Merry is not doing well...

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Merry is not doing well...

Post by kirm on Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:53 am

We decided to try out a small bit of Meadow Hay in the cage for a change about two weeks ago and the boys loved it. However about a week ago we noticed that Merry's coat didn't look so good, kind of out of condition if you know what I mean. Then we noticed that he had a rash on his skin at the back of his head and neck. Took him to the vet last Saturday and she said it was mange, more than likely from the Meadow Hay since thats the only change we've made recently, however the other two boys are fine and are showing no signs of it. She gave him drops on the back of his neck but he doesn't look any better even today. He also has quite a sizeable lump on his side. The vet said its probably a cyst and will pop (eeewwwww) and not to worry about it. We have to bring him back in two weeks to check the rash. Anyone had anything similar?

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Re: Merry is not doing well...

Post by Zoundz on Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:15 am

Yep - she's right! Depending on what anti-parasite treatment she gave him, he'll need a couple of doses, a week apart (either 2 or 3 - not sure, as I use selamectin which is once only). The scabs should eventually clear up. Propolis cream can soothe them in the mean time, or some sort of massively watered down tea tree solution. To be honest, Sudocrem is just as good too.

The lump is quite probably a small abscess from the little scratches, might be a cyst instead, but either way it's nothing to worry about too much - just keep it clean.

xx

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Re: Merry is not doing well...

Post by kirm on Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:02 am

I cant remember the name of the drops that she used. Will get out the sudocream tonight and put it on the poor little fella. The lump is under the skin which is not torn so keeping it clean is not a problem, Evan is worried that its cancer but I'm hoping the vet is right. I'm so surprised that the other two boys aren't showing signs of the skin condition but oh soooooo glad!! The Meadow Hay has been duly dumped!!

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Re: Merry is not doing well...

Post by Zoundz on Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:43 pm

Mites are always present - but a lowered immune system (in times of stress especially - and you may not be able to tell because it could just be little internal tussles within the group - often we don't pick up on what's going on with them) can cause them to flare up and take hold - which is why it sometimes only appears on one rat, and not the others.

I doubt the lump is cancerous, or even a benign fatty lump - though it *is* possible. Do you have photos? That can help. I would guess it's either an abscess or a cyst - the abscesses can be caused by scratching where the mites have bitten. They will eventually 'peak' and burst, and that's when you have the fun job of flushing and keeping it clean.

xx

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Re: Merry is not doing well...

Post by kirm on Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:38 am

Eeeeewwww that sounds positively disgusting hahahahaha. Well his skin has improved alot and hes looking alot better, the lump is still there and he's due to go back to the vet on Saturday. Laura do you know of a good online shop to buy toys, hammocks and ratty items?

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Re: Merry is not doing well...

Post by tinanka on Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:12 am

Kirm u can try from Rats Warehouse, I bought once and delivery was quick, well packed.
http://ratwarehouse.co.uk/

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Re: Merry is not doing well...

Post by Zoundz on Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:47 pm

I would advise Rat Warehouse Smile

xx

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UPDATE...

Post by kirm on Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:28 am

Well, the news is not good I'm afraid. While Merry's skin has cleared up completely and his coat is looking great, the lump in his side has grown rapidly. The vet says that its cancer and that the best thing to do is leave him be as he doesn't appear to be in any pain. She says she could operate but that the chances of his survival are slim. The poor guy is having trouble moving around and has to really struggle to get up from lying down... we've put him in the single storey cage that Shanty gave us so he doesn't have to climb up the ladders anymore (he fell off one of the platforms Cry and his balance seems very off). I guess all we can do now is make him comfortable and wait... so so gutted...

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Re: Merry is not doing well...

Post by Zoundz on Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:54 am

Can you get a photo? What does the lump feel like?

xx

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Re: Merry is not doing well...

Post by kirm on Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:56 am

I'll go take a photo now. Its quite hard and about the size of a plum. The vet had a good feel of it today and she says its definitely not a cyst or abcess... back in a few minutes...

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Re: Merry is not doing well...

Post by kirm on Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:07 am

Here you go Laura...


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Re: Merry is not doing well...

Post by Zoundz on Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:13 am

Looks like a normal benign tumour to me - it's quite big, but it's your call - if the vet isn't comfortable doing an op, then I would leave it because it could well go wrong, but if you can find a vet that would be happy to do the op, then I would go for it if he was mine. Mind you, much depends on fitness, age etc. Is he a good weight or is he a bit over weight? What about age? How old is he?

In the end, it's only you who can make the decision, and no-one can knock you, whatever you decide - but I wouldn't have said it was cancer (and neither should the vet - because only testing can *really* reveal that) - I would say it's a benign lump. Cancer is pretty rare in rats, and I've only seen it in about 3 in all my years of owning them Smile

xx

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Re: Merry is not doing well...

