PT support

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Wilcox_87
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PT support

Post by Wilcox_87 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:06 am

So it seems like the inevitable has happened, after 6 years of rat owning I have most likely come across my first PT :cry:

My boy Klaus is approx 21 months old and is showing a lot of signs of a PT. He is weak on all legs, off balance, struggling to climb, struggling to hold food, keeps stiffening his front legs, is bruxing more than usual, has puffy eyes and “unkept” appearance and has lost 100g over Christmas :cry:

He is going into the vets tomorrow for x-rays, I know a PT will not show up on an x-ray but we want to check for other lumps or other types of brain tumours. I know his prognosis is not good but if he can get a quality of life back for even a couple more months then I would like to fight for him.

If the vet agrees with a PT (I took him in this afternoon but she did not want to start treatment until she saw full body x-rays) then should I be asking for a dexamethasone injection and a prescription for prednisone? Should he be having ABs along with them to help any potential infection that could be causing his symptoms? I have read contradicting reports on steroid use and diabetes in rats and how long rats should be exposed to steroids for before needing a break, does anyone have any advice on this?

Thanks in advance xx
Rose with Klaus and Damon

Sleep well beautiful girls Pip and Loki, my gorgeous boys Moley Frank Sammy and Dean :rattyrainbow:
Run free my beautiful boy Beans. You were the best cat in the World and were ripped away from us far too soon. If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever :hearts:

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[cub]
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Re: PT support

Post by [cub] » Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:17 am

If you suspect PT then honestly all treatment is going to be palliative anyway, so I wouldn't worry about long-term steroid use. Giving ABs alongside may not be a bad idea as steroids are immunosuppressant, but I'd talk to your vet about that. I'd also look at trying a dopamine agonist in case it's a prolactin-sensitive PT; cabergoline is the usual choice (and the only one with a dosage in the formulary) although people reportedly also use bromocriptine. Note that the cabergoline dosage for PTs is very high so you'll want the tablets aimed at humans; if you try and get a PT dosage using Galastop it works out as a very large volume of liquid.

I hope you get what you need for your boy.
Poo-shoveller to: Lita, Xeltan, Calyn, and Din.
Fondly remembering: Lia the scruffbag, Zephyr Delanynder the big floofy eejit, Falere the contrary, Mirala the best and finest, Zephyr Opold the serene, and Rila the rodentist.

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cyber ratty
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Re: PT support

Post by cyber ratty » Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:23 am

Yes, I would get him on steroids asap, and I'm afraid that although they should help for a while (maybe a month?), it's not going to be long enough to worry about long term side effects.

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Wilcox_87
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Re: PT support

Post by Wilcox_87 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:50 am

Thank you both!

I have read on a couple of the European forums that Bromocriptine can be a wonder drug, if it is a prolactin sensitive PT, however it looks like it can be difficult to get hold of here, I will see what the vet says. Will the vet be able to get hold of human Cabergoline tablets?

That is kind of what I was thinking with regard to the steroid side effects. Fingers crossed the steroids reduce his symptoms for as long as possible. It makes it harder that this is going to be my last pair for a while as I have made the decision to take a break from rat owning and Klaus’ cage mate is a dominant rat who does not play well with others. If I lose Klaus I may have to look at getting Damon neutered and see if anyone is willing to attempt to intro him into their group. Or alternatively, find a similar aged doe or buck for him.

I only got these two in July and they were both unsolicialised biters, they have come so far with lots of work and are now both people loving cuddle bums (although Damon still gives the occasional hard bite when the mood takes him). Breaks my heart that this is now happening to Klaus so soon after he has learnt to trust people :cry:

He is in the vets now, I will update when I pick him up after work x
Rose with Klaus and Damon

Sleep well beautiful girls Pip and Loki, my gorgeous boys Moley Frank Sammy and Dean :rattyrainbow:
Run free my beautiful boy Beans. You were the best cat in the World and were ripped away from us far too soon. If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever :hearts:

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[cub]
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Re: PT support

