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Hello, and thank you for reading. This is a LONG post, as I started posting on rattit with little luck. I'll break down the info from oldest to newest, and I have the NEWEST in bold - which has what is happening RIGHT NOW and is in a simple format. It's towards the bottom, NEWEST in bold, if you don't feel like reading the whole thing. Our little one is 20 - 22 mo old. Oh, one more thing to mention, everyone in my family is highly allergic to the pollen, etc. this Spring. More so than years past, and I wonder if this can be part of her issue, too.


Oldest:


I know that no one here is a veterinarian (probably) and my wife and I have a scheduled appointment for May 3rd, which is a bit of a long wait, but luckily this is the one place that will see our ratty girl.


Before I get started, I want to mention that I have extreme anxiety, to the point of taking medication for this. I overreact a lot, about everything, and that's one reason why I'm coming to a place with other ratty parents. Right. Here's what is going on:


My wife and I have a rat who is around 20 - 22 mo old. She used to be very vicious, but we've given her loads of love and have taught her that we're her family, and she's a total sweetie. Ever since she's been a lone rat, she's completely blossomed. I don't know if that is good, or bad, but she doesn't seem to like to share her cage whatsoever.


Moving on, because that isn't important in this case (I don't think) - So, yes, 20 - 22 mo. I noticed that anything white in her cage gets quite a lot of either blood or porphyrin. I cannot imagine this is blood, because I would see something and this has been going on for a while. The first time I panicked, until I did some research.


She's been very active, more so than usual. She's been coming up to her cage for attention, and gets some all day long. She enjoys sitting on my shoulder, exploring safe areas, and eating treats (cucumber is her favorite).

For the last week or so, she's been getting one eye that has more porphyrin than the other, as in I've literally seen 'red tears'. Once she's up and cleaned herself off, she's fine for the most part. I have heard a sneeze or two, I think when she's grooming. Speaking of grooming, she's always scratched a lot, which maybe is where more of the red is coming from? I've heard she might have dry skin, which is possible, especially where we live in the desert. I give her a little bread with olive oil, and that does seem to help.


Second, she is stretching her whole body and will yawn while doing so. This will happen every so often throughout the day.


She is avoiding going down each ramp in her cage (she has three). She will try to literally find ANY other way down, which worries me as I don't want her to hurt herself, even though she has good balance.


She's been bruxing / chattering more than usual. I'll be sitting on the computer and hear her. I have made sure it's NOT coming from her nose, and I've done the telephone test and she's completely clear.


Finally, her teeth seem to be bothering her. Solid foods she'll eat, but she doesn't seem to want to. I've seen them when she's yawning, and they seem fine. She can hold food between both hands, though sometimes she doesn't want to and will just kind of hold with one or try to eat without. But, she CAN and often DOES use both.


Now, when she is out? She's a little explorer, like I said. She'll ride on my shoulder, run around my desk, explore the floor, climb on anything she can find, etc.


You would probably think she's quite young!


Anyway... That's everything that I can think of. I am extremely open to answering any Qs, giving more info, etc. and as I said, I already have a vet appointment made, it's just a bit far in the future.


Thank you for reading.



First update:

After some additional research, I am starting to think she has an eye infection. Almost every sign on this page is what she's going through: http://ratguide.com/health/eyes/eye_infections.php All that she does NOT have is:

Mucopurulent discharge covering the globe of the eye (may be thick white, yellow, sticky, crusty)


Signs of respiratory infection(nasal drainage, breathing issues: labored, rapid, gasping, and wheezing)


Head tilt or ear drainage


I will, of course, keep the vet appointment and in the mean time, try working on the course of action recommended on that page (the cool, and warm, compresses.)



NEWEST INFORMATION:


What she IS doing:

• Eating baby food, every so often, throughout the day

• Pushing her nose around afterwards, I am guessing because it's dirty

• I have tried giving her solids, and she will hold them, (try to) chew them, drop them, (try to) chew them, drop them, and so on.

