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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, I am a new user and have joined in the hope that someone can help me.

We have 2 cutie ratties, twin sisters, both to be 2 years of age on March '08. One of the girls has fallen ill. Her symptoms started off a week ago with her left leg dragging behind as she walked, but its now progressed to paralysis of the right side of her body. she has major weakness in her right paw and hind leg, and her head is tiled to the right as well. Although the poor thing really does try and walk, which is difficult but she does manage.

We have been told its either a minor stroke which she should recover from in 3/4 days. OR its a pituitary tumor in her brain which makes her head tilt. she has symptons of both.

Does anyone have experience in this area? Any medication that could help her?

I cannot bear to see her that way, and hope she gets better, she cannot eat on her own as she cannot hold food in her paws so we feed her and make sure she drinks water as well.

I have read various sites, spoken to our vet - he says theres nothing that -can be done that she should be put to sleep if she doesnt get better. I understand this, BUT will not give up without giving her a chance for recovery.
Any advice please? I want to save her.
Thanks for reading.
Bambi.
x
 

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I had the same problem with one of my rats where we didn't know which it was.

It may sound weird, but if you're lucky, it'll have been a stroke. With a stroke there's a chance she may recover, and she may never have another one. However, if they've had one, it's not unusual for them to have more.

With a pituitary tumour there isn't a lot you can do, and there's no telling how long it will take. Usually they prescribe medication to help with the swelling and such.

It's great and very important that you keep her eating and drinking; it can make a lot of difference. What have you been feeding her? Baby food and Ensure are both very good for sick rats because it keeps their bellies full and helps hydrate them. (It's also helpful if you have to give them meds.)

Also, where are you housing her? Make sure she doesn't have anything to fall off of. I'd gotten a tank and it seemed to help a lot.

I hope everything works out!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for replying.
so is it a case of wait and see? if she recovers then great, otherwise put her to sleep?

shes eating, drinking, and passing pee and poo. shes doing everything slowly but she is doing it. Started with the baby food today, she had a little not much, but she seemed to like it.
she still lives in her wire cage with her sister, its one level so she cannot fall, and shes in no position to climb at all.

seeing her like that makes me sick, its so disturbing that someone so cute has to endure smething like that. I love her and her sis so much. We had 2 girls before these 2, that had to be put to sleep due to Respiratory problems, we kept them going with every medication possible, in the end we had to let them go for their own good.
I understand putting them to sleep but its heart breaking.
I hope she recovers.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read.
Bambi.xx
 

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All you can really do is wait and see. At least she still seems interested in eating and drinking. Does she seem to be in high spirits? (ie. wants to come out and be around you, tries to explore, etc.?)

I completely understand where you're coming from. It is extremely heartbreaking, and I actually had to put my girl down in December. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life, but I had to think of what was best for her.

One thing though; please don't rush or even feel rushed into a decision of whether to put her down or not. It's a big choice, and it should be reserved for when there is no alternative. From what I've read, if it is a tumour, it's not painful for them. She may not be ready to give up even as impaired as she is. Hopefully you'll know when the time is right if it comes down to it.

I wish there was more I could do.
 

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Did your vet offer any medication?

With both PT and a stroke - general treatment is a steroid/anti-inflammatory e.g. Prednisone (or I was prescribed Medrone) and an antibiotic (Baytril / Baytril + Doxycycline) (the latter is the combo I used)

If it's a stroke, a combination of meds should hopefully help set her on the road to recovery. If it's a PT it should help give a better quality of life.

It'll probably just be a case of treating and then seeing how it progresses.

I wish you and your little girl the best :)

Oh, and for reference. If she has problems eating (at a later date) - slim-fast milkshake powder (you know the meal replacement milkshakes?) can be mixed with water for rehydration and to keep nutrients going into her :) I can't find Ensure in the UK, but I've checked Ensure with Slimfast and they are pretty much the same thing :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all for replying.
she seems happy when shes with her sister, and makes an effort to go toward her sis. shes never been an explorer even as a baby shes liked to hide, so even now she doesnt move when out of her house. she moves when she wants something, food/water/toilet/ or wants her sis.

Some good news; she had her first steroid injection today, we think theres a tiny improvement in her right hand, but shes very weak, so she pulls herself along, then stops and attempt again.

I think she cried today, there was water in her eyes.
:eek:(

Unfortunately i dont know what steroid she was given as i was not present.

My next question if you can help is, how many steroids is she supposed to have and how often.

The vet reckons 1 steroid a day - is that right?

Thank you SO much.
Bambi
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Probably. I don't know about injections - some are longer acting than others.

I was given tablets which i was able to dissolve and feed in babyfood.

Would you have to take her in every day for the injections?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes we would have to take her in everyday, thats not a problem though.
i think il enquire about the tablets
 

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i have a rat with a brain tumor right now that we are treating. it is heartbreaking to watch them go this way but so long as they are still happy enough i will continue to fight and care for my baby, its the only thing we can do for them now.

kakushi is being fed baby pablum and ensure every 2-3 hours. sometimes separate and sometimes mixed together. she is also on an oral dose of pednisone once a day that i administer at home. you should probably ask for the oral medication as well. traveling to the vet everyday can really wear both you and the rat down and be very expensive if you are being charged the office visit every time as well.
 

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Definately ask for tablets, it may be less stressful for her to not travel every day for injections. The tablet I was given was called Medrone ("Medrone V 2mg" to quote the bottle") and the dosage was 1/4 of a tablet once daily (although it's sometimes better to halve that dose again and give it twice daily, so 1/8 tablet twice daily)

Good luck
 
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