Author Topic: Now Ginger (our other rat) seems to have a loss of balance... :-(  (Read 758 times)

Offline Sarasbaby

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Well, we've been keeping an eye on Spice and her tumor/abcess behind her back leg.

http://www.goosemoose.com/rfc/index.php?board=3;action=display;threadid=14851

However, we've now noticed Ginger has been having balance problems.  It may have started a few weeks ago because she kept falling out of her cage if we left the door open.  They never do this.  We also noticed she would drop her yogies, but at the time we thought she was just being picky and didn't want them.

The other day we noticed she had trouble with balance.  In fact, we'd try feeding her something and the poor thing would have trouble holding onto it.  She doesn't appear to be swaying back and forth or anything, but she just seems to have suddenly lost some of the mobility and balance functions she used to have.  She does appear to be losing some weight too.

I'm not sure what this could be.  My wife thought it might have been a stroke or something.  :-(

- Matt.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2003, 11:21:16 AM by Sarasbaby »

Offline quellykin1

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Re:Now Ginger (our other rat) seems to have a loss of balance... :-(
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2003, 03:41:26 PM »
Hopefully, it's as minor as an ear infection, which can be treated with prompt, aggressive antibiotics, anti-inflammatory, etc. Maybe go back to the place that gave you such a good price for tumor removal! Without treatment, the loss of balance gets so bad the rat will roll over and over, and have permanent head tilt. Is her head tilting at all?
Or it may be a pituitary tumor. I hope not. :( Treatment is the same. The first symptom is loss of coordination. Definite signs it's pituitary tumor is that first the front, then the hind legs are held out stiffly forward and cannot be flexed by the rat. This is all from the Rat Health Care book.
Which also says, if it's a stroke, there is usually paralysis especially on one side, which may eventually go away. Other causes for loss of coordination include liver or kidney failure, or toxins.
Sorry you're having these problems with your girls!

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Trekkies, Earl, Sloane, Stripes, Rocky, Kaci, Kada, Bailey, mousers

Offline Sarasbaby

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Re:Now Ginger (our other rat) seems to have a loss of balance... :-(
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2003, 07:19:23 PM »
Thing is, she has no head tilting as far as we can tell.  It just appears to be a loss of coordination.  The poor thing has trouble holding food unfortunately.  Would you recommend anything such a baby food, etc to make sure she is getting enough to eat?  Because she does appear to be getting skinnier.

No stiff legs or paralysis either from what we have observed.  :-(

Aside from bringing Ginger in for a checkup, would you have any other recommendations in the meantime?  I'd hate for the doctor to not know what is wrong and prescribe treatment I can read about elsewhere.

Thanks for the sympathy.  We'd had both of our rats since a few weeks after we were married.  I know they'll have to go sometime, but I'd hope they can be around a bit longer at least.

Offline quellykin1

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Re:Now Ginger (our other rat) seems to have a loss of balance... :-(
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2003, 05:46:01 PM »
hmmm... I don't really have any personal experience in this area. I know a lot of people recommend baby food, but when I read the labels they don't seem to be too high in fat or calories...?? I've seen a lot of people recommend Pediasure, Ensure, Boost, soy baby formula... anything liquid with a lot of calories and nutrients she can take. There's a paste all the rats love that's very high calorie called NutriCal or Nutristat, which is usually in the ferret or cat section (even puppy section) of most pet stores by the hairball stuff. Usually 6-10 dollars -- about the size of a tube of toothpaste.
You're probably better off getting her in earlier rather than later to the vet, when it's way beyond helping. Maybe some prednisone and/or antibiotics can help. I probably shouldn't say this, but it doesn't sound very good. Pituitary tumors can't be operated on, but I believe you can extend their life and alleviate their pain through medication for some time. I can't find much on it, tho. I hope someone else can give you some feedback.
Also, if it is kidney or liver degeneration that would be totally different meds. For something so serious, she really does need a vet. Good luck with your girlies.

heh heh -- modified to say tube of toothpaste, not tub!
« Last Edit: November 17, 2003, 11:43:07 PM by quellykin1 »

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Offline Sarasbaby

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Re:Now Ginger (our other rat) seems to have a loss of balance... :-(
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2003, 10:56:03 PM »
Well, we have an appointment scheduled for this Friday...after we drop off Spice for her surgery to remove that tumor or abcess, whatever it might be.

I noticed tonight that she is fairly skinny, so I'll have to have my wife try some babyfood or something.  I'm not sure why else she might not be eating.

She does have something that looks like bumblefoot on her feet even though we don't have a wire cage bottom.  *sigh*  Would that be preventing her from eating because it hurts?  :-(

Offline BabyBlue

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Re:Now Ginger (our other rat) seems to have a loss of balance... :-(
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2003, 10:52:20 AM »
I would recommend Ensure Plus over baby food. It has much more nutritional value than baby food, which really doesn't have much of anything in it. I use baby food to hide meds and do feed it when a rat is not eating, but I usually mix other things in (ie olive oil, baby cereal, oat meal, soy milk, etc).

Offline Sarasbaby

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Re:Now Ginger (our other rat) seems to have a loss of balance... :-(
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2003, 09:27:38 AM »
Here's an update for everyone.  We did bring Ginger in to the vet two weeks ago and the vet said she seemed to have some parasites in her feces.  So now we have medication for her which she actually really likes.

However, it doesn't seem to be helping and we're going to call our vet again on Monday.  She seems to have continued to get weaker.  She does have a lump on her lower side by her belley, so my wife and I are wondering if that could be affecting anything.  We told the vet about it, but he said it was really too small to do anything about at the moment.  But now it seems to have grown to a little larger than pea size.

She does chitter when we pet her and she tries hard to play around and go about her routine, but she is so weak that she just ends up sleeping in her box.

We don't have money to remove the thing on her side, and depending on what the vet says, may put her to sleep.  :BlueDumboBigEyes:  *sigh*