The Rat Shack Forum

Help Support The Rat Shack Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Oct 29, 2020
I noticed my ~2yo Female start acting "drunk" about 5d ago. She was mildly lethargic and unsteady. I gave her food on a spoon and she repeatedly started eating from the R side and veered off to the L of the spoon. She also was falling out of hammocks etc. I gave her baytril and meloxicam and took her to the vet 1d later. The vet suspected inner ear infection and gave dexamethasone injection + started her on Doxycycline and prednisone. She improved slightly after the vet visit. However, she regressed to initial symptoms and now is more lethargic. Vet said to start baytril back as well and see how that works. She is still eating/drinking to the best of her ability. My question is does this sound like an inner ear infection or a PT/stroke etc? Is there hope she will regain some quality of life or should I be thinking about euthanasia. I have never had a rat with this issue and I'm unsure about prognosis. Any help will be appreciated.

If still no improvement with the antibiotic perhaps time to consider other options; the initial small improvement may have been due to corticosteroids given. Senior females are especially prone to PT so you might ask your vet about possible trial of cabergoline for diagnostic and (hopefully) therapeutic use. Does her head drift when eating as if she has trouble zeroing in on the food? Does she have trouble holding and manipulating food in her fingers? Have you noticed weakness in the hind legs or rigidity of the front legs? All are common with PT, though such symptoms can overlap with those of stroke or other neurological disorders. Effects of stroke are often more sudden and dramatic though. The odds may favour PT but perhaps Kye or others will weigh in with different perspectives.
Thank you for the information! Yes, she had trouble zeroing on food, holding food, moving limbs. She was stumbling and could not get around the cage. Eventually she just sat in a single spot for most of the day and would only eat from a spoon. I took her to the vet this morning since she was deteriorating quickly. They agreed that this is likely a PT and her quality of life will only go downhill. We discussed Cabergoline but given her age and severity of symptoms that would likely only extend her life a short period (if at all). We eventually decided putting her to sleep was the most humane option. I have never had a rat with a PT and was surprised how quickly they can go downhill. I guess it just reaches a critical mass and the pressure effect is hard to stop. It was only ~ 1 week ago that her symptoms became very noticeable. If this happens in the future I will insist on trying the cabergoline early. Thank you again. Hopefully this case will help others notice signs of PT and treat effectively.