Should I take Snowy back to the vets?

Discussion in 'Health & General Care' started by Jaana, May 10, 2019.

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  1. May 10, 2019 #1

    Jaana

    Jaana

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    IMG_3569.JPG So I took my rat snowy to the vets originally on the 29th of April as I noticed she had a few scabs on her body and wanted to get them checked out. About that time I also noticed she was being a bit clumsy so I did also briefly say this to the vet and she gave me some medication for any mites etc and a bit of anti biotic to prevent any infections. About a week later we took her back because we noticed that she was falling from places, wasn't really climbing or gripping the bars of her cage, sometimes seems to struggle to hold her food, and doesn't seem really active. They prescribed her with metacam at a dosage of 0.28ml once a day and her weight is 420g. It's now been about 4 days taking it but I did lower the dosage a bit because I had been reading about the dosage of metcam sometimes being to high. For the first time in a while she did climb up to her hammock which I thought was a sign she was getting better however I have come home and noticed a bit of porphyrin more then usual starting to develop especially around her eyes as per the photo. So the question is should I carry on with the meds at the dosage given or take her back? I have had rats when I was younger, but never had problems like this before.
     
  2. May 10, 2019 #2

    SQ

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    How old is she?
    Is she able to hold a small piece of food (such as a piece of cereal, or a pumpkin seed) in her front paws and eat it?
    Does she have a head tilt?

    Can you post a video of her eating/holding things and a video of her walking? (post videos to youtube and put the links on here)
     
  3. May 10, 2019 #3

    Jaana

    Jaana

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    Hello,

    She is about 1 and half years old.

    I believe she can hold little pieces but she does tend to drop pieces to.

    I havent seen her tilt her head, but have seen her shake her a head a couple of times. I also haven't noticed anything abnormal with her breathing. See below videos.







    Many thanks
     
  4. May 11, 2019 #4

    Jaana

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    I believe she is getting worst, as she doesn't appear to be holding food anymore, she is sticking her arms out straight in front of her. This is a new updated video i took this evening.

    https://www.youtube.com/upload
     
  5. May 11, 2019 #5

    Jaana

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    Sorry i have 1 more video taken this evening :(

     
  6. May 11, 2019 #6

    SQ

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    I messaged lilspaz68 so hopefully she sees it soon

    Bracing the front legs and inability to hold food in front paws and eat sounds like it might be pt. http://ratguide.com/health/neoplasia/pituitary_tumor.php

    The treatment for pt is a corticosteroid ( prednisone or dex) + antibiotic (usually baytril) - there is a several day waiting period between stopping Metacam and starting a steroid
    This helps shrink inflammation and will reduce symptoms for awhile if it is slow growing.
    and cabergoline is often tried as it helps with the most common type of pt

    Modifying her cage so that it is safer for her and hanging a low hammock that she can walk into will help

    so yes see a vet asap

    At present I have two rats - Cross & Ariel - who have pt
    =========================================

    Given her symptoms,
    You will need to make sure she is hydrated and getting enough food
    her rat blocks soaked in cool water to make mush, organic soy infant formula thickened with baby cereal cane be licked from a shallow dish, from your finger, or fed one drop at a time into the side of her mouth by syringe (so it does not go into her lungs)
    also foods like cooked sweet potato, cooked whole grains (such as oatmeal, quinoa, etc), broccoli, baby kale, mixed greens, baby food etc - basically soft foods that are easier to eat and that will help her to stay hydrated …. dehydration kills

    If she is unable to swallow/eat, or starts having breathing difficulty she may need to be humanely put to sleep by a vet - if the symptoms are the result of a neurological issue such as pt - most vets do not know how so it is important to make sure it is done properly and to be present if possible
    (gas/oxygen mix used for surgery, toe & eye reflexes, when unconscious to at least a surgical level then injected, kept unconscious with the gas/oxygen mix until dead …… a conscious rat must never be given an injection into the heart - this is so cruel it is illegal in some places)

    Hopefully Lilspaz68 will respond soon
    and there are other possible causes besides pt
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
  7. May 11, 2019 #7

    Jaana

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    What other possible causes could it be besides PT?

    Thank you for getting back to me. I am going to hopefully get an appointment for the vets today. Unfortunately where I live there doesn't appear to be any vets close by that specialises in rats, so I'll have to do my best and explain. I was thinking it was PT due to the symptoms she was showing, but I am hoping it's not.
     
  8. May 11, 2019 #8

    Jaana

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    Update - I took snowy to the vets and they think it is a nurological problem but can't tell if it's due to an infection or tumour. They have prescribed me with some more metacam at 0.28ml per day and it says on the label 0.02 metacam dog 180ml so not sure if that's the concentration, and I also have 3.50 x baytril 2.5% oral and I need to give that twice a day at 0.16ml. She has lost a little bit of weight about 15-20g and what I don't understand is she is walking fine and finding her limbs, but this morning I gave her a choc drop treat and she struggled to hold it and had her arms out straight and sort of rolled around trying to eat it, but when I have now just come home from the vets and gave her a little treat she was holding it like normal so I am really confused.
     
