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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had 2 new adult rescue boys on friday, who i will be introducing to my 3 12 week old boys on friday. They met tonight, i had the new boys on my knee one by one and let the babies come over and meet them. The babies were like " new friendsssss lets snifft and climb and stick our heads up their bums" and the new boys were like "mummmmmm why are these tiny creatures climbing all over me and sticking their heads up my bum?" it was quite comical but so far so good.

One of my new boys (no idea of a age but is 420g, so i assume atleast a year mabey more), has pink eyes, hes not a PEW as his fur is white and cream but his eyes are deffo pink and i suspect he is pretty much blind. When the light reflects off his eyes they are pretty much white with just a hint of pink and if i hold a trear out for him and move it along the cage he doesnt follow it, while his black eyed friend followed it across the cage.

Is being almost blind going to cause a problem for him? i know they mostly go on sound and smell anyway but especially when intros begin properly with the babies is there more chance of him attacking them? he doesnt seem jumping, if i pick him up or touch him from behind he doesn't panic or dart off so im hoping he will be ok :L

Thanks

Amy
 

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Hello Amy

Not at all! Rats are pretty much blind by nature. Normal rats have vision of around 20/600 and red-eyed rats have 20/1200. As you can see, pretty much blind for the red-eyed beauties. In case of my red-eyed hairless, he sits very often swaying around, trying to make sense of the world. Their sense of smell and sense of vibration is what they rely on most. We as humans do make the mistake to think that rats will suffer without vision as we are visually dominant creatures. Not the case for them though. As they become use to you, your smell and voice, they will seem to drop this 'blindness' as their confidence in you will over-power their visual need. Just watch for sharp corners and so on, have a rat safe area you know. Like the door of the cage or edges etc. When excited and running around, they bump into these, which can be harmful.

Hope I could provide you with some ease. All the best!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thankyou thats good to know :)... the rat play room is full rat proof and doesnt really have any sharp corners and there are lots of ladders and ropes and things from all the shelves so he should get pretty good at finding his way around. He such a sweet guy, ive never known any animal take a treat from you sooooooooo slowly <3 x
 

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First let me agree that rats that are blind do much better than humans that are blind... Indoors they can live perfectly normal lives because rats have a remarkable spacial orientation... They can memorize places in space almost instantly... although they are actually better the next day.

Today I took Misty to the park for the first time in a few months and although we walked through a construction site and meandered about when I put her down she headed straight in the direction of the car... As there was a building and a creek between the car and us we couldn't go that way, so we had to go around... she resisted following me until I made the turn back towards the car and she took off ahead of me all excited.

As to rats having poor vision this is really a very inaccurate statement. The fact is that rats have a greater depth of field than humans have. Their vision is practically never out of focus. However they do have fewer rods and cones so their vision is basically low resolution... like an old TV, the kind of small black and white tv's we had as a kid (although rats can see colors).

To confuse matters even more, rats in my experience need to learn to use their eyes to interpret larger images like landscapes. Younger rats and rats that we haven't had outside much will often go to any house they see while rats with experience outdoors will walk past every other house and go right to out front door. Fuzzy Rat had a human friend named Julius, he was a sort of a pleasant middle aged, permanently jobless fellow who hung out at the park... but Fuzzy Rat really liked him and would get all excited to see him. Julius liked to sneak up on Fuzzy Rat, but she would react to him at up to 50 feet away and go to him without him saying a word. On a bright clear day, Fuzzy Rat could identify Julius from at least 50 feet and tell him apart from everyone else.

When we went places Fuzzy Rat would usually sit on my shoulder facing backwards, if I put her down she could usually lead us back to the car or back to home... Yes she might have been smelling our footprints like a blood hound, but more than likely she was memorizing landmarks the way she would need to to get back without getting lost.

The idea that brown eyed rats see the world out of focus is a myth... they see the world in low resolution. There is a big difference. If I take my glasses off the world is out of focus in wonderful full color resolution. I can't see things because I can't focus. A rat can see things fine even if they see things in terms of a newspaper photo rather than a high res big screen TV.

