Help please - surgery while on steroids

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Mcfluff
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Help please - surgery while on steroids

Post by Mcfluff » Fri Dec 17, 2010 9:07 am

Does anyone have experience of a rat undergoing surgery when already on cortico-sterids?

My little black berkie girl, Ziggy, developed neurological-type symptoms back in September - poor co-ordination, unable to walk, sit up or hold food in her paws. The vet put her on Prednisolone, and instantly her symptoms improved to the point she was able to function normally. She is currently on 1mg per day, and any attempts to reduce the dose cause the symptoms to return very quickly. Ziggy is looking a bit thin, and her coat is getting rather sparse in places, but she has a good quality of life, is able to participate in the full range of ratty activities, is lively and curious and gives every appearance of being a happy rat.

A couple of weeks ago I noticed Ziggy has a mammery lump. The lump is still fairly small, but growing steadily. The vet said she will operate if I want her to, but that I need to consider that post-op healing *may* be compromised by the steroids.

I'm struggling to make up my mind on this. The steroids have given Ziggy at least an extra two months of good quality life; without them the neurological condition would have finished her probably in early October, so I consider her to be on borrowed time anyway. I know long-term steroid use - especially at such high dosage - can cause life-shortening organ damage. Without surgery the lump will keep getting bigger to the point that she can no longer live with it, but if she has surgery, her last days may be a misery of infection, breaking-down wound and serious discomfort. I don't know what to do.

Has anyone else's rat had surgery while on steroids, and if so, could you please be so kind as to share your experience, especially in regards to healing/infection/other complications? I'd really value some other people's experiences and views before I make my decision about surgery for Ziggy.
Jacqui, Mum to Bella, Phoebe and Mr "Fred" Croup
and sadly missing Jeera, Dhana, Kizzy, Tasha, Nico, Amber, Saffy, Opal, Ruby, Trinny and Ziggy

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Ratgirl@RatRitz
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Re: Help please - surgery while on steroids

Post by Ratgirl@RatRitz » Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:41 pm

My main concern here would be the neurological problem rather than the steroid use. The fact that her neurological symptoms have responded to a steroid demonstrates that there is considerable inflammation behind the neurological symptoms, and isoflurane has a good chance of exacerbating this because it causes an increase in intracranial pressure whilst it is used ... and I would avoid surgery for that reason regardless of steroid use.

You could try a non-surgical approach for the mammary tumour instead? Galastop and the anti-lump mix might give you some good results, and if the neurological symptoms are down to a slow growing PT (her initial problems sounds very PT-like) then the Galastop has a good chance of helping with that too.
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Mcfluff
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Re: Help please - surgery while on steroids

Post by Mcfluff » Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:23 pm

Thank you so much for your reply. I've no experience using Galastop... I presume it has to come from the vet - I'll make an appointment for next week and ask her about it.

ETA: I've just looked it up - it's for suppressing lactation and phantom pregnancy in bitches - so what sort of dosage is usually used for treatment of mammery lumps in rats?
Jacqui, Mum to Bella, Phoebe and Mr "Fred" Croup
and sadly missing Jeera, Dhana, Kizzy, Tasha, Nico, Amber, Saffy, Opal, Ruby, Trinny and Ziggy

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