  9. May 12, 2019 #9

    SQ

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    The treatment for neurological problems is the same as general pt
    - a corticosteroid ( prednisone or dex) + antibiotic (usually baytril) - there is a several day waiting period between stopping Metacam and starting a steroid
    http://ratguide.com/health/neoplasia/pituitary_tumor.php
    http://ratguide.com/meds/endocrine_hormones/prednisone_prednisolone.php
    http://ratguide.com/meds/endocrine_hormones/dexamethasone.php
    http://ratguide.com/meds/antimicrobial_agents/enrofloxacin_baytril.php
    http://ratguide.com/meds/central_nervous_system_drugs/cabergoline.php
    http://ratguide.com/meds/nsaids/meloxicam.php
    http://ratguide.com/health/neurological/

    Metacam is a mild anti-inflammatory but to my knowledge is not anywhere near enough
    Please print out info from ratguide.com and take it to the vet as it is a vet approved medical website, or ask them if they would read the ratguide.com and consult with vets that treat rats, because to my knowledge Snowy is not getting the needed medication (I am just a pet owner not a vet etc)
     
  10. May 12, 2019 #10

    Jaana

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    So i should make another appointment to the vets? my issue is if i'm paying out for the wrong medication, it's just going to cost me a fortune to fix the vets mistakes. is it that she has been giving the wrong medication or the wrong dosage do you think? It is hard where I live, as I couldn't find a vets near by that treat rats, just most of them say small mammals, like the one I have currently been going to. I have taken her on 3 occasions now in the past 3 weeks. First time she wasn't showing any serious symptoms, I took her because she had scabs around her neck/lower back and was concerned it may be mites or something, so they did give me some medication to treat mites in case and some antibiotics Sulfatrim @ 0.22ml once a day 2.00 x sulfatrim, in case of any infections. I did notice at the time that she was being a bit clumsy and I did mention this, but thought nothing at the time, until about a week later when I noticed she had gotten worst (loss of balance, difficulty holding food, not climbing the bars of her cage, griping the bars) so I was prescribed with the Metacam, to which I have another post about Metacam, but unfortunately wasn't getting a lot of help...and then now when I took her back yesterday, because she seemed to have gotten worst to now maybe not being prescribed the right stuff. I did show the vet the video of Snowy above, of her trying to eat, but what the vet couldn't understand is she is walking okay on her limbs.
     
  11. May 12, 2019 #11

    Lise Patterson

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    I'm sorry you are having this problem Jaana; Snowy seems like a lovely girl.
    SQ gave great advice above - the symptoms you describe and the videos you've shared do point to a suspected case of PT, though one can never rule out other neurological causes. Sadly, PT is usually only confirmed by post-mortem examination, though the symptoms often allow for an accurate diagnosis.
    Has your vet dealt with many cases of PT? Rats with early-to-mid-stage PT can often use their legs for walking, though they may walk in circles and otherwise appear disoriented or unbalanced. The appearance of front leg rigidity that impedes proper handling of food is very strongly associated with PT.
    SQ passed links to the Rat Guide literature on PTs, and these are worth a serious look. If you use one of the coritcosteroids mentioned, this may kick in quickly to subdue symptoms for a while - but use with a good broad spectrum antibiotic to help stave off infections.
    Cabergoline seems to be the best known treatment for extending life many months - I have had rats diagnosed with pt live up to 10 months while on this drug. As SQ noted, cabergoline treats only the most common form of PT, so it will not help with a small set of cases. But is is worth a try if you can handle the costs...and there's the rub. In Canada, at least, the drug is expensive - C $190 every 18 days (about 109 UK pounds) when purchased through "official" veterinary channels. Some international pharmaceutical vendors sell this drug (brand name Dostinex) for much, much cheaper, though I don't know these sites provide reliable quality control. Perhaps others, such as lilspaz68, could weigh in on this.
    At a minimum, ask the vet about pursuing initial corticosteroid treatments for pt, even as a diagnostic tool. And do consider sharing the Rat Guide info above (especially http://ratguide.com/health/neoplasia/pituitary_tumor.php) with your vet, as SQ suggests.
     
