Ear Infection or Pituitary Tumour?!

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sneezy-rat
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Ear Infection or Pituitary Tumour?!

Post by sneezy-rat » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:47 pm

Hi, looking for a bit of advice as a bit lost with my 21month old boy Ziggy! Thanks in advance!

I had 3 brothers up until last week when I lost Ziggy's brother on Thursday, he'd been diagnosed with a bone tumour 5 weeks previously and had been doing really well on metacam and a lower level cage where he didn't have to do too much climbing etc

So just my two gorgeous boys now and worried Zig may not be far behind :(

Saturday 3rd march evening I went to get the boys out for a cuddle and Ziggy was all over the place, rolling around very uncoordinated, circling and 'out of it', couldn't use his hands and not Zig. thought he'd possibly had a stroke or something nasty. I gave him some metacam, put him back in bed but thought he was going to die.
The next morning had improved which was a shock! We went to vets, I asked for an injection of steroids and he was given tabs to bring home.

By the evening he'd improved and had done all of last week.
Smelt infection in his left ear on weds evening so I got him into vets next morning (not my usual as on holiday all week!) but she wouldn't give me antibiotics as couldn't see anything (grr!)
Still acting really well though, climbing and eating etc.

Monday evening was a little off but still active. Yesterday evening he couldn't use his hands, tail tucked under himself and stopped answering to his name again. His left ear down a little and circling to the left.
So vets this morning (a different one!).

He's now got baytril and steroids in a liquid solution. I've been giving him special food as obv can't hold very well to eat.

I've never really dealt with this before with ratties and just hoping people with more experience may be able to help? The fact he improved incredibly with just an injection of steroids and then top up with tabs but then has gone downhill again a week later.

He actually walked straight off the end of the vet table earlier and thankfully I caught him, doesn't seem to know what's going on which is what he was like last week but a different rat in between!! Upsetting to watch :( (also a bit of slightly runny poo down my coat sleeve but has been having lots of cooked/watery foods so to be expected to tell me off for 3 vet trips in 10days!)

Just want to make sure I'm doing the best for him and he's happy.
Thanks again

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[cub]
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Re: Ear Infection or Pituitary Tumour?!

Post by [cub] » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:21 pm

I don't have a whole lot of experience but if it is an ear infection, then improvement after Metacam/steroids followed by going downhill again doesn't surprise me, since neither will do anything about root cause of the infection, just the symptoms. (Also just a note that you're really not suppose to use Metacam or any other NSAID within 24h of steroids and vice versa.

If you can smell an infection then I'd guess it's that? PTs don't smell – ZGTs do though. Not being able to hold his food is a bit concerning though... See how he goes on the Baytril, but if he gets worse then he probably needs another antibiotic alongside or to switch entirely. IIRC co-amox is a common one to use for ear infections, and you can use it along with Baytril.
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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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Re: Ear Infection or Pituitary Tumour?!

Post by cyber ratty » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:18 am

I'd say it sounds like an ear infection.

With a PT, they tend to slow down and look doddery, rather than moving around a lot but failing to stay straight.

sneezy-rat
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Re: Ear Infection or Pituitary Tumour?!

Post by sneezy-rat » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:22 am

Thanks for the replies.
Yes I'm thinking ear infection but the hands had confused me! I could only smell the whiff of infection on weds, haven't smelt anything since and no discharge etc. Will just hope the baytril does something and get him in to the vet I usually see if I'm still worried. She tends to prescribe Clavubactin over Baytril.

I annoying have epilepsy which is why I hadn't seen him Saturday daytime much as had a seizure, gave him the metacam pm, followed by another seizure in the night/morning Sunday and slept for hours (always happens at the worst times!) So he wasn't seen by a vet until Monday morning when I could sort of safely leave the house, don't really have anyone to help me out.
Sun evening I read as much as I could on the forum and saw not safe to give steroids and metacam within 24hrs of each other so I didn't give it Sunday as I was going to ask for steroids.
He's getting lots of soaked food (rat rations) and I've been cooking him nice stuff so hasn't had to use his hands to grasp anything. Still has an appetite thankfully.

Hopefully he'll get back to his usual self v soon.

Thanks again.

sneezy-rat
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Re: Ear Infection or Pituitary Tumour?!

Post by sneezy-rat » Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:08 pm

Hi again.

