HLD and metacam

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ElizabethW
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HLD and metacam

Post by ElizabethW » Mon Jan 04, 2016 1:41 pm

Hi,
Our eldest buck, who is now 27 months, has had gradually weakening back legs for a fair while now, but they seem to have deteriorated a bit more since Christmas and whilst he's not dragging them as such they're not working as they should be. He almost looks like his suspension has dropped, bless him.

After reading up a bit here, I did a urine test, which was fine, so I thought I would try with a daily dose of metacam and started this morning with 0.1ml of the dog one (he weighs 426g.) I was going to pop him to the vet some time this week for a once over, but when I rang they said they could see him today - she had a good look at him and said that it could be hld, an arthritis type thing or tumour on the spine. She wanted to try him with a metacam injection and have another look at him tomorrow so I had to confess that I'd given him a dose already and she looked really cross :oops: She told me to continue with the metacam and bring him back on Thursday. With hindsight, taking him today was a daft thing to do - I should have waited until tomorrow when the metacam had worn off but I didn't think and she made me want to sink into the floor :rollred:

She didn't give me a dose for the metacam so I wondered whether 0.1ml once a day of the dog one sounds a sensible place to start?
Perkin, Bramble, Teasel, Oswald :love:
Fizz, Cuddles, Bubbles, Horace, Ollie, Humphrey, Fergus, Max, Monty, Pootle, Roger, Marley - "All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle"

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acapae_wolf
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Re: HLD and metacam

Post by acapae_wolf » Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:20 pm

It's only 5.15pm so your vets should still be open. I'd phone up and say that the vet forgot to give you a dose. Better to check if she's being offended by you doing exactly what she was going to do anyway... Which, by the way is ridiculous; she should be pleased that your response was the same as her recommendation!
Beri with all at Dandelion Soup
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ElizabethW
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Re: HLD and metacam

Post by ElizabethW » Mon Jan 04, 2016 8:53 pm

Cheers Beri, that's put my mind at rest (especially after paranoid me worrying myself silly over it :roll: )
I rang the surgery - the vet I saw was busy with a consult but the receptionist took the details and rang me back. He's to have one drop of the dog one once a day until I take him back Thursday morning.

V glad I don't see this particular vet often, I don't like to be made to feel like I'm ten years old :lol:
Perkin, Bramble, Teasel, Oswald :love:
Fizz, Cuddles, Bubbles, Horace, Ollie, Humphrey, Fergus, Max, Monty, Pootle, Roger, Marley - "All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle"

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ElizabethW
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Re: HLD and metacam

Post by ElizabethW » Thu Jan 07, 2016 9:15 pm

Humphrey went back to the vet today (the metacam didn't seem to do anything) and we saw one of our usual vets. She says that he has muscle wastage in his back legs and that if the metacam has made little difference it is more likely to be old age rather than arthritis.

She wants to try him with a steroid for 4-5 days to see whether that makes any difference, which I was happy with at the time, but now I'm unsure :? My main concern is that maybe the metacam dose we were given for him was too low (one drop of dog once a day and he weighs 426g) and I wondered whether trying it at a stronger dose for a few days first might be better? Not that he appears to be in any pain - he's not fluffed up at all, has no porph and is still able to 'spring' from the floor onto low objects during free range.

Part of my worry comes from not dealing with hld legs before - I don't have anything to compare it to to say 'it's not that bad' or 'it's not that great'. I don't know whether it's better to leap in with the steroids now as the vet suggested, or whether to hold off until he 'really' needs them. He definitely has limited use in them now, and when he pootles around on our lino he sounds like he has slippers on so he is definitely shuffling. But the vet was quite pessimistic in the way she was talking about 'quality of life' and I don't know whether that pessimism is what's making her want to try steroids now rather than later.

I managed to get a couple of videos of him today (apologies for the on the side footage :roll: )

http://vid1375.photobucket.com/albums/a ... bw1sfi.mp4

http://vid1375.photobucket.com/albums/a ... bgrx93.mp4

Any opinions or thoughts would be very welcome, thank you :)
Perkin, Bramble, Teasel, Oswald :love:
Fizz, Cuddles, Bubbles, Horace, Ollie, Humphrey, Fergus, Max, Monty, Pootle, Roger, Marley - "All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle"

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RedFraggle
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Re: HLD and metacam

Post by RedFraggle » Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:33 am

I've always dealt with HLD by adjusting the environment rather than medically. Giving a cage with a large floor space, a low shelf and hanging hammocks low for easy access. With Derek this summer I swapped him onto fleece rather then substrate which helped him a lot with getting around.
I'm not sure I'd want to put them on a steroid for it.
B vitamins are believed by some to help with nerve degeneration but I don't know how effective that is and I've also known people use supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin as people do.
Years ago I used cod liver oil on an elderly doe who's back end was going and it didn't progress very quickly but that could've been coincidence.
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starstar
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Re: HLD and metacam

