Non specific symptoms in 18 month old rat

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hjanders
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Re: Non specific symptoms in 18 month old rat

Post by hjanders » Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:32 pm

Thanks cub! As usual your advice is much appreciated :)
Popcorn, Me-Me, Nelle, Luna, Maggie and Tutsie
Never to be forgotten: Trixie, Paws, Tica, Doris and Bella ❤️

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HereticPr1me
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Re: Non specific symptoms in 18 month old rat

Post by HereticPr1me » Sat Aug 26, 2017 10:18 am

Ive always found they tend to split well into quarters using a scalpel, I then split the dose in two and give 12hrs apart. I find that keeps a more consistent level, but you may want to use the full dose once daily to get her started and get a feel for if its helping.
Cub, the Rat Guide medication list has slightly lower doses, but its the same ballpark, and I *think* Rat Guide is an American site, right ? Which would account for the difference. Id go with the BSAVA formulary as you say.
You basically wont go wrong with 1/4 tablet per day total, you can use one quarter to shave off to make the other 3 up to 1/3 to bring them up to the BSAVA dose if you prefer.

I do hope the wee one gets some comfort from it, must be nice having a hooman that's well connected to look after her :)
Doug, witless provider to :
Ratties :smile: ex-lab boys Boxer and Spot and :girly: old girl Jess.
Budgies Freyja and Haiku.
:rattyrainbow: 42 storytellers loved and lost, most recently : Washburn :rattyrainbow:

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[cub]
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Re: Non specific symptoms in 18 month old rat

Post by [cub] » Sat Aug 26, 2017 5:21 pm

HereticPr1me wrote:Cub, the Rat Guide medication list has slightly lower doses, but its the same ballpark, and I *think* Rat Guide is an American site, right ? Which would account for the difference. Id go with the BSAVA formulary as you say.
Yeah, Rat Guide appears to be a US-based site, and the formularies they quote for their prednisolone dosages are American. The 2.2mg/kg top dose is a bit of a giveaway: that's 1mg/lb. I'd put money on the mg/lb dose having come first and then been converted to mg/kg when someone tried to drag the formularies kicking and screaming into the metric system. :lol: 2.5mg/kg is probably based on the same dose but rounded up to a more convenient number. A few tenths of a gram difference in the upper limit for something like that probably isn't that big a deal.

One thing to be careful of when giving a lot of soft foods to infirm rats is they may end up getting a bit of diarrhoea if they have too much. (Speaking from experience here. :oops: :lol: ) Rats don't normally need to drink a lot, and lots of delicious soft foods can tempt them into consuming much more liquid than they otherwise would. On the other hand, if their mobility or coordination is poor they may have trouble getting to the water bottle, so soft foods can stop them getting deyhdrated. Basically keep an eye on their, erm, emissions, and maybe mix it up a bit with some dry treats too. :hearts:
Poo-shoveller to: Lia and Lita.
Fondly remembering: Zephyr Delanynder the big floofy eejit (NLA28), Falere the contrary (NLA36), Mirala the best and finest (NLA36), Zephyr Opold the serene, and Rila the rodentist.
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hjanders
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Re: Non specific symptoms in 18 month old rat

Post by hjanders » Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:11 pm

Further Update:

Paws has now had 2 doses of prednisolone, one yesterday morning and one this morning.

And there is a definite improvement :D . She wants to play and climb on us more, is coming to her name again, looks more aware of her surroundings etc. This evening she refused her soft food for the first time. It worried me a bit but I put her back in the cage where the other girls were eating their evening vegetables and a bit of chicken and potato (from our lunch). She stuck her nose in the food bowl and helped herself over and over again. The other day she was only picking up off the tray what the others had thrown aside or spilt. I think she had said to me "I don't need this soft stuff any more, give me proper food" :lol:

Fingers crossed for continued improvement or improved prognosis at least.
Popcorn, Me-Me, Nelle, Luna, Maggie and Tutsie
Never to be forgotten: Trixie, Paws, Tica, Doris and Bella ❤️

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[cub]
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Re: Non specific symptoms in 18 month old rat

Post by [cub] » Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:38 pm

That's brilliant, well done for fighting on her behalf, even if you had to do it off the books as it were. Steroids also stimulate the appetite so that's probably part of the reason she's so keen on proper food again, but the improvement in her alertness and mobility almost certainly is helping too. :luck:
Poo-shoveller to: Lia and Lita.
Fondly remembering: Zephyr Delanynder the big floofy eejit (NLA28), Falere the contrary (NLA36), Mirala the best and finest (NLA36), Zephyr Opold the serene, and Rila the rodentist.
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HereticPr1me
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Re: Non specific symptoms in 18 month old rat

Post by HereticPr1me » Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:19 pm

Ahh fab news, Ive been wondering how she was getting on today. Glad theyre having a good effect :)
Thats great she feels able to get stuck into the normal food too, definitely a good sign. If it is a PT then you will want to modulate the steroid dose just to keep her at that comfort level, it doesnt stop the PT sadly but it will mitigate the inflammation around the tumour site as it grows. Now might be a good time to consider trying the Cabergoline ? You never know.

