Figure 2: Pododermatitis in male rat (Lance).
Case histories and photos
These were acute cases with no previous warning – the first case I assumed was an injury. It just appeared as severe swelling in a 14-month-old male. We did an X-ray and found no fracture. There was significant edema. We treated with an injection of dexamethasone at the emergency practice I work at. I brought him to my regular vet (where I now work) and she prescribed a heavy dose of the prednisone, trimethoprim-sulfa, and oral Torbugesic. The dexamethasone had done nothing by itself, and he was dragging the foot, which was about three times its
normal size. It took two days for the foot to reduce to just slightly over normal size, though it remained pink for another day.
A few months later I had another boy (in the pic), Lance, come down with the same condition. His foot swelled and was red all the way up his leg – much further than Marius’, which was contained to his foot. I treated immediately with the prednisone, Torbugesic, and trimethoprim-sulfa. His took a little longer – three days to improve. Both cases cleared up completely by the end of the 10-day course of trimethoprim-sulfa.
I had one another case – a female. She had a slight case of bumblefoot that I believe developed into the same infection. I do believe these infections are related to bumblefoot, as they have all been in overweight rats on solid-bottom floors. Her swelling cleared up, but she had a chronic bumble on that foot that I often had to pressure bandage because of bleeding.
Photo 1: Tiny area of ulceration can be seen on plantar portion of right foot.
Photo 2: Advancing inflammation and infection
Case history and photos courtesy of Melissa Pandajis