Rocksteady's not using a hind paws

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Rocksteady's not using a hind paws

Post by Tribble on Tue May 07, 2013 4:46 am

Right... it seems that Saturday his Gait may have changed a little, but we weren't bothered...
Could have been a fall, him sleeping funny, or just trying to get our attention (lazy little fuzzy Tongue ).
Yesterday, it was a noticeable lack of use of the back right paw; he would move and try to use the leg, but didn't seem to notice if his paw was flat or even if it was being used.
Tried calling the vet, but they are out today, so it will have to be tomorrow that we make the appointment. Not panicking, but we don't want to miss a window of recovery, if there is one.

I've been looking it up, and he may have something called Hind-end Paralysis, but t seems he's much too young for this.
Is there anything we should research to arm ourselves, prepare for future care, or just know to ask the vet?

I've also read that some UTIs and spinal tumors can have similar effects. But he's seemingly pain free, bright eyed and bruxy, eating and drinking well, and doesn't seem to have discolouration or cloudiness of his urine. The only noticable thing is the lack of use of his back right paw...

We know he's getting on, but he isn't what I would call elderly at all...

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Re: Rocksteady's not using a hind paws

Post by smokierat on Tue May 07, 2013 9:10 am

Does it seem sore at all when you manipulate it?or swollen?i would rhink usually both back legs go with HLD but tbh im not sure,have only had two rats with it.If it is that,most rats deal with it fine,i know it didnt slow mine down Smile

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Re: Rocksteady's not using a hind paws

Post by Tribble on Tue May 07, 2013 9:56 am

Not sore, and he has no problem with us handling the foot an applying a little pressure.
I'm mainly posting as we have little idea what is going on, and what I could google doesn't add up.
I'll be calling the vet in the morning to set up an appointment asap; I just wanted to see if this sparked any ideas in you more experience fellows.
For all we know he could just be being an absent-minded git, or maybe he want to meet Suzanne (our vet) again Laugh

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Re: Rocksteady's not using a hind paws

Post by Zoundz on Tue May 07, 2013 10:06 am

One would be unusual, but not unheard of. If it's overnight though, that's a different matter - HLD is slow onset almost always I'd say - so there's something else at play. Either a bash, sprain, pulled muscle - or at worst case a stroke, but no other symptoms suggests not the case.

I would think it's an injury. I would personally give him some children's nurofen syrup, and see how he is in a few days Smile

xx

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Re: Rocksteady's not using a hind paws

Post by Tribble on Tue May 07, 2013 10:23 am

I feel you're right Zoundz; it's just really disconcerting seeing him drag the topside of his foot over a blanket like it's perfectly normal.
We had some subway today and took home the paper bags, he's been tearing into them since he smelled em, so whatever is going on it clearly isn't affecting his disposition Roll Eyes
It will likely be a day or so before Suzanne is available anyway, so at worst we'll just end up cancelling the appointment.
It's brilliant hearing something similar to what I'm thinking though; I tend to focus too much on potentials, which is never a good habit Tongue

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Re: Rocksteady's not using a hind paws

Post by Tribble on Wed May 08, 2013 4:34 am

Okay, update time!
Called this morning, and just got back from the appointment, and lucky we did it. He was knuckling really heavily in the vet's office, it honestly looked like he had lost the use of his foot in there. Suzanne found a large-ish abscess on his hip, we didn't notice it ourselves as it wasn't causing him pain, even when he was being examined.
She tried puncturing and drawing from the abscess, but only got a teensy amount of bloodied .... pus... possibly.

Anyway, he's on synulox for the infection, and metacam to hopefully help with the swelling, for the week.
Suzanne hopes it will sort itself out, but if not he'ss have to go in under minor sedation to see if she can drain it... stupid abscess being near major nerves/vessles Sad

Not as bad as it could have been, but lets see if it was worth putting him through all that stress.
Indy and Cringer loved the trip out at least Tongue

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Re: Rocksteady's not using a hind paws

Post by Zoundz on Wed May 08, 2013 4:45 am

Oooh gosh - wonder how he got that! Was it anywhere near where he had his odd lesion?

Good old Suzanne anyway Smile I would hope that the meds work, but if not then lancing it under anaesthetic might be a good idea, especially if it's affecting movement.

xx

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Re: Rocksteady's not using a hind paws

Post by Tribble on Wed May 08, 2013 5:08 am

No, the lesion was on the other side.... at least I think it was.
Either way, he hated the metacam, but loved the peanut-buttery mash of pills and... well... peanut butter...
She couldn't find any bite marks, and knew not to look too hard because all the guys were good together, even in such a stressful environment.
Whatever happens, at least we know what's going on, and have a plan for the future.

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Re: Rocksteady's not using a hind paws

Post by smokierat on Wed May 08, 2013 6:05 am

Hope it resolves quickly,hes got the best of care so im sure it will Smile

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Re: Rocksteady's not using a hind paws

Post by Tribble on Mon May 13, 2013 1:42 am

Update;

We haven't seen much of an improvement...
He has somewhat reduced the amount of times he drags the topside of his foot, but that could just be an observational issue.
He doesn't like walking around, and shortly after starting roaming he will climb back into the cage and curl up in one of his nests.
He's eating, taking his meds and drinking a lot.

We're getting worried that it's possibly permanent damage, or that any procedure won't significantly improve his life to offset the stress of recovery.
Have any of you seen anything like this?
Have you dealt with nerve damage that recovered, or is it usually a more permanent issue.
We want him to have the best quality of life we can provide, but we also don't want to put him through fruitless surgical procedures.