Post by starstar » Fri Jan 08, 2016 9:02 am

Humphrey looks great in the video :hearts:, however I am not an expert. I did what Red Fraggle suggests with Mario make the cage layout a little easier so he still could get about the cage rather than go for medication straight away, yes if he deteriorates more and really starts to struggle or stops attempting to climb then use medication.
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Millie, Eddie, Riffraff & Fizzgig, Baloo, Dillon, Rupert, Pookie, Rosie, Buck, Kira, Louis and Lilly "Of the Clan Macphearson"
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ElizabethW
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Re: HLD and metacam

Post by ElizabethW » Fri Jan 08, 2016 10:42 pm

Thank you both for the advice, it's very helpful and has helped to put my mind at rest.

I will leave off the steroid if it's not necessary; he's still managing to get around albeit awkwardly and I definitely don't want to give him medication if he doesn't really need it :)
Perkin, Bramble, Teasel, Oswald :love:
Fizz, Cuddles, Bubbles, Horace, Ollie, Humphrey, Fergus, Max, Monty, Pootle, Roger, Marley - "All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle"

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ElizabethW
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Re: HLD and metacam

Post by ElizabethW » Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:21 am

Me again :roll:
Since yesterday I've noticed that Humphrey has a 'tremble', more towards his back end - it feels very similar to the quivers I've noticed before when rats get very excited during free range or nervous at the vets, but it seems to be there constantly. I've done some reading here, this thread in particular and wondered if it's nerve damage:

http://www.fancyratsforum.co.uk/viewtop ... =trembling

I really don't think it's stroke - apart from the trembling he's as bright as ever and still pootling around during free range. He's not fluffed up and in no sense at all do I get the feeling he's not 'right.'
He was examined twice at the vets last week and the general conclusion was old man legs (although they can't rule out tumour.) As she gave me steroids on Thursday and we haven't used them, would it be an idea to try them now? The dose she gave me to start was a quarter of a tablet once a day (they are 1mg Pred tablets and Humphrey is around 420g.)
Perkin, Bramble, Teasel, Oswald :love:
Fizz, Cuddles, Bubbles, Horace, Ollie, Humphrey, Fergus, Max, Monty, Pootle, Roger, Marley - "All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle"

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RedFraggle
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Re: HLD and metacam

Post by RedFraggle » Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:45 am

You could try. If it was a tumour it could shrink it enough to alleviate pressure on any nerves. Steroids also tend to improve appetite which can help with skinny oldies. Give it a go for a few days and see how he does.
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Too many on the bridge to list.

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ElizabethW
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Re: HLD and metacam

Post by ElizabethW » Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:27 am

Thank you RedFraggle :)
Perkin, Bramble, Teasel, Oswald :love:
Fizz, Cuddles, Bubbles, Horace, Ollie, Humphrey, Fergus, Max, Monty, Pootle, Roger, Marley - "All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle"

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Naturenut
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Re: HLD and metacam

Post by Naturenut » Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:50 pm

Scritches to Humphrey - he's absolutely gorgeous :hearts:
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ElizabethW
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Re: HLD and metacam

Post by ElizabethW » Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:37 am

just to update this in case it helps anyone in the future....
We tried Humphrey with the steroids for a few days but they didn't seem to help him at all so we took him off them. Keeping him as active as possible did see to help, and although his legs had deteriorated slightly since Christmas he was still bumbling around quite happily and still climbing to a certain extent.
Unfortunately an hour ago my husband went to fetch everyone for free range and found him passed away peacefully in the hammock; a massive shock as I was cuddling him only half an hour before whilst Fergus had his meds in the cage.

RIP little man xx
Perkin, Bramble, Teasel, Oswald :love:
Fizz, Cuddles, Bubbles, Horace, Ollie, Humphrey, Fergus, Max, Monty, Pootle, Roger, Marley - "All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle"

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[cub]
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Re: HLD and metacam

Post by [cub] » Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:29 am

So sorry to hear that. :(
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Fondly remembering: Zephyr Mick Jagger (Edgeworth) the big lump, Din (NLA28), Zephyr Donovan (Phoenix), Xeltan, Lita (NLA32), Lia (NLA28), Zephyr Delanynder (NLA28), Falere (NLA36), Mirala (NLA36), Zephyr Opold, and Rila.

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RatBubble
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Re: HLD and metacam

Post by RatBubble » Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:48 pm

Oh I am so sorry :( x
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shiprat
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Re: HLD and metacam

Post by shiprat » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:48 pm

I'm sorry Charlotte. Goodbye Humphrey. So glad he stayed happy up until the end. xxx
Rat Out of Hell Rescue.

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