Paw Talk - Pet Forums banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,317 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, at over 26 months of age, Russell is now showing signs of HLD: shuffling gait, and sometimes dragging his back left foot a bit. (Oddly enough, the foot with the bumble is actually the stronger of the two!)

So, just looking for some suggestions as to what I can do to help make him comfortable and healthy. I know I will need to be sure to help him wash himself in his little private parts. I read somewhere that I should look for wax in his ears and clean it out... is that true? If so, how do I clean it?

What kinds of high calorie foods would be good to give him? I've never even seen nutrical, but I have heard it is good, so I'll get it at the grocery store tomorrow. How much should I give him every day?

Any other advice?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
236 Posts
Why do you want high calorie food for him??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,347 Posts
Oh Breyer, I just saw your post. I am so sorry about this. Drat, old age is just a drag. I bet Russ is thinking, "Sheesh, what now?"
My poor Russ-Russ. I love him so. I have no advice on this as my boys passed before their old age set in, but I still wanted to give my support and cyber hugs to you and your sweet boys. An extra kiss for Russell too. Hang in there sweet guy.
 

·
Rat Rescuer and Hospice
Joined
·
1,883 Posts
All you have to do is think of all the things he cannot do anymore and you have to do it for him. Although if he's just shuffling and dragging a hind paw every once in awhile, he's in the earlier stages. Watch him carefully and see how he adapts...does he prop himself up to clean things "down there"? Is he able to groom himself anymore or will you have to take care of that? If he's just wobbling then he should be able to take care of most things himself. You can rub inside his ear and the heat of your finger will melt the wax and it will stick to your finger...sounds gross but it's not that bad. LOL

Scratch any itchies he has, or even groom him with a soft tooth brust.

At this age I like lower hanging hammocks or double deckers hung low enough he can almost walk into them.

Here Hansel (RIP) shows how its done



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,317 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok, it sounds like I've already got most of that covered! I had lowered the hammocks months ago when they started to have a bit harder time getting in/out of them, and now they spend most of their time in their playpen anyway. I have a plate with their food on it, and a salad plate with some water already in their playpen, so they don't even have to go in their cage if they don't want to. (But they still do like to spend time in there.)

@Jimmie--I'm looking for high calorie food because along with the degeneration comes muscle loss, so his hindquarters are pretty bony feeling now. He seems to be doing just fine, and isn't in any pain, but I do have to make sure that he eats enough calories to replace the lost body mass back there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,347 Posts
I just get so touched reading the back and forth between you and Lilspaz, Breyer...how much we love our ratty babies and take such tender care of them and taking special care with them as they become elderly. :heart:

Lilspaz..those two pictures of Hansel were just so precious. My husband teared up looking at them, especially Hansel in the first photo, nibbling on his foot, in the midst of soft pink hammock. Such a sweetheart. I wanted to pick him up and love him. :sneakyhug

Rest and be happy beautiful Hansel boy.
 

·
Rat Rescuer and Hospice
Joined
·
1,883 Posts
Ok, it sounds like I've already got most of that covered! I had lowered the hammocks months ago when they started to have a bit harder time getting in/out of them, and now they spend most of their time in their playpen anyway. I have a plate with their food on it, and a salad plate with some water already in their playpen, so they don't even have to go in their cage if they don't want to. (But they still do like to spend time in there.)

@Jimmie--I'm looking for high calorie food because along with the degeneration comes muscle loss, so his hindquarters are pretty bony feeling now. He seems to be doing just fine, and isn't in any pain, but I do have to make sure that he eats enough calories to replace the lost body mass back there.
Unfortunately you will not be able to help with the loss of muscle mass with high calorie food like that, so I wouldn't bother. You can try glucosamine instead and see if that improves things? i have heard very good things from rat owners of it slowing down and improving the degeneration.

The term HLD is a misnomer in my opinion. I call it HED, Hind end degeneration because its not just the legs, and my vet calls it spinal nerve degeneration. Eventually the nerve is impinged so much there's no function left.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,317 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok, thanks for that recommendation! I just looked up glucosamine on google, and it seems like it comes in pill or tablet form. Do I mix it in his food?
 

·
Rat Rescuer and Hospice
Joined
·
1,883 Posts
Ok, thanks for that recommendation! I just looked up glucosamine on google, and it seems like it comes in pill or tablet form. Do I mix it in his food?
Yes crush it up and mix it in his food. There's a really good one out there for dogs...I think its a combo of MSM, Chondroiten and Glucosamine.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top