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Discussion Starter #1
Ok so my rat Gir is a fawn ruby eyed ratand lately I have noticed he has been tilting his head to one side. At first i thought it was just when he was looking at me (like a dog does) and he was looking through his more dominant eye. Well I sat and watched him for like six hours the other day and found out he is doing it constantly. So far I have learned that it can be one of two things affecting him. Either an inner ear infection (most likely) or a Pituitary tumor (not as likely). I have printed out TONS of info on it and I will be taking him to the vet asap. The only thing that is bugging me is he is showing NO other signs. There is no discharge, loss of balance, swelling, odor, rubbing his head on the floors of his cage, scratches, bites, nothing. I don't know if it is because it is so early in the stages or if it is because it is a tumor. Gir is only a couple of months old and he came from a VERY good breeder in my area. Only thing is that two of his siblings had a strange mutation of their back legs and had to be put down. I will be contacting the breeder to see if there is a history of pit tumors at all in his line but i am doubtful there are. At this pooint I am just trying to figure out what is going on I hate waiting and hate wondering especially when it comes to my fuzzy kids. anywho if anyone has any info on this I would really appreciate it also any first hand experience of ear infection or pit tumors. Thanks SO much for your replies! I will also keep you all updated on what the vet says though I probably won't be able to get an appointment until next week. Thanks again!

Stephanie
 

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Oh no! If you think it is head tilt, you might want to go sooner than next week. ASAP if possible. It can progress quick and the longer it goes on, the more likely it is to stay permanent. But yeah, either it's incredibly early in the game or it's a pt.

Another thing, my rat Joshu had a head tilt when he was ill. He had a discolored eye but he also had labored breathing. X-Rays showed an internal mass blocking his heart and lungs from beating properly. It grew rather rapidly. Is he breathing hard as well?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
His breathing is fine LoL and I will go asap but the vet is closed today and i just noticed the head tilt yesterday. I will call tomorrow morning to see what the vet has open for this week and hopefully he will have something. I am leaning towards inner ear infection because he is a male AND he is soo young only a couple months. If my vet can not find an infection I will have to take him to a different vet which is more expensive and further away but i will figure something out. unfortunately the mergency services here are ridiculous priced and the vet is not very reliable she rarely sees rats and charges an arm and a leg ($150 for the vet fee alone) not including looking at him and diagnosis and treatment (plus she is the one that let my sam die because she said get this "It's just a rat!" i hate that woman)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Alrighty now that Gir has seen the vet and I finally have my internet back! The vet said that it most likely looks like he has a brain tumor of sorts. There is no sign of an ear infection at all I have him on a Baytril doxy mix and he is getting steriods as well. I am not really sure how long he will last but I will give him the best life possible while he is with me. The major thing I am dreading right now is when I have to make the decision that he is in too much pain and he must go to the bridge to be with his brother and sister.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Actually the chances of it being a pit tumor are really low because Gir is a boy and he is only eleven weeks old. Nothing is really for sure yet I will be making an appointment with another vet this week to see if there si anything else it might be.

Thanks for the links though I really appreciate it!

Also I will be contacting the breeder to see what the other siblings of the litter may or may not have come down with.
 

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Stephanie said:
Actually the chances of it being a pit tumor are really low because Gir is a boy and he is only eleven weeks old. Nothing is really for sure yet I will be making an appointment with another vet this week to see if there si anything else it might be.

Thanks for the links though I really appreciate it!

Also I will be contacting the breeder to see what the other siblings of the litter may or may not have come down with.
He is too young for any tumour, but they happen. :( Sadly males get PT as well, as they also get mammary tumours.
Definitely not inner ear infection? Could you just be using the wrong meds?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
We are pretty sure it is not an ear infection there were no other signs of infection at all. The treatment is the same for all the things it could be baytril and doxy and steriods. The reason I am pretty sure it is not a PT tumor is because there is no weakness of the front legs at all. Now we are just goign to have to wait and see I will be calling another vet for a second opinion tomorrow (she was on vacation until today).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok so Gir is deterirating very quickly he is losing the control of his front legs more and more every hour it seems. He can still out weight on them but he barely uses them to eat. I think he is either seizuring or having strokes I am calling the vet tomorrow to see about putting him out of his pain. Has anyone actually witnessed a rat have a stroke? this is what Gir does:

he gets a quick steady breathing pattern
then kind of stiffens a bit
then he will roll around over and over again

He only seems to do it if he is stressed in any way and I am trying to keep that to a minimum. He has been on the meds for a week with absolutely no change for the better though he is steadily declinig. I also talked to the breeder and Gir is the first she has heard about any illness in the bunch (other than the three that had to be pts when they were fuzzies) Please let me know if you have ever had this happen is it a seizure or is it a stroke?
Thanks in advance
 

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It sounds like seizures. You might want to tell the breeder to discontinue his line. :(

I am sorry Stephanie.

Seizures look horrible but they are not painful during the actual seizure. I have a friend who has them and after one of my PT rats seized she told me exactly what it felt like.

It definitely sounds neurological. He on a steroid along with the abs? This could reduce any inflammation/pressure in his brain that might be causing the seizures. But if he's already on it there's not much you can do. Some rats go thru seizures and recover just fine, and you have to learn the triggers and avoid them, but your Gir is declining. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Actually the breeder didn't breed this line they came to her already pregnant (she did not charge for the babies) both parents are enjoying retirement as we speak. I am working up the nerve to call the vet right now I have never had to make this call before and I can't see how some people do it and stay together through the whole thing. Thankyou for you kind words LiL Spaz. He is on a prednisone already and the abs. Thankyou again I will keep you posted as to what the vet says!
 
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