Post by kirm on Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:20 am

We got him from Shanty in February and she reckoned that Merry and Pippin were about 6 months old so going by that Merry is just a year old. The vet did say that it was quite unusual for a younger rat to have cancer... and she did say that she could operate but that he may not survive. I'd say that hes quite overweight and loves nothing better than to sleep all day. When hes out of the cage he just finds a spot to snuggle down in and doesn't really run around.

What do you think Laura?

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Re: Merry is not doing well...

Post by Zoundz on Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:52 am

I think being overweight doesn't help matters - but he doesn't look dangerously so to me. He's reasonably young, so a good chance of being quite fit for surgery. I would talk to the vet about it again (try a different vet perhaps) and see if you think surgery might be an option Smile

xx

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Re: Merry is not doing well...

Post by kirm on Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:22 am

Spoke to the vet again and she has said that in her opinion he is unlikely to come out of the surgery. Merry hasn't eaten or drank anything in the last two days, despite giving him lots and lots of different foods to try and coax him. Evan has been giving him drops of milk in his fingers today but he only has a lick or two at them... I don't know what else to do - do you have any further advice Laura?

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Re: Merry is not doing well...

Post by Zoundz on Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:40 pm

Well, if he's not eating or drinking much, then surgery would be much harder on him, that much is true. I mean, you could try, it'd be an expensive put to sleep if he didn't come through it, but at least you'd feel you'd tried everything. This is not to say you should, you need to weigh up the pros and cons in your own mind and see what is best for you and him.

If he was mine, with all the info you've given me, I think I'd not risk surgery, just see how long he has any quality of life for and then let him go when he's ready Sad

((((hug))))

xx

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Re: Merry is not doing well...

Post by GillianK on Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:32 am

I am so sorry. Its only recently I lost my favourite rat to cancer at 2-years-old. Her sister also had a lump when she passed away at 17-months (although it was pneumonia which claimed her) When Blanche, my last rat was diagnosed I was told to give lots of TLC and she also got metacam for pain relief. Unfortunately for Blanche, my girl, her lump grew so massive and began to abscess so it was kindest to put to sleep after a couple of weeks. However, my vet told me that some rats can live for up to 6 months with a tumour where they are still eating, drinking and where the tumour grows very slowly. Sadly this wasn't the case for my girl. I know its so so difficult, but best to give loads of TLC and enjoy the time he has left and whenever the time comes where you feel he is suffering or the quality of life is badly affected, you can make whatever decision you feel is best. I am sorry he has stopped eating and drinking. Maybe some pain relief might help. x
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Re: Merry is not doing well...

Post by kirm on Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:49 am

Thanks for your replies ladies... this is soooooo hard. He hasn't left his bed at all so I think we'll give him until Tuesday and take him back to the vet, the poor darling doesn't deserve to suffer. Will let you know how we get on then...

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Re: Merry is not doing well...

Post by shanty on Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:48 pm

Oh god I just saw this, I haven't checked in in a while. I'm so sorry to hear this Kirsty... any update on the situation? It's so hard to know what to do when they get sick. Did you make a decision? I hope Evan is holding up ok... aw I really am sorry I've only just seen this now xx
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Re: Merry is not doing well...

Post by kirm on Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:18 pm

Hi all,

The update is... Merry started eating a little and drinking a very small amount so we waited a little bit more. Last night we noticed that the black part of his left eye (the same side as the tumour) has turned red and this morning that side of his face is a little swollen. We're not going to let him suffer now that the other parts of his body are suffering so in 15 minutes I'll be bringing him down to the vet to have him put to sleep. We're very very sad but its most definately the best thing for him now. Will be back on in a while when I come back Cry

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Re: Merry is not doing well...

Post by shanty on Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:28 pm

Oh god, (((hug))) Most of us know what it's like having to make that decision, it's horrible... I've had to do it twice Cry Just know that you're making the right decision for Merry, even though it's difficult Sad Good luck, give a hug to Evan for us xxx
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Re: Merry is not doing well...

Post by kirm on Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:25 pm

Well, I'm back now and Merry is gone to play with Pippin and start on another great adventure. While we are gutted, we know that it had to be done to ease his suffering and for that I am glad. The vet said that he probably had very high blood pressure and that he was started to bleed internally - I wish she hadnt said that because I didnt want to think that he was in pain unnecessarily...

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Re: Merry is not doing well...

Post by Zoundz on Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:53 am

(((((((((((((hug))))))))))))))) so sorry Sad but if it helps at all, I doubt he was suffering with the high blood pressure.

xx

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Re: Merry is not doing well...

Post by smokierat on Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:18 am

I'm sorry you had to go through this Cry I doubt he was suffering too much with that yet,but I'm sure he would've gone n to if you hadn't been brave enough to do the right thing x its never easy saying goodbye is it though,even when its for the best xxx

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