Page 1 of 1

Thin hind quarters and flat footed walk, young female

Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:24 pm
by mainey
One of the rats I am looking after looks a little off to me, form wise. Her back legs seem skinny, not nice and muscled like the other rat's and she walks flat footed most of the time. When she's running along my arm, for example, she just seems more unsteady on her back legs than her 'sister'. Her back looks kind of thin and sloped towards the tail (like a German shepherd) instead of rounded. She otherwise is bright and healthy, though she is less likely to explore when out than her sister and prefers to sit there and groom most of the time. However, if I switch up my position, eg laying down instead of sitting up, she seems the most excited to explore and seems braver when it comes to climbing higher. She always looked a little off to me but nothing I was worried about, but I tend to thinks and think and it just because more obvious when I look at her now. And, I guess, as they become braver and explore more I see it more. She runs around with her sister fine and jumps up onto me and seems to climb fine. She spidermonkeys her cage bars and stands up on her hind legs and all the normal rat behaviours. It looks like she's constantly got her butt dipped to scent mark but I don't notice any spots most of the time. She does sometimes walk along on her toes like normal but it just looks weird when she does it.

Is this a common occurrence in Dumbo rats, having a sloped back? (I've not had them before) Maybe it's poor breeding? They are pet shop rats. Maybe it's a learned gait from being cramped in a petshop? Could it have been caused by a deficit in her diet? Though the other rat is fine. Just wondering if anyone has come across this before.

They are only about 7 or 8 months old. I've only had them just over a month and she's always been like it as far as I've had her. Seems a bit young for HLD?

I did take a video on my phone but have no idea how to embed them in a post.

Any thoughts, knowledge, or experience is appreciated!

Re: Thin hind quarters and flat footed walk, young female

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:55 pm
by Caza66
It does sound young to have this problem. Hld is a generic term and doesn’t necessarily identify the cause. Is it possible that she has had a fall?

Re: Thin hind quarters and flat footed walk, young female

Posted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:12 pm
by mainey
Thank you for your reply Caza66,

My brother (the owner of the rats) does not recall any significant falls that she has taken. She did jump off of a desk while with me a while a go, I kept a close eye no her and she was fine, but I had noticed the odd posture before this. She does seem to like jumping, she'll try jumping up walls during free range so it's possible she could have fallen or jumped from too high before. They seem to jump from much higher than I would expect, for example, they'll jump off my shoulder (from sitting) to the floor. I try to angle my arm for them to climb down or lower down to lessen the distance but they seem unfazed. Does anyone else's rats try to jump up sheer walls?

Is it worth taking her to the vet for a check up? They are very nervous rats and anything stressful does tend to set them back confidence wise. Things like meeting new people have them acting odd for a day or two. They are very neophobic with new objects, places and food, and I'd hate to take them to such a scary place unnecessarily. I am working on their confidence but it's a long slog.

I have recently received some DailyRat3 and ratRations food and upped their protein a little to see if it helps with muscle mass. Though Black Rat looks to be in pretty good shape, hopefully it will help Grey Rat!

Re: Thin hind quarters and flat footed walk, young female

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:40 am
by Caza66
I’m not sure a vet would be able to identify/do anything. However, the more you exposure the rats to new experiences the more they will get used to them and therefore become more confident. I’m had scaredy rats in the past and become the complete opposite within a few months.

Re: Thin hind quarters and flat footed walk, young female

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:08 pm
by mainey
Thanks Caza66,

I am working on them. Even approaching the cage or having hands in used to terrify them. They are so much better now and are curious when hands come near rather than scared. I will see if the family will help get them get used to new people :)