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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My rat has been deteriorating for a while now. I can't tell for how long because I was in Cuba, doing volunteer work for a bit, however my mom noticed she was slowing down while I was away. I immediately took her to the small animal vet when I got back, but the vet didn't know what was wrong. We started a course of Baytril/doxycycline to help with the respiratory symptoms, however I really don't think the myco has caused this much lethargy.

She is eating well, however she is falling over constantly. I pre-paid for another vet visit in a week. I just want to let the vet know what I think is wrong. I don't have any ideas right now though. I suspect a brain tumor, but not sure. If it's curable, I'll do what it takes.

Symptoms:
Unsteadiness (falling over, can't groom properly, I have to groom her)
Lethargy (sleeping most of the night, takes quite some time to go up the ramp, falling off ramp.)

That's it. I am so confused. Should I ask the vet to euthanize? I can't tell if she's in pain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I've owned rats for 13 years, but these symptoms are new to me. If anyone has any input, it would be greatly appreciated. I've been taking her out pretty much every day just to feel grass under her feet, and so on. I will miss her so much when she goes.
 

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How old is she? Is she living with cagemates that she's related to? How are they acting? Do they have similar behaviors?

We had 2 brothers that had to be euthanised because of pituitary tumors earlier this year. They were both almost 2 1/2 years old. One was pts largely because of another issue, but we noticed some PT symptoms shortly before he was pts. But his brother who was pts before him suffered for a few months before we knew what to do or what it was. He didn't seem to be in pain so we weren't in a hurry to have him pts. But some of the biggest signs for him as his issue progressed was weight loss, mammary tumors and testicle shrinkage (caused by hormone changes from the pituitary are of the brain being effected), weakness of his body and he eventually lost the use of this back legs. He had difficulty sitting up and holding food, he couldn't chew properly due to weakness and teeth issues that may have been also caused by the PT, and he also kinda fell over a lot. He was put into a single level "retirement cage" with fleece and his brother to spend the rest of his days and had to eat soft foods like baby food and wet cat food.

It may be a PT like you suspect. If the vet thinks this is possible, it's usually better to have them pts sooner rather than later unfortunately. We regret not having our one boy pts sooner. We don't know if he was in pain, but he was on two pain meds to possibly help in case he was. You might want to try tramadol and/or meloxicam and see if that helps her at all. You might be able to improve her quality of life for a little while at least until you make your decision about when to have her pts. I'm sorry, this is really tough. But PTs can sometimes cause terrible symptoms that are best avoided by having them pts. Please let us know how your follow up visit goes and how she is doing.
 

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Smell her ears and see if you can detect a rotting odor. If so, she may have an ear infection which may or may not respond to antibiotics.

Otherwise, these sound like pituitary symptoms, which is impossible to treat, and very uncomfortable for the rat. I'm very sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh my goodness. She's only 2 years old. Her cagemate was from the same breeder, but she's probably not related. I have also noticed the weight loss, and she isn't drinking very much, so I have been giving her fluids.

Thank you for the replies. I will post an update if there's some kind of magical treatment for her.
 

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So sorry.. Hopefully it's not a PT.
 
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