, Floki. 32 months old.
Recently he has been declining health wise and I wanted to ask a couple of questions. I’m worried he may have a pituitary tumour, which is also one of our vets concerns.
Currently he’s on metacam and baytril to try and rule out any other potential issues to see if he improves, but the vet is due for an update tomorrow and I’ve seen no improvement, if anything he seems to be getting worse. Our vet appointment was two days ago, due to give an update on the third which is tomorrow.

Tail thrashing (?). It seems to happen during movement or apparent discomfort, but his hind end as a whole seems to have become weaker over time. The tail thing is odd to me and I’ve never seen it before. He does wag his tail when he’s happy or annoyed, but this thrashing is extremely abnormal and I worry about his poor little tail when it happens because it is a violent movement and it hits the cage/cage items. This tail movement has been happening for about a month, but not nearly to this severity, it used to be something I’d occasionally hear, not even see, and my vet suggested nerve or spinal issues with his age. It wasn’t accompanied by any other symptoms, he was normal and happy otherwise. But sometimes now he seems almost panicked during it. Today at one point he seemed stressed climbing the side of his cage, thrashing his tail around before he hopped into a hammock and finally stopped. Starting tonight, he will do the tail thing while he’s sitting out with me even (one of the attached videos from tonight). He is still eating and drinking, but seems less able to hold food efficiently and is leaning on his arms or any other position that makes it easier to hold it. Along with that he is breathing heavily. It’s quiet, but very heavy especially after minimal activity. Our vet cleared respiratory issues as his sounded clear in our last appointment a few days ago. He doesn’t seem as interested in his favourite treat, I gave him one and he struggled to hold it at first but eventually got a good grip, ate about half and was done, which isn’t normal. Overall quiet, lethargic when usually he was the crazy, full of energy old man who acted like he was still young and playful. Back end seems to drag more than it used to and overall looks weaker, which seems to have impacted his climbing ability.

I’m honestly just kind of lost as to what it is. He has some of the symptoms for a pituitary tumour, but some of the things he’s doing seem odd and I haven’t seen mentioned with that. Either way, I’ve attached some videos below of what he’s doing, I’m bad at explaining so that’ll be better. My vet didn’t seem too positive with this unfortunately and is usually very willing to try anything, so I fear it might be coming to the end of the road for my little man, but I just want some answers I guess.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_9075.MOV
    17.6 MB · Views: 0
  • IMG_9076.MOV
    31 MB · Views: 0
Last edited:

lilspaz68

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2007
Messages
24,383
Location
Toronto, Canada, Earth
It won't let me open your attachments.

He may have fallen and pinched a nerve or has some swelling pressing on it. The heavy breathing and panic do sound like pain unfortunately and not like PT. Ollld rats won't be able to sit up and eat anymore so often rest arms on the ground to eat. How is his grasping ability when he tries to eat.
PT doesn't respond to metacam. Only steroids will show any improvement but since it doesn't sound like PT and the metacam might help any inflammation causing his pain maybe we should double-check his dose? Is it 1.5 mg/ml or 0.5 mg/ml concentration? How much does he weigh and what dose are you giving him?
 

jmk0900

New Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2020
Messages
4
Location
Australia
It won't let me open your attachments.

