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 Post subject: Happy rat very sick, opinions or ideas please!
 Post Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:05 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2016 5:35 am
Posts: 14
Hello! Excuse me if this isn't formatted or posted in the right section, as I'm posting this very late. I have a female dumbo rat (Tila) about a year and a half old, and without a doubt the happiest and most active of my group of three. Recently, though, she has been very lethargic and acting strangely pretty much overnight. She has been walking funny, not in circles or falling over but just seems to be stumbling around. I have seen her tip over a few times and seems to lose her balance. It has been a few days she has been like this. Tila also has had porphyrin coming from her nose and eyes, which has since cleared up but her left eye has been and still is closed. She almost stumbles around her cage as if she is lost or confused. Although she has been eating slightly, she seems to have trouble drinking water, when she finds her water bottle she doesn't seem to reach up to drink it (I'm not sure if she can't or won't) and sometimes I find her laying under it. I've been putting the water bottle in her face and she will drink it if I do, but if I move the bottle slightly she will throw her head around like she can not see or find it.

Because of her disorientation I've taken out the other tiers in the cage so there's not a risk of a fall, although she doesn't seem to move much and spends most of her time in her favorite hut with her sisters. They have also been sluggish, they almost seem sad that their sister is obviously in pain and will lay around her when I try to get her from her hut. I haven't been able to get her out out of fear of hurting her by picking her up if she is injured and not sick, and when I did try she would curl up in corners or toss around to evade me so I can't say for sure if she is favoring any limbs or has any obvious wounds. I have done the cheerio test and she seems to be using her front paws just fine. I'm wondering if maybe she could have hurt her back or hind legs, maybe this is why she won't reach up to drink her water or look out of the cage? Although I can't see why this would be disorienting her or why she would have one eye always closed.


I am planning on getting her to a vet soon, and am feeling very guilty that I don't have the money to get her there now. Any ideas of what could be going on would be greatly appreciated, I just want her to be the speedy, happy, and active rat that she is, or worst case scenario be able to recover or rest in peace. Thank you all in advance for any help or advice! :)


*Edit: I forgot to mention that Tila does not seem to have a head tilt of any kind. Just seems to be throwing her head around occasionally, as I mentioned earlier.


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 Post subject: Re: Happy rat very sick, opinions or ideas please!
 Post Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:55 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:04 pm
Posts: 603
She sounds seriously ill and needs a vet immediately. My first suspicion would be something neurological, although that's still a fairly wide range of possibilities. A dexamethasone injection can help with a number of neurological problems, and is certainly worth trying regardless in a rat this poorly.

Keeping her hydrated is crucial if she's struggling to drink; do the pinch test (#13 here: http://ratguide.com/health/basics/basic_health_check.php) to check for dehydration. Offer her wet, high-calorie foods. You sound like you're somewhere on the American continents? Something like polenta (or any quick/no-cook grain) made up with warm soy milk and with a drizzle of oil would be good.

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Poo-shoveller to: Zephyr Delanynder, Lia, and Lita.
Fondly remembering: Falere the contrary NLA36, Mirala the best and finest NLA36, Zephyr Opold the serene, and Rila the rodentist.
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 Post subject: Re: Happy rat very sick, opinions or ideas please!
 Post Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:22 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2016 5:35 am
Posts: 14
Thank you for your quick reply. I just did the pinch test and her skin returned to normal immediately, although when I did it she was still curled up in a ball and didn't move from that position before, during, or after her pinch test. I'm becoming very scared and heartbroken for her. :cry: I am in North America and I will gratefully try everything you have suggested. I'm not familiar with neurological problems in rats, as I've only raised four (including my three I have now) and my first girl passed away from PT. Could neurological problems also be causing her eye being closed, and her constant sleeping/curling up? Or would that be more explaining her waddles and movement issues? x


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 Post subject: Re: Happy rat very sick, opinions or ideas please!
 Post Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:28 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2016 5:35 am
Posts: 14
Just a quick update - Tila just now got up and walked straight to her water and drank it from the bottle on her own. This is the first time I've seen her do this for at least 24 hours. She does seem to be drinking it strangely, leaning a little bit to her right side. She still doesn't seem to be stretching out though, so to speak, just sitting up very close to the bottle.


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