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Perching here and gathering my thoughts ...

Luna has a tumour

23 January 2004 ~ 13:51

Luna is the elder of our two ratties. She will be two years old on 13th March.

Just over a week ago we started noticing that she seemed a little uncoordinated. She would topple over while sitting up to wash herself, or nearly slide off the arm of the sofa, when rats are normally very sure-footed. We suspected a pituitary tumour, which is quite common in female rats, and displays exactly these sorts of symptoms. So we scheduled an appointment at our vets.

The vet seemed pretty sure that she did have a tumour either in her pituitary gland, or elsewhere in the brain. And as Debbie ‘The Rat Lady’ Ducommun had advised (she runs The Rat Fan Club) Luna was prescribed steroids. The vet gave her a long-lasting injection and she was also put on a course of antibiotics because steroids can weaken the immune system.

After a few hours she did actually seem much better. She has lost weight but apart from that she is eating and running around. We will have to inject her once every week for the rest of her life but we are told the steroids can keep the tumour at bay for several months. I really hope so. Rats don’t live very long but we’d like to continue to enjoy Luna’s shy and gentle company for as long as possible.

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