Rat Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm not sure if there's something to be concerned about. I just got three 7 week old female rats, they seemed fine when I got them home, eating drinking and sleeping as normal, but now one is walking with her head cocked to the left and has bad balance. When I pick her up she does these barrel rolls into my hand like she doesn't know which way is up!? Is this common and treatable or is she in deep trouble??? I'd hate to lose her as I've had them only a few days.
The vet here knows nothing about small animals at all so I'm not sure they'd even be able to help :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Hello,

Could this be an ear infection? I've never had this experience with a rat, but we've been nursing my rabbit for about 2.5 months now for an ear infection. When we discovered it his head was tilted completely to the side and was twitching a bit. The head will usually tilt once the eardrum has been ruptured by the infection. Since the ears are in charge of balance he has a hard time orienting himself, this compounded with the head tilt makes it very hard for him to move around without falling over and rolling to re-orient himself. Unfortunately for small animals an ear infection is serious business and they'll need a lot of medications to fight the infection before it spreads to eyes and even their brain - if left untreated ear infections can be fatal. You might need to search around for a vet that works with small animals or wildlife in order to get access and the correct dosage to medications.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
From what I can find, I think you're right. I've started her on approved animal antibiotics at the recommended dose. She's only tiny so it's really hard! We only have one vet here and they know jack about dogs and cats let alone exotic pets like rats :( Luckily I had some antibiotics left over from a previous critter. Will keep dosing her til she's better, the tilt is hardly noticeable, just looks like she's trying to see you better with one eye, she walks straight and can climb and find things fine, just the occasional stumble and then the barrel-rolling that alerted me to something being not right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
I'm glad I could help, then. Treating small animal ear infections can be very hard on the caregiver since they generally don't take medications very nicely. Our bunny used to be very independent and slightly aggressive before his ear infection, but he's been humbled by his illness and giving him his medications isn't so bad now that he's used to it. Good thing you have antibiotics left over! We're lucky to have a cousin who runs a veterinary practice that works on pets and wild animals, but not everyone has access to great vet care for rodents. Our vet told us that the head might tilt back to normal once the infection has cleared out and the eardrum can grow back.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks :) She looks better already, seemed to be walking with her head a bit straighter today and not as many flips when I picked her up. She eats and drinks fine, and appears to still enjoy wrestling with her sisters. Hopefully I caught it in time and she'll be ok
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top