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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I have a 1 year 7 month pair of ratties, Pippin has started to have trouble getting around his rear end seems to be a little slow and he's got very gentle and soppy. I'm not complaining but that's not his personality, he's a food snatcher! Usually lazy but by choice he no longer climbs for food or to use their hammocks he's turned into a ground dweller?

As for the weightloss he was a very chunky boy, 740 grams August 20th now weighing in at 666grams, i called the vets and they said not to worry abou this weight loss as he was overweight anyway,....

I know he's getting on but the thing thats worrying me most is i'm finding half eaten nuggets in his bowl.. they've been chewed but not removed :/ He seems to be resting his elbows down to eat and doesn't drag food off now just chases it round on the spot.

I'm so sad :( I can see his trip to rainbow bridge ???
 

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Hed or hind end degeneration doesn't necessarily mean his life is over but you can make things easier. Once he is no longer overweight you can give him soft easy meals that are dense in calories. You want to keep him moving so you can accommodate his living lower but I would rearrange so getting up is possible and not too difficultl for him.
 

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Ok thas very reassuring, I wouldn't usually react so bad to something like this but my last rattie that had similar signs was unable to eat after a couple of weeks. We'd hold his food for him and give him veggie purees and bits but he got to the point a month after showing symptoms where he couldn't even stand up or eat just smeared it around his face so we had to have his PTS :( I'm pretty terrified this will happen again...

He does occasionally still climb up to the top, my other rat won't leave him alone at the moment which is kinda sweet, he props his head under Pip's arms when he eats to hold him up :)

What sort of weight should i consider normal?

I'm changing the floor bedding a little more often and have given him some comfy ground hides. I added a ground floor dinner bowl and water bottle this morning too
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Pippin never left ground level all of the time I was home yesterday, Finding lots of half chewed nuggets and crumbs in the bowl. When i refilled the bowl this morning my suspicions were confirmed he's no longer trying to even hold his food, Just eating in the bowl a nibble from one nugget then a nibble form another
 

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You need to check if he's able to hold food or the bars in his hands. This might be HLD if he can grip (which isnt bad, though he's a bit young really) but if he cant then it is more likley to be a pituatry tumour or other brain issue (which isnt good). I try offering a treat whilst supporting there chest, or holding them up to the bars whilst supporting the rest of them. You can also look at how he washes his face, rats with neuro issues are very clumsy and uncoordinated whereas a lad with hld will have full control of his front paws, just may need to do thing one handedly whilst he uses the other to support/balance. If he's picking at his food this could also show hes got a level of kidney deterioration (it makes them feel a bit sick and they can get fed up of the same foods). I would ask the vet to test his urine for protien to see, if so i can give quite a lot of info on feeding to help with the kidneys, its a pet topic lol.

If its HLD then Nanashi is spot on, keep him as active as possible and give him extra wet meals as he needs them (i can give you some kidney friendly ideas if you'd like). In terms of judging his weight, he should be a tubular shape with bones being able to be felt but with some muscle over the top (allowing for that muscel to be thin on the ground over his rear end). He shouldnt buldge out in the middle or feel squigdgy. Try posting a photo of him stretched out and we can help.

If its neurological then i would get him on steroids asap, an injection of dex followed by a course of predinose steroid tablets works well. This wont fix the problem, oyu cant do brain surgery on a rat, but it will improve his quality of life and reduce the growth (and possibly the size) of the tumour. it can give them a few more months of happiness. This is likly what happened with the other rat you lost.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Oh wow that's a lot of Information, thank you so much. I held him up sort of sat in my leg hand under his belly and offered a slice of banana to him he only partially gripped it. He sort of squeezed his palms together rather than using his fingers then it slipped away a few times.

I've taken 3 videos of him on my sofa with food , I will upload them in a moment from my PC if I can see how :) I'm more worried than ever after carefully watching him :/

He'd usually do whst you see his brother do and scoop the grub up an run off but he doesn't seem to of got any of the shreadie in his mouth ? :(

Videos shortly

Thanks again to you both x
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Here managed to do it finally. not sure if these are any use. I've got him booked in for the vet in the morning x


 
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