He may have fallen and pinched a nerve or has some swelling pressing on it. The heavy breathing and panic do sound like pain unfortunately and not like PT. Ollld rats won't be able to sit up and eat anymore so often rest arms on the ground to eat. How is his grasping ability when he tries to eat.
PT doesn't respond to metacam. Only steroids will show any improvement but since it doesn't sound like PT and the metacam might help any inflammation causing his pain maybe we should double-check his dose? Is it 1.5 mg/ml or 0.5 mg/ml concentration? How much does he weigh and what dose are you giving him?
I’ve fixed up my attachments and they should work now, sorry!
I called my vet to give an update today and with the given symptoms he’s leaning more towards the nerve issues, especially with the tail thing having gradually appeared and now started getting bad/hind leg coordination and strength going down and with no improvement with the meds.
He is getting pretty old so it makes sense with the arm resting ☹️ His grasping ability seems to be okay, apart from struggling to keep himself in a seated position, the actual grabbing itself is okay. In one of the videos (hopefully they work, now) you can see how he kind of forces himself to stay up but has a good grip on it with his other hand. He’s holding a piece of soaked dry food right now and having a good time, but yeah, just leaning down on his arms.
The metacam is 1.5mg/ml, i can’t remember exactly what he vet said he weighed though but he’s on 0.05ml. He is on the smaller side, I don’t think his weight was over 350 grams. How much is usually recommended for that concentration based on weight? Tonight he seems a little quieter, still breathing pretty heavy but he’s grooming himself and hasn’t done that panicked movement thing I described. At this point is it really just about pain management and managing his symptoms, or is there something more I can have done for him? My other boy just endured two surgeries within a month and I told Floki he was lucky, shouldn’t have said anything. 🤦🏼‍♀️ Thank you for your reply, by the way!
 

lilspaz68

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2007
Messages
24,383
Location
Toronto, Canada, Earth
Ahhh the metacam dose is waay too low. Try 0.23 ml once a day, and see if he seems more comfortable. Try it for 3 days and then stop and see how he is after. The spinal nerve travels down to the tip of the tail and when pinched or pressed can zing down the body and end up in the tail and they will panic, squeak, run backwards and sometimes lick it.
 

jmk0900

New Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2020
Messages
4
Location
Australia
Ahhh the metacam dose is waay too low. Try 0.23 ml once a day, and see if he seems more comfortable. Try it for 3 days and then stop and see how he is after. The spinal nerve travels down to the tip of the tail and when pinched or pressed can zing down the body and end up in the tail and they will panic, squeak, run backwards and sometimes lick it.
That’s a big jump to what he was on before, there’s nothing negative that can happen with that higher dose? He was on the 0.05 twice a day, so just once then with the higher dose? I’ve seen you help a lot of people here so I trust your dosage suggestion it just scares me a bit because it’s such a high jump, but it’s probably not high in reality because he should be on more. 😪 Should I wait to start that tomorrow, because he’s had his morning dose today? Also there’s no reason for him to stay on the baytril is there, since we know it’s not being caused by a respiratory issue? That makes a lot of sense with his tail, it’s almost like he’s getting a little pain shock. ☹️
 

lilspaz68

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2007
Messages
24,383
Location
Toronto, Canada, Earth
The range for metacam is 0.5 to 2 mg/kg. Your vet was dosing at 0.5 mg/kg split into 2 doses. In my experience one bigger dose is more effective than a split. That dose would work for mild inflammation, but he's got something severe going on, so I suggested the dose given to rats post-op of 1 mg/kg. It's still within the range of safety and hopefully should give your guy some relief.

This is the dosage from ratguide...

1.0 mg/kg to 2.0 mg/kg, PO or SQ, q24hrs 26, 34, 35, 41, 42:Analgesic
 

jmk0900

New Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2020
Messages
4
Location
Australia
The range for metacam is 0.5 to 2 mg/kg. Your vet was dosing at 0.5 mg/kg split into 2 doses. In my experience one bigger dose is more effective than a split. That dose would work for mild inflammation, but he's got something severe going on, so I suggested the dose given to rats post-op of 1 mg/kg. It's still within the range of safety and hopefully should give your guy some relief.

This is the dosage from ratguide...

1.0 mg/kg to 2.0 mg/kg, PO or SQ, q24hrs 26, 34, 35, 41, 42:Analgesic
That dosage you suggested seems to be helping him 😭 He was even climbing onto the hammocks last night. It’s set up so it’s easy for him, but before that dose amount he was just staying at he bottom of the cage. Tail wagging is less, he seems a little more active too. After I give him his dose tonight I’ll stop and see how he goes? He has an appointment tomorrow morning with the vet, I was thinking I’d be having to let him go but with how he is now I won’t have to. How do I tell my vet I upped his dosage 😬 He’s a great vet but I’m worried about being like “oh hey I did this”… If he goes back to being bad once I stop giving him the meds should I put him back on that dosage?
 
Top