How Can I Help My Pet Rat?

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Dec 19, 2009 in Rat Answers | Subscribe

My female pet rat is only approx 8 – 9 months old. In what seems like a couple of days she has gone from a healthy energetic rat to a really quiet sooky and cuddle rat. She has lost movement in her back left leg and her back right leg is pretty weak. Cant afford to take her to a vet. How do i know if she is in pain? She seems to be eating and getting around okay but gets puffed out quickly. Is this a normal disease rats get? Or has something happened to her? Although she is looked after very well. What can i do to help her? Please help asap!



  • E M D says:

    To be perfectly honest I don’t know exactly what is wrong, I worked in a pet store for 2 years and my primary responsibility was taking care of the animals, including rats. I’ve seen thousands come and go and have watched a few dozen litters grow up at least, but I’ve never wittnessed that. It would be very difficult to tell if she was in pain, since most animals are very good at masking any pain they are in, the fact that she is eating is a good sign though.
    Not being able to go to a vet will make it very difficult for you to accurately treat her, but if you want to try to crush up a small bit of an asprin that may help with the movment in her back legs, and if they’re swollen may bring that down.
    What I do know is very common in rats is upper respiratory infections, and lethargy is one of the first symptoms. She may start to appear to have a small amount of blood coming out of her nose, mouth, eyes and sometimes ears (not alot, just kindof crusty) , and slowly stop moving and eating, and have very labored breathing. Since by the time their symtoms are noticable the infection has already spread rapidly, most rats never survive from this… If she just has a genetic disorder thats causing pain in her rear legs or muscle atrophy of some kind in that area, then she may be able to live normally. Like I said, I’m mostly guessing, I’ve never seen that specific thing happen to a rat.
    If you have the means to take her to a vet, I would.

  • monicaaa says:

    I can only give you from what i know about female rats.
    try to look around on the internet if a vet is too expensive right now because ive found a few things that helped me out with my rats.
    The only thing that i can think of, when i was younger i had three female rats and we learned that they are very prone to getting tumors. There could be a possibility ONLY POSSIBLITYplease dont take my word, that she might be growing one and its somehow making her right leg weak.
    All three of my female rats ended up with tumors so be aware of this and if you get the chance try to take her to an animal hospital they would know better than anyone.
    ***to help her just keep on loving her and giving her a lot, a lot of attention. i like to sit and feed my rats theirfood from the bowl they seem to really like that and will actually look at me and wonder why i havent handed them a piece of food yet. make sure she doesnt sit around all day.
    hope that helps

  • Cookie crumbs & guns says:

    i have had plenty of pet rats when i was younger & i have seen this happen to them time & time again. it is most likely that she has had a stroke of some sort. funny enough, this seems to be quite common in pet rats because of what we feed them, they get cholesterol very quikly. feed her nice, warm food, like veggies & raw fruits. not to much nuts & cut out on the meat (especially if you are feeding her raw meat) Lots of water to drink & mabey just a tiny bit of milk. Keep her bedding clean, dry & warm. Put some boxes in her cage, so that she has a quiet & dark place to go & rest in while she recovers, although, she will probably not regain much power in her leg. I had a rat like that & he lived for a long time just dragging his little leg behind him. the vet said that the leg was sort of numb so he had no pain & he got used to it fast & found new ways of jumping, climbing. its normal that she will calm down after a stroke or injury. do not put saw dust in her cage, they may like to scratch around in it, but it is very bad for them – all the little fibres that they can inhale frm the wood. just use a thick wad of newspaper & change it everday. also put an old towel over her cage to stop any winds coming in & making her sick. rats overheat, so a blanky is to hot & the towel is breathable. good luck. also do some research on the net on this. ps: if you take her to the vet at your local spca, they will probably just take a look at her for free, if you explain that you have no money. i used to do it all the time.

Copyright © 2020 RatChatter All rights reserved.
RatChatter v1.0 theme from