One of our Rats has a tumor - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-07-2007, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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One of our Rats has a tumor

So about 2 months ago, my son Brandon's pet rat Josh started acting funny...he looked as if he had head tilt, so I took him to the vet. The vet said that although his ears weren't bad, he looked to have a little bit of an infection starting. He put him on Baytril and sent us home. Well, the baytril helped for a little while, but then it got worse again. We took him to another vet who couldn't find anything physically wrong with him, but thinks he's got a tumor in his brain. He said there was really nothing we could do, but keep him comfortable and when he stopped eating and drinking on his own, to bring him in to be put down. Well, Josh is a fatty and he likes to eat...a lot! His appetite has not decreased, and he drinks normally, however he no longer ventures up to the top of the cage. He stays at the bottom at all times where his food and water are because he isn't getting around too well. His head is tilted again and unless he's along the wall of his cage, he can't walk straight. He just goes in circles if he's put in the middle of the floor. He's very wobbly as well, yet his appetite is good as well as his personality. He's not aggressive at all and never seems to be cranky. But the poor guy's mobility has gotten really bad. All this started just over a month ago now and I don't know what to do at this point. Do I have him put down now, or do I wait until he loses his appetite? We've been trying to talk to Brandon about what to expect, but anytime you bring up the possibility of putting his beloved rattie down, he bursts into tears.
Has anyone delt with this before and how did you handle it? Our vets around here seem to feel there is nothing more they can do. X-rays did not reveal anything which is why the vet thinks he has a tumor in his brain. His brother is caged with him and has no problems what-so-ever.

Chin Mom to Lila, Skye, Ty, Rolex, Calypso, Lizzie, Jax, Sam, Sage, Lorenzo, Spitfire, Holly, Dylan, Leia, Punky, Kylie, Skylar, Jetta, Oreo, Emma, Forest, Georgie, Alexis, Picador and all the kits!
Pittie Mom to Kali and Orion
Rattie Mom to Drake and Dumbo
Bunny Mom to Dutchie
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-07-2007, 09:58 PM
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awww. i have no idea, but *hugs* i'm so sorry and i hope he improves or finds comfort. whatever happens, it will be for the best

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-08-2007, 12:48 AM
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Sounds like an inner ear infection to me.I have had rats with them before and what you are explaining sounds like the symptoms! He will need some antibiotics.

Just to let you know tho,even with antibiotics...the tilt may never clear up completely.The antibiotics will clear things up and help with pain or inflammation,but the ratty will probably be wobbly and off balance for the rest of his life.This is what I know from my own experiances and plus one of my cousins who had rats with ear infections.

It is up to you what you think is best for him.Good luck.





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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-08-2007, 12:51 AM
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^^^yea that

Also I've heard that a good method to finding something wrong with them is offering a piece of chocolate.

If they don't take it you know there is something not right.

Sometimes older rats dont' venture anywhere but that doesn't mean that they're not healthy or happy.

*Missy*
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-08-2007, 08:03 AM
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OK we'll play a little game of elimination here.
1) Stroke - extreme onset, Circling,headtilt (not always) dizziness and confusion are basic symptoms, that with treatment (meds and steroids) sometimes can return to normal within a short time. Untreated the rat will die right away or will recover much more slowly.
2) PT (pituitary tumour) - slower onset, a lot of symptoms are circling, headtilt (not always), confusion, lack of motor skills with grasping of the front paws being a main one. The rat slowly declines or can die within 24-48 hours after onset of symptoms. Treatment is meds and steroids to reduce the inflammation/pressure of the tumour on the brain. Short term prognosis.
3) Inner Ear Infection - head tilt can show up quickly, circling, confusion, then illness, sometimes discharge and bad smell from ear.
Treatment is a strong course of abs (baytril alone will not cure), and steroids to reduce inflammation. Inner Ear Infection is very curable, although the meds have to be strong enough to kill those bacteria.

Your boy sounds like he has inner ear infection. Go back to the first vet, insist on baytril and some other hardhitting drug in combination, oral steroid like prednisone (make sure she gives you a wean off schedule) and medicate for at least 4 weeks. With his appetite and happiness he should be fine. Do not wait since he's going to suffer and die if you follow vet #2's advice.

Good luck!

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-08-2007, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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So you think the ear infection never went away? I'll take him in again first thing tomorrow and see what they say. I'll insist on harder hitting antibiotics and the pred. Like I said, he's a happy guy and still his piggie self (he's always been fat and still is) eating and drinking are no problem for him and he still likes to be loved on, so all we can do is try! Any suggestions for harder hitting antibiotics for our rattie to go with the Predisone?

Oh and there is no smell from his ears, nor do they appear red or inflamed.

Chin Mom to Lila, Skye, Ty, Rolex, Calypso, Lizzie, Jax, Sam, Sage, Lorenzo, Spitfire, Holly, Dylan, Leia, Punky, Kylie, Skylar, Jetta, Oreo, Emma, Forest, Georgie, Alexis, Picador and all the kits!
Pittie Mom to Kali and Orion
Rattie Mom to Drake and Dumbo
Bunny Mom to Dutchie
Plain ole Mom to Zach, Brandon and Connor!
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-08-2007, 01:44 PM
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this is from ratguide.com
Health Guide: Otitis Media, Otitis Interna / Labyrinthitis

I would suggest a baytril (enrofloxacin)and doxycycline combo. Its a very good broad-spectrum one-two punch.