Unfortunately Ziggy had to go to the vet again on Thursday as I was worried about his weight loss, he'd gone from 550g to 470g since our last trip despite my efforts with lots of tasty stuff.
The Baytril/dexadresson combo has helped behaviour-wise and he's been pinging around like his usual mad self but the weight's just dropped off him. He's usually a very muscular chap as doesn't sit still much but feels very bony now :(

We saw my 'usual' vet, she's normally pretty good but that visit has changed my mind a bit! He was given a Convenia injection and I was told to bring him back in a week. After all the reading I've done on the forum I know that it doesn't help for a week with rats like it does cats and dogs. She told me to carry on with the other meds which I've done.

He's weighing 460g this morning so I know it still hasn't helped and not fully fighting whatever's going on.
Don't know what to do, he's seen three vets now since the 5th, four vet trips. I'm giving up with them as no one seems to have a clue. It's so frustrating!

I have some septrin here and I'm wondering if it would be a good idea to try with that? And if it could be effective with ear infections? To have alongside the Baytril etc or by itself?

He's only 21 months and has never had any problems until now, he's very chirpy and I'm not ready to give up trying to help him just because the vets are useless!!

Thanks for any info or help :)

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Re: Ear Infection or Pituitary Tumour?!

Post by sneezy-rat » Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:30 pm

I've noticed he's been drinking more, so obv peeing more, the last couple of days. Cleaned the litter tray last night and pretty soaked through tonight.

I'm hoping could be the steroids as he's been on them for a while now?!
Will get a pee sample to vets when reopen after wknd to check though.

My poor boy, hope not something else he's got to deal with as he's had a rubbish few weeks :( Lost his brother/best mate on the 8th so think he's missing the double trouble chaos they liked to cause in my living room! His remaining brother lives life at a slower pace (but is good for smooshy cuddles now he's a bit on the skinny side!)

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Re: Ear Infection or Pituitary Tumour?!

Post by sneezy-rat » Sun Mar 25, 2018 3:06 pm

Any recommendations that could help him today? He's not had the Baytril/dexadresson this morning, rang emergency vet but all she seemed to say was 'It doesn't sound good' and told me to stop with meds. (Was First vet I saw that wouldn't prescribe antibiotics)
Will be giving him metacam tonight at 8ish as 24hrs since last steroid dose. I'm worrying he's suffering with bladder now or diabetes brought on by steroids for 3 weeks. Only become obvious 36/40hrs ago. He's not wanted to eat much since yest. Am going to try and get wee into vets first thing but got a mad day ahead so worried may not happen when I want it!

I have septrin and metacam here. Lots of nice food he's turning down. He's tiny now and I'm worried he's going to go downhill v quickly although acting ok, just based on the past few weeks of problems.

Don't really want to give him meds without vet approval but they're being rubbish at moment and my boy is taking the brunt of their lack of knowledge. I know septrin could help if bladder issues. Help!! Feeling incredibly useless at moment!!
Thanks

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Re: Ear Infection or Pituitary Tumour?!

Post by [cub] » Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:49 pm

I am obviously not a vet but I don't think it would hurt to try to get some Septrin into him at this point. The BSAVA dosage is 50-100mg/kg once daily; I'd be aiming for top dose.

I'm not sure this is necessarily being brought on by the steroids; I'm sure people have rats on steroids for this sort of length of time without any major issues.

You could try getting something like this in to help with his weight loss: https://www.vetark.co.uk/Shop/Rabbits-- ... CCF_2.aspx
I've got a tub in the cupboard though I've not had to use it yet. It's a powder you mix with water and I think you're meant to be able to syringe feed it if necessary. It's basically just pure concentrated nutrition. Or something like Complan might be good as it's more flavourful.
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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sneezy-rat
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Re: Ear Infection or Pituitary Tumour?!

Post by sneezy-rat » Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:06 am

Thank you so much for your reply and help :) sorry I prob look rather bonkers with all my posts but just so worried about him and vets haven't been very helpful!

Will be giving him septrin later when I'm home, really think it's worth a try with all the weight loss and he's drinking and peeing so much compared to normal. Just seemed to coincide with all the steroids but could be completely unrelated.
Thankfully he did a huge wee earlier so am waiting for a call from vets to see if they've seen anything.

