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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I have 2 rats. I will tell you about the one I am concerned about (OREO). She is about 1 and 1/2 yrs old. She's been fine. No problems up until the calif. fires (NOV)and then she got some kind of sinus infection. I took both to the vet and they both got antibiotics. When we were at the vet, she asked me if Oreo had always had bulging eyes. I hadnt even noticed that her eyes protruded more than the other rat. I'm hoping that that is normal. They aren't bulging around the eyes at all, just protruding more thatn the other's. We gave them the antibiotics and everything was fine. (as far as the sinus)
Seems to us lately, that Oreo has been a bit more nippy and startles easier than we'd noticed before. Seems to be more fighting between the two as well. She bites us when we get near, seems to be on accident. Thinking we are food.? Then the other thing I just noticed a couple of days ago, is that (I'm not too sure of a rat's body inside) she has 2 swollen areas....one on each side, right behind her front legs. Maybe outside of rib cage? It's hard to tell. Both the same size. Definitely not on the surface, they are underneath and moveable. Kind of rollable.
It doesnt seem to hurt when we touch it. But I dont remember them being there before and they arent on the other rat. I just saw the first one a few days ago, then I thought maybe it was from the injection of the anti. the vet gave her. I know that can happen, scar tissue. But then yesterday, we noticed that they are on both sides.
I know we need to probably take her in to the vet. I just wanted to know, before I do, if anyone has any idea what this could be. I wanted to see what I am possibly dealing with.
Now I am wondering if her eyes were always like that? I can't remember!
She also doesn't seem to be really following my finger with her eyes. But I am wondering if it's my imagination now. Is the other rat sneaking up on her, if she can't see right, and thus the fighting more often, or is that just teenage rats?
I just dont know how expensive this will be, how they will know what this is, and how I can prepare my daughters before I bring OREO in. They are worried about her too. When we brought them in for the sinus stuff and nail clipping, the bill was about 150 dollars I think it was. And I had called around for nail clipping prices and office visit prices. I didnt know the simple injection was going to be 35.00 or whatever though. Anyway, I am imagining xrays, and biopsy or something now. I just want to go in with some idea of what this could be, and a dollar amount, in my mind if at all possible.
Any ideas at all? Any help would be appreciated. I'm not trying to be cheap. We do adore our little girls. I'm just new at rat problems.
Thanks
 

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Lumps could be a couple of things. Female rats can be prone to tumours, and the vet can remove them, but its strange they are on both sides at once.
It could be a cyst or something that could be drained, this would work out cheaper, but the vet will need to see her to work out which, if either, she has.

I dont really know what to tell you, about the change in behavior.

I would say that paying for nails clipping isn't really necessary. If you get a large, flat, clean stone and keep it under their water bottle, the nails will naturally wear away a little each time they go for a drink.

Good luck at the vet
 

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Hiya
im a new rat mum myself

i would imagine her eye sight may be majorinly affected by the sounds of it , what is she like with eating / drinkin and playing and genreal activity - have u changed anything in the cage or even a change of diet , as for the lumps im not sure maybe look at anythin that it could be first
Jess x
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks for the help. She is totally fine when playing ,eating, pooping etc... we may need to get them a bigger cage though, that might be part of their fights. But she was never as friendly as our other one. I'm kind of puzzled.
No changes in food, or bedding or cage etc..
She is a pretty big rat. Weight wise. hmmmm
I will take her in. Glad to know I dont have to get the nails clipped. I will try to find that stone (?) to put under the water dish! That will help.

I just dont know anyone in the are who has rats, who can recommend an experienced "rat vet". Lots that I caleld before said they wouldnt see them.
thanks
 

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No specific stone, just something fairly flat but a little rough from your garden, scrub all the dirt and moss off.

Im all for free stuff.

There are vet lists around here somewhere. Try a search. Its weird that vets said they wouldnt see them :s
Ask for an exotics vet, thats what they come under.

Edited - Stone = Rock. Its a Briticism
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
HAHA that's funny. A rock. OK, well that will save me from having to call all the pet stores looking for a "rat nail filer stone" !!!??? I would have too.
:)
It IS weird about those vets ...I probably called 7 to get prices around here and I think 2 of them would see the rats. And even in that case when I went in, I had to wait until a certain day of the week for the ONE vet in the practice to come in. Geez, I felt like I was bringing in an endagered species or something!
I live by San Diego, it's not like I am in a rural area . Ridiculous! I will call more cities around my area.
Thanks!
 

