Head tilty girl - nothing is working

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randomkat
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Head tilty girl - nothing is working

Post by randomkat » Fri Nov 05, 2010 8:36 am

Hi guys,

Lola is 9months old and has had head tilt for the last 2 weeks. We treated her with baytril for the first 7 days (just 0.1ml a day) in case it was an ear infection. She wasn't getting better and had started spinning slightly too, on Monday she had a steroid injection and moved to 0.25ml baytril twice a day plus steroid drops. The injection did initially help slightly but now we're back to exactly where we were.
She won't eat baytril in ANY food, i've tried yogurt, custard, banana anyting strong and mushy, so we're syringing it directly which is tressing her out. She is still one of the first for cuddles and is eating and drinking. She is loloping and rolling her head, sometimes spinning completely. When she's out she burry's her head in the crux of your elbow, we think this could be purely to keep it still. She is also dragging her head through the card sometimes.
I just don't know what to now, it's so sad seeing her trying to straighten up but she's such a strong rat who is still so loving I'm 90% thinking it's PTS time BUT I've still got that nagging doubt.
Kat
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Re: Head tilty girl - nothing is working

Post by Dinky » Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:28 am

I think you need to make sure that this is an ear infection and not a tumor of any sorts - look up pituatary tumors in rats.

What steroid is she on? Zithromax is more palatable in Nutri-cal than baytil and apparently has better bioavailability and distribution in soft tissues than baytril. Our vets swears by zithromax and it has always worked well in our boys.

We think one of our boys has developed a tumor in the brain (see post http://www.fancy-rats.co.uk/community/v ... 4&t=143457)

Its a little lengthy, but Rat Girl explains things very well. My boy is on Dexamethasone injectable weekly (he is on the Voren 14 - which lasts about 14 days in cattle and sheep - so pharamokinetics would be much less in smaller animals! We guesstimate 7-10days). If she perks up after the steroids I would keep her on them, with ABs ofc (some are immunosuppresors). :luck: It may not be PTS time yet, if you can help manage symptoms like we have done - then she may be with you for a little longer yet :love:
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Re: Head tilty girl - nothing is working

Post by randomkat » Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:20 am

Thanks for that, I'll have a proper read through when I'm home (sneakily doing this at work right now while I whitle).
The steroids didn't affect her enormously, just eased it slghtly but she did deteriorate again after a couple of days. I just don't know what to do. The vet gave her 5 days to recover, today is the 5th day. Can't remember the steroids right now, she's on eye drops taken orally and she'll lick them off my fingers without any need to mix. I'm going to see how she is when get home, if we can't find a way to manage it soon it is definately looking like a PTS as she is getting gradually worse :cry:
Kat
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Owned by her 15 girlies; Polly, Snowy, Smokey, Lola, Dangerous Bean, Cheese, Nibbles, Muffin, Ickle Pickle, Jam, Jingle, Custard, Cookie, Pepper, Pumpkin and Choc Chip xxx

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Re: Head tilty girl - nothing is working

Post by sat » Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:37 pm

Head tilty rats which I've had in the past have usually responded to strong steroids (Dexamethasone) although sometimes 3 or 4 injections have been necessary, plus Synulox. If it is an ear infection, very often they will be left with a head tilt but will usually lean to cope with that. Good luck. :luck:

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Re: Head tilty girl - nothing is working

Post by Forbes » Fri Nov 05, 2010 3:24 pm

my partner and i have had 1 rat who was coping really bad with her tilt that we had to have her pts we just now have 2 other girls who have tilts and are coping amzing with it one of them still climbs all over the furret like a ninja and i have nicknamed her sideways. so fingers crossed your litle one copes fine with it.

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Re: Head tilty girl - nothing is working

Post by Rattybabe » Fri Nov 05, 2010 5:11 pm

It's very common for head tilts to remain even after the infection has cleared. I certainly wouldn'nt have her put to sleep if she has no other symptoms. Rats adapt very well to disablities and can lead perfectly happy lives with a head tilt.

I had a buck who got one at a few months old - despite treatment the tilt was permanent, but it did improve over the following months. He adapted very well, and although he was always a bit wonky, he charged around the same as the other rats.

I would keep up the antibiotics for a few weeks to make sure that the infection is clear, and you'll probably find she'll be adapting to the tilt by then anyway.
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Re: Head tilty girl - nothing is working

Post by tabirat » Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:24 pm

I agree with Emma, unless it's a tumour which would be very rare in a young rat, then I have yet to see an ear infection that was untreatable. The worst cases seem to develop a kind of progressive inflammation - I have never found information on this sufficient to know if it is severe vestibular disease or the infection tracking along auditory nerves to affect the brain. Jenny is the worst case that I have experienced myself. She was so far over/tilted (her whole body not just her head) that she damaged her eye on the flooring and had to have it removed... she spent a couple of weeks in a plastic tub with bumpers propping her up on my living room floor, being syringe fed (she couldn't eat or drink herself) - and having Baytril, Cephalexin and steroids. After a couple of weeks she turned a corner and began to recover. Her head tilt very slowly lessened, and she moved from a Mary cage with her sister back into full duetto living after a couple of months - and lived a normal rattie life for another 16 months or so. She had a tilt until she died but it was much less by her old age. I assume this is because nerves have the ability to repair - or pathways to re-route. It's the initial inflammation that causes the wild movements and rolling etc. Once that dies down (can take a few weeks) they accommodate very quickly. I wish Lola a speedy recovery... just wanted you to know there is hope.
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Re: Head tilty girl - nothing is working

Post by randomkat » Sat Nov 06, 2010 7:54 am

Morning, thanks for all the support. I've ruled out a PT as she has no other symptoms. She is spinning pretty badly this morning so we'll be taking her to the vets as soon as they open (9am).
The steroids she has are Pred Forte eye drops taken orally. May have a battle with the vets as they gave her a pretty grim prognosis last time. I'll update you all ASAP.
Kat
-x-
Owned by her 15 girlies; Polly, Snowy, Smokey, Lola, Dangerous Bean, Cheese, Nibbles, Muffin, Ickle Pickle, Jam, Jingle, Custard, Cookie, Pepper, Pumpkin and Choc Chip xxx

Fond memories of all the rats now at the bridge.

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