Unknown illness. Please help!

RattoPazzo

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I've tryed posting a few times already with no answers but my rat is stil sick and I really hope someone can help.
I need avice on what could be affecting one of my rats, Nifti.

This is what I wrote in my last thred:
A lump sprouted seamingly from one day to the next on my 21 month old rat. Is it likely to be a mammary tumor? if so, how long can I wait before surgery? I just had my other rat go throw that for 4 lumps and was hoping to have a bit more time before another helth scare...
She also has more visible nipples (I can always feel them when I hold her, in contrast to her sister). I'm not sure if it's relevant though.


Nifti 3-08-21.jpeg


As of now the lump has grown and we are booked for a scan on the 25 of august. last week the vet who saw her gave me 3 options: it's either a tumor, an intestinal hernia or some fat. She tinks it's one of the three because the lump seams to go back in a bit when pushed. she alse gave me antibiotic and pain/inflammatory meds, as she saemd to also have a respiratory infection.

The thing that has me most scared is her very changed behevour: she has become less active, she is eating less (she usually LOVEs food) and overall seams to have lost a fair bit of energy and balance as she is not climbing on hammoks or even the very easy platform I put in for her. She also seams to have startet loosing grip in her front paws but I'm not sure if it's because of someting neurological or because she has trubble eating in general (I often see her putting a lot effort in getting the food down, almost like she is choking and afther she eat "big" portion she looks like she is panting).

if more pictures or videos are needed I can add them.


Please, if you have any advice or even just a similar expirience, it coud really help if only so I can ask the vet the right questions!
 

lilspaz68

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Hmmm...its most likely a mammary tumour from the location. I am not sure what type of scan they want to give her but a physical exam should give you a better idea. Inguinal (groin area) tumours can sometimes be malignant and even the benign ones can be tricky as they can wrap around things internally.

If you are concerned about pain, make sure she's pooping and peeing normally. You can put her in a carrier or small hospital cage on white paper towel and wait til she pees/poops to check.

If she is acting dopey, not using her front paws well, walks head down with tail low, and just seems clumsy and quieter you may also be dealing with PT or pituitary tumour which can show up in conjunction with a mammary tumour.

Can you get a video of her walking around or trying to eat a small light treat ("cheerio" test). Make sure she is on a flat non-slippery surface where we can see her paws.

This was my Calla failing the cheerio test
 

RattoPazzo

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Thanks for responding!
As soon as I finish posting the videos to youtube I'll post the liks down here.

Her sister had 4 tumors recentelly removed, one of them was also in the groin area and infected, so genetics are not on our side unfortunatelly.

At the vets they are going to do an ultrasound tomorrow to see exactelly what it is, as it has not the normal "feal" of a mammary tumor.

About the pt, I also have my suspitions but from what I was reading it usually has a really fast onset, like a few weeks at most. Nifti has been iffy since the 3rd of august and is still very indipendend, just a bit off. I was thinking of asking if they could do a cranial ultrasound to see if it could indeed pt. Would that be helpfull?
 

RattoPazzo

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I had to put a space in the middle of the // because the videos where not showing up.

Nifti walking https:/ /youtu.be/B0RjSYst1V4

Nifti eating three different treats https:/ /youtu.be/nY4jUjdl0YY

Nifti eating some sience selective https:/ /youtu.be/xpT_Xev5Yus

I'll try to get a better video of her walking as in the video she is not very conviced of what she wants to do 😅
Most of the time she walkes with her tail lifted from the ground, just not very high. when she is walking more slowly she drags hes tail and is overall more wabbley.
 
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RattoPazzo

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Update!
the ultrasound reveled a fatty tumor. the location is not great to operate but they think it's duable (the surgen who's gonna do the op was also there). the appointment is on the 15 of september. let's hope everything gose well!
 

RattoPazzo

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Hi, I think I need some more advice.
Since I last wrote on this thred, Nifti's condition ha worsen to the point were she can almost not hold solid food in her hands and is unable to propperly clean her self as she always topples over when she tries. My worry is that there might be someting more than just a fatty tumor. Is it normal to be this hard on a rat? Or did we just get unlucky with the location and the mass might be pressing on some nervs?
I'm taking her to the vet the day after tomorrw to hopefully do the operation sooner.
I also had to separate her from her sister as things were getting a bit out of hand (let's just say that Tamira has never been the empathetic one).
Sorry for my spelling tonight, I'm a bit out of it and english is not my first language.
 

RattoPazzo

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I forgot to mention, she is now on pain meds again. in the few days she had been off and was very puffy and had a painfull look to her face.
she still is not runnung in cirles or doing any of the other tipical pt symptoms.
 

lilspaz68

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Ok that's now full blown PT. The puffed up fur, confused dull eyes, the PT pushback, not being able to grasp her hard food.

She's going to need steroids, antibiotics (the steroids depress their immune system so the antibiotics will help prevent any opportunistic infection) and soft food she can lick up. I use baby cereal or I soak the regular lab block with a lot of water.
 

RattoPazzo

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Well, my greatest fear has come to life. I did alredy had my suspitions unfortunatelly.

She is going back to the vet tomorrow but I doubt that at this point it will make sense to operate the tumor.
Thanks for the advice, I'll update as soon as I have news.

PS Are there any foods I sould avoid? At least for now she is still able to eat some solids if I hold them for her
 
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lilspaz68

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Make sure she's actually eating them not just crumbling them up.
Steroids can help with PT and it's definitely not too late. Forget the mammary tumour, it's secondary.
 

RattoPazzo

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UPDATE
she is on steroids now, more specificlly cortisone. Two drops per day.
Next week we are going back for a CT scan. Since she is not running in circles or tilting her head they are not 100% sure it's actually PT: they told me it could be meningites, bacterial on viral. Since she has had a strange history whit RI and a stange episode of what we belived to be a form of subclinical epilepsy, they want to be sure. Also she might be blind... She has to have it all!
Make sure she's actually eating them not just crumbling them up. Steroids can help with PT and it's definitely not too late. Forget the mammary tumour, it's secondary.
Yes, she is still eating solids if I hold them for her. She has lerned to take small bites as if she was holding the food hersef ;it's become quite the team effort!😊
Hopefully she can get better soon.
Thanks for the advice, I really apriciated it!
 

RattoPazzo

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Sorry I keep posting but problems seam to not let us go.
Today I noticed a yellowish foul smeling secretion coming from Niftis vagina. She has been on steroids for 2 days but with no antibiotics.
I've been paniking about pyometra for the last few hours and have put her in a carrirer to check her urin for blood.
 

lilspaz68

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If she has vaginal discharge that smells bad it could be a bacterial infection OR it could be she's not cleaning her lady bits anymore and you will have to keep her clean.
 

RattoPazzo

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I rushed her to the vet for an emergency ecogrphy and unfortunately it's pyometra. It's open and the uterus is not too enlarged so at least that's kind of a good news... next week we are booked for a ct scan from head to toe. She is back on antibiotics now and I'll heve to keep her clean.
The vet suggested that, since she is not showing all of the tipical PT symptoms, that maybe the neurological stuff has to do with the infection. I don't have high hopes but we'll see tuesday.
She really is unlucky, just one thing afther an other...
 

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