• When she's doing this, she'll shake her head and quickly start cleaning her face.

• She did, however, manage to eat a tiny piece of carrot, and a noodle. I am giving her very small pieces.

• She is running around her cage like crazy, up and down, all around, it's as if she is looking for something. I did a complete clean, and there was nothing she could have been smelling, etc. Very confused. I would describe this as extreme manic behavior. This will happen no matter where I have her (see the desk mention below.)

• Letting me pick her up, no problem. No squeaking, etc. Will run around me as well, with a bit of a hard time balancing, like she can't see. I've been trying cool compresses on her eye, which has helped a little, but she does NOT enjoy them.

• When I put her on my desk, she goes right back to acting as if she is looking for something. I've had to block off even the area between my desk and the wall, because she will try to squeeze through and there is nothing to support her. It's so confusing.

• Sleeping. Every so often in her igloo, and quite a bit in a corner with her face in the corner. Other times, she's sleeping in a normal ratty position.

• She also has moments of sitting on her igloo, just... Staring, in one direction, at nothing except maybe our other pet.

• "Feeling" around. Careful of each level in her cage. It's as if she is blinded. I don't know if she can see me, either. But she does know where everything is, except for an edge, and she'll feel around like I said. She's SO careful going up and down her levels.

• Grooming herself. She'll nibble / lick / what have you her back, and stomach, sometimes kind of toppling over to get her underside. She'll scratch a bit, but just while grooming.

• CLEAR sound. I've done the telephone test several times, and she sounds perfect. Also, she's stopped bruxing / chattering as much.


What she is NOT doing:

• DRINKING. I haven't gotten her to drink. I have tried water in a bottle (she can't seem to find a bottle, even if it's held in front of her). I have tried water in a little bowl, both high and low. I have mixed water with Pedialyte.
Nothing. In a bowl, she just go splashing through (not on purpose) or sticking her face too far in and shaking her head. I have everything measured, so I know she isn't drinking. My next step will be a syringe.

• Peeing. Not that I've seen. The baby food has water, and I've done the neck "pinch" test and this isn't showing that she's dehydrated. So, this is very confusing.

• Pooping... Kind of. Every so often, she'll drop the smallest pieces. Normally, hers were middle sized. Definitely not as much as she used to, either.

• She still DOES have red eye... tears, I'd call them, but it's been happening less. She has a little staining around her eye, before I clean her, and maybe some on her nose.

• No ear smell, drainage, etc.

• No head tilt.

• No spinning in circles (outside of the RUNNING everywhere, like I said, but it's not in actual circles. It's wall to wall, every side, etc.)

• No playing - but she never has been interested in playing, really. She was enjoying building nests, and stuffing her igloo, etc. but hasn't seemed to be able to / know how to do that.

• No bleeding (except for the bloody looking eye goop, but that's not blood as far as I know.) No scratches that I can see, no bump, etc.

I am just so **** confused. My wife and I think she might be blind, going blind, and or might just be old. We DO STILL HAVE A VET APPOINTMENT. But, of course, they will give me absolutely no information over the phone.


So, I turn to you all. I just want advice, or even an idea, or Hel, even prayers / warm wishes.
 

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My oldest rat is doing pretty similar things, except he does he, just not enough. I feed him baby food every night, and he does still drink.

Have you checked her teeth? Maybe she isn't eating solid foods or using the water bottle because her teeth hurt or are crooked?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My oldest rat is doing pretty similar things, except he does he, just not enough. I feed him baby food every night, and he does still drink.

Have you checked her teeth? Maybe she isn't eating solid foods or using the water bottle because her teeth hurt or are crooked?
It's very possible. I have a napkin or two in her cage, where she spends a lot of time, to catch anything that may help me figure out what's going on, and there was something that resembled a very small tooth, perfect size, color and hardness. This wasn't her front teeth, they're fine as far as I can tell.

