Rat Help ASAP! Seizure?!

Discussion in 'Health & General Care' started by Robyn Hunter9745, Apr 29, 2018.

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  1. Apr 29, 2018 #1

    Robyn Hunter9745

    Robyn Hunter9745

    Robyn Hunter9745

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    Hi, I am a first time owner! A week ago I took my two boys (brothers) to the vet as there had been some really bad fighting resulting in a bad ear injury for Mike - the vet gave me some gentle painkillers for both of them and said they were too old for it to be hormones now (they're about 10months).

    They came home after a day in separation and were best friends and have been all week.

    Today Sully fell out of his bed, and started batting the air with his hands. I lifted him out to check he was OK but he was very disorientated - tried to walk off of a ledge when I offered him back into the cage and very lethargic. He continued to shake and twitch with his head, I could see his bottom lip fall almost so I could see all of his lower teeth which isn't usual. His fur is very rough and disheveled looking this morning which is unusual for Sully, around his tail seems extremely so and almost looks oily and wet, and when he did eventually seem ok to go back in the cage (so I could google!) he attacked his brother again and had to be swiftly removed. He also had some red around his nose afterward but not sure if blood or stress.

    Anyone seen anything like this? All nearby vets are closed today and can call to take him again early tomorrow. Is this a seizure? Is there anything I can do for him for the rest of today? Should I try and reintroduce or keep them separate, they are usually very close :'(
     
  2. Apr 29, 2018 #2

    Fidget

    Fidget

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    How old is Sully? Could be inner ear infection, stroke, pituitary tumor? The red around his nose most likely porphyrin from feeling ill, the rough hair & oily wet by butt not cleaning himself for the same reason - feeling ill.
    How long has his hair been looking rough? if before his disorientation/fall, and a stroke or seizure caused his disorientation/fall then there must have been some other illness going on before that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
  3. Apr 29, 2018 #3

    Luna&Ralph

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    At 10 months old it shouldn’t be a pituitary tumor, but the sudden aggression, disorientation and fur changes would make sense. Can you upload a video to YouTube and then post it here? A video of his behaviour might make it easier for us to understand his symptoms to guess what it might be.
     
  4. Apr 29, 2018 #4

    Robyn Hunter9745

    Robyn Hunter9745

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    He is just under ten months - a pet shop rat so sadly no info on his history before me which is why it's an approximate age :/ His hair has always been a little less silky than his brothers but I asked the vet and they said nothing abnormal - he is an avid cleaner and like to wash himself and me, and has been cleaning a little today after his wee ordeal. I only noticed it really badly after his fall, I lifted him out and he was quite limp (I almost thought he was still sleeping or something) and unusually still and cuddled for him (he is friendly, but very excitable and likes to play not snuggle as much). Once we seemed to 'wake up' is when I noticed that his fur was a mess, but he also had fought with his brother so could be that?
     
  5. Apr 29, 2018 #5

    Robyn Hunter9745

    Robyn Hunter9745

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    Yeah it is really out of character for him, the pair of them have been the best of brothers for months with no fights ever until last week. No changes in his brother's behaviour at all other than a bit of distance to Sully today after the fight. He seems to be back to normal now but I am worried as this is what happened last week (so normal they've been living and sleeping together again). If anything happens again I will be SURE to record and post!

    Thoughts on re-introductions tonight? I have Sully in a cat carrier at the moment with food and water as that's all I have this late at night, but know he will be missing his palace and playmate :(
     
  6. Apr 29, 2018 #6

    SQ

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    yes, it was a seizure.
    Keep a close eye on him and keep a record of his seizures, length, and what happens

    There are meds that can treat it, and some people are using cbd oil as well
    But trying to discover cause, if possible is important

    Lilspaz68 has a lot of experience with rats who have seizures

    http://ratguide.com/health/neurological/seizures.php
     
  7. Apr 30, 2018 #7

    Luna&Ralph

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    I think it would be best to keep them together as long as you think it’s safe just to make the whole thing less traumatic. I know it’s so hard to decide but it might make their relationship worse if they keep being separated, especially since you don’t know if or when this will happen again.
     
  8. Apr 30, 2018 #8

    lilspaz68

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    Definitely classic seizure behavior. Also time to start a seizure log, mark down anything about the seizures you see, how long they are, how severe,how long til seizure is over, how long the post-seizure state lasts, any possible triggers like bright light, sudden loud sounds. Be careful with your seizure boy, some rats (and people) come out of seizures and are very aggressive, so watch your own hands as you could get bitten badly as well as during a seizure when they can bite down.
    Once you've figured out a pattern with the seizures and hopefully got a video for your vet you can start with phenobarbital to try and treat the seizures. There are multiple medications you can try but phenobarbital is usually the best one to start with.
     
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  9. Apr 30, 2018 #9

    jorats

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    I want to address one thing, rats can become hormonal from 5 months to 18 months. So a male is never too old to start exhibiting hormonal aggression. But in this case, your little guy is not feeling well and that could be why they have a scuffle.
     
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  10. May 10, 2018 #10

    Robyn Hunter9745

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    Hi guys, sorry for the silence, been very much focussed on Sully and Mike. I have taken Sully to the vet though haven't managed to capture his seizures again, they seem to be always happening when I miss them if they are the cause of the aggression - though there have been two more instances of strange behaviour but very brief.

