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Discussion Starter #1
Hi! :) My rat Bullwinkle is all of a sudden drinking a ton of water. He's about 9 months old. For 2 or 3 weeks, he's started drinking about twice as much water as he used to. I'm not sure if he's just still growing, or if something could be wrong that would make him extremley thirsty. I haven't been feeding him anything different, or made any other changes. Does anyone have any suggestions?
 

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umm he might be thirsty, is the room they are in gotten dramatically warmer?? maybe you should call a vet (calling doesnt cost anything ;)
 

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if you notice him urinating more, and losing weight, it could be symptoms of diabetes in rats, i don't know how common it is, but i just ran into someone in another forum who had this problem to discover the rat is diabetic.
 

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Also - and I would have never of guessed this unless I'd experienced it - it could be a sign of inflammation/irritation.

One of my boys, Ritchie, has mange 'flare ups' occasionally, where his skin becomes hot and red and he will go through stages of drinking half a water bottle in a night - I always know when he's due for one when he starts drinking a lot.

I'd say a vet visit is in order, there must be a reason for your furball to be drinking so much, best to get it checked :)
 

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Kidney or renal failure is a common one too, more common than diabetes. Usually it happens to older rats as their system's efficiency at flushing the toxins fails they drink more water, and urinate more to flush out the toxins that way. Part of growing old but can be helped with diet I have heard.

Mark on the bottle how much he drinks in a 24 hour period....Was there a change like the room is too hot? That would definitely cause it.
 

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just tossing this out there

if this is the typical hanging water bottle, make sure it hasn't developed a leak

If you know for sure he is drinking this water & it isn't a leak then it would be wise to check with a vet about the health concerns mentioned above
 

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Also along the water bottle lines, make sure water is coming out. I know the glass ones can be really temperamental. Sometimes they lick and lick and nothing comes out, so it seems like they are drinking a lot but in reality they aren't getting anything. Also the leaking thing that Julia mentioned.

Try to rule out non-medical reasons before you get your self worked up. If it does appear to be medical you should probably try to see a rat vet.
 

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do you have central heating on now its getting colder, this can make the air very dry and make them thirsty, i know it does me!.... when i have the heating on high i have a damp teatowel on my radiator so it doesnt agrrivate the boobars.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you all so much for all your input! It was really helpful! I will call the vet on Monday to see if she wants to see him. I notice both the water bottle being empty quicker, and him drinking at it all the time. He doesn't really seem like he lost any weight, but it's hard to tell. The heat is a possibility. I think this started before I turned it on, but the air was probably dry already. I do have a humidifier that I got for him when he had a respiratory infection before. I'll try turning that on again too. I will let you know what the vet says. Thanks again!
 

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There is also the possibility of a urinary tract infection. You might want to ask your vet to check for that as well. Constant water intake was the first sign of my Fizzgig having a really bad urinary tract infection.
 

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Hi, I just wanted to let you all know what is going on, since you were all so nice to offer suggestions! I called the vet, who wanted me to bring Bullwinkle in. He had his blood and his urine tested. The results were that he does not have diabetes, and that his kidneys are functioning fine. She didn't see anything else funny with the blood or the urine.

So basically, she thinks that it is a behavioral thing, she called it psychogenic polydipsia, where he's drinking more because he's bored. This still seems strange to me, first, because I don't see how he could possibly be bored with all his out-of-cage time, and all his toys. It also seems strange that it seemed to start suddenly one day.

But she wants me to measure how much he drinks in 24 hours for the next few days, to see if he's drinking too much for a rat. I measured today and he drank 50ml. I measured what the two rats I have in a different cage drank, and they drank 50ml between the two of them, so it's like he's drinking twice as much. We'll see what the vet thinks, I will let you know! Thanks again
 
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