Rat Seizure Advice?

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New Member
Nov 12, 2020
Newcastle United Kingdom
Hi everyone :D
I'm wondering if anyone else a rat that suffers from seizures?! I have a hairless rat who's about a year and a half and he seems to be suffering from seizures.
The first one he had I thought he had just fallen in his cage as there was a lot of noise and he was lying still at the bottom of the cage all tensed up (tbh i thought he was dying) and then after about an hour he was back to his normal self.
He can have 2 a week then not have one for weeks at a time so I can't really see any particular pattern, I've tried to identify if there was any triggers but absolutely nothing comes to mind!
The first few he had were quite bad he would throw himself around the cage and then just tense up, his eyes would bulge and he would lock his jaw however now he just kind of goes straight into being tensed up (eyes still bulging and locked jaw, a couple times he has started to dribble from his mouth as well) and sometimes squeals a bit as it happens.

I had a telephone consultation with the vets (they weren't doing face to face due to covid) but the only thing they suggested was to "keep an eye on him" so that was helpful, I've reached out to other vets in the area as well but they've said they aren't experienced enough with rats to help

Has anyone got some advice or anything? I feel bad that this happens to him but after an hour or so after the seizure (or whatever it is) he's completely fine and back to normal and none of my other ratties have ever had anything similar

Big Schpog

Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2020
British Columbia
He probably needs seizure medication. You need to find a rat specialist or do some research about medications for rats who are having them and tell the vet.


Staff member
Jul 21, 2007
Toronto, Canada, Earth
You need to do a seizure log until you can see a vet. You will want to write down everything about the seizure, how it starts, how long it lasts, how severe it is, how long til the seizure is over (swallowing is the first sign), how long the post-ictal period is (the quiet period after a seizure, etc. Look for any triggers at all, sudden loud noises, bright light, stress from rat companions, anything at all that could be different.

Here's a video of Bear, my first seizure rat. We suspected as an older rat I took in, that he had a brain tumour but put him on seizure meds to try anyways. He was on Phenobarbitol and then later we added in Potassium Bromide. Sadly none of these worked to control his seizures and we lost him. He does have the classic symptoms of seizure though.

Then there's Charlie, he came from a rescue family where a lot of them ended up with seizures. After this seizure, I started him on phenobarbital and the next day there was no seizures, after 2 weeks I started weaning down the phenobarbitol to find the lowest effective dose and weirdly enough he never started again. I stopped the pheno after a month and he never had another seizure until he was much older (8 months)
With rats having seizures, be careful around their mouths as they can bite down and really hurt you by mistake. I also found that holding them (carefully), talking and stroking them often brought them through the seizure more quickly.


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