Lastly... and most oddly... rats see best in bright light. Perhaps we do too. As things get darker rats rely on their other senses more. When Fuzzy Rat got older she would head to the car when it got darker out. I'm thinking that with age her vision was in fact getting weaker and she wasn't as confident of her mastery of her world when she couldn't see as well...

As to ruby eyes... We've had two rats with black-ruby eyes, one wiped out in her shoulder rat training and the other has passed her test... So far I can't say her vision is impaired, but she took a long time to become self confident. She can easily see me from at least 20 to 50 feet away, but we really haven't tested her on long distance.

Just an observation... we have two dumbo rats now and both seem to have trouble identifying where a sound is coming from... unlike our top eared rats that looked right at the source of the sound the dumbos tend to just freeze and look confused... they respond more to hand signals than voice commands... so they do see the hand signals.

Again, your blind rat is likely to be fine indoors... but I just hate to see the misconception that rats have bad eyesight perpetuated. It just isn't true.
 

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I have a red eyed dumbo rat named gizmo and i let him run around wherever he wants and he seems to look like he knows where he's going atleast that is whut i thot until trading done of the replies on ur post. Thank you for asking about ur rats vision. For it helped me understand from ur replies how my rats vision is.
So thanks!!
 

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He may tilt his head from side to side to compensate using light/shadow cues to judge distance if that's all he sees. He may also lunge at food once he smells it and accidentally nip your finger due to the blindness. I taught my blind rats the word "finger" by sticking my finger in at them with no food so they could learn the difference. Then I taught them "be careful." Later, "Be careful - finger" when giving food eventually solved the lunging/nipping problem after they put the idea together.

Also I read that the red/pink eyed rats are more likely to become blind/more blind if housed in bright lights, such as mine always were at the shelter. Same reason that albino humans have to wear strong sunglasses.
 

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Red eyed rats, in studies show that even low ambient lighting will cause damage. over time most you can just assume go completely blind.

Buttercup, our albino girl used to always sway her head when coming upon something she couldnt' see well. She no longer does this, but I'm pretty sure she can no longer see at all. She is getting close to about 2 years of age. Otherwise, she is still very active and has always been the most laid back rat who is absolutely fearless. Nothing has changed there. She's very well adjusted about it all and gets around well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
He is a very gentle boy although he did snatch when i shared my fish finger sandwich with him... cheeky monster lol but i think he knows the difference between finger and food as if i poke my finger in the cage he will sniff my finger but wont bite it :)

he seems to be doing well so far, tonight ive moved everyone up to the Jenny rat cage because my younger boys were getting bored out of their minds stuck in a small cage for intros. So far they are doing well although Reggie doesnt seem to be too good at climbing he kindda got himself stuck on a ledge, im not sure if he couldnt climb down or if he couldnt see what path he needed to take to get down. This shouldnt be too much of a problem tho as long as intros carry on going well the complete cage set up with have alot more climbing apparatus so no one should get stuck!

I wish i knew how old Ronnie and Reggie are, i assumed they are brother but looking at how they behave Reggie looks and acts so much older than Ronnie :L xxx
 

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I have 3 albino girls rescued from a lab. One is close to completely blind but she is extremely bothered by light. When I first got her I thought she was a biter but then I realised that she has a hard time telling my fingers apart from food when I give her treats, but after a few times I complained she started being more careful when smelling food, except it's something real tasty =)
When I realised how poor vision she had I thought it was gonna be bad for her, but from the three wistars she is the most clever when it comes to hiding during free-range time. When she wasn't too bonded with me she was a pain in the butt to find haha. Now she usually comes when I tell her I'm going to give her a treat so I guess with blind rats it's all about having a good connection with them and let them be. Pinky used to be so skittish when I tried to pick her but in time she learnt that it was good to be around me so she only gets scared when I come to her without telling her anything.
I do try my best to dim the lights when she's out of the cage and I make sure that she has dark spots in the cage where she can rest her eyes from the lights.
 
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