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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I remember reading about this somewhere on the forum a while back, but haven't been able to find it to reference again. I have a hairless boy, Bane, who has recently started to drag his tail. I mention that he's hairless because I've read that eyesight also seems to be affected with hairlessness, and he has always been rather clumsy. Anyways, no other unusual symptoms to report. He's about 10 months old and is eating, drinking, playing fine etc. I noticed it because over the past few days I've been able to hear where he's going because his tail makes quite a bit of noise dragging on the wood floor behind him. Should I be worried?
 

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Sounds like hind end degeneration. Isamurat knows best on that
 

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It's unlikely to be hld with a 10 month old, even really early symptoms tend to not to show up until 18 months or so, I've not seen them on a rat under 12 months before. This could be a few things on a younger rat, the most likley is an injury to the tail or base of the spine. i would carefully feel along the length gentley flexing it in different directions checking for any flinching or pain plus any lumps or bumps. If there is pain depending on how bad it is well dictate what to do next. Minor pain could be managed with pain killers at home. significant pain or obvious lump and I'd get him to the vet, he may need steroids or similar to sort it out. A fall could also cause this and be more generalised further up the spine do with checking how he's walking and moving around especially at the hind end. Look for flat footed walk or stumbling etc.

The other thing that's much less likley is done sort of tumour on or in the spine.

It could possibly be hld just really early onset, out of interest do you know what he was fed on as a kitten. i suspect hld can be brought on earlier by early life vitamin d deficiency
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I got him at a pet store at around 6 weeks old. I'm not sure the food he was on, but from what I remember it was a lab block. From then onwards, he's been on oxbow. It could be a fall, I hadn't considered that but it makes sense since it is possible that with his clumsiness, he could have fallen when my back was turned. I checked him over before I left this morning and he didn't seem bothered or in pain. The internet is out at my apartment though, so I'm trying to gather as much information as I can before I go home tonight since access will be limited. I'll give him another check when I get home too. Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Okay so I've checked him over again and watched him walk, and he seems to not be too bothered. He can pick his tail up, but he still drags it sometimes. I think the reason is that it appears as if the skin fell off right around the tip of his tail. Do rats have bones in their tails? Because it appears as if the tip is sticking out of his. He moves around so much and so fast though that I only noticed it last night, and it took way too long to get him to sit still for a second so I could get a zoomed in enough picture of it. I don't what this is or what caused it, but I've cleaned the area around his tail. He doesn't seem to be in pain, but I imagine this is why he is dragging his tail. So it must hurt, not to mention it just looks downright uncomfortable. Can anyone shed any light as to what has happened? Is ointment safe to apply to it, I'm worried about him accidently ingesting it. What else should I do? Thanks for any more help!
 

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That's tail nail and unrelated. It's to do with how the scales on the tip get old. When they do they either drop off or can get stuck on and form this little nail like protrusion from then end. It's not actualy bone but can hide living tail underneath. One of my rats nipped of the end of another rats tail nail and it bled a bit (i may have panicked a bit too until it stopped lol) but healed quickly. It's definitely not spine.

It also wouldn't cause this weakness. Could you get a video of him walking for me to have a look at. I've seen a lot of hld so am pretty good at spotting early symptoms now. i just hope its not that
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've been home for a couple weeks now, so the rats are in the care of my boyfriend but from what I've heard he is dragging his tail half the time, and holding it normal the other half. I've been meaning to say I'm glad that tail nail thing isn't a concern, I had no clue what that was! But when I get back I'm going to try and video it.
 
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