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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello guys,

Just got back from the vet and he thinks it's congenital, meaning he's probably had whatever it is since birth. Due to his laboured breathing and his skinnyness, the vet thinks it might be his kidneys. His skinnyness means that the reason his genitals look so strange is because the muscles can't support them anymore.

Bottom line was that he didn't think Edgar would make it, he said it could be tomorrow or next week.. or next month, he couldn't tell. He gave me the option of putting him on medicine, putting him down, or doing nothing at all and seeing how it went.

Of course I put him on medicine, anabolic steroid injections to try and make him stronger, and an antibiotic to sort out his secondary urinary infection.

He is noticably more active since his first steroid injection which gives me a bit of hope, but we'll see how things go. I'll keep updating, though I feel a little guilty for posting so much about it.

Thanks for all your help and supportive messages in the past week, they've been a real help.
 

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I'm sorry :-( I had to give a rat steroid injections once, he seemed better after the shots but the effects started being less and less and eventually he passed :-( I hope edgar does better
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just out of interest, how long did the steroid injections go on for?
 

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I had a girly with PT and I was giving her injectable dexamethasone and gentamycin subcutaneously with butterfly needles. I injected her once a day for weeks. I often use this combo as part of my palliative care with my older rats once the breathing is so laboured, the weight loss starts to spiral downwards. I also weigh them weekly and add lots of good weight gaining foods to their diet.

Edgar's laboured breathing is most likely causing his skinniness. It takes a lot of energy to breathe like that and the weight melts off of them. The steroid (which one are you giving?) can really help the inflammation in the lungs and improve the appetite, which can have a good result. It will make him much more comfortable overall. :)

The meds may have to be upped a little for the UTI since steroids depress the immune system and you always need to put them on abs along with the steroids to prevent any infections ocurring.

Kidney failure is a common thing in old age, and the oldies start drinking more as their kidney function fails, to flush out the toxins that their previously healthy kidneys did normally. You'll notice more water intake and more urine.

Good luck to your little man. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for your kind words and information.

He is very young, that's why it is worrying. I'm not giving the injections myself, I have to go to the vet once a week for them apparently. I'm not sure what steroid it is, vet just said 'anabolic' which I gather strengthtens muscles.

I'm adding lots of bits and pieces to his diet, he'll be weighed next week to see if he's gained any, can you recommend some things to feed him? What kind of foods are good for this?
 

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I have a little thing I make up for those sickies/oldies of mine. I use baby cereal, strawberry Ensure, a little olive oil (not all the time), Enervite (or Ferretvite, Nutravite or Nutrical). They usually devour it.

You can feed those high fat items like avocado etc for weight gain or at least to get him to hold steady.

I don't know your boy's whole story as I have been without internet at home for 6 weeks now and only sneak in my rat forums during the day at work (now :))

Can you give me a quick run down? I have never heard of nabolic steroids being used on a pet rat.

Have you looked into CHF or things like that? could it be his heart?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok basically, I bought a little tiny rat (the smallest of the litter) from a pet shop near me, a family run place, about... a month ago ish. He looked VERY small and it was the general belief of the members of the forum that he was probably 4-5 weeks old. I fed him baby cereal etc as well as lab blocks and veggies etc.

So I introduced Eddie to Addo (our older fattie rattie) in the proper manner, and they were getting along great. I was taking them both out to play regularly and they slept together/ate together etc. Then I started to notice that Edgar wasn't as active. He was still eating, I made sure Addo wasn't stealing food or anything.

Last week I noticed that Edgar was suddenly horrifically thin. The vet said he's never seen a young rat so thin, but he was still eating. I seperated Addo and Edgar on Wednesday of last week, and made sure Edgar was warm and eating right, which he is.

On Sunday I noticed his penis was permanently out, and although didn't look swollen or sore, wouldn't retract. He was grooming it a lot, and it raised alarm bells.

Today at the vet the urine sample contained no blood but the PH was a little high, suggesting a secondary UTI. The vet said that the reason his penis might be out all the time was because his muscles have deteriorated from being so thin, and the anabolic steroid was to help strengthen them again.

I have probably missed some stuff out :/
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Oh I forgot, here are the pictures I took on THURSDAY of last week:


Oh I forgot there is quite a bit of thinning of the fur.









Also his breathing is very fast and irregular, the vet said his chest sounds clear. He also is clucking an awful lot.

PHEW I think that's everything!
 

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I gave him an oral antibiotic 2x a day and I believe the injections were every other day (this was ~2 yrs ago). He was old though, over 2
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I don't think I did, I looked through but couldn't find it!
 
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