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I posted earlier asking if rats can age faster than their siblings since my little girl Mouse seemed to be getting a little weaker and clumsier and in general just seemed more tired like a little old lady rat.

I've been doing reading on various things that I thought it might be (kidney degeneration, hind end degeneration etc) and then thought to maybe look up pituitary tumor. I know since it's neurological, symptoms can vary widely between rat to rat. Our last two old boys who were put to sleep earlier this year had them. One had signs for a long time and gradually just kept getting worse and worse and lost a lot of weight and kept fading away without passing away on his own so he had to be pts. His brother was pts mainly because of an infected, abscessed tumor that would soon block his urethra, but he was showing similar early signs of a PT also.

Mouse now is getting a little worse, and now I think it may be a PT too. She does the head bumping when I pet her, but she now loves when I snuggle her in her cage and pet her. She bruxes, and often is the sharp cracking sounding brux of discomfort, though she happy bruxes when snuggled. She's very weak, often pancakes with her legs splayed out, has bad coordination and maneuverability and has limb weakness. Sometimes when I pick her up she is totally limp. She often will look a little fluffed and squinty. I can't be sure, I may just be paranoid, but it does look like one eye is bulging a little more than the other. Her back legs are splayed like she's walking on ice. She sometimes circles, but circles in either direction, not just one. She clearly still has an appetite, but has difficulty eating. Licks food off my finger sloppily and I can feel her teeth dragging and it seems like her neck gets tired because sometimes her head will slowly keep dropping so that my finger or the syringe ends up in her mouth. When she does have hard food like kibbles or peanuts, she can't seem to break off pieces, like her jaws are too weak. She will accidently bite my skin and fingers when trying to eat food from my hand without realizing it's not the food. She seems to not be able to stand normally while sitting up and eating food holding it in her hands and will most of the time hold food on the ground and try to tear away pieces, but often just ends up picking up the food bit and pulling it into the air repeatedly because she lacks the coordination and strength to tear off pieces by herself. She may have trouble chewing. When I gave her a piece of pasta today, she choked for a second and was distressed and very quickly turning in a circle and gagging. Luckily she was able to get it out quickly. When trying to groom herself, she often falls over. She has excess porphyrin, but no signs of respiratory issues or sneezing.

Partially writing all this down so I don't forget her symptoms when she sees the vet. But can anyone share their PT signs they've noticed in their rats? She is being seen by a new vet (I REALLY hope he has experience and knowledge of rats..) tomorrow. I guess all that can be done is monitor her for quality of life, and give her pain meds if needed. I will also ask him to do a urinalysis and possibly a blood test? Anything else I should ask the vet tomorrow while we're there in case it isn't a PT and might be something else?
 

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Just saw this. Are you familiar with the wheelbarrow test? Essentially hold the hind end of your rat and see if she can walk the front end. You can also do this with cage bars to see if she can climb.

Other than that, three of mine went by PT. They all "knuckled" their forepaws and couldn't hold the food off the ground while eating. Obviously the ideal rat pose while eating has their front end up completely - is she bracing with one leg still down or keeping both down?

My hope is the other signs could maybe be aging - has she had an xray, could she have arthritis? Iris pancaked a lot and it's because by the time she hit 3 her joints went to ****. It causes pain too. Some glucosomine helped her out.
 

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Thanks for your suggestions on this and the other post. Took her into emergency to see a good vet since she was on call last night. Thankfully I knew she was good so I'm glad I called and asked. She thinks its some kind of organ failure, likely kidney. She offered to do xray or ultrasound, but said even if they could find something, there is pretty much nothing that will change or be able to help because she's so far gone and just so weak. She gave me some Buprenorphine to last a few days. I'd like to take her to be pts on Monday but I think she may need it sooner. She can't eat on her own and will lay in the same spot without moving at all for the last 36+ hours. I hope the medicine has taken away her pain, but she still clearly has no quality of life and cannot be happy at all. She just acts like a ragdoll and if it wasn't for breathing and some slight fussing when being fed, you'd think she already passed on. Poor thing.. I took her outside today on a soft blanket on my lap into the sun, and I think she liked it. She perked up a little, opened her eyes a bit more, sniffed a little when a breeze blew, and bruxed quietly. She even lifted her head a tiny bit, so I hope she had a little bit of happiness with that today. I'll probably take her in for pts tonight. :(
 
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