Pain relief for old gent

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izzerie
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Pain relief for old gent

Post by izzerie » Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:47 pm

Fraser has recently turned 32 months old and is generally in excellent health for his age. Over the last couple of months his back legs have been getting steadily weaker and he has a slight tremor in his back end which goes down his tail and his back legs. Otherwise he was absolutely fine until a couple of days ago when I noticed one of his legs is swollen; it's not dramatically swollen but it is noticeable and the joints are stiff. Fraser seems uncomfortable when I manipulate his leg but otherwise doesn't seem too uncomfortable, he walks (waddles!) around quite happily. I'm fairly certain it isn't an injury because Fraser hasn't climbed in the last couple of weeks and is a floor dweller now so I was thinking perhaps some form of arthritis?

If so, I was thinking of starting on some anti-inflammatory pain relief but with has age and the fact that I know HLD can be a sign of kidney disease, I'm loathed to put him on loxicom unless necessary. His kidneys are supported with a kidney friendly diet, ipakitine and extra calcium supplements already but I am concerned with the stress loxicom or metacam could put his kidneys under.

What do people think? Is he at the point where he needs pain relief if he doesn't seem in pain and doesn't have any trouble getting around (although he doesn't climb anymore)? Am I right to be concerned about the stress daily pain relief could put on his kidneys? Any advice would be great :)
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Re: Pain relief for old gent

Post by acapae_wolf » Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:39 pm

I would try him on some and see if he perks up at all. Yes long term on NSAIDs can hasten kidney decline. But if the loxicom improves things at all, then I would say it is necessary. I'd rather a rat had a shorter life with greater mobility and less pain, than a longer life with less mobility and more pain.
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izzerie
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Re: Pain relief for old gent

Post by izzerie » Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:40 pm

I guess I could and if it doesn't make any difference I could always stop it :) thanks, I guess because Fraser seems fine in herself I wasn't sure and I'm trying to balance all his needs.

I'll give him a try on it and see :)
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Re: Pain relief for old gent

Post by acapae_wolf » Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:05 pm

Trying it and seeing is basically how I decide whether there's any point :)
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Kahini
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Re: Pain relief for old gent

Post by Kahini » Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:53 pm

Absolutely agree with Beri.

Arthritis pain can sneak in gradually, sometimes it can be difficult to see just how much it is affecting them until they are on pain relief and you see a real change in them. If it is that, it could well have been playing a part in his decline for a while now.

We have used metacam in quite a few elderly rats, often for a long time and at high doses, and not really had problems with increased rates/severity of kidney failure. So, while it's sensible to be aware of adverse effects, I wouldn't overly worry if he ends up needing it long term as it won't necessarily cause problems, and immediate quality of life is more of a priority anyway.

Another thing that may be worth looking into for a more long term thing if he needs that is acupuncture. It's a bit of a long shot, as I've never heard of any vet other than mine doing it on rats, but worth checking to see if there is anyone near you that would do the same. I've found it incredibly effective for pain relief in musculoskeletal issues, usually allowing us to drop the metacam dose quite considerably. In a couple of arthritic rats with liver problems, where we wanted to avoid metacam if at all possible, it was enough by itself to keep them very comfortable indeed :)
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Re: Pain relief for old gent

Post by rattypetrolhead » Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:43 pm

Both Daisy (33m) and Pip (29m) have hld now, but they're both on loxicom and ipakitine... among other meds. They seem comfortable on the combination, Daisy more so than Pip though. Pip has a tremor and her hld was faster to decline than Daisy's. Daisy is not slowing down for anything though :roll:
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Re: Pain relief for old gent

Post by twigletzone » Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:11 pm

My Salt's on long term Metacam, which seems to be keeping him going pretty well - without it all he does is sleep and snap at his cagemate for annoying him, but with it he potters about OK. The vet thinks he has lymphatic cancer, he was getting really respy and the anti-inflammatory action of metacam has completely sorted that.
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