Author Topic: URGENT! Fall/Internal Bleeding: What can be done??  (Read 1147 times)

Offline Nysander

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URGENT! Fall/Internal Bleeding: What can be done??
« on: June 05, 2017, 03:52:16 AM »
So last night ( Saturday night) one of my younger boys ( about 11 months), Pepper, escaped the cage while I was reaching in to pick up a couple of poos. I only had my head in the cage for a moment and in that instant he managed to sneak out and climb all the way around the back of the Triple level Critter Nation cage. He was on the back side of it between the cage and the wall clinging at the top of the second level/bottom of the third level ( about 5 feet high) when suddenly his cage mate ran to the back of the cage on the inside and nipped Peppers tail through the bars.
This startled Pepper a bit and he slipped and skidded down the cage all the way down and fell on the floor.
He was a little stunned and just sat there for a bit but eventually came out looking a little shell shocked but no obvious injury. No limp, no bleeding, etc.
Well it's been around 20+ hours now since this happened and he is still not quite his normal self.
Less enthusiastic, looks to be at the very least a bit stiff and sore.

My concern is that he may have internal bleeding or injury that I can't see. So far he has been eating banana and yogurt and turkey and apples and Gerber puff treats but is having a bit of trouble eating his normal oxbow chips. He drank a lot right after the fall and has drank a little more since that I have seen.
He has urinated and pooped several times since the fall and they appear normal with no visible change but there is a slight odor of blood in the urine. ( however he is prone to urinary infection and has had trace amounts of blood in his urine before so this could be "normal" for him)

But he is generally slow and unenthusiastic compared to his normal hyper trouble making self. Not quite lethargic but not normal.
He is yawning a bit more than normal which does concern me that there might be a blood or lung problem.

My main question here is this:
If I take him in when the vets open tomorrow is there anything a vet can even do in a situation like this?
Or are they just going to tell me to watch him and hope any internal injury manages to heal on it's own?

Should I rush him in or would it be pointless? What kind of treatment or procedure might be possible, if any??

Quick responses would be immensely appreciated! <3
« Last Edit: June 05, 2017, 03:53:59 AM by Nysander »

Offline BigBen

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Re: URGENT! Fall/Internal Bleeding: What can be done??
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2017, 02:52:00 PM »
I don't know what could be done if there is internal bleeding, except perhaps an operation to tie off the damaged vessels.  If the bleeding is not too severe, a hematoma can be resorbed by the body without intervention.

Rats are fairly robust as far as falls go, however, and if he only fell from, say, near the bottom of the lowest level, that doesn't sound like enough to do internal damage.  I am not a vet, however, so it might pay to at least call your vet and ask for advice.

It is possible that Pepper is simply sore from the fall, and he might do well on a pain-reliever.  The vet might prescribe some Metacam, which would be great because the dose is only once every 24 hours; or alternatively, you could give him children's ibuprofen (dosages are on the Rat Guide) every four hours.  NSAID's like these, however, should not be given if there is blood in his stools, because they can irritate the linings of the stomach and intestines, which makes them a bad idea if there is already gastrointestinal bleeding.  (Not sure what the effect would be on bleeding in the abdominal cavity, however; you would need to ask the vet about that.)

Rats have very fast metabolisms, so they heal pretty quickly.  It is entirely possible that you might see a noticeable improvement before you can even get Pepper to the vet.  If you can afford a visit, I would certainly have him looked over, just in case; if there is nothing wrong, it will be a great relief, and if there is a problem, then you'll know how to deal with it.
What is a rat?  King-sized love in a pint-sized package.
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Offline Nysander

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Re: URGENT! Fall/Internal Bleeding: What can be done??
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2017, 07:12:30 PM »
Thank you for your reply!

He fell from the top of the second story, so about 5 feet.

I took Pepper to the vet today and she examined him.
She said she can't see any sign of bleeding as far as she can tell from an exam. (they said they have no scan machines that are able to scan a rat except for their xray machine and she didn't think a xray would show much more than she could already tell since his lungs sounded clear and she couldn't feel any abnormalities in his abdomen)
His color also seems fine and not pale or blue. And his poops still seem normal.

He is however still moving slowly and is more tired and less enthusiastic than usual. He also bruxes and yawns a lot and licks at his teeth more than usual and seems to be having a little difficulty eating the hard oxbow chips. He also doesn't take every treat offered but will take most of them. (he has eaten several more Gerber puffs and a small Apple piece since my last post. Not sure how much oxbow he's managed to get down)
So she thinks he may have chipped or cracked a tooth but she says she can't check all his teeth without sedation so were just watching him for now.

