My rat seems lethargic and is very skinny

Discussion in 'Health & General Care' started by KitKat, Jul 22, 2018.

Help Support Rat Shack Forum by donating using the link above.
  1. Jul 22, 2018 #1

    KitKat

    KitKat

    KitKat

    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2018
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    PNW
    Hi, this is my first time on here, and about 9 or so days ago I noticed my girl rat -Sayuri- was hardly leaving her bed. She's nearly 3 and I got her from Petco, so I figured she was just getting old and therefore tired so I didn't immediately panic. I moved her water bottle down to the bottom level along with her food, and I thoroughly cleaned her cage to keep her environment clean and nice for her. I gave her a pair of my comfy pj pants I was gonna throw out anyways to keep her warm, and left her alone. I've kept my eye on her since, and she feels very cold and skinny and her fur isn't soft like normal. Today, I noticed a small injury on her front paw, it just seems to be scuffed up from a fight she probably had with her sister -Michiko- but I sprayed it with petsafe antibacterial spray and put her back in her cage. Her breathing is fine and she seems interested in food, but she's not actually eating much at all.
    Occasionally, she comes out of her bed and onto the first shelf and asks for attention, but it's rare, and when she does she seems disoriented and favors the injured front paw a lot which causes her to be unstable and sometimes fall when trying to go off the shelf. She seems to always be messing with that paw of hers, cleaning it or just rubbing it a little. I wish I could take her to the vet, but I'm unemployed and money is tight for my mom.

    I can post a video if needed from my phone, and if anybody has any idea what could be wrong with her I'd appreciate the suggestions. Thank you.
     
  2. Jul 23, 2018 #2

    Luna&Ralph

    Luna&Ralph

    Luna&Ralph

    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2018
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    59
    Location:
    British Columbia
    Please do post the video, that would be very helpful. At this point, getting her nutrition is the most important thing. In addition to her regular food, try to give her some Ensure mixed with baby cereal or baby cereal mixed with baby food or something else with good nutrition and a lot of calories. If she’s sick, the extra calories will help her heal and the more weight she has now, the more time you have to figure out what’s happening before she gets too thin and frail.
    Is she holding food in the paw that isn’t bothering her? Pituitary Tumors are fairly common in older rats but it doesn’t necessarily sound like one based on the symptoms you told unless she can’t hold onto food with her paw.
    Personally, I think it sounds like her paw is causing her too much pain to want to eat. I would start her on some children’s Motrin to get her paw feeling better so she’ll leave it alone and give it time to heal. Also, I would consider taking out her levels and making her home a single storey for now so she doesn’t fall and hurt herself. This will also make it easier for her to get to her food, because it sounds like that could be an issue too.
    It’s also possible that she might have had a stroke that caused her to lose feeling in her paw and she is having trouble moving with it and is trying to chew on it to get some feeling. Strokes can be very treatable and the Motrin will help with that too because it acts as a blood thinner to get the blood past any possible clots.
    Good luck and please update soon with any more information!
     
    Petunia likes this.
  3. Jul 23, 2018 #3

    SQ

    SQ

    SQ

    Senior Member - Vegan for the animals

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    16,874
    Likes Received:
    821
    Location:
    central New Brunswick Canada
    As previously posted, more info would be very helpful

    She is definitely ill, and may be in pain
    http://ratguide.com/health/basics/signs_of_pain_in_rats.php

    I would suggest mixing up powdered, organic soy infant formula and thickening it with baby cereal
    she might be able to eat it out of a shallow dish, lick it off your finger or take it by syringe - licking it if the (needless) syringe or if you put one tiny drop at a time into the side of her mouth - so it does not go down into her lungs …. she might also like her blocks soaked in cool water to make mush, baby food, and soft foods like cooked sweet potato, cooked (real) oatmeal, etc

    Dehydration is a danger and it will kill so getting her to eat foods with a water content, like the ones I have suggested will not only provide nutrition but help to keep her hydrated

    She may have a neurological issue such as pt http://ratguide.com/health/neoplasia/tumor.php
    or an inner ear infection http://ratguide.com/health/auricle_ear/otitis_media_otitis_interna_labyrinthitis.php
    or if she is weaker on one side she may have had a stroke http://ratguide.com/health/neurological/stroke.php
    all of these conditions can be treated but that takes a vet and medication

    It is good that you are making changes to her cage to help her be more comfortable.
    You might also add a shallow water dish that can not be upset
    Glad that she is still in with her sister
    Hope you are able to spend a lot of time with her, cuddling her, holding her and petting her
     
  4. Jul 23, 2018 #4

    KitKat

    KitKat

    KitKat

    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2018
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    PNW

    Did this work? God I feel like my mom right now


     
  5. Jul 23, 2018 #5

    Luna&Ralph

    Luna&Ralph

    Luna&Ralph

    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2018
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    59
    Location:
    British Columbia
    Ah ok so it’s just the paw that’s causing her problems then. She looks quite healthy and alert other than that, as far as I can tell. It does seem like her lack of eating is caused by pain, and it looks like her issue is more from pain than numbness, so it most likely wasn’t caused by a stroke.
    Definitely get her some pain meds and see if they help so you know where to go from there. Going to the vet is always the best option, but sometimes you just can’t. Fortunately, over the counter children’s ibuprofen and some baby cereal/food don’t cost a lot. If you do end up getting some Ensure, freeze the unused portion into an ice cube tray to avoid wasting the rest of the bottle because it should be used within a day of opening it up, it goes bad very quickly. It’s somewhat expensive because the bottles come in packs but it’s nice to have some on hand anyway.
     
