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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there

One of my 2 boys, JD, has recently been dragging his ass on the floor instead of using his back legs. They seem to drag behind him. At first we thought it was due to him being a tad overweight (he is very fat. We have tried calorie controlling him, exercise, he is still so fat) but now he seems to be wetting himself as well. Someone mentioned hind leg degeneration but he's only a year old.

We are taking him to the vet tomorrow but was hoping for some advice

Here he is in all his very chubby glory. I would like to add he also got this fat really quickly.

2014-10-28 18.19.08.jpg
 

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I would keep him comfortable, when you touch his front paws are they the same temperature as his back feet? If he doesn't use his back legs at all and they are cold something could have happened in his spine. And that would be an extreme case, or he could have pulled a muscle from jumping wrong or landing wrong?

I do not mean to sound worried because i've never dealt with that with a rat but I would just keep him comfortable until you go to the vet. And I hope someone here can give you some advice but really I feel like the vet would be the only one to be able to give you a sure answer. And if they don't seem to know I would go for a second opinion just to make sure. One year is a little young to be experiencing something like hind leg degeneration but that doesn't mean its not possible :/ Good luck!
 

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I'm thinking that the vet will be able to shed more light on this. His extreme weight gain seems suspicious to me. He's pretty young to have hind leg degeneration. Plus that usually doesn't go with such a huge weight gain. I hate to say it, and hope it's not the case, but I worry that it's not weight gain and instead a possible tumor.

let us know whats going on with him please when you get back from the vet.
 

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At his age this is most likley to be an injury of the spine, typically a fall. The fact its come on suddenly indicates that rather than a PT or HLD, and to be honest hes a bit young for both. There is a small chance he could have a spinal tumour or similar, but again he is a bit young for it. The fact hes fat probably did contribute, they tend to be clumsier as fatties and more likley to fall.

The best treatment is to get him on a course of steroids asap. This will help reduce inflamation and allow healing. Whilst he's like this keep him somwehere where he cant climb and everything is easily accesable in terms of food and water. If its going to be several days before you can get to the vet then somethink like kids ibuprofene suspension might help, but its not nearly as potent as steroids and they cant have both within a 24 hour period so it would only be useful in extreme cases.

If you need any tips on dieting rats once hes back on his feet again let me know. I've had a few chubby rats and have got quite good at ratty diet club.
 

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Ouce sounds like he may have hurt his spine (possibly broken back) due to falling or landing rough. Let us know how he is!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone for the responses. We have just got back from the vet and they think it is hld. We have been given metacam and told to monitor him.


Not sure whether to take him to another vet though as they didn't xray him. Just watched him walk and diagnosed him from there.

In other news, Since we noticed it he loves cuddles. He has gone from being a really inaffectionate rat to just wanting to cuddle on my lap. Which is lovely, but it means free roam time is not giving him the exercise he needs.
 

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Right now I think you should wait and see if he starts to walk normally again, and then think about how to bring his weight down. Maybe when hes feeling better he will want to move around more :)
 

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Honestly I would try another vet, metcam is so much less potent than steroids with an injury so severe. Basically the faster you can get the swelling down the more mobility you save.
 
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