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Discussion Starter #1
ok, so last night i finally figured out why kakushi seemed off. the last few days she's just not been herself, but she didn't show any signs of illness other then some foofed up fur (which i thought might be caused by the mites we are treating for as a couple of the others did the same thing). but the night before last she really looked thin as was lethargic. i fed her some ensure and baby cerel which she gobbled up and checked her breathing which was fine. i was concerned that her fatty desposit lump was actually a malignant tumor for a bit but then last night she started to circle and tumble over herself! i was so relieved! she's still sick but at least its treatable. once i knew what i was looking for i noticed a very SLIGHT head tilt as well.

anyway, now that i know its an inner ear infection (and she already has an appointment for the vet monday morning) i need to know what i should be giving her. i know the basic abs are going to be prescribed most likely (doxy and baytril) but i was wondering if there is a better ab that other people have used for this sort of thing? and i heard that steroids are recommended in some cases as well. should i push for some and what type? i'm not sure if age makes a difference in medications but she was born may 3 2006 so she is 19 months. she is also on ivermectin for the mites, she has her last dose next thursday, should i not give it to her because of the other meds she will be on or should she be ok with it?
 

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Re: Kakushi's inner ear infection-suggestions please

When Gir had his head tilt the doc prescribed Baytril and a mild steroid. Gir still has tilt but survives even though he is pretty much sideways.
 

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Re: Kakushi's inner ear infection-suggestions please

Watch for signs of confusion and difficulty grasping with those front paws. She is at the prime age for PT.

This is from ratguide for inner ear infection

For Systemic Treatment:
Begin long term systemic therapy for 3-6 weeks, with broad spectrum antibiotics such as enrofloxacin, doxycycline , amoxicillin , chloramphenicol, or azithromycin.
If combination antimicrobial therapy is required, the following may be used:
enrofloxacin and doxycycline
enrofloxacin and amoxicillin
enrofloxacin and chloramphenicol
azithromycin and doxycycline

In addition, systemic corticosteroids such as prednisone may be given. Corticosteroids along with a systemic antibiotic should be started as soon as clinical signs of the illness first begin. Doing so can help to decrease the chance of the head tilt becoming permanent.

*Note: The use of a corticosteroid either topically or systemically can aid in reducing exudate and tissue growth as well as relieve itching. Its use may predispose to yeast infections; however, the benefit in many cases with rats far outweighs the risk. If yeast is present or of concern, the Vet may choose to include a topical or systemic antifungal medication (already included in some topical medications) such as ketoconazole or metronidazole.
 

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Re: Kakushi's inner ear infection-suggestions please

I third all the above.

Usual treatment for my vet is to prescribe a long term course of Baytril with an long acting anti-inflammatory injection (he doesn't use Dex, but it's similar to Prednisone but 'a little more potent' I forget the name, sorry).
 

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Re: Kakushi's inner ear infection-suggestions please

thank you for your replies.

at first i thought it may be a PT too but its not presenting that way. she has not been herself for a few days before now but no clear signs of illness. its hard to explain really, i just knew something was not quite right with her but could not place why. then last night she started spinning and i noticed the head tilt. i was very relieved. i have gone through a PT before but though similar it still wasn't quite right. the illness didn't JUST appear, like i said she seemed off for a few days before this. and she has no weakness, she grasps my fingers and holds things just as strongly as ever though a bit tilted. she is very tired though and sleeps a lot. i figure this is because she is ill and its taking her energy from her like any other illness. she being extra sookie too, wanting to be with me and have me hold her much more then she ever did before, but again i chalk this up to her not feeling well. hopefully the meds she gets tomorrow will make her feel better quickly. how long does it normally take to notice an improvement after the meds are started?

anyway, i'm off to wash up the kid then try to get kaku to drink some more ensure and maybe get some food in her as well. i'll keep everyone updated on her progress but because of her illness and school starting up tomorrow as well i will only be able to breeze through here. if there is any trouble or concerns please make sure to pm modreport and we'll make sure to take care of as quickly as possible. thank you very much for your patience, i know sometimes we're a little slower in getting to things then other forums.
 

