The vet must love me!

I was planning on calling the vet to get Sugar's paw looked at again since it was still very swollen from her sprain a month ago. Well Saturday afternoon after I got home from work (overtime) my brother noticed her one eye looked larger than the other. I didn't think too much of it until Sunday when it swelled up. I used a gel ice pack and held it over her eye until the swelling decreased but by Monday evening her eye was actually bulging out. I made an appointment to get her paw & eye checked at the vet.

Tuesday she had her appointment and the vet checked her paw out. He wasn't sure why it was still swollen (mostly around her wrist, she can't bend the joint.) or why her eye was swollen. He said it could possibly be tumors and there wouldn't be anything he could do for that. He prescribed some more metacam for her swollen paw.

I don't really believe the swelling of her eye is being caused by a tumor at all. Just because of the fact the ice pack keeps bringing the swelling under control. If it was a tumor that would be a foreign mass under the skin and I don't think the swelling would have decreased with the ice if it really was a tumor.

Some of you might know I'm a member & moderator at the ratchatter forums. We were discussing Sugar's condition on the forum. We were saying it could be a possible infection or even a condition called edema. Then the fact was brought up that metacam is a immunosuppressive drug. When it is used for long periods of time it can decrease the immune system which makes your pet more susceptible to infections.

Metacam should actually be prescribed with an antibiotic because of this. (And Sugar was already on the metacam for almost 3 weeks a month ago.) I didn't know this beforehand or else I would have mentioned it to my vet. He is a good vet, but sometimes he isn't as knowledgeable about rats as I would like. (Though the way my rats keep visiting the vet- he'll be an expert on them soon enough, lol!)Surprinsgly; I also noticed tonight if you look up metacam here, it even lists edema as a possible side effect.

Well, since I didn't know that metacam should be prescribed with an antibiotic; I went home and by Wednesday night Sugar's eye was worse. Bulging farther out, red, runny, swollen. She couldn't close it, it was awful. I actually shrieked when I saw her. I called the vet and they said to bring her over and they would see me first. This time my vet thought it could definitely be an infection so he put her on the antibiotic SMZ-TMP The nurse was saying since her paw is still bothering her and because she's had alot of porphyrin in the mornings she was probably rubbing her eyes alot and could have gotten an infection that way. That makes sense, especially if her immune system is low.

Wednesday Night:

Of course the vet said if the swelling didn't go down then we could be looking at something more serious like a tumor- but she's been on the metacam & the antibiotic since Wednesday and this morning her eye looked so much better! It wasn't bulging. It still looks slightly puffy and irritated but nothing like the other night. She's also still been getting ice on her eye in the mornings, afternoon & evenings and this morning she didn't need any ice at all! So yay! Looks like she is on the mend! Her paw was actually looking slightly better too, so I'm wondering if it's just fluid buildup from her sprain. Once she's finished all of her med's & her infection clears up- if her paw still looks puffy I'm going to look into taking her to a different vet for another opinion & x-ray.

How her eye looks currently:

Sugar isn't fond of her medicines at all... she loves to drool it out of her mouth! She is getting 0.1ml of metacam once a day & 0.3ml of SMZ-TMP twice a day. I always try to trick her with a yogurt peanut afterwards so most of the medicine gets in her. I've decided to keep up with the ice pack in the evenings unless she looks like she needs it. I've also been rinsing her eye out with saline to keep it clean. Let's hope by next week she will be doing much better!

  1. You're a wonderful rat-mom. Sugar does look so much better, and I hope she keeps improving.

    Several of my girls did the same drooling thing and it just drove me nuts. I had one that would drool, hated the feeling of it, so would wipe her chin very deliberately on my pants or the chair until she was dry. LOL

  2. I agree that you're a wonderful rat-mom. My dogs are my babies, and I'd do anything for them. I don't personally understand why you'd love having rats so much (rodents creep me out a little, probably because of all the wild dirty mice that snuck into our home when I was a kid and pooped everywhere), but I do understand the love you have for them. I hope she gets better soon.

    A personal rodent story of mine ...

    A few years ago I was baby-sitting/house-sitting for my ex-husband's sister and her husband. The oldest of her four kids had a mouse (just a normal small $2 mouse from PetCo) and it's eye did the massive bugging out thing. The kids were all freaking out thinking its eye was going to explode or fall out, so I took it to a vet because I couldn't stand the idea that it might die and the kids might blame me for not getting it help. I spent $30 on a vet's visit just to have her tell me that the only thing she could probably do was surgery and she said that she didn't think paying that much would be worth it just to save a $2 pet. When the sister-in-law got home, they just let the mouse go outside and bought him a new mouse. And I never did get my $30 back, but I'm glad the kids didn't end up blaming me for the mouse's demise.


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