    Thank you all for all your help! Sully has been to the vet and is currently being treated for an inner ear infection (even though he doesn't have any other symptoms) to rule it out and is about halfway through his treatment course and does seem to be a lot more himself. There's only been one instant of odd behaviour where he attacked his brother since, but I was to hand and quickly intervened and no damage to anyone. They are currently living in separate cages but ONLY when I am not in the house/room and unable to separate them - the rest of the time the two cages are connected by a rope bridge I've bought (new big cage and new toys and vets, it has been an expensive week but worth it!) and they run happily between the two and play in their new cage extension all the time when I am there (I am a student and work from home so that's most of the time!)

    I was wondering what other signs to watch for? I've read lots about mini seizures and have wondered if it could be something like that? Trying to keep both boys safe whilst also making sure they can see and play and sleep with each other.

    Thanks for all the help guys - a very worried rat mamma. xx
     
  11. May 10, 2018 #11

    jorats

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    If it's just seizures, there's not much you can do. My mom had rats with multiple seizures and they lived over 2 years old. Hopefully if it is some kind of infection, the meds will clear him up.
     
  12. May 10, 2018 #12

    SQ

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    Hopefully he is not having seizures but as Lilspaz68 wrote above, "there are multiple medications you can try but phenobarbital is usually the best one to start with." Many people are also successfully treating seizures with CBD oil
     
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  13. May 13, 2018 #13

    Robyn Hunter9745

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    Hey guys - sorry some more advice please. Sully has come to the end of his inner ear infection treatment but today he took what I think is another seizure? There was no rigidity or spasms or anything like his major one the first time. He was in the cage with his brother and slipped out of his bed and climbed down the bars of his cage but weirdly and slowly and I just knew something wasn't right. He sat with his back legs flat on the bottom of the cage and I lifted him out, he was very floppy but conscious.

    I held him against my chest and his bottom jaw was chattering, almost like he was nibbling my chest but he wasn't. He then breathed from his mouth about three times with a sort of soft squeak noise and stayed very close to my chest in my arms which is very strange behaviour for him, he is usually very squiggly.

    After he moved away, his fur was ragged and then looked very puffed up like aggression? He didn't bite or anything though?

    Was this a seizure? I am taking him back to vet either way but wondering if anyone knows what this was or what these new symptoms might suggest?

    EDIT: After this and a few other 'weird' episodes, his brother emphatically sniffs around his testicles and penis area? Might this suggest a testosterone thing? Or is his bro just clued in that there's SOMETHING up?

    -R xx
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
  14. May 14, 2018 #14

    Fidget

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    If it was my kid I'd suspect an internal tumor affecting his lungs, but that's not from a diagnostic view, just a worried moms. I sure don't know enough to give you a good answer, and I'm not trying to worry you either. Hopefully someone else recognizes this, or he might need some imaging..
     
  15. May 14, 2018 #15

    lilspaz68

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    Hmmm..did he stand hunched up, fur up, chattering or grinding his teeth a little, maybe a little shiver or 2? Eyes staring elsewhere?
     
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  16. May 14, 2018 #16

    Robyn Hunter9745

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    No standing or hunching or rigidness at all. His teeth were snuggled into my chest and it did seem like he was chattering, might say grinding but I'm not as sure of that. A few shivers and I was holding him very close to me - he stared at me the whole time but did seem sort of spaced out.

    After he puffed his fur he ran under a towel hidey hole I gave him but within about half a minute was right back to himself, running in and out to check his surroundings and climbing back up to me, it was all over very quickly...
     
  17. May 14, 2018 #17

    lilspaz68

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    Do you know what bruxxing is? A grinding of the teeth when a rat is relaxed and/or happy. They also do this to keep their teeth ground down. Bruxxing is a good thing :)
     
  18. May 14, 2018 #18

    Robyn Hunter9745

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    Yes I do! This was absolutely not that :/ He was very limp which is really strange for Sully and being held which he also doesn't love, he usually bruxes only when there is food involved or he is licking tasty treats from my finger/exploring a new area with his brother. It was more like he was nibbling me only he wasn't like a chattering lower jaw, and then he breathed strangely, almost through his mouth with a strained gentle squeak noise that he has never made before or since. When he's not having strange episodes he seems totally healthy
     
  19. May 15, 2018 #19

    GitaBooks

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    It does sound like small seizures. There are many different kind of seizures, including focal seizures (dazed or odd movements) and absence seizures (kind of blank out for a short bit). The whole body doesn't have to shake for it to be a seizure, that is just one kind. A seizure can make it difficult to breath, and often once they are over the breathing is labored, such as gasping. Our dog has the occasional seizure (generally in the evening when she is preparing to go to bed) and she usually tries to walk for a minute, so we pick her up and hold her until it is over. After a short moment of disorientation she is right back to herself. Tired, but back to herself. However, during or after a seizure odd behavior can be seen, such as aggression. Not only this, but it tends to attract any companion animals attention, hints Sully's brother sniffing him, trying to figure out what is wrong.

    There are a ton of reasons why seizures can occur, some of which were mentioned. Seizures can even occur do to things like a toxic substance, nutritional deficiency, past head injury, or medication. He isn't still on the pain medication, is he? Could that be some kind of reaction to it?

    Hope this helps.
     

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