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Re: Kakushi's inner ear infection-suggestions please

Hopefully, if she's given anti-inflammatories/steroids, the effect should be noticable within hours (that's usually the rule with my vet anyhow - I usually give it 24 hours anyway before judging).

Antibiotics may take a few days.

Mind you though, I've not had an inner ear infection to clear up for a while so can't really remember. I'm sure the pros will know :D
 

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Re: Kakushi's inner ear infection-suggestions please

Speaking personally from having an inner ear infection. It's ****.

It's like being drunk, but much much cheaper.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Re: Kakushi's inner ear infection-suggestions please

yeah, she sure does look miserable. she spent the evening with me and ate quite a bit too. 4 mls of ensure then another 2 mls of baby food plus some from the bowl. she also ate some watermelon and most of a strawberry during the day. she hasn't touched her normal food but i think the other fod probably tastes better anyway....
 

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Re: Kakushi's inner ear infection-suggestions please

you may just be spoiling her. She doesn't seem to be complaining though.

And I'm betting more than anything that if you had to eat regular food all day, nearly every day you'd enjoy strawberries/watermellons/greens/ensure, you wouldn't want to go back.

Also, next time I plan to actually make the salad from scratch, no more spring mix. I don't know what I was thinking when I said "yes" to justin. Nah, I'm just kidding, the spring mix was all right, but I'd still like to make it from scratch, I tend to put more love into a meal when I make it from the ground up. Instead of taking it from a package.
 

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Re: Kakushi's inner ear infection-suggestions please

ok, so back from the vets = really craptastic news. its not an inner ear infection, there is nothing wrong with her ears at all, or anything else that the vet can see either. she gave me this really long mostly latin name for it but what it sums up to is they don't know exactly why she's sick but the vet suspects malignant cancer in the brain. she thinks the brain because of the spinning actually. see kakushi's head is tilted to the left but she spins right. the vet said that if it was an inner ear problem she would be spinning the same way as her head is tilted...

i did not want this diagnosis. i was so relieved when she started spinning because i thought, yes! something that can be treated and she can be back to normal soon. before the spinning i had thought cancer/PT maybe. those didn't seem to fit quite as well as i thought they should but as it turns out... i still don't think its a PT as the eyes still look fine and it came gradually. but i can concede that there may be a lesion or tumor elsewhere in the brain to cause her symptoms.

so for now, we're doing palliative care until she tells us to stop. i'm not sure how we will be able to work the every 2 hour feedings around the clock but we'll figure something out. i did it when my son was an infant, i'm sure i can do it for kakushi (though admittedly i didn't have university classes to go to in the morning). she has problems eating on her own so we'll be syringe feeding her instead, though i'm going to leave the bowl in her cage in case she wants to try. hopefully the predisone will help her some and she'll feel better enough to do that for herself at least. she has issues with keeping her balance because of the tilt so i help her clean herself and help her stay steady. she can still grasp things fine and there is no club paw but she's having trouble getting her head to move where she wants it to go so she can eat. when i try to hold her head for her, she drops the food so i hold that too (and she'll bite at my fingers trying to pull it out...).

anyway, when i get the chance i'll keep everyone updated on her progress. i hope she'll be brave and strong and stay at least a little longer but i will not blame her if she decides she wants to quit as early as tomorrow. it can't be pleasant to have to go through all this. and her dignity and pride must be getting damaged by all the help she has to get from me just to eat, something she was quite sure to tell you about if you injured her pride before (that may be why she's biting at my fingers to drop the food....). but we'll see how she does in the morning and the following days. please send her some soothing vibes if you have any to spare.
 

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Re: Kakushi-- not inner ear infection- cancer instead

Yes please give us updates. I hope she gets better. Its always hard
 

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Re: Kakushi-- not inner ear infection- cancer instead

Yes please give us updates. I hope she gets better. Its always hard to watch a pet go through anything like that. I know when I had a dog she had epilepsy and it was hard to watch her have seizures.
 