Sounds like your boy hasn't given up, and you just didn't like the diagnoses. Inner ear infections usually need a much longer course of abs than a traditional illness like URI (upper respiratory infection).
There are other meds on there as well you could mention to your vet if he won't prescribe these 2. You'd be surprised how many vets refuse to prescribe both of them to be used together.

Even better, print out that page and also this one and take it with you...
http://www.rmca.org/Articles/dchart.htm

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-08-2007, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilspaz68
this is from ratguide.com
Health Guide: Otitis Media, Otitis Interna / Labyrinthitis

I would suggest a baytril (enrofloxacin)and doxycycline combo. Its a very good broad-spectrum one-two punch.

Sounds like your boy hasn't given up, and you just didn't like the diagnoses. Inner ear infections usually need a much longer course of abs than a traditional illness like URI (upper respiratory infection).
There are other meds on there as well you could mention to your vet if he won't prescribe these 2. You'd be surprised how many vets refuse to prescribe both of them to be used together.

Even better, print out that page and also this one and take it with you...
http://www.rmca.org/Articles/dchart.htm
That's awsome! Thank you SOOO much! We'll do that first thing tomorrow morning. I would take him today, but there are no exotic vets in the area open with it being a weekend and Easter Sunday. The closest is nearly 2 hours away and with him still eating and drinking and being active, I think he'll be okay.
I will be taking him to a new vet though. Since we moved, the old one is just too long a hike for us. Before we moved however, I called all the vets in the new area and they all told me to go to a specific one for the chins, rats, and rabbit. I called them and the vet himself called me back...I spoke to him for probably about 20 minutes regarding the chins, rats and rabbit and I have full confidence he's capable of handling the critters. He was actually VERY excited about getting a new client that's a chinchilla breeder and shower! Best part is that he's literally 5 minutes down the street from me. So we'll be there first thing Monday morning and see what he has to say about our Joshie-boy. He's such a sweet and friendly rattie, I would really hate to lose him. Thank you so much for giving us hope that we may be able to get him straightened out and all better soon.

Chin Mom to Lila, Skye, Ty, Rolex, Calypso, Lizzie, Jax, Sam, Sage, Lorenzo, Spitfire, Holly, Dylan, Leia, Punky, Kylie, Skylar, Jetta, Oreo, Emma, Forest, Georgie, Alexis, Picador and all the kits!
Pittie Mom to Kali and Orion
Rattie Mom to Drake and Dumbo
Bunny Mom to Dutchie
Plain ole Mom to Zach, Brandon and Connor!
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-08-2007, 05:14 PM
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Oh I am thrilled you have such a good vet nearby. An excited exotics vet is one who loves the small domestics and is willing to try and learn what they don't know.

I am really hoping that everything works out for your sweet ratboy.

Good luck and please let me know how the vet visit turns out. YAY!!!!

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-10-2007, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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Well, I printed that stuff out and took him in yesterday morning. The vet could not find what was wrong with him on a physical exam and pretty much agreed with the last vet about the tumor. He gave us more Baytril with the Doxy and sent us home. He said to bring him back when he stopped eating, and we would put him down. Well, last night we couldn't get him to take anything. This morning, he died in my son Brandon's arms while we were getting ready to go. He was such a sweet rat and we'll miss him dearly

Chin Mom to Lila, Skye, Ty, Rolex, Calypso, Lizzie, Jax, Sam, Sage, Lorenzo, Spitfire, Holly, Dylan, Leia, Punky, Kylie, Skylar, Jetta, Oreo, Emma, Forest, Georgie, Alexis, Picador and all the kits!
Pittie Mom to Kali and Orion
Rattie Mom to Drake and Dumbo
Bunny Mom to Dutchie
Plain ole Mom to Zach, Brandon and Connor!
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-10-2007, 12:28 PM
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Im so sorry for you and your son's loss.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-10-2007, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you. That pic was taken last night, you can tell he wasn't doing so good, but he was our sweetheart till the end.

Chin Mom to Lila, Skye, Ty, Rolex, Calypso, Lizzie, Jax, Sam, Sage, Lorenzo, Spitfire, Holly, Dylan, Leia, Punky, Kylie, Skylar, Jetta, Oreo, Emma, Forest, Georgie, Alexis, Picador and all the kits!
Pittie Mom to Kali and Orion
Rattie Mom to Drake and Dumbo
Bunny Mom to Dutchie
Plain ole Mom to Zach, Brandon and Connor!
Come visit us at
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-10-2007, 03:54 PM
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i'm sorry for your loss!

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-10-2007, 08:10 PM
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I am sooo sorry. I had real hope for him since he was eating and bright...

He looked like a real sweetheart.

Popcorn at the bridge little one. *heart*

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-11-2007, 12:28 AM
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Mandie,I am sooo sorry that you lost your little guy! R.I.P little ratty!




* Lisa *

* To the world you are ONE person,but to a rat you are the world *


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ear infection, ear infections, exotic vet, inner ear infection, respiratory infection, upper respiratory infection, vet visit


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