Sickly rat

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DamienBlade

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Mar 17, 2017
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So, my rat Coco is 2 and 1/2 years old by this point, if not slightly more. She lives with two other younger rats, each about 1 1/4 years old. Recently her vision has seemed worse and she lost weight, but I figured that was part of her becoming old. Her hind legs I noticed were becoming weaker, but it was only recently I noticed they were struggling to support her weight. I was about to schedule a vet appointment but our nearby vets don't specialize or even really cater to rats in most cases, and Coco didn't seem to be in any distress. This morning around 6am, I noticed their water bottle had gone a day without releasing water but I rectified it as soon as I could. Once I got home from school though, which was around 8pm, I noticed a lot of blood throughout their cage. Coco herself was acting normal - curled up but came out to greet me when I arrived. I noticed to my horror that she had gotten even lighter than she had been before, barely any weight to her, and her left eye is cloudy. Her right eye is also slightly cloudy, and she seems to have lost vision in her left eye. We looked at her and the blood is coming from her genitals. I've had her out for a while, keeping track of her, making sure to feed her some honey, apple, and provide water as necessary but I am worried she won't make it through the night. She doesn't seem to be in pain or distressed at all - she's just sitting there chewing away the box I put her in, as always.
Does anyone have any idea what is wrong with her, or anything I can do to make it easier for her? I'm worried it was something I did, but I have always tried to look after her. As old as she is I expected it to happen soon, just not so suddenly.
 

Dena

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If you can get it, organic soy infant formula, mixed with rice infant cereal is better for her. Or even ensure. You can even soak her rat blocks in cool water, and make a mush. It's easier for them to eat, and they usually like it. I'm not sure about the cloudy eyes.
 

DamienBlade

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Well, I left her through the night so she could be in her cage and rest more, and so I could actually sleep. Surprisingly she is still alive this morning, and the bleeding seems to have stopped. He eyes are still cloudy though - she's blind in one eye.
Is honey a good food to be giving to her, since it tends to be healthy and quite sugary so I assume it would help her gain some weight?
 

ViciousCurse

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Is she spayed? What is her activity level? Does she eat more or less than usual?

Are you sure it isn't an injury sustained from a fall? If not, it sounds like a neurological condition either affecting her spine or her brain. The last dog I had had the issues with his back and front legs and was ultimately euthanized due to a brain tumor. For the cloudiness in the eyes, I would suspect cataracts, but it's odd that it's happening so quickly.


As for honey, the honey needs to be raw. And rats tend to hate wet/sticky/gooey things that stick to them, so they'll love the honey, but hate the feeling of it on them and may groom more than usual to rid themselves of the honey.
 

DamienBlade

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Unfortunately, when I woke up this morning, she had passed. She didn't seem to have been in distress though - she was curled up where she likes to rest near the water bottles. Her nose was clear and she hadn't continued bleeding, so I think it might have been a neurological issue, as you said. As for the honey, it was raw - we have a few beehives. She was not spayed, but was as active as usual for an old rat to my knowledge, even up until her death. Whatever it was it didn't cause her much pain I think. If it was a brain tumor or the like, could that have affected blood flow to the eyes or pressed against them to cause the blindness?
 

ViciousCurse

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Aww, I'm so sorry for your loss. I had a PT scare, but I'm not well versed enough to give advice. I'm not sure if it was a PT tumor or not, but it may have been another brain tumor. I'm just throwing a shot out in the dark, but it sounds like there was a tumor pressing on her brain and thus affecting her spinal cord and also her eyes. Maybe you can call up a rat vet and ask for what it could have been.

Don't blame yourself. Tumors can be quite aggressive and just know that is resting now. I blamed myself for a long time when my dog was euthanized due to his brain tumor.
 

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