Ted's eating behaviour

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Ted's eating behaviour

Post by Francois on Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:01 pm

One of my boys, Ted, is showing altered behaviour.
Since 2 days I noticed he no longer uses his hands to eat, or grab food when offered. He just nuzzles the bowl and it almost seems like he has trouble eating.

Another thing we noticed is that he is much easier to pick up. Ted was never that social and at least would squeek a protest when picked up. He does give these occasional nips (not breaking the skin, but just holding my finger between his teeth) I hhad not seen him groom himself.

Yesterday he looked quite messy around the nose (could be food left on his face, so I gave him a bath, which he seemed to enjoy (another change in behaviour, he used to hate getting bathed Laugh ) and started grooming himself in the bath

He also stopped trying to escape Jack's dominance grooming (now he just sits there and take it like a good submissive)

I've gave him a full healthcheck, including the barrel and hop test to check if he had no stroke symptons. He is currently weighing 450 grams (which I will monitor over the next few days to see if his new eating behaviour impacts his weight.)

I also checking to see if his teeeth had no abnormalities, his eyes are clear and bulgy as usual.

He is about one year old now, so I am not putting his behavioural change to aging. While his health check seems fine, I'm just a bit worried about him, has anyone observed similar behaviours and know of a possible cause?

Cheers

Francois



Neither seems be to dehydrated

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Re: Ted's eating behaviour

Post by Zoundz on Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:19 pm

Hmm... sounds like it could be a pituitary tumour Sad could you hold up to the bars of the cage and see if he reaches out or grabs for them? Most rats will, and when allowed they have a pretty good grip on the bars too. Lack of grip is usually a sign of a PT. Perhaps photos? They often have a specific posture/look with a PT.

xx

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Re: Ted's eating behaviour

Post by Francois on Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:24 am

I held Ted up to the cage and he did grab for them after a bit. Normally he would grab them straight away. The grabbing seems rather uncoordinated and clumsy and the gri[p was not very firm... His posture seems not unusual, but his feeding behaviour looks like the video on http://ratguide.com/health/figures/pituitary_tumor_figure_1.php
although not as extreme, but similar shoveling behaviour...

I take this would be bad news... Cry

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Re: Ted's eating behaviour

Post by Francois on Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:33 am

here some pictures of ted eating, note his paws just dangle outside the bowl...






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Re: Ted's eating behaviour

Post by Francois on Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:37 am

update:

Just over the day it seems that Ted's condition worsened. He is realy unstable on his feet and we noted the poor guy is bleeding out of his nose.

Vet apointment for tomorrow... but the reserach on his symptoms hasn't given much hope for the little guy., it looks like PT for sure Sad

I'm preparing to make a hard decision Sad Menahwile we try to make him as comfortable as possible

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Re: Ted's eating behaviour

Post by katherine on Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:56 am

Oh no Sad I'm so sorry!

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Re: Ted's eating behaviour

Post by GillianK on Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:17 am

I'm so very sorry. You and Ted are in my thoughts
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Re: Ted's eating behaviour

Post by smokierat on Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:07 am

I'm so sorry x

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Re: Ted's eating behaviour

Post by Zoundz on Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:48 am

Sad oh Francois, how terribly sad... PTs are not uncommon sadly. How old is he? Keep an eye on his siblings, I have seen some incidence of them being genetic Sad

xx

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Re: Ted's eating behaviour

Post by Francois on Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:51 am

update:

Ted is still with us Smile

We were prepared for the hardest of decisions when we took Ted to the local vet on sunday. Apart form a difference in opinion on what was wrong with him .The vet seemed to think that all his symptoms were due to an eye infection, because his right eye popped out a little bit and wasn't convinced that the lack of strength was noticable and started talking about taking the eye out Shocked . (obviously she never tried to hold him before he came down with this, or she would have a diferent opinion and the scars to prove it Tongue )

But we agreed to try a dose of short term steroids to see how he would respond. Within the hour we saw improvement, he was less lethargic and moved around a little more. He still has trouble eating with his paws, but manages to climb the sloped ladders and enjoy his free ranging time and his gait looks more stable. Just an hour ago I tried the bar grabbing test and he managed to grab them quite good.

To be sure we made an appointment with Barbara O'Malley in Bray to have him checked out and get a second oppinion. I have been reading up on PT and found that treatment with Cabergoline (or bromocriptine) may actually reduce the swelling of tumor. This in combination (untill the tumor has decreased significantly) with a corticosteroid (prednison or dexamethasone) will aleviate some of the immediate clinical signs.

Treatment prognoses states an extented life expectancy of 3 to 6 months, but noted that the case studies were done on geriatric rats. Ted is just about 12 months, so hopefully he will respond good to it and perhaps gets a nortmal life expectancy, but if we can give him an extra 6 months of a good quality life, it will be worth it.

Meanwhile, to address his eating problem, he will have to endure my recipe of multigrain porridge, mixed with some manuka honey and babyfood. He still has trouble drinking from the bottle, so I make sure his dinner is nice and wet and check signs for dehydration and syringe his liquids orally if needed (he manages to drink that)

We just have to take Jack out of the cage when we feed him, because Jack will gobble it all up Laugh

Now some people may be not to be happy to hear I'm using some honey, but the most important thing right now is that he eats and gets enough energy to stay strong. I'm weighing him every day now to check his weight, so far he seems stable around the 430 grams.

As far Ted is concerned, he doesn't seem ready to give up. So as long Ted is willing to make a fight for it, so will we.






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Re: Ted's eating behaviour

Post by GillianK on Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:04 am

So pleased to hear that Ted is doing better. x
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Re: Ted's eating behaviour

Post by katherine on Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:04 am

Brilliant news! Big Grin Very pleased to hear he's improving

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Re: Ted's eating behaviour

Post by Francois on Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:07 am

Update:

Ted is still with us, his appointment with Barbara O'Malley is tomorrow afternoon..

Hang in there buddy, you have been so brave already. This evening he seemed very lethargic and not enough strength to eat on his own. After feeding him through a syringe orally, he came round again and is currently with his face in a bowl of porridge (eating, not drowning Wink )


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Re: Ted's eating behaviour

Post by Zoundz on Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:59 am

Steroids will help a lot - but it's a short term sort of thing as it has other knock on bad effects too frequently. I suspect that it's unrealistic to think he'll buy more than a few extra weeks - but he may. He's young, as you say. In any case, all the best, and I hope against hope that he does really improve. I don't think an eye infection would cause those symptoms though - certainly I've never seen anything of that nature.

xx

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Re: Ted's eating behaviour

Post by Francois on Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:14 am

update:

We had brought Ted to Barbara O'Malley and she took real good care of him and he seemed to perk up a bit, staying over at the vet.

However this morning we got a call that Ted was not doing well and his body had started shutting down...

We headed out to Bray to say our goodbeyes and give our last hugs to Ted and wished him well for his journey over the rainbow bridge Cry

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Re: Ted's eating behaviour

Post by GillianK on Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:35 am

I'm so so sorry to hear that. Our rats just don't stay with us long enough. You made the right decision by Ted. x
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Re: Ted's eating behaviour

Post by Zoundz on Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:39 am

I'm so sorry both Sad

xx

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Re: Ted's eating behaviour

Post by katherine on Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:35 am

I'm so very sorry Francois, that you had to make this decision such a short time into your time together :'( Rest in peace, Ted Love You were very much loved in life, it's clear.

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