Friday, April 30, 2010

Waiting and watching

The vet wasn't able to say for sure what's causing Bear's lower body weakness (his hind legs don't have as much range of movement and control, and his tail is mostly limp). Apparently, he might have hurt his back. He might also have degenerative osteoarthritis. That second one scares me, since it means he's only going to get worse. (I love Rat Health Guide, by the way - it's been very helpful over the years.)

The vet has put him on steroids, and today was his third day getting them. So far, I'm not sure if he's improved, but the vet said it might take as long as a week to see results. I'm also a bit worried about his tumor, which seems to have gotten a bit larger. I had originally planned to take him in for surgery if it looked like the tumor was going to start growing, but with his other problems now I'm not so sure. I'm hoping the universe will be nice to Bear and just leave him alone for a while.

I'm working on creating a single-story cage for him. It's basically just a plastic storage container with some aluminum screen material on top - I doubt he's athletic enough anymore to make it out of the container, even if I chose not to give it a cover, but I figure it's better safe than sorry. I'll probably put him in the new cage tonight, so I can see how he deals with it before work on Sunday.


  1. So sorry to hear there is no improvement yet. Hopefully the steroids will kick it. No one had a small cage? I was hopeful Kay might.

  2. Kay's got a cage, but it's not single-story. He's got a 3-story one right now and, even with his leg problems, goes up to the third story, but he doesn't have good control, so I worry he'll fall off one of the ramps or stories or get his feet (which keep curling up) caught in the wires. JS Pet Shop and Walmart only have small one story cages. The storage container should be ok. If it needs more airflow, I can drill some holes into the sides.

  3. Nowadays, even younger generation can be diagnosed with osteoarthritis. The cause can't be related to just one factor however there are preventive measures that can be taken. One simple way is by increasing the amount intake of Omega 3 fatty acids.

  4. Thank you for your advice. Unfortunately, Bear passed away only a couple weeks after this post.