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Re: Kakushi-- not inner ear infection- cancer instead

my best of wishes and luck to kakushi, here's holding strong that she'll keep this together and do her best.
 

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Re: Kakushi-- not inner ear infection- cancer instead

It does sound like a PT sadly. Which is the most common brain tumour.

Steroid and abs will help a lot. :(

I am sorry for one so young.
 

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Re: Kakushi-- not inner ear infection- cancer instead

Oh Twitch.... I'm so sorry :(. This was not the kind of news you needed. Keeping my fingers crossed for you and your girl, hopefully she'll be comfortable with you for as long as possible.
 

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Re: Kakushi-- not inner ear infection- cancer instead

I'm so sorry to hear about Kakushi, twitch :(
 

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Re: Kakushi-- not inner ear infection- cancer instead

Dude ... what more can I say? I'm sorry :(

Don't give up just yet, she may have some surprises for you up her sleeve. Hope is never a bad thing...

I'll ask my bunch to send extra good vibes to little Kakushi :)
 

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Re: Kakushi-- not inner ear infection- cancer instead

ok, wo its the second day after the diagnosis and we've already had some up and downs. that night after giving Kaku her meds she really perked up and ate THREE bowls of ensure and baby pablum.

the next day was bad for both of us though. she didn't really want to eat much and some feedings she wouldn't eat at all, even after the meds. but to top that off i had a stomach virus and for some reason a bunch of nose bleeds on top of it. i tell ya we made quite the pair. we spent the entire day mostly dosing on the couch watching the history channel (its rome week too so some interesting stuff).

last night i also brought out violet, kakushi's best friend in the cage. i'm not sure kaku was enjoying vi's attentions or was too tired to give a dang but she bruxxed some and boggled some with violet there, so i'll assume she was happy. mind you she boggled a lot last night and i'm concerned it was not all about happiness but at least some was because she was in pain.

what was really concerning me though was, that during all that time i had her out with me (8-9 hours at least) she only peed once (and that was all over herself too). i figured where she wasn't eating much and because she now won't take from a bowl at all and so wasn't drinking if she wasn't eating, then she was going to defecate and urinate less but 9 hours?

that was yesterday. i was concerned she was in pain and was starting to give up. but today, or at least this morning, she was ubber active, walking all over the couch, trying to explore the blankets that block off the ends of the couch and of course give me a heart attack by repeatedly trying to get a look at the floor only to start to fall off until i make a mad grab for her. and of course before she even touched her food she peed all over me and a big ol' poop. she only ate 3-4 mls of ensure and baby pablum but she seemed much happier and livelier. so, i'm marking up yesterday as a bad day and am looking forward to what the rest of today has to offer us.

thank you everyone for your kind words and concern, i have passed all the messages on to kakushi as well and if this morning is any indication its working.
 

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Re: Kakushi--cancer-- UPDATE jan 9 am

Once in 9 hours? hmm. To me, that says she may be dehydrated (have you done a scruff test?) but to be honest, I don't know.

I don't know how much help I can be, but I'll tell you what I did with Katie so maybe you can draw your own conclusions?

If Katie was on Ensure (only) I would give her 6-8mls 4/5 times a day. If she was on babyfood mixed with water, she would usually take anywhere between 10-15ml in one feeding. She would peepee every couple of hours, and it would be a substantial amount, so I was fairly certain she was well hydrated. I read a book recently which says that daily water intake for rats is approx 20-30ml (although you'll probably need less if they're less active etc) or a little more if you're mixing with food.

Poop - eh. Well babyfood and Ensure is mainly liquid, so there's not going to be much solid waste. 9 hours does sound a long while, but if she's not been eating much then I guess that could be expected. Katie never usually pooped more than 4 or 5 times a day - and even then it was a couple of pellets at a time.


I've probably been very useless and confusing, but it's something to compare to at least =/ Sorry I couldn't give more

Good luck

*Hugs*
 
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