Cub, yeah I guess its not a coincidence the Preds come as 2.5mg tablets when the dose is 2.5mg/kg. Makes sense.
Doug, witless provider to :
Ratties :smile: ex-lab boys Boxer and Spot and :girly: old girl Jess.
Budgies Freyja and Haiku.
:rattyrainbow: 42 storytellers loved and lost, most recently : Washburn :rattyrainbow:

hjanders
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Re: Non specific symptoms in 18 month old rat

Post by hjanders » Sun Aug 27, 2017 9:32 pm

Yes, I think I would like to try the cabergoline. That might be a bit harder for me to get hold of though. I'm hoping the vet might be in touch tomorrow so I can ask about it. I am not sure whether she will approve of me doing my own thing over the weekend though.....! Maybe I will be struck off their books :?
Popcorn, Me-Me, Nelle, Luna, Maggie and Tutsie
Never to be forgotten: Trixie, Paws, Tica, Doris and Bella ❤️

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[cub]
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Re: Non specific symptoms in 18 month old rat

Post by [cub] » Sun Aug 27, 2017 10:20 pm

I'm not sure but I would hope not. Pet owners do a lot of things without vet consultation, many of them *significantly* less well-researched and justified than this! And you can mention the good response to treatment as well – might be educational for them. 8-)
Poo-shoveller to: Lia and Lita.
Fondly remembering: Zephyr Delanynder the big floofy eejit (NLA28), Falere the contrary (NLA36), Mirala the best and finest (NLA36), Zephyr Opold the serene, and Rila the rodentist.
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hjanders
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Re: Non specific symptoms in 18 month old rat

Post by hjanders » Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:34 pm

Good news!

My vet rang me this afternoon to say she had discussed with colleagues and done some reading up about pituitary tumours (as promised). She said she would like to treat Paws with cabergoline and prednisolone :) . I admitted to having already started some prednisolone and she said "I am not surprised as I know you had to wait a while for me to get back to you". Hooray!

So, tomorrow I get more vibranord (the antibiotic) and a prescription for human prednisolone and cabergoline. I can't wait to get it and see what the name on it says.... Miss Paws Surname? :lol: Miss Paws Rat? Rat Paws Surname? :lol:

It was worth pushing and pursuing and I will be asking for that vet again (it is a big practice with several 'exotic' vets).

From a Happy Helen (and an improved Paws) :)
Popcorn, Me-Me, Nelle, Luna, Maggie and Tutsie
Never to be forgotten: Trixie, Paws, Tica, Doris and Bella ❤️

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HereticPr1me
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Re: Non specific symptoms in 18 month old rat

Post by HereticPr1me » Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:51 pm

Oh good :)
Thats great news, both because it avoids an awkward conversation but moreso because you have her support now with Paws ongoing treatment :)
Im happy to argue it out with vets if I have to, its our rats we're arguing for after all, but its always better to have their support - it pays off going forward.

Pleased for you both, fingers crossed you get a good response from the Cabergoline :luck:
Keep us posted !
Doug, witless provider to :
Ratties :smile: ex-lab boys Boxer and Spot and :girly: old girl Jess.
Budgies Freyja and Haiku.
:rattyrainbow: 42 storytellers loved and lost, most recently : Washburn :rattyrainbow:

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[cub]
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Re: Non specific symptoms in 18 month old rat

Post by [cub] » Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:35 pm

Excellent! Here's to hopefully some more quality time with Paws, and also to a good working relationship with your vet from now on. :luck:
Poo-shoveller to: Lia and Lita.
Fondly remembering: Zephyr Delanynder the big floofy eejit (NLA28), Falere the contrary (NLA36), Mirala the best and finest (NLA36), Zephyr Opold the serene, and Rila the rodentist.
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hjanders
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Re: Non specific symptoms in 18 month old rat

Post by hjanders » Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:44 am

Latest update on Paws:

I have followed my vet's advice and continued with a decreasing dose of prednisolone, now on a regular daily dose of 1/8 of a 2.5mg tablet (if my maths is correct that is approx 1mg/kg per day given she weighs 300g).

