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Pet Rats/Please help, I think my rat has a pituitary tumor.

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Hi, hope you are well. I have a rat dilemma. I think my rat has a pituitary tumor but I'm hoping it's an infection! He has been on baytril for sometime for suspected myco but as I have been on a placement for Uni in another city for 4 months my dad has been looking after my rats for me. Unfortunately my dad has not been doing his job properly and my rats have been a bit neglected and I'm not sure they had baytril regularly! I was very angry when I've been to see them. But anyway, my hairless rat had a sebaceous cyst on his shoulder which grew to almost 1cm wide even though I took him to a vet. So I came home on Friday, haven't been able to see my rats for 3 weeks and two of them are fine.. But fat.. But my poor little Ripper the hairless one was sitting in his house looking skinny, dirty, had the big cyst and was covered in scratches all over his back where the other rats have beaten him up! I separated him from the other two as he looked scared of them, split the cage into two so he can still smell them. I saw he was looking very ill and was dragging his front feet a bit on his knuckles, and he is walking a bit funny as if he's gone a bit blind and limp and so I thought it may be an infection from the cyst. So I squeezed it. This all was fine and seemed not to be infected. Didnt smell. But now he doesn't seem any better. I took him to the vet, the vet had no clue what was wrong and ended up cutting my rat accidentally! Long story! so I asked for some metacam to reduce swelling if his brain is swelling and pain and got more baytril. Rat is on 0.20ml baytril twice a day. Weighs 460 g. And I gave him one tiny drop of metacam for the last two days. Should i stop metacam after 3 days as i read?I heard pituitary tumors shrink with prednolyzone?steroid but I am reluctant to give this as I had a rat a few years ago who had a massive seizure after taking this (at correct dose) and died. Oh and if anyone reads this beware as the vet told me to give 10 - 20 drops of metacam! Luckily I read the instructions in the packet and realised that he only needed 1 drop! Always check before giving drugs! Also my rat has enlarged front nails, they look wider but not longer than normal and he feels very cold. He is about 1.3 years old. Thanks I can't seem to find a decent vet so really need help. Sorry it's such a long message. Steph

Answer
Hi Steph,

I am guessing you wrote to me because I have a quick response time... But I am really just a sub, and the others know a lot about medicine that I don't. I would like to ask you to write to Debbie. In the meantime I will send her the message on Facebook in case she sees that more quickly. If she doesn't get your question I will quote to you what she says, but of course it is far better to write to her because then you can do follow ups.

I am sorry about your poor little guy. I left my mice with my family when I went to college and when I came home for Thanksgiving, I found out that my sister had been keeping them in the closet. And don't get me started about that critter sitter I had when I was away once... Some people don't have their priorities straight. Animals come first.  Anyway..

I guess your vet isn't a specialist. A vet must be trained in "exotics" or "pocket pets." Have you called around to find someone in those specialties? Even if you have to travel a bit, it is just so much better than seeing a non rat vet who has no idea what they are doing.

Although it is hard to do something for one rat that harmed or killed another, :( of course it does not make it more (or less, unfortunately) likely that it will happen to another. But if it was the same vet, maybe they got the dose wrong. Good thing you read the instructions on the metacam.

Sending your question to Debbie-- but you have to write to her too.

I wish your little guy all the luck in the world. I'm afraid he has had a stroke of bad luck lately.

Squeaks,

Natasha  

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Natasha Millikan

Expertise

Consider me a sub, when no one else is available. NOTE YOU MUST NOT HAVE ONLY ONE RAT. JOIN MY FACEBOOK GROUP (because there are smarter people than me there!!): ***** https://www.facebook.com/groups/RatsandMiceareAwesome/. ***** Excellent sites: http://ratguide.com/ **** http://lilspazrats.wikispaces.com/ **** http://www.ratbehavior.org/rats.html **** http://www.ratfanclub.org/ **** http://www.sandyscrittercity.com/ **** http://www.ratwhisperer.net/ ****

Experience

I have had rats for 3-1/3 years and have researched them extensively. I am a mouse expert with 40 years' experience with mice. The two species are similar and yet also quite different.

Organizations
My Facebook group is Rats (and Mice) are Awesome. https://www.facebook.com/groups/RatsandMiceareAwesome/

Education/Credentials
I have a Bachelor's and two Master's degrees in Linguistics

Awards and Honors
I am honored that my rats love me!

Past/Present Clients
My Facebook group, Rats are Awesome, serves at the moment 5300 members, and, considering all the huge rescues, probably averages 5 rats per member. That means my clients are about 25,000 rats!!!

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