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Re: Rocksteady's not using a hind paws

Post by Zoundz on Mon May 13, 2013 10:38 am

I have to say, if he was mine, I wouldn't put him through any surgery, but that's something only you can decide with the vet.

I really don't know much about this sort of thing... I will show this thread to a friend, and see if she's any thoughts.

xx

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Re: Rocksteady's not using a hind paws

Post by Zoundz on Mon May 13, 2013 11:01 am

OK - this is what she said, and I am inclined to agree.

My guess would be interference with a nerve (if rats can't feel a foot, they act as if it's not there, despite the fact it may be working 100% otherwise) or some sort of trapped nerve, I would be looking around the hips and 'thighs' for oddities, more inside the rat as opposed to the outside of him ie abscesses and so on should not affect nerve function (they are quite well covered). Unless the abscess is on top of something?I would not put him under GA...I am not sure why, but my gut says no, a really loud no!

I would try steroids instead of NSAID drugs, dexamethasone ideally, at a highish dose for 4-5 days,

Steroids instead of NSAID (like Metacam) because it's far, far better at reducing inflammation in a way that metacam can't touch or replicate, and having seen nerves obstructed in one of my bucks by lots of little tumours, dexamethasone literally gave him an extra 7 weeks, as I would have had to have him PTS otherwise as he was so frustrated, and having had 2 siters with weird internal 'masses' (they looked like squishy eggs, with loads of jellystuff inside on necropsy) which initially presented as HLD type issues until the masses grew large enough to feel, we tried steroids (both grew a lump within 3 weeks) and they had a few extra weeks until they had to be PTS.

Hope this is of some help Sad

xx

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Re: Rocksteady's not using a hind paws

Post by Tribble on Mon May 13, 2013 11:41 am

Thanks Laura, it does help.
Myself and Ben had a bit of a chat today about the possibility of surgery, and he was afraid that Rocky wouldn't wake upo. I was more afraid that it would have been completely unnecessary/fruitless and only be a detriment.

Rocky is struggling emotionally it seems, he wouldn't take his meds this afternoon, and I had to force em. I really hated it (as did he), but I couldn't see any other option, he is being more listless, and I can tell it's because he is impaired. The only benifit we are seeing is that his thigh/hip area is a little more relaxed, and there doesn't seem to be so large of a mass.

I'll call Abbyville in the morning an bring up my concerns, and that I head about dexamethasone improving life quality. I hope it's inject-able as Rocky is getting very suspicious over foods we offer him, only taking a few nibbles and going elsewhere.

*sigh*

It's not his state that's bothering me; just that we may be doing more harm than good with the options we have at hand.

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Re: Rocksteady's not using a hind paws

Post by Zoundz on Mon May 13, 2013 8:25 pm

Sad I understandthat feeling, but at his age my gut (having not seen him admittedly) is that even if he hates being medicated, even if he's a bit down in himself, medication will help him have a while longer, of happy life. hopefully much more than a while longer.

As an aside, our old lady Pea was being taken into the vet just over a year ago, with a big tumour and respiratory trouble (so we didn't think she'd survive surgery). The vet said 'will we try and remove it anyway' - and we felt that there was no harm in attempting it. She lived a very full and happy life for just over a year... Smile we're taking her in today for her final trip as it happens :*( but I am so glad she got all that extra time Wink

They can surprise you - I just hope Rocky is one of the ones that does <3 (((((hug)))))

xx

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Re: Rocksteady's not using a hind paws

Post by Tribble on Tue May 14, 2013 2:07 am

Update;

Brought up the dexamethasone with Suzanne. She knew right off the top of her head it was a steroid, very effective anti-inflammatory and an immuno-suppressant. So since we aren't confirmed that it ISN'T an abscess, we could end up making things a whole lot worse very quickly.
She recommends we attempt to lance it, and the only reason Rocky would be going under (for about 2 minutes no less) is that he's too wriggly and squirmy to safely lance something near nerve clusters. we will be doing it tomorrow or sometime next week.

I'll be talking to Ben shortly about the whole thing, but it's likely that we will go through with the procedure.

Thanks for all the help and support guys. It means a lot, especially since we haven't been on the site very long or frequently.

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Re: Rocksteady's not using a hind paws

Post by Zoundz on Tue May 14, 2013 4:17 am

Hope it works out OK Smile It is a quick enough procedure alright, so hopefully there'll be no problems, and it's just a basic abscess. My gut tells me it may not be, but we'll stay very positive for now! Grin

xx

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Re: Rocksteady's not using a hind paws

Post by Tribble on Tue May 14, 2013 11:53 pm

Update;

It's a tumor. And it has gotten bigger since she last saw him.
It's formed on his biceps, and is impinging on a nerve there.
We didn't give him any meds yesterday, and he was in a much better mood; roaming and bruxing away.
The plan we have with Suzanne is to give him a long lasting steroid injection every three weeks (could stretch to four, but we want to err on the side of caution).
This will slow the growth of the tumor, and help with inflammation... as well as ensure he actually take his damn meds Tongue

This is along the lines of what we were expecting as a likely, but unfortunate scenario.
Looks like we'll have a limpy bink until his comfort is impinged upon.

Thanks for all the support guys, really *hugs*.

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Re: Rocksteady's not using a hind paws

Post by Zoundz on Wed May 15, 2013 1:12 am

A verystrange place for a tumour - only experienced one in a similar place before, it was very agressive and presented as an abscess also Sad I hope it's not similar.

This sort of tumour is exceptionally rarely genetic, so I don't think it's of much conern to us line wise, but that's still no consolation for you Sad What an awful shame I just hope that the growth can be slowed significantly Sad


((((((hug)))))))

xx

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