Post by [cub] » Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:28 pm

Wilcox_87 wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:50 am
I have read on a couple of the European forums that Bromocriptine can be a wonder drug, if it is a prolactin sensitive PT, however it looks like it can be difficult to get hold of here, I will see what the vet says. Will the vet be able to get hold of human Cabergoline tablets?
They might be able to, or they can write you a prescription which you can get filled at your local human pharmacy. You'll have to pay for it and it isn't cheap; about £30 a bottle. Hopefully the vets will come up with something useful.
Poo-shoveller to: Lita, Xeltan, Calyn, and Din.
Fondly remembering: Lia the scruffbag, Zephyr Delanynder the big floofy eejit, Falere the contrary, Mirala the best and finest, Zephyr Opold the serene, and Rila the rodentist.

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Wilcox_87
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Re: PT support

Post by Wilcox_87 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:23 pm

My poorly baby is home from the vets. As I suspected, his x-rays didn’t really show much but at least we know he doesn’t have any large internal tumours hiding away. The vet agreed with me that it is most like a pituitary tumour :cry: On the x-ray his tummy looked like it had more gas in it than food, so I am going to start feeding him separately to his brother so I can monitor how much he is actually eating, it is difficult to tell when he is sat on a bed of finacard, shredding his food :roll:

He has had a shot of dexamethasone and we have been given 20 days of Prednisone and Baytril. He ate a good portion of baby food when we got home and has taken himself into one of the low hammocks for a snooze. I am so upset that he has to go through this, he is such a sweet boy! Fingers crossed the steroids relieve his symptoms for a little bit and give him a few extra weeks.

Does anyone know how long they usually take to kick in and when I should be starting to see an improvement if there is going to be one?
Rose with Klaus and Damon

Sleep well beautiful girls Pip and Loki, my gorgeous boys Moley Frank Sammy and Dean :rattyrainbow:
Run free my beautiful boy Beans. You were the best cat in the World and were ripped away from us far too soon. If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever :hearts:

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[cub]
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Re: PT support

Post by [cub] » Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:11 am

Poor lad. I'm not super-familiar with steroids but I would have thought you should see improvement within a few days if it's going to help. Steroids usually increase appetite as well so hopefully that will encourage him to eat more. He may be having trouble with solid food so he may need a soft mash; Rat Rations' soft food mixes are a good pre-made option. Baby food isn't very calorie-dense so isn't a great long-term solution. You can mix it with something carbier though like cooked rice or pasta and a little drizzle of oil.

I'd be sorely tempted to add cabergoline after a few days regardless of his response to steroids to see if it helps as well. I've been looking at some papers and it looks like cabergoline may work better than bromocriptine (usual caveats apply re: drawing conclusions from only a small number of studies), assuming it's a prolactin-driven tumour of course.
Poo-shoveller to: Lita, Xeltan, Calyn, and Din.
Fondly remembering: Lia the scruffbag, Zephyr Delanynder the big floofy eejit, Falere the contrary, Mirala the best and finest, Zephyr Opold the serene, and Rila the rodentist.

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Wilcox_87
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Re: PT support

Post by Wilcox_87 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:10 am

I tried him with the RR elderly/sick soft food last night and he wouldn’t touch it unfortunately, that is why I tried with the baby food and he ate that okay. He hasn’t been able to eat dried food since Thursday night. He just couldn’t hold it and was shredding it and not eating it.

He looked a lot better last night and this morning, he was more alert, the puffiness in his eyes had gone and he was back to tolerating his brother climbing all over him. He took his medicines really well too.

Tonight however, he has taken a major turn for the worse. When I first got him out to free range this evening he had a head tilt and could only walk in circles to the right. When he stops walking he is losing balance and lying down. He is barely eating a thing. He keeps lunging towards the good like he is starving, taking a couple of licks and the resting his mouth and nose on the spoon and closing his eyes. He managed to lick most of his medicine off of my finger with some yogurt but in total he has probably only had 3-4g of food tonight and now won’t even look at anymore. He doesn’t even want cuddles from me which is very unusual for him. A couple of hours ago he did start walking in straight lines again but he is knuckling over on his front feet and I keep hearing his teeth hit the laminate floor as he walks. He has fallen asleep in a bonding pouch at the minute. I am going to keep checking on him through the night and first thing in the morning but I doubt an emergency vet will prescribe Cabergoline on a Sunday (my normal vet did not want to give it out without blood tests :roll:), and if he does I am not sure that Klaus has enough fight in him to wait for it to work. If he is still like this in the morning I will make an appointment with the EV and we will go from there, but I don’t think that it will be a very happy visit :cry: It is heartbreaking to watch him like this.