We gave her the last dose of antibiotics and the third dose of cabergoline last night (one third of a 0.5mg tablet every 3 days (=0.55mg/kg/dose I think)

Over the last week she has been a little up and down. The day after the first dose of cabergoline she was really sleepy and not eating much and I was really worried about her. However she perked up and I'm assuming that was a side effect of the first dose.

She sometimes gets herself out of the cage at play time and has a wander around. Other times she just stays in a corner or isn't interested at all. I think she is less wobbly than before although does tend to wander aimlessly (but not in circles). She is really only eating the soft food we are offering her twice a day but with that she seems to be needing it to be increasingly soft. We had a couple of times when she was really slobbery and messy but not so much recently. She doesn't seem to be taking quite as much - not demolishing it like she was a week or 10 days ago.

My main concern is her weight. She was 295g before diagnosis (always been relatively small as are all her siblings) and has dropped to 266g. This worries me as I am feeling we are doing really everything we can for her now. The only thing I am wondering is whether to increase her prednisolone dose a little?

Any advice most welcome.
Thanks!
Helen
Popcorn, Me-Me, Nelle, Luna, Maggie and Tutsie
Never to be forgotten: Trixie, Paws, Tica, Doris and Bella ❤️

hjanders
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Re: Non specific symptoms in 18 month old rat

Post by hjanders » Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:49 pm

Further update:

Paws is still about the same physically from my last update, however I have 2 further concerns

1) My daughter looked in her mouth to check her teeth as she's only eating soft food. She noticed immediately that her top front 2 teeth appear broken and very short :cry: . We have compared to her cagemates and they are definitely shorter and broken looking. No wonder she isn't eating solid foods (she is still snuffling about in the bottom of the cage looking for their dry food but not eating anything that we have noticed).

2) Her cagemates appear to be picking on her. We have another girl about the same age and we have 3 younger sisters (11 months) who all seem to be regularly chasing her, pinning her down, grabbing and pulling at her and making her squeak a lot. Sometimes I think it is because she smells of yummy soft food (despite wiping her up to the best of our ability) but today it has been more constant/pronounced :cry:

Help! What do we do from here? I don't want her to suffer but don't feel it is her time quite yet.....
Popcorn, Me-Me, Nelle, Luna, Maggie and Tutsie
Never to be forgotten: Trixie, Paws, Tica, Doris and Bella ❤️

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[cub]
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Re: Non specific symptoms in 18 month old rat

Post by [cub] » Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:09 pm

I'm not entirely sure what would cause broken teeth like that, but that would explain the weight loss and need for soft foods. I do wonder if over-bruxing is a possible cause; I've seen excessively short incisors once, never found out the reason, but it was in a very old and increasingly ill rat, and I wonder if she was bruxing to self-soothe and just kept going. The others picking on her I would imagine is either because they can tell something's wrong, or because they know she's an easy target to take out any frustrations they may have.

How is she in herself? A vet may be able to sort out her teeth, but that might involve anaesthetic, and at her age might not be worthwhile. If she's struggling, to be honest it might be time. :(
Poo-shoveller to: Lia and Lita.
Fondly remembering: Zephyr Delanynder the big floofy eejit (NLA28), Falere the contrary (NLA36), Mirala the best and finest (NLA36), Zephyr Opold the serene, and Rila the rodentist.
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hjanders
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Re: Non specific symptoms in 18 month old rat

Post by hjanders » Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:36 pm

Thanks for the quick reply Cub.

In herself, Paws is actually a little brighter. She's more active around the cage and at play time than she was a week ago. She is back to scoffing her food which she is definitely enjoying.

I haven't heard her bruxing other than occasionally when she is with my daughter. Never heard her do it in the cage in a self soothing manner.

I need to work on increasing the calories in the volume she is taking to help her weight. But I can't stop her smelling delicious!

Would it make any sense to split all the girls into 2 cages - the older 2 and the younger sisters? We have a Freddy (?) that we had before the SRS we currently use. The other older girl, Trixie, is being less aggressive with Paws.
Popcorn, Me-Me, Nelle, Luna, Maggie and Tutsie
Never to be forgotten: Trixie, Paws, Tica, Doris and Bella ❤️

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