Little Girl Stroke or PT or Heart?

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Little Girl Stroke or PT or Heart?

Post by BlinkenNod » Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:02 pm

Hello everyone.

I'm having a bit of an issue with one of my little girls. All my previous rats ended up with PT's due to a stroke of terrible luck. Now I'm seeing similar symptoms in one of my girls and I'm a bit concerned but would like a second opinion.

Background information of the little one is as such:

Age: Supposedly 14 months if the original estimate of 7 months was accurate when adopted.
Spayed at 7 / 8 months
Red-eyed with slightly darker patches across back and saddle but not hooded.

Symptoms: Usually out going and sure of self, now reclusive, fragile and easily exhausted. Has rapid onset of weakness on the left hand side of the body that started about two weeks ago on the 17th February, she also displayed balance issues when grooming her left side, she'd fall over and then become a bit fragile as though she'd lost her bearings. I have seen evidence of her eating non-food stuffs like litter and the eco-bale I bed them on which suggested nausea. I checked her ears but saw no discharge or bad smells though she did have porph around her right eye, checked for head bumping when pressed upon - she was doing it, but she doesn't do it all the time. I know head bumping is a sign of PT's so I'm obviously a bit worried. She sometimes clenches her left front fist, again a sign of PT but again its not persistent, she leans a little further forward to balance whilst eating.

Now then: last week on the Tuesday the 18th February the vet treated her with injected steroids and Baytril. She returned more to herself under steroids and gained a little strength back to her left side as well as balance. Last thursday (20th) she received a follow up shot and additional Baytril. I was told to monitor over the weekend. She returned more to herself (still evidence of weakness on the left side) and the porph from the right eye is now gone. However symptoms have now begun to return starting on Wednesday evening. Now thursday she was okay at her follow up appointment. Now however she's starting to display symptoms like she did last week.

At the moment she's somewhat "off" again and seems fragile, she's also having the same balance issues, weakness of the left side and difficulty climbing. She's not sure footed either and sort of slides on her left side, turning left also disorientates her as does grooming when she turns her head - she just falls over. Her left fist is clenched intermittently and raised up sometimes she "crosses" her paws but otherwise she retains a normal posture. She can hold food with bow hands however she leans on the food bowl to maintain balance and I'm also getting the intermittent headbucking once again when I press down upon her head along with protest squeaks - it's hard to distinguish if this is just her telling me to stop doing it or it's PT Pressure. The head bucking is not constant even in cases when I apply quite a bit of pressure onto her head. Othertimes I just need to cover her head and she bucks upward.

Now then I discussed with my vet that I'd monitor behaviour and I feel that I want to treat this as a PT - starting Pred and Galastop from tomorrow, but would like to get some opinions on the matter. Especially regarding to start using galastop as I'm worried what the effects may be if it's not actually a tumour and possible a stroke/heart issue or even an ear infection.

Thoughts and opinions? At the very least I thought starting steroids again would be a sensible idea as that is the catch-all treatment for Heart/PT/Ear infection anyway.

Many thanks in advance.

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Re: Little Girl Stroke or PT or Heart?

Post by neotoma » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:37 am

It sounds like a brain tumour of some kind - the relapsing at the end of steroid courses suggests tumour causing inflammation and pressure on the brain more than stroke damage, although a series of strokes is possible. It doesn't sound typical for heart.

To be blunt, all you can do now is promote her quality of life, and intervene if that gets too low or if she is suffering. So I would get her on pred (it will help with any inflammation, and it is also a very good palliative care drug), and try galastop as there isn't much to lose - if it is a PT it might help (dependent on the type of tumour), and if it isn't a PT it won't help, but to be honest, I don't think side-effects are going to be a major concern here.

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Re: Little Girl Stroke or PT or Heart?

Post by RedFraggle » Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:22 am

I too would go with pred and galastop. If it's a stroke pred would be used anyway and galastop wouldn't be detrimental.
Good luck.
Slave to: Rescue boys Howard, Archie Broadstripe, Ray Shortstripe, Norman Wonkystripe, Albert, Bisley and Walter
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