Again, thank you for your advice and help, it is really appreciated xx
Rose with Klaus and Damon

Sleep well beautiful girls Pip and Loki, my gorgeous boys Moley Frank Sammy and Dean :rattyrainbow:
Run free my beautiful boy Beans. You were the best cat in the World and were ripped away from us far too soon. If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever :hearts:

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[cub]
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Re: PT support

Post by [cub] » Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:12 am

Poor lad. :( If it helps you any, PT rats often take drastic turns for the worse like this regardless of treatment. It's an awful thing for everyone. :hearts:
Poo-shoveller to: Lita, Xeltan, Calyn, and Din.
Fondly remembering: Lia the scruffbag, Zephyr Delanynder the big floofy eejit, Falere the contrary, Mirala the best and finest, Zephyr Opold the serene, and Rila the rodentist.

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Wilcox_87
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Re: PT support

Post by Wilcox_87 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:35 pm

We had to say goodbye to our sweet little boy this morning. I couldn’t convince him to stay in any of his beds last night. He spent the whole night on the floor of the cage in the open. When I picked him up this morning he was wet with pee. I put him on the floor and he just kept rolling on his side and trying to walk in circles but falling over. I gave him a kiss on the head and he squeaked at me :cry: This was the first PT that I have had to deal with but I had no idea that they went downhill so quickly! I really thought we were going to have another couple of weeks with him, especially when he seemed to respond so well to the dexamethasone. I couldn’t watch him get any worse, it just wasn’t fair on him.

Now I have to figure out what to do with Damon. I said I was going to take a break and not get anymore for a while, but I was expecting the remaining rat to be quite old when we lost one of them, not 21 months. I will keep an eye out for older rescues over the next week or so, otherwise I will have to look at rehoming him to someone with a suitable group :cry:

Goodnight Klaus Mouse, you will always be in my heart. I am so glad that you got to experience love and trust, I just wish we had longer than 6 months with you. R.I.P. sweet one, you will be missed :rattyrainbow: :hearts:
Rose with Klaus and Damon

Sleep well beautiful girls Pip and Loki, my gorgeous boys Moley Frank Sammy and Dean :rattyrainbow:
Run free my beautiful boy Beans. You were the best cat in the World and were ripped away from us far too soon. If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever :hearts:

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[cub]
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Re: PT support

Post by [cub] » Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:52 pm

I'm so sorry. :(

They really can take drastic turns for the worse, sadly; my PT girl had 2 weeks on prednisolone and cabergoline and made a near-miraculous recovery, only to collapse overnight.

You might be able to borrow some retired bucks from a breeder, if you can't bear to part with Damon; I'm sure I've heard of people doing that instead of the other way around.
Poo-shoveller to: Lita, Xeltan, Calyn, and Din.
Fondly remembering: Lia the scruffbag, Zephyr Delanynder the big floofy eejit, Falere the contrary, Mirala the best and finest, Zephyr Opold the serene, and Rila the rodentist.

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Wilcox_87
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Re: PT support

Post by Wilcox_87 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:59 am

Thank you :)

What a shock it must have been with your girl :( Sorry for your loss. It is awful to just watch them deteriorate, knowing that there is nothing that you can do to help.

I have a couple of 17 month old bucks lined up for Damon that I am picking up weekend after next. I can’t bring myself to rehome him :hearts:
Rose with Klaus and Damon

Sleep well beautiful girls Pip and Loki, my gorgeous boys Moley Frank Sammy and Dean :rattyrainbow:
Run free my beautiful boy Beans. You were the best cat in the World and were ripped away from us far too soon. If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever :hearts:

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