shakes head after petted?

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marilyn
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shakes head after petted?

Post by marilyn » Sat Jul 16, 2011 1:13 am

This is going to sound odd but recently my little ratty, George, has started to shake his head more often, particularly after being petted, and was wondering if anyone else's rats do this? He loves a cuddle and this seems to be a new habit from him that I've never seen this in previous ratties. Other than that he's perfectly fine and loves trying to usurpe leader status from his brother, Rufus!
Marilyn
Arthur (2008-2010) George (2010-2011) Rufus the Ralphous is most likely cuddling me now so he says hello :)

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Rhi01
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Re: shakes head after petted?

Post by Rhi01 » Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:56 am

Obviously I don't know without seeing but Fizz does this when she's playing. Her favourite game is for me to give her a scritch then she will run around the cage and come back to my hand for me to do it again.
Rhiannon with Charlie, Fizz, George, Gus, Inga, Kent and Oscar.

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marilyn
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Re: shakes head after petted?

Post by marilyn » Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:37 pm

Just an update about Georgey's head shaking... this is tragic news but this week he hasn't been himself and on Sunday morning, he was unable to grip with his right hand. Our vets are closed on Sundays so the closest day we could take him would be Monday.
By Monday morning, that other hand was showing the same signs and George was rushed to the vets.
The vet thinks something neurological is occuring; perhaps a stroke or a tumor in his brain (googling shows a pituatry tumour fits very well with his symptoms).
At the moment he isn't in any pain and is still eating with his mouth, albeit we're now at the stage where he's on baby food (just as a precaution, he gets frustrated with not being able to grip food well enough) but is still happy and comfortable. She took note of his head shaking and believes it could be related to this problem.
Thank you for your reply, I wish and am sorry the outcome of the problem wasn't positive.
At the moment we're just going to take each day as it comes and focus on George's quality of life.
Marilyn
Arthur (2008-2010) George (2010-2011) Rufus the Ralphous is most likely cuddling me now so he says hello :)

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Re: shakes head after petted?

Post by MissBlackEyeliner » Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:07 pm

Awww I am so sorry for the outcome, my little George does that so I think I'm gonna keep an eye on him after hearing your story and maybe take him the vets for a check up!

I hope your George is ok and lives his life to the fullest even though he is poorly!

xxx
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Polo, George, Dylan, Mini, Teddy and Stanley <3 xxx

Play hard on the bridge Brian (02/12/09), Bob (20/01/10), Spoon (13/04/11) and Jacob (28/05/11) xxx

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marilyn
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Re: shakes head after petted?

Post by marilyn » Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:30 am

Thanks MissBlackEyeliner, I'm sure rats shaking their heads isn't much to worry about in most cases I've read they do it mostly when playing and happy :)
The vet said sometimes it is a sign of an ear infection but in this case, with his arms it was ruled out.
Hope your little George is well and having good ratty fun, I'm sure he is :)
Marilyn
Arthur (2008-2010) George (2010-2011) Rufus the Ralphous is most likely cuddling me now so he says hello :)

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Re: shakes head after petted?

Post by ratfan70 » Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:48 am

My boy Diesel also used to have this behaviour, he also used to arch his head whenever we gave him a scritch on the top of his head. I used to think it was really cute until we found out he had a PT, and these are some signs of it. Diesel lasted about 4-5 weeks before i had to have him pts. Really sorry to hear about your boy, treasure the time you have together, and hope you are both coping ok. :luck:
mum/slave to Casper, Rico, Todd, Pepper, Louis, Riley, Cosmo, Alfie & Loki.

Missing my little ones at the bridge: Ziggy, Snowy, Buddy, Rocky & Diesel. RIP Boys!

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Re: shakes head after petted?

Post by marilyn » Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:25 pm

Sorry to hear about Diesel, :( losing a rat is always difficult for both the owner and their cage mates left behind.
May I ask, how was Diesel around his cagemates during this time? George's brother, Rufus, has found it very difficult because he wouldn't let him cuddle him and squeaks at him to warn him off. I think Rufy knows something isn't right with George so he's stayed away, although yesterday he did finally get to cuddle him again. A bit worried about what he'll do when that horrible time inevitably comes.

George over the past couple of days has improved but still isn't gripping his food. He still tries and can only ever so lightly hold soft food now and then which shows he has some fight in him still. He's had some really good couple of days since the vet game him some antibiotics so he's very comfortable and seems happier.
Sometimes he gets confused and wanders about looking a bit lost, bless him, which is difficult.
Reading up on PTs, it says the tumor is more common in female rats. This is interesting because even though George is a male rat, he's always been petit and a similar size to a fully grown female rat. When we bought him home, many people asked if he was a girl to the point where the vet asked if she could detirmine his gender. We thought that maybe he was just a late bloomer but he even has similar personality traits to what many rat owners say are 'typical girl' rat behavour. It got me thinking though, he's so young and since the pituatry part of the brain controls hormones, could he have been born with this tumor and would it have affected his growth?
Someone on another forum (think it was rathealth.co.uk) suggested that PTs are common in many roans and he is one too.
Is it true that some types of fancy rat are more prone to certain illnesses than others?
Marilyn
Arthur (2008-2010) George (2010-2011) Rufus the Ralphous is most likely cuddling me now so he says hello :)

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Re: shakes head after petted?

Post by ratfan70 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:59 pm

Hi, Diesel lived with his brother Casper, Casper was the alpha boy and Diesel was always a big softy. I didn`t notice a massive difference in his behaviour with his brother, he would sometimes get a bit grumpy with me when i used to clean him up after he had lost use of his back legs, but he never bit me or anything. I sometimes used to find him wandering about looking lost, which was very sad, at freerange he often used to walk around in a big circle.
I also read up a lot on PT when i suspected this was the problem, and it said it was more common in females. Diesel was a pretty big boy, not fat but not a small framed rat. He was a roan though, so thats interesting to read about that.
As i mentioned Diesel went downhill quite fast, i decided the time had come to make that horible descision, when i found him laying in a big puddle of urine, he couldn`t clea himself properly, and was totally uninterested in food, he seemed to panic sometimes as he found it difficult to move, so i felt he really didn`t have any quality of life. It was hard, as he had gone from perfectly healthy boy to totally helpless in about 4 weeks. It really is a horrible, nasty thing to see. I wish you and your boy well, if you need any more info of my experience just let me know. :luck:
mum/slave to Casper, Rico, Todd, Pepper, Louis, Riley, Cosmo, Alfie & Loki.

Missing my little ones at the bridge: Ziggy, Snowy, Buddy, Rocky & Diesel. RIP Boys!

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Re: shakes head after petted?

Post by marilyn » Sun Aug 07, 2011 2:07 am

Hi,
Just writing to update the post.
Sadly George was put to sleep last week :(
It had got to the point where he couldn't eat and we didn't want him to starve. The vet said he weighed 450 (I'm assuming she meant grams) when she last weighed him and had gone down to 400 in a week which was a lot of weight for a ratty. He had been very confused and we think he'd lost himself already.
His brother Rufus has been depressed since George became like another person. We're giving him lots of cuddles to get him through it. We're just trying to figure out what to do next for little Rufy as we're all grieving but in particular he's been hit the hardest as they've been together from birth.
Thank you everyone for your advice and responding to this topic, all of us at home and Rufy and George appreciated it :)
Marilyn
Arthur (2008-2010) George (2010-2011) Rufus the Ralphous is most likely cuddling me now so he says hello :)

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