Outside of baby food, I dropped some of her food (Oxbow) in a little bit of water, so they'd get mushy, and put that in her cage. She... Kind of had some. ANYTHING with any actual hardness (even soft, like mush) is hard for her, right now. Her eye has been slightly better. She still isn't drinking, from her bottle or bowl. Bowl wise, she's still fumbling around and stepping in the water, and getting a little confused before moving away. She'll put her nose and mouth to the water, but not drink. I bought some vanilla soy milk, as I've seen a lot of people do that to help get their ratties to drink. Hoping that's work. I also got more baby food, this one with teeny tiny chicken and noodle pieces, just in case she can start chewing them. But it's mostly liquid based. Finally, I bought a dark chocolate bar. It's my last resort for our ratty girl, because I am SO nervous about giving any animal chocolate, since it's poisonous for cats, etc. But I've read everyone does this, with good results. Plus, the rest of the bar goes to my wife. ^_^

Our ratty girl is still active, is sleeping right now, and did poop earlier. Still no pee, from what I can see. We're keeping a close eye on her, giving her all that she can eat (I also got a cucumber, her favorite food, which I'll turn to mush), and loving her lots while we wait for the vet appointment.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Can you get us a video of her moving around on a flat non-slippery surface? Maybe offer her a small light treat so we can see her attempt to eat it?My worry is she has PT or pituitary tumor as the symptoms sound familiar, inability to grasp, a confusion, unbalanced etc. Has she ever looked like this while eating?http://lilspazrats.wikispaces.com/Health+Care-+Pituitary+Tumour+-+Failing+the+Cheerio+Test?responseToken=c028ebde6b8b99fc27d0916864f5f4fd
I'll try and get a video, though my phone is... horrible. She doesn't like carpeting, etc. and she gets too excited whenever she's on the bed. So getting her to sit still is kind of hard. As for treats, she can't seem to chew them. I've given her baby food, and she is going CRAZY over most of the flavors, especially the kind that's like chicken soup. I put her Oxbow food in water, and once it's mush, she'll eat that right up. Water, she still isn't drinking, but I found that she is addicted to soy milk (I only gave her a little bit, before mixing the soy with water.) She'll drink, but it's as if she can't see the liquid in front of her, because she'll keep sticking her nose right in, and splashing with her hands, like she's trying to feel what's there. She still won't drink out of her bottle, either. She isn't unbalanced, and isn't falling over, and will stand up, wash her face with her hands, etc. She is cautious, though, going up and down a ramp or climbing up the bars of her cage. She'll slide a bit when on my shoulder, but she's running from shoulder to shoulder, etc. with little problem. I still haven't seen any pee, yet she isn't dehydrated from the skin tent / pinch test, and she is drinking but doing so while getting her whole nose wet, and splashing. She also is NOT drinking straight water. She's sleeping the same amount of time as usual, and I don't believe she's lost weight. I plan on trying to measure her soon. She is still running about her cage, and my desk. I don't know if it's confusion. It's like she is searching for something.

Breaking all of this down for easier reading:

• She still isn't chewing, but will eat baby food, mush, and the softest of treats.
• She won't drink straight water, but she will drink soy milk with water.
• She is getting her nose wet, and splashing with her hands.
• She can sit up, clean her face, etc. without falling over.
• She is cautious, and a bit... Slide-y, but not quite unbalanced. She's walking straight, etc.
• I see NO pee, which is so confusing, as she is drinking the soy milk and water, and doesn't show a sign of being dehydrated. She is pooping. It's been a bit on the softer, lighter side, and I am guessing that is from the baby food.
• She's like... Searching for something. She'll run around, and on my desk, she won't stop trying to get to the blocked off area (fish tank tubes!) She's done this forever.
• Her schedule isn't any different, and I believe she hasn't gained or lost weight.

So... That's my update, for now.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Oh, and I did give her a soft treat and she did sit up, and hold the treat while she tried to nibble (the nibbling was the problem). She did drop part once, and then just used one hand, before finishing the whole thing.
 

