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Rat Cataracts

Posted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:42 am
by Blue
Recently one of my rats has developed it. It's upsetting and I'm curious to know what could have caused it. She's a red eyed white so she's probably almost if not entirely blind. Will it seriously affect her coordination or will her other senses make up for the loss? She seems fine right now but idk. Before the cataracts was visible she gave birth to a small litter of 2 and was nursing 5 of another rat's pups, so could this have something to do with it?

Re: Rat Cataracts

Posted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:57 am
by izzerie
I think Muskrat's girl Esme has cataracts so she would be the best person to ask :)

Re: Rat Cataracts

Posted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:09 am
by neotoma
I had one old boy with cataracts - it didn't affect him, and we didn't consider treatment. Basically red eyed rats are often almost blind anyway (as they don't have pigment to protect their retinas from light damage), so actual blindness from other causes doesn't seem to bother them much. Rats do a lot of their sensory perception with their whiskers, hearing and smell - sight isn't as important to them as it is to us. I've had a few red eyes who are more cautious about jumping to new places the first time, but the only ones who have actually shown any real disability are the ones who have also lost a second sense - either going deaf when older, or one rex lad who had very curly whiskers, and therefore could neither see nor feel where things were.

I don't think birth is likely to have caused cataracts, but I'm not a breeder so no expert on that side.

Re: Rat Cataracts

Posted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:15 am
by Muskrat
Hello :lol:

Yes, Esme has cataracts in both eyes. They appeared at about 18 months so it's unlikely they were due to age. Other things the vet considered were diabetes, glaucoma and head trauma - we tested her for diabetes and treated her glaucoma with no result, so we settled on trauma (makes sense also because they were sudden and affected both eyes at the same time). Esme manages ok, she's cautious with jumping and won't jump further than she can feel with her whiskers, and you have to warn her if you want to pick her up, but she's fine.

I would take her to the vet and see what they think, especially if she's young.

Re: Rat Cataracts

Posted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:16 am
by Cricket
I have an older girl with cataracts, it doesn't seem to bother her at all, although she is more aware of things that come into her cage, but then again she doesn't like anyone touching her things :roll:

Re: Rat Cataracts

Posted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:29 pm
by Catz
Our girl Socrates came from a pet shop along with a boy calld Sheldon. They were our first rats before we knew better and of course they were mis sexed. Cai gave birth to 4 babies which we kept. All 6 of them are pink eyed whites and have cararacts. We sought treatment but the vet said there is very little she could do. It doesn't effect any of them and they act just like our other black eyed boys.
Birth wouldn't have caused the cataracts but I think there is a good chance her 2 pups will develop them.. correct me if I'm wrong breeders, that has just been my experience :)

Re: Rat Cataracts

Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:40 pm
by pinksaffy
Roland, my oldest female ratty (31 months), had just been diagnosed by our vet with cataracts in both her eyes. I was very surprised by how quickly they appeared. I'd been away for 3 weeks for work, while the OH looked after our pets, and returned to a blind ratty :( .

She seems to be coping well though, although she did land on Mole the other night while climbing down the cage bars and both of them seemed quite surprised by the event, although completely unharmed, so I guess she didn't mean to do that :oops: .

I guess, and I'm hoping, a ratty's world is so dominated by smells that loss of sight is a minor inconvenience.