Author Topic: Not-too-old rat's hindquarters twitching immensely..  (Read 568 times)

Offline Azelie

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Not-too-old rat's hindquarters twitching immensely..
« on: October 18, 2016, 07:18:01 AM »
For a little background info, I currently have 3 rats; I had four, but just recently in September one of my boys (George) died from what I was told was wasting disease; he got a cut on his foot and then just completely went downhill extremely fast before dying in my arms after a fit of coughing. I had him and his brother on medicine from the vet for respiratory illness and the way his disease progressed it almost seemed like pneumonia to me.

In any case, he and his twin brother, Fred, were together since birth. And I had only just recently took in two rescues (very young girls), so I've divided their huge critter nation cage in half for what I had meant to be only a temporary solution until I talked to my vet about possibly fixing the boys since its a less invasive surgery than it would be on the girls. The boys aren't... weren't... that old.. They were about 3 months old when I got them in April 2015.. so 19 months, I suppose.. I know neutering late is not that great, which is why I figured the vet might suggest I don't do it. The girls are young and the boys are older.

Anyway, so what I'm trying to paint the picture of here, is, that I put the boys on the bottom half of the cage and the girls on the top half, because I don't have air conditioning and the male rats were oily and pleasantly plump, I assumed since heat rises, they should get the bottom half because it had been miserably hot around here.

Fast forward to George's death, Fred has a giant bump on his neck, and I immediately assumed it was a tumor and that it must just be time for my babies, so I was going to bring him to the vet yesterday to check out the lump (the exotic here didn't work on Sundays and I noticed the lump after they'd closed on a Saturday), but then I went to check on him Sunday morning and the big thing had popped and was oozing pus and left a big old hole on his neck. So I bathed him, put some Betadine on it, and have been doing so since. He was acting completely normally and the thing has started to heal, it looks like the "dead skin" will fall off and he will heal normally. Today he has been really happy and was drinking a lot of water, when I noticed that while he was drinking, his tail would swing around uncontrollably and his back legs would lift up as if half of his body was "popcorn"ing.

And since then, he's still been drinking a lot of water, and is still behaving like that with his hindlegs and tail. Other than that, he seems like his normal happy Fred-self, and he's more than happy to eat his food.

Now, obviously, I am still taking Fred to the vet. That's the only logical thing I can do here. But what I'm asking, is if any of you have any insight into what could be going on? If my vet seems at a loss, maybe I could show her this. You're all dedicated to rats and she sees a million different exotics a day, I just want to be sure.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2016, 07:19:42 AM by Azelie »

Offline bit-bit

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Re: Not-too-old rat's hindquarters twitching immensely..
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2016, 10:51:12 AM »
I'm not sure about the odd hopping behavior. Depending on the timeline, it could be a response to the pain of his abscess, or it could be something new. Rats tend to twirl their tails when they're off-balance, so doing it on solid ground could be a sign of a neurological problem, but only a vet could tell you for sure.  Is he using his legs and tail normally the rest of the time? Any trouble with walking or balance?

But I wanted to let you know that "abscess" is the name for the nasty bursting lump your guy had.  They're relatively common in rats, and even though they look awful, the prognosis is usually good.  Do keep an eye out for it to come back, though - sometimes a bit of the infection is trapped when it heals, so another pops up weeks or months later.  If that happens, a round of antibiotics from the vet should knock it out for good.

Offline Been to the Mountaintop

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Re: Not-too-old rat's hindquarters twitching immensely..
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2016, 10:40:17 AM »
How's he doing?
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