She said to give him infant ibuprofen 2-3 times a day for the next 2-4 days and if he isn't back to normal within 2 days to bring him back in.
She actually said that the ibuprofen was easier on their organs than the metacam which I thought was interesting since the vet I used to go to before we moved always wanted to give them metacam and didn't like me giving them ibuprofen.
Do you have any thoughts on this or have you known different vets to disagree on this?

Offline mamarat2

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Re: URGENT! Fall/Internal Bleeding: What can be done??
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2017, 11:18:28 AM »
Did she check his teeth?  Being that you said he is not wanting to eat harder stuff, could be he hit a tooth.
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Offline BigBen

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Re: URGENT! Fall/Internal Bleeding: What can be done??
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2017, 01:46:00 PM »
I would trust the vet's assessment; she may not be the most expert rat vet, but it sounds as though she is at least thinking, which is very good.  I think the reason your first vet wanted to give your rats Metacam is that it lasts in the rat's system for 24 hours, whereas the rat metabolism is so fast that it clears ibuprofen out in about 4 hours, which means frequents doses, which can be annoying both to you and the rat.  All NSAID's have effects on the stomach, kidneys, and liver, however, so vets tend to use them with a bit of caution.  I didn't know what your vet said about ibuprofen's being easier on the rat's system, however; but it makes sense--it's probably why Metacam is still a prescription drug.

I'm glad you took Pepper to the vet.  With their fast metabolisms, rats heal pretty quickly, so he should be his old self soon.  If he did damage a tooth, rat's teeth never stop growing, so the damage will very likely take care of itself soon.  If there is a problem requiring tooth trimming or the like, the follow-up vet visit (if necessary) should reveal it.
What is a rat?  King-sized love in a pint-sized package.
Rat Code:  6m2f22r !B C? D+ F S-- ocA reC sM a+++ e++++ n

Offline Nysander

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Re: URGENT! Fall/Internal Bleeding: What can be done??
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2017, 04:30:30 AM »
Thank you guys and you were right about the tooth guess. Peppers front top left tooth fell out a couple days after my last reply! O.O

He seems to be doing ok so far otherwise, but it has now been over 2 days since the tooth fell out and there is no sign yet of a new one growing in so I am a bit concerned about this. ( the tooth fell out right down to the gums and all that can be seen is pink gums with a small hole where the tooth used to be!)

Shouldn't I be able to see a hint of new growth by now? Or am I looking at a case of root loss and lifetime tooth clipping in my future? :/

If it never comes back, is there any chance he could keep both bottoms bruxed down with just one top tooth or is clipping inevitable?

Also, he has been on a course of Doxy since June 1 for some uri symptoms and has continued taking the antibiotics through this fall situation. At first I figured it would be good since it could help make sure he doesn't get any infections from his injuries as well as treating the uri, but then I remembered Doxy can inhibit bone growth/cause soft bones in fetal and infant rats. Is there any chance it might be keeping the tooth from growing back/making it grow slower?
Or is it probably just purely that he likely lost/damaged the tooth root?

Offline mamarat2

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Re: URGENT! Fall/Internal Bleeding: What can be done??
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2017, 06:02:56 PM »
One thing, since his top tooth fell out, check to make sure that the bottom two are still the same length and not starting to bother the top of his mouth. Unsure if the tooth will grow back, I've heard of some growing back and others not.  If anything you might need to take him in for a clipping or two to begin with until the tooth comes in if either of the bottom ones get longer and become overgrown.
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Offline Nysander

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Re: URGENT! Fall/Internal Bleeding: What can be done??
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2017, 05:32:23 AM »
Yeah I'm keeping an eye on the teeth for sure. So far no sign of the lost top one coming back. :(

He is attempting to keep both bottoms ground down with his single top tooth and so far is keeping them close to the same length. Not perfect but close.

HOWEVER, all 3 teeth are getting very sharp and pointed like daggers from the angle required to use the single top tooth to grind both bottoms.

Is this very bad for him or can he live like that with little dagger teeth??
He made them pointed in a matter of mere days so keeping them blunted would require filling nearly twice a week!
I have given him kava blocks and am trying to encourage him to start eating hard oxbow chips again to help blunt them but it's not doing much good because he mainly wants to brux.

