Pituitary tumor?

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Miss Aislin
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Pituitary tumor?

Post by Miss Aislin » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:35 pm

Hi, I am in absolute floods of tears because I am convinced Lucy has a PT.

Backstory first: Lucy is 18 (nearly 19) months old. In mid January I found a lump on her, took her to the vets for biopsies and tests and stuff, a mammary tumor so we had it removed - I wanted to have her spayed at the same time to prevent a reoccurence but the vet advised against it (tests had come back inconclusive and even though they were fairly certain it was benign they wanted to run another test to check for cancer. I don't know, I just agreed to it even though I think whether it was cancerous or benign a spay would have been the best option) so a few weeks after the lump was removed (and it was found to be benign) I had her spayed as well. Then she got an abscess on her lumpectomy wound so bad she got an infection, stopped eating, stopped playing and seemed VERY ill. She was on a lot of drugs and got better (despite getting another abscess on her spay wound which was not as severe and dealt with at home)

Since her spay a few weeks ago she has lost a fair bit of weight which at first I put down to the hormone change (she was obese before the spay, I assumed it was a hormonal issue that was fixed when she was spayed). I am kicking myself because I honestly thought this was a positive change and now I am thinking it was the start of something a lot more sinister.

About a week ago I took everyone out for free range and dicovered Lucy COVERED in porph, at first I thought she'd been in a fight or something, I cleaned her up and it didn't reoccur. Since then she's just seemed... off. Like nothing actually wrong, nothing that I could place or anything she just didn't seem herself, she was eating and 'playing' fine (I say playing, she's never really played, she comes out for free range and cuddles up on my shoulder or lap) the only thing she wasn't really doing properly was cleaning herself. The back of her neck is quite porphy and her fingernails are truly filthy, there is also porph along her inner wrists (I have been hesitant to bath her given the abscesses, they are pretty much healed now but I didn't want to irritate the healing wounds).

I posted to facebook about it and the very lovely Kate suggested a PT. To be totally honest I'd never really heard of it so I googled it and at first I was like 'no, she's not clumsy she's not struggling to hold things or climb, her head isn't tilty and her back legs are working fine...' then I thought about it a bit more and realised she has seemed a little slow but I'd put that down to her still recovering from the spay, and the past week or so she has been favouring the bottom half of the cage. So I've been upstairs for the past hour or so, I took her out on her own and decided to have a proper look. I gave her a treat which she took and I watched her eat it with a heavy heart because she sort of leaned forward, curled one paw underneath her, balanced the treat on top of that paw and ate with the other. I did the 'wheelbarrow test' as a website had recommended and absolutely no joy, she struggled and could not balance properly at all. Giving her scritches she headbutted me a little bit which is a typical symptom. She also (when left to her own devices which I rarely do, I normally encourage her just cuddling on my lap or shoulder, she doesn't normally run about on her own but I stood up and stepped back to monitor her) did several circles.

So... I'm pretty convinced it is in fact a PT and I feel horrid that I didn't notice the symptoms (or the ones I did notice, I put down to other factors) I know there's nothing I could have done different, but I am truly kicking myself that I've had her out every night and just didn't see. I feel like I've put her through all the pain of the operations and the medications and the recovery and that I'm going to lose her anyway :'(. I'm going to take her to the vets on Friday (I have a stupid council audit thing tomorrow and class on Thursday, I could skip class but as long as she's not suffering (she's still eating and drinking fine and doesn't appear to be in any pain) I think it's okay to wait until Friday) for a second opinion but I sort of know that they're going to confirm it.

This is the part I'm hesitant to discuss, I know they can't do anything to cure a PT, they can give drugs to try shrink it and give them a bit more time but it will inevitably kill her. I really don't want to put her to sleep if she's still got time and Quality of Life but honestly, I feel I might be asking too much of her to fend it off when she's been through so much these past couple of months. Post op she was sort of alright taking her meds in yoghurt, but when she was very ill she hated taking the meds and every dosage was a struggle (having to forcefeed her). Am I awful for considering a PTS so soon (if they agree that it is a PT)? I just feel like she's done all the fighting she can do, and if it's only going to give her a few more weeks, with the possibility of a stroke, that it might be kinder to just let her go. I don't want people to think I'm eager to have her PTS, I am not a monster, she is my baby and I love her so much, I just really don't want to prolong her suffering.

