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Pituitary Tumor

Ekko's Story with regards her Pituitary Tumor.

Adenoma (of the pituitary gland)

This type of cancer is the second most commonly seen in female Rats, particularly aged females. The pituitary gland lies just beneath the brain. Although this type of tumour is believed to generally be benign it is not normally operable due to its location. As the tumor grows it presses on the brain and eventually causes loss of control in your Rat. Symptoms may appear slowly or quickly depending on how aggressive the tumor is and its growth rate. The first symptom that usually appears is loss of coordination, followed by paralysis. One symptom that is usually used to help identify a pituitary tumor is a quite distinctive posture; first the front and then the hind legs are held out stiffly and cannot be flexed by the Rat.

Other possibly symptoms that may be seen include:

The above symptoms can also be the result of an inner ear infection that can be treated with antibiotics.

Treatment for neurological impairment generally consists of the use of steroids and  a particular antibiotic which has helped with shrinking this type of tumor. If treatment has not been given early the chance of a full recovery is less. If despite treatment the Rat is no longer able to feed itself then it is time to consider euthanasia. Most rats that are suffering from a PT have less than 3 weeks of life, from the time the symptoms are picked up by the carer to the time of death.