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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, so my eldest rat is 2 1/2 going on 3 and has HLD. I've done lots of reading up on it but just keep finding conflicting information. Lots of sites and youtube videos say that it's a painless condition since it starts at the back end of the spinal cord (i thought it must be similar to people who lose the use of their back legs and so use a wheel chair). But then there's also people saying that prescribed pain medication is needed and others who recommend a green tea and other such home remedies.

My guy doesn't seem to be in pain but i know you can't always tell with animals. He eats, drinks and cuddles/grooms his cagemate but he has recently stopped using his ladders/ climbing onto the second level of his cage. At first i attached correx to the back of the ladder so his feet couldn't get stuck and then pulled an old t shirt sleeve over it for grip and this seemed to work for him but now he doesn't even attempt it.

It's very upsetting and at first i thought it's just a case of assessing his quality of life every day and making things comfortable for him but will pain medication help the problem at all and is it even necessary?

Thank in advance to anyone offering advice :)
 

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I don't think it'd hurt at all. When you think about it it's the nerves going away and since nerves are what cause feeling lack of it wouldn't cause pain. It'd just be numb.
 

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If it's an actual nerve disorder and there's not any inflammation associated with it then I wouldn't think there'd be any pain. I know that hld can cause them to slow down, but if you notice that he's slowing down a lot more than usual, you might try a pain med and see what affect it has.
 

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It depends on what's causing it. hld is a nervous degeneration and appears painless however arthritis can cause similar symptoms (more stiffness) and that can be painful. trying a course of metacam and seeing if it improves it is the simplest way of finding out.

i would check his urine for protien levels to as often you find hld alongside kidney degeneration and this can be improved substantially on the right diet and medication
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I did think of arthritis at first but there's no stiffness at all, the best way to describe him would be floppy, bless him. Is there a way to check his urine at home or sha'll a ask the vet to do it? Thanks for all of your help guys.

Other than this he's super healthy for an almost-three-year-old, never even had a myco flare up, no tumours or lumps at all it's a shame this had to happen to him it's the first time he's started to actually look his age.
 

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You can get human urine dipsticks which are worth having in just in case. I have ones that do about 10 differetn tests, but the only ones that really matter are protien, blood and sugar levels. Great for keeping an eye on things
 
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