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Have you gotten a video yet?
I'm getting one tonight, once my phone is charged. I tried taking one before hand, but she ran off with the treat and then my phone died. ;.;

Today, she has peed - twice - very, very large amount so whatever she was holding in has come out. She's also continuing pooping. Still no solid foods, and if she tries to eat solid, she grinds her teeth / starts bruxing. But only when trying to eat them. My wife and I are disabled, and home almost 24/7. We left so I could get her Ensure, and our rabbit rabbit food, and came home and she was holding her back foot up. I panicked, as I haven't seen that, but I guess she ripped a nail. There wasn't any blood, and she's moving around quite a bit more now. This little girl.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Oh, yes, and still no water - from the bottle, or bowl. She will NOT touch straight water, or water with flavored Pedialyte. She will, however, drink water mixed with soy milk, and Pedialyte mixed with soy milk. She will also eat Oxbow filled with water (thrown in, so it's mushy). She's drinking Ensure now. Still eating baby food.

I cut up cucumber, her fav treat, as best as I could and she couldn't chew that. Same with carrot. I just don't know, unless it's her teeth.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hello, here's a bit of an update. (I still haven't gotten a video, I am very sorry. I am working with my phone, and my ratty girl. I think I may be able to get her to sit still with a pea! We'll see.) So, Taki still hasn't had any falling over, etc. She can stand up, clean her face, etc. and she held a piece of treat, and a whole pea. The only problem was as she bit the pea, she started grinding her teeth and couldn't do anything but dent the outside. Once I broke the outside, and gave her the food, she ate up.

When she gets up, she'll stumble a little, but is then right back on her feet like normal. She's still cautious around any edge, or ramp. My wife and I took her to the vet yesterday, and he weighed her and said that she is quite thin, but not malnourished. He said that we're taking perfect care of her, with the baby food, and other foods and hydration. He put her on the table, which she carefully walked around, and he said she may be going blind, like we thought. He checked her top and bottom teeth, and said that they look great. He couldn't get a look at her back teeth, however he is wondering if it's a jaw issue. I finished explaining everything, and he said that this could be a neurological issue as well. So, outside of the jaw issue, we guessed both of these. I never thought about her jaw being the chewing problem.

He checked her chest, stomach, etc. and said that there is nothing there to worry about.

He held her, and said she didn't scamper about, making him think again that she might be going blind. She was so good while he held her! He told us to bring her home, and keep doing what we're doing. He's going to call tomorrow, Monday, to see how she is doing. He wanted to send us home with antibiotics and a steroids, but they cost more than we expected. We're so thankful we had the money to bring her in, at least. I have started up a GoFundMe for the medication, and am also working with family to see if there is anything they can do. They're both retired, and my wife and I are disabled, and there's been a bit of a money decrease lately, so we're having a hard time. All of our money goes for our babies.

I'm hoping we can get her medication as soon as possible. The vet said, he may keep her over a weekend or so and watch her himself, see what she's doing and how. We'll see if he has to do that. Also, yes, he is an exotic vet and has seen rats, and has great review comments.

Finally, some updated info on Taki herself:

• She's still active, running around her cage, going up on her igloo (but slipping a bit), playing with homemade toys, etc.

• She is eating baby food, applesauce, homemade original (no added spice, etc.) oatmeal, mashed pea, Ensure, etc. She is, however, still having a hard time with water. If it's in a bowl, she'll stick her whole face in and just can't seem to drink without the water going up her nose. So, she's avoiding that.

• We bought a baby syringe, spoon, and dropper and she's having a hard time drinking with all of them. The syringe, she'll just kind of spit out the water. The dropper, she'll try to catch as much as she can, so we've been using that the most. The spoon, she'll have the same problem as the bowl. As for her water bottle, she'll grab the cage bars and try to lick the ball, with no luck. We're working on setting up a constant drip, hoping even if she can't see the bottle, she can catch the droplets.

• Of course, the baby food, etc. is as watery as possible. She'll get some on her face, hands, etc. and have to clean herself, and we're helping her with that too. She got a bit of a sponge bath, and she's even more active afterwards.