Also, I've noticed when he bruxes he spreads his bottom teeth apart! Is this normal or are his bottom teeth loose and likely to fall out as well?? ( they go back together after he bruxes but while he's bruxing he pushes them quite far apart)

Offline mamarat2

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Re: URGENT! Fall/Internal Bleeding: What can be done??
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2017, 04:17:41 PM »
In all honesty you might want to call the vet and set up an appointment to have them filed or clipped down at this point.  I've found that when teeth grow it seems to be a matter of overnight that problems show up.
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Offline BigBen

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Re: URGENT! Fall/Internal Bleeding: What can be done??
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2017, 08:23:00 PM »
Rats' lower teeth are mobile; the spreading you have noticed is normal.  I am not sure what you mean by blunting Pepper's teeth, since they are supposed to be razor-sharp.  The primary purpose of bruxism is to sharpen the teeth, though rats also brux when happy or anxious.  The incisor that broke may or may not grow back.  It will depend on how badly the root was damaged by the accident.  (Normally, a rat's teeth grow throughout it's lifetime.)  Untill the damaged tooth fails to grow out, the matching youth will need to be trimmed, or it will cause problems.  If you're not squeamish, you can do the trimming yourself; I'm sure the vet will be happy to dope show you how.
What is a rat?  King-sized love in a pint-sized package.
Rat Code:  6m2f22r !B C? D+ F S-- ocA reC sM a+++ e++++ n

Offline Nysander

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Re: URGENT! Fall/Internal Bleeding: What can be done??
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2017, 10:56:47 PM »
Thank you guys!

I'm relieved to know the bottom teeth spreading is normal! I had suspected it might be but couldn't find any confirmation of it.

As far as what I mean by the sharpness, I am not referring to front to back sharpness which I know is normal. I mean that he is now placing his single top tooth in between the two bottom ones and grinding back and forth. This is filing the SIDES of his teeth into points. So his top tooth now looks like a V when viewed straight on, and the bottom teeth are similar. It is changing the shape of the teeth to look like canine fangs instead of rodent incisors.

Another update:
For nearly a week after the tooth fell out there was only a hole in his gums where it had been and absolutely no sign of a tooth growing back. I had pretty much given up on it coming back and figured the root must be lost or too damaged.
However, as of yesterday he suddenly has a new tooth nubbin!  :hyper:
It seems to be growing fairly fast now that it finally started and is almost twice as long today as it was yesterday.
I am quite surprised to see it come in after so long of nothing.

Now here's to hoping it comes in straight and fixes itself back up!

I will most likely take him back into the vet early next week for a checkup to make sure everything is growing straight and progressing as normal, and possibly to have the teeth evened out if need be.

One thing concerns me. The vet said they would grind the teeth, not clip. Should this concern me enough to seek out another vet (no other exotic vets for 2+ hours drive) or would it be ok to grind once? If the tooth comes back in straight he may only need the one trimming to even things out.

Offline Nysander

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Re: URGENT! Fall/Internal Bleeding: What can be done??
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2017, 11:02:55 PM »
Also is there any way to re-title this topic as I don't believe bleeding is a major concern anymore and it has now mostly turned into a tooth thread. ^^
"Pepper's unwise adventure, Regis' assholery, and the Great Debacle of the Missing Tooth" now seems a more appropriate title. Or perhaps something a bit simpler haha.

Offline BigBen

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Re: URGENT! Fall/Internal Bleeding: What can be done??
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2017, 09:54:59 AM »
I'm glad to hear that the tooth isn't dead.  That's very good news.  Unless you think it's a urgent problem that the vet needs to take care of in the meantime, the teeth stuff should all be sorted out soon. :thumbsup:

As for changing the title of the thread, you'd have to ask one of the moderators to do that for you.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2017, 09:59:36 AM by BigBen »
What is a rat?  King-sized love in a pint-sized package.
Rat Code:  6m2f22r !B C? D+ F S-- ocA reC sM a+++ e++++ n

Offline Nysander

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Re: URGENT! Fall/Internal Bleeding: What can be done??
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2017, 02:46:19 AM »
The tooth is nearly back to normal length now! It grew quite fast after it got started even though it took almost a week to get started.
It seems slightly out of alignment but not horribly. Left to right it seems fine and is right next to the other top tooth where it should be, but front to back it sticks out slightly in front of the other top tooth.
Not sure if this is something that needs to be fixed (rat braces? Lol) or if he can live with it. So far it seems he is able to brux on it a bit. Another couple of days and I should be able to tell if he is able to brux it right or if it overgrows.

Offline BigBen

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Re: URGENT! Fall/Internal Bleeding: What can be done??
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2017, 09:06:51 AM »
That's very good news!   :thumbsup2:
What is a rat?  King-sized love in a pint-sized package.
Rat Code:  6m2f22r !B C? D+ F S-- ocA reC sM a+++ e++++ n