    Petunia likes this.
  6. Jul 23, 2018 #6

    KitKat

    KitKat

    KitKat

    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2018
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    PNW
    I went to the store and got both Ensure and some Gerber baby food, and then I handfed her. I filled a sock with rice and heated it and moved her to my small transport cage so that i can keep a close eye on her and feed her without Michiko fighting her for it. She doesnt seem to like the small cage, but it has a bowl for food and i attached my extra water bottle to the cage. Not planning on leaving her in there much longer than maybe 2 hours, i just want to be able to feed her as often as possible and track her water intake. Thank you for the help, we’ll see how she does.
     
    Petunia likes this.
  7. Jul 23, 2018 #7

    Luna&Ralph

    Luna&Ralph

    Luna&Ralph

    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2018
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    59
    Location:
    British Columbia
    It’s also a good idea to do That temporary separation to let her paw heal, in my opinion. As long as she still gets to mostly live and play with her buddy and is just separated so you can make sure she eats and drinks, I think it’s a great idea.
     
    Petunia likes this.
  8. Jul 24, 2018 #8

    KitKat

    KitKat

    KitKat

    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2018
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    PNW
    So, update, as I was feeding her today off the tip of my finger I noticed that her teeth felt really weird. I bundled her up so I could get her still, and her teeth have overgrown, which makes sense why she stopped eating. I can't trim her teeth myself as she's far too skiddish and squirms a lot, so I'll have to take her to the vet. She loves the baby food though, she's been eating a lot of it.
     
  9. Jul 24, 2018 #9

    SQ

    SQ

    SQ

    Senior Member - Vegan for the animals

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    16,874
    Likes Received:
    821
    Location:
    central New Brunswick Canada
    I am so glad that you noticed her teeth, you will need to keep an eye on her teeth for the remainder of her life
    Yes like you said, she will need the vet to trim her teeth, and continue to regularly trim her teeth

    Here is some info: http://ratguide.com/health/digestive/malocclusion.php

    I hope she is soon feeling much better
     
    KitKat likes this.
  10. Jul 24, 2018 #10

    Luna&Ralph

    Luna&Ralph

    Luna&Ralph

    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2018
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    59
    Location:
    British Columbia
    I thought the teeth could be an issue but forgot to mention it, so I’m glad you figured it out so quickly. Getting her teeth trimmed at the vet shouldn’t be too expensive if you choose to do so.
     
    KitKat likes this.
  11. Jul 27, 2018 #11

    Synchro246

    Synchro246

    Synchro246

    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2018
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Florida
    Really good job both in caring for her and figuring out the root cause!

    I'm wondering if perhaps her teeth bothering her is why she kept bringing her hand to her mouth and her hand got a little scuffed as a result.

    Feeding her all those soft foods I would think will help until you get her into a vet soon
     
    KitKat likes this.
  12. Jul 27, 2018 #12

    KitKat

    KitKat

    KitKat

    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2018
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    PNW
    Update, brought her to the vet and her upper teeth grew into the base of her mouth and caused an abscess. She's on painkiller and antibiotics now, hopefully she gets better. Thank you everyone for the help :)
     
  13. Jul 27, 2018 #13

    SQ

    SQ

    SQ

    Senior Member - Vegan for the animals

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    16,874
    Likes Received:
    821
    Location:
    central New Brunswick Canada
    gum abscesses are life threatening
    If the vet did not do so, you might want to have a culture done so that you can be sure you are using the best antibiotics to fight the infection

    I hope that she is on very strong antibiotics that penetrate well, such as cloropalm
    Sometimes surgery on a facial/gum abscess is needed
     
  14. Jul 31, 2018 #14

    KitKat

    KitKat

    KitKat

    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2018
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    PNW
    I don’t have the funds to do a culture sadly... the vist cost me 145 already and that would’ve brought it to 300. She’s on Baytril, Amoxicillin, and meloxicam I believe. She seems to be doing much better, has more energy (she’s been getting up to greet me when I go to the cage now) and has been drinking water and nibbling her food.
     
  15. Aug 1, 2018 #15

    SQ

    SQ

    SQ

    Senior Member - Vegan for the animals

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    16,874
    Likes Received:
    821
    Location:
    central New Brunswick Canada
    Yeah, it can be expensive …. Here my vet has to send cultures away and I have only had it done once or twice because it was necessary to save lives

    Glad she is feeling better
     
    KitKat likes this.
  16. Aug 2, 2018 #16

    Tazy

    Tazy

    Tazy

    Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2015
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    NULL
    Did the vet trim her teeth?
     
    KitKat likes this.
  17. Aug 10, 2018 #17

    KitKat

    KitKat

    KitKat

    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2018
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    PNW
    Yes her teeth did get trimmed, but I'm gonna have to get them trimmed again- glad it's only 27$ for that.
     

Share This Page