• She is pooping, small amounts / pieces. Not as often as usual. She is peeing, it's clear, and again, it's not as often as usual but she is going.

• She'll stick the bottom of her jaw out a bit sometimes, and she's grinding her teeth a lot. I don't know if it's bruxing or not. Sometimes, her whole head will shake / jitter. The rest of her is fine. This is often when she's first waking up.

• She is favoring her left hand, quite a bit. But she does use this hand while walking, with no problem. There aren't any scratches, sores, etc. on that hand or arm.

• Her right eye isn't producing as much red as before, but is still puffier. The eye itself is still the same color as it's been since we adopted her.

• Ever since the vet visit, she's been eating a bit less. Unsure why. She didn't seem stressed on the way there, while there, or coming back.

• We've noticed a bit of fur around her cage, a tiny clump here and there. This has never happened before, as far as we've seen and we've kept a close eye on her since we adopted her.

That's everything for now. It's a lot of information, but I believe the more the better. Can GoFundMe be shared here, or is that breaking a rule?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Have you got to a vet so you know for sure if there is something wrong with her teeth?
Hi, Gribouilli. I mentioned in my post that yes, we took her to a vet, that is an exotic vet and has seen rats. He didn't look in the back, but checked her top and bottom. (I know my post was long, so you probably missed that! I'm sorry.)
 

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Taki was on her second ramp, cleaning herself, and toppled over while reaching for her lower half. She fell forward, grabbed the underside of her shelf, and then fell down to the bottom. She was fine for a little while, and then started walking around with a left side limp. I don't know how she landed. Where she already isn't feeling well, I am extremely worried. Outside of the limp, she's having a bit of a hard time climbing. I took down the ramp to her second level, so she decided to just climb the cage wall, which I think is even more dangerous!

She was eating and drinking. I'm looking up a place to go donate plasma, if they'll take me (I am on many meds.) She kind of fell over in her igloo just now, and is twitching. I have my wife watching her while I continue finding information about plasma donation.
 

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My wife watched her, said she's sleeping right now, not twitching, etc. and not on her side. I'm going to be petting Taki and watching her, while calling about the plasma donation.
 

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Called about donating plasma, 2hrs for $50. Do I go, or stay with her? Do I let her sleep right now, or try and hold her? She licked applesauce from my finger before going back to sleep. She normally doesn't perk up until it's a little later in the day, so this amount of sleep is normal for her. Emergency vet will not let me just come in, or pay in a few hours / later.
 

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I made another call, to the vet's office. I said I can go donate blood, which would end around 8PM, and they close 7PM (the vet). They can have the medication available tomorrow, as soon as they open (8AM) for me to pick up for $41. ($40 and some cents.) So, that would still be a whole night worth of no medication. On Saturday, when I saw the vet, he said she seemed fine except for either a jaw problem or a neurological problem, but that she was in great care and we are doing everything right. The receptionist said he'll call me, to talk about her fall, as I am worried that this is a mix of her issue before and the fall, though my wife is thinking it's the issue beforehand that's causing this, especially as she's been keeping a close eye on her as well. I doubt this, but does anyone here live in Utah that has antibiotics and steroids (both oral)?
 

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At the moment, Taki ate a whole bunch of her food, drank water, walked up my arm and shoulders, etc. so I'm a little less worried. Don't misunderstand, I am still getting her medication, etc. but right now, now that it's later in the day, she's acting more like her regular self. We'll be keeping a very close eye on her.
 

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REALLY quick update. Went to the vet, who prescribed Taki "Prednisone" and "Baytril". She took both without any issue! She was doing extremely horrible this morning, showing every walking sign of PT, etc. Right now, she's showing just a left side limp.
 

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REALLY quick update. Went to the vet, who prescribed Taki "Prednisone" and "Baytril". She took both without any issue! She was doing extremely horrible this morning, showing every walking sign of PT, etc. Right now, she's showing just a left side limp.
That's wonderful. I'm happy to hear she is doing so much better. Did the vet found out exactly what was wrong with her?
 
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