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  12. May 12, 2019 #12

    SQ

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    Metacam is a pain medication with mild anti inflammatory properties (http://ratguide.com/meds/nsaids/meloxicam.php). It will not really help with neurological issues.
    Hopefully you were given this for mites http://ratguide.com/meds/anti-infectives/selamectin_revolution.php

    Please get Snowy started on a corticosteroid (pred or dex) - there will be a few days to wait after stopping the Metacam before this can be started (and once started can not just be stopped as gradual weening off is needed) and a broad spectrum antibiotic (baytril is usually given as it is effective and can be given long term) asap - if she has a slow growing tumour it can give her a lot of good quality time.
    Since the vet has recently seen her, they should not need to see her again or charge another exam fee ….. however a more knowledge vet might be better if you can find one …. if not, you need a good vet that is willing to learn and consult other vets

    As mentioned, cabergoline only helps with the most common type of pt (please see the link previously provided). If Snowy was spayed young, it is possible but unlikely that she has this type of pt. In terms of cabergoline, it is easier for rats to tolerate then bromocriptine (which costs a bit less but is given daily) I am currently paying approx. $24 for a cabergoline pill by prescription from my vet at a local pharmacy - cost is likely to be different where you are. Although the dose is based on the rat's weight, rats usually get 1/2 a pill every 3 days (day 1 & day 4) so 1 pill every 7 days (day 1, day 4, day 7, etc). There is a generic form of cabergoline. It is a medication used with people. Price varies and may cost less where you are. The only way to know if it will help is to try it …. I find that if it is helping, my rat shows worsening symptoms on the 3rd day and then improves after getting their 1/2 a pill (ground up & dissolved) on the 4th day

    Please read the links I provided
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
  13. May 12, 2019 #13

    Jaana

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    Thank you. She is a lovely little girl. I honestly don't know if the vets I am currently attending have dealt with many PT in rats. I'm wondering if it's worth going to a different vets and taking the info from the rat guide with me. Or to go back to my current vets and explain that I feel I need a different type of medication steroid based and see what they say to that. It's diffelecult because I don't know any people who have rats and as previously explain I couldn't find a specialised vets that deal with rats close to where I live so I'm thinking naybe to try another vets. Thank you all for your help.
     
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  14. May 12, 2019 #14

    SQ

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    My vet is not an exotic vet (rats etc). He is a good vet who likes rats and is willing to learn, consults with other vets, and tries to find out info from other vets (online site for vets) reading etc.
    In the last 14.5 years he has pretty much seen it all and is a really good vet for rats

    So if you do not have access to a good rat vet, then find a good vet that likes rats and is willing to learn

    Good luck
    I hope meds will help your sweet little girl soon feel much better
     
  15. May 13, 2019 #15

    Jaana

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    I will go to my vets today and speak to them about the possibility of trying to retrieve corticosteroid for her.I had been prescribed baytril already, to which she has been taken now for just over 3 days at 0.16ml twice a day..do you also think I will need to ask for some more of the Baytril as well? Unfortunately I didn't get Snowy spayed when she was younger.
     
  16. May 13, 2019 #16

    Jaana

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    Sorry just another quick question can Snowy take all 3 medications at once - The Corticosteriod, Baytril & cabergoline if I can get it? I have printed out all info and gone through it and will be taking it with me.

    EDIT: I went back to my vets today and explained that I feel she needs different meds. The receptionist said she would get the vet to call me, as she was in theater. (haven't received a phone call yet) I started emailing around to other vets near by and came across one, to which I have now booked in an appointment, but it's not till Wednesday with a vet who has an interest in exotic animals. I know it's a few days away, but I am not sure what else I can do at this point. I am hoping she is going to be okay then.She hasn't worsened , but i know it can swiftly change. I will continue the Baytril, but stop the Metacam now, so hopefully this vets will prescribe the meds I need. fingers crossed.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
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  17. May 13, 2019 #17

    SQ

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    yes she can take Corticosteriod, Baytril & cabergoline all at once …… the steroid and baytril are orally twice a day, the cabergoline is orally once every 3 days

    print out all of the info to take with you ….. in addition to good info, it gives dosage info for rats which the vet may find helpful
     
  18. May 13, 2019 #18

    Jaana

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    Oh don't worry I have it all printed ready to take with me, with some notes...just a bit concerned that 2 days is to long, but I never did get a phone call back from the vets, although I went in and expressed that I feel she has the wrong meds and that I think she has a tumor.
     
  19. May 15, 2019 #19

    Jaana

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    Update - I took Snowy to a different vets today, to which it doesn't sound like good news. She has gotten a bit worst now where she shakes her head quite a bit, when I get her out she just finds a place and sits there, she just seems very lethargic and almost like she is dying. They prescribed me with Prednisoloe 1mg tablet, to which I have to give her half a tablet every day. If she doesn't improve within 5 days, to call back and to see about increasing the dosage. The vet said that there doesn't appear to be any reason to carry on taking Baytril , as she hasn't improved whilst on the Metacam and baytril. He said that it's more likely that she won't get better, but there is a chance, so we will see. Does any one have any recommendations on how to give rats tablets?
     
  20. May 15, 2019 #20

    Kye

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    Can you post a new video of her so we can she how she's acting ? As for the tablets I'm not sure.. Maybe crush it up and mix it with baby food ? I don't know how that'd work though..
     

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