Will grab some Complan as well and try to get him to scoff as much as possible, thankfully he's still quite bright and alert this morning so hopefully will stay that way.

Thanks again!

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Re: Ear Infection or Pituitary Tumour?!

Post by sneezy-rat » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:03 am

The vet called last night about the urine sample.

She couldn't find any blood in it etc but did find high levels of glucose :(
I've got to take another sample in tomorrow. She said she'll do some research about diabetic rats as never personally treated them.

I mentioned the septrin and she was happy for me to try it in case something else still going on.

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Re: Ear Infection or Pituitary Tumour?!

Post by [cub] » Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:05 pm

There's an article about diabetic rats here: http://www.fancyratsforum.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=48

I was wrong about the steroids; apparently they can cause diabetes in some cases, although often the symptoms reverse themselves once the patient stops taking steroids: https://www.diabetes.co.uk/steroid-indu ... betes.html

But it's also possible that the symptoms you noticed were due to diabetes; it can cause stroke-like symptoms, apparently.

Hopefully he'll feel better once he's on a diet/medication that helps. :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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Re: Ear Infection or Pituitary Tumour?!

Post by sneezy-rat » Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:46 pm

Thanks a lot for the links :)
Due for a ratrations order soon so I'll get studying!!

They've always had a mixture of no7 and 11a or b with a few bits thrown in, the last 6ish months I've mixed in Banana Brunch for a bit of variety and the vitamins etc, although I do take out 90% of the banana!

Am really hoping it's the steroids, I can imagine trying to inject him will be a nightmare as he's part rat/part monkey and can't keep still! Can see me getting the insulin instead of him! Won't be rushing into insulin and would rather have a few more pee tests and trying my best with his diet and other things mentioned in the article.

He's only been out of bed a couple of times for water today, compared to Sunday where it was once an hour and drinking for ages. Trying to stay hopeful!!

Thanks so much for all your help.

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Re: Ear Infection or Pituitary Tumour?!

Post by sneezy-rat » Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:16 pm

A quick update on Zig!

Really struggled to get a urine sample as he was drinking so much less last week (in carrier for three hours weds, thurs and fri but nothing!). Thankfully managed today and vet called a little while ago to say no glucose!! I've got to get another sample in a couple of weeks just to make sure all still ok.

He's put on 70g since last week, scoffing loads, drinking normally and back to his incredibly bonkers self!
So I think steroids and him don't mix!!

Thanks (cub) for all your brilliant advice and help :) x

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Re: Ear Infection or Pituitary Tumour?!

Post by [cub] » Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:01 am

Wow, that's an amazing change (and probably a huge relief!). Now I guess I know why so many vets are so reluctant to prescribe steroids. :lol: :oops: (To be fair they mostly cause no issues in short-term use, and are often indicated especially for things like ear infections, but evidently with some possible side effects to keep a sharp eye out for.)

How is his ear doing; is he still tilty or has that largely resolved itself now? (Though I'd suggest doing a 7-10 day course of the Septrin even if he is all better, just to try and prevent antibiotic resistance developing.)
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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sneezy-rat
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Re: Ear Infection or Pituitary Tumour?!

Post by sneezy-rat » Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:17 pm

I know, amazing really considering what a state he was in, I'm chuffed! He's definitely Zig again, seemed to have a sudden change last weds and started doing all of the things he normally does! Yup, causing trouble :)

Seemed to be ok with the Prednisolone for the first week, only lost 10g despite not being able to really use his hands.
The Baytril/dexadresson really helped his ear infection but that was when the 'diabetic' symptoms and huge weight loss started. So think that's just not a good combo, well for him anyway. He's had the septrin for 9 days but think I'm just going to finish off the bottle as not much left (think half's ended up on me as he despises the stuff surprisingly!).

No symptoms of the ear problem (circling etc) really since 16th march, just seemed to be the weight loss, not wanting to munch much and the drinking/peeing bless him.

So am just about to get his ratty cage sorted as daring to put him back in! Lots of big hammocks just in case!! Been in my 4foot guinea pig cage since found out his bro had the bone tumour in his leg and then obv with him being so wobbly I didn't want to risk it! Lots of floor space but him and his other bro in need of a good climb!!

He's 22months next week so hoping he'll be causing mischief for a good while yet :) he's definitely a little fighter :)

Thanks again xx

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