I don't want her to go. It's not fair. :'(
Mummy to: Red Light Indicates Doors Are Secured, Sugar Coated Accident, Violet Hill and Paracetamoxyfrusebendroneomycin.
RIP to the many at the bridge xx

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Helzie
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Re: Pituitary tumor?

Post by Helzie » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:42 pm

I'm really sorry, PTs are horrid. Don't feel bad for not spotting it, I didn't either when one of my lads had the same thing- I didn't know what I was looking for, nev seen one before, and it was such a small, incremental change that sometimes it's hard to put your finger on.

You know your girl best, and when she's had enough.
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Miss Aislin
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Re: Pituitary tumor?

Post by Miss Aislin » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:51 pm

Helzie wrote:You know your girl best, and when she's had enough.
^ This. Exactly this.

I honestly think a PT may have been what killed my first rat (back when I was young and stupid and didn't know anything about rat keeping. I attributed the clumsiness and lack of cleanliness to old age, we didn't realize there was anything 'wrong' until she had a stroke, and she died a few hours after that, in my arms) and with Meggy I would definitely have given her the meds, kept her going and PTS when she started to suffer, but with Lucy I truly feel like she's had enough, that if she's losing her co-ordination then she's already struggling, that putting her through this after everything else feels cruel and wrong. So maybe it really comes down to the rat...
Mummy to: Red Light Indicates Doors Are Secured, Sugar Coated Accident, Violet Hill and Paracetamoxyfrusebendroneomycin.
RIP to the many at the bridge xx

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KateR
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Re: Pituitary tumor?

Post by KateR » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:19 pm

You'll know what's best for her. Discuss it with the vet and see what they say. And don't beat yourself up for not noticing - the ones we've had have all started really subtly and with just vague 'not right' symptoms. If we'd not had a few before I'd not have thought of it for Lucy.
Mummy to the Rattray Stud rats.
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http://www.rattraystud.co.uk
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NellyNoodle
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Re: Pituitary tumor?

Post by NellyNoodle » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:42 pm

I'm so sorry Aislin.

I didn't know what it was with Titch, and even when my suspicions were aroused my vet wouldn't give me any treatment, so I kept her going a long time with it and really wish I'd let her go sooner - you will know when the time is right and you will be doing what is best for her, so please don't beat yourself up about it.

I too think it's how I lost a couple of my rats early on before I knew how to spot them, it is such a cruel, creeping illness.

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Miss Aislin
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Re: Pituitary tumor?

Post by Miss Aislin » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:30 am

My mum says she personally would keep her going the few extra weeks/months the medication will give her, but I've just had to hand feed her some chicken she was having difficulty managing on her own and I swear my heart broke in two. I can't believe I didn't notice she wasn't using her hands properly, but then I've not been giving her as many treats (was trying to shift that excess weight!) and she is a lot better in the cage when she can eat food off the floor (though, on closer inspection she is sort of leaning forward to eat off the floor rather than picking it up and bringing it to her mouth).

I'm going to take her to the vets on Friday, tell them I suspect it's a PT, but ask if they'll treat it as an ear infection just in case (I mean there is a small chance that it's just an ear infection... I kind of know in my heart that it's not, but it's stupid not to try). I'll monitor over the next week while she's on the antibiotics I'm not honestly expecting to see any improvement but it will give me a good idea of how quickly the tumor is progressing and then I honestly think I have to make the call :/ I feel if I keep her here I'm doing it for my own good, for me and not for her and I don't think that's fair. She's not suffering, but she's starting to struggle and I think she's struggled enough (I honestly thought the infection in her lumpectomy wound was going to finish her off, she's got no more fight left in her, I can't ask it of her for my sake)
Mummy to: Red Light Indicates Doors Are Secured, Sugar Coated Accident, Violet Hill and Paracetamoxyfrusebendroneomycin.
RIP to the many at the bridge xx

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NellyNoodle
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Re: Pituitary tumor?

Post by NellyNoodle » Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:42 am

I'd try treating it as a PT alongside an ear infection, so give steroids and galastop alongside whatever ABs the vets prescribe. It's worth a try. x x x

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KateR
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Re: Pituitary tumor?

Post by KateR » Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:52 am

Definitely. The sooner PT meds are started the better as they have more of an effect.
Mummy to the Rattray Stud rats.
Waiting at Rainbow Bridge - 164 ratty angels.
http://www.rattraystud.co.uk
http://www.yorkshireratclub.org.uk/

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