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Hi, although I don't claim to be an expert, from my experience, the buldging eyes seems to be normal. I have twelve rats and several with eyes that buldge out of their eye sockets more then the others. They seem to do that when they are more alert. Like right now some of my rats are almost asleep and their eyes are no longer buldging. I've always assumed it was normal and those rats have always lived a very healthy life.

As for being snippy or startled. Let me tell you, I have had my fair share of similar problems. My rats have become aggressive or easily startled for a number of reasons. Pregnancy is at the top of the list. If you just feed them every day and don't take them outside their cage, they will tend to see you more as a threat coming near their home. This can make them scared of you and tend to bite you when your hand is in or near their home. Environmental factors can play a role in upsetting them and not eating or drinking would be another.

The best way to break a rat out of the habbit of snipping at you is to simply take them out of their cage daily and just play with them (without teasing or hurting them). By far the best way seems to be letting them crawl around inside a sweatshirt while your wearing it. It is very fun for them and it has lots of benefits. For starters, you don't have to actually pay 100% attention to them and are free to be on the computer or something else and thus allows you to do this daily. They love to explore and crawl under things or through tunnels and a sweatshirt is perfect for that. They get used to your smell and thus don't fear being around you over a period of time.

As for environmental factors, rats are very sensitive to a lot of things. They can't survive in the same environment that we can. I have no doubt that the air from the forest fires was tainted and affected your rats and might still be. Even the wrong kind of bedding can kill a rat. Make sure that your home and their surroundings is clean but that the rats are not exposed to the agents that you clean your home with. Vacumes kick up a lot of particles and if you don't have some sort of filter for allergies on it, It's best to keep the rats in a room that can be closed off from where you are vacuming. Bedding that can absorb water but that don't create particles that are harmful to their lungs. Sometimes bedding with scents to cover up smells although may not kill a rat, can cause nose bleeds or sneezing.

The first step is to really just check off one thing at a time. If you can elmininate environmental factors from being a problem with a rats health then you can move onto what else could be going wrong.

Don't forget that rats need space, if they live in two small of a cage, they get very tentative and aggressive. However, they can get depressed being alone so it's always good to have at least two rats.

Although I can't think of any more environmental factors, don't forget that all rats have different personalities. Sometimes they are just an aggressive rat. One of my male rats is probably the most sweetest rats ever created when dealing with humans. But he is extreamly aggressive towards other rats. Several of my rats have had to be nursed back to health because of him. Bitten, sliced open or battered, he's the god father and you other rats better listen to him.

For these curcumstances, the first thing to look for is to make sure they are not just playing. A lot of rats will squeak and sreek when just having some fun. If they are hopping up and down while running around, generally they are just having fun. Rats that are still growing up do this all the time.

Aggressive rats usually are aggressive towards other rats because they want something. Key signs are storing food but once the food is stored, that stored spot is that rat's food and nobody elses. The other is a sign of superiority, holding down other rats on their backs to show who is the top rat, resistance can lead to a hurt rat.

As for nail clippings, Don't clip them yourself, all that will happen is they will grow back sharper then ever. I would say that if you handle a rat correctly and you are still getting scratched or one of your rats gets a gash from a claw, then it's time to do something. I've heard of people glewing sand paper down in the path that they walk but in such a way that it can't be torn to shreads easily. Another is a rough stone that you can find out in a garden or something. I would recommend glewing an entire strip or sand paper down to the bottom of the cage, then cover it with your bedding, Most rats love to dig and if they don't fancy that, sprinkle food in with every new bedding change, they love hunting for it and will ruin their claws in the process on the tough sand paper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Xampx-thanks for the link.
I did find a vet on there today. I read somewhere on the forum about rats having swollen glands and long story short, it sounds like the exact place Oreo has hers. It says something about too much fat in the diet..try changing food etc...I did buy a food today with less fat. My daughters like to give her treats , so we can stop that too. I might try that for a week. The forum said that the change in food made the swelling go down to just a little tiny knot. I might see if anything changes for the better. (and oreo is overweight)

Magicdragon, thanks for the post.
I think that Oreo is more aggressive. She is sweet though, once you get her in yoru hands, she does not ever bite. We've had these 2 rats since they were a month old or something.
What happened was, I have 2 daughers =2 rats. BUT one of my girls turns out to be totally alergic and so am I and my husband. SO my one daughter is left to play with them mostly. The one that is hers , she has trained to give kisses etc. So so cute. Oreo, has probably seen less attention, but still gets played with daily. We all hold them, we just have to wash after and suffer with itching in different degrees , depending on who holds them. So that's annoying.
I think it does have to do with food storing. I have taught everyone in the last couple of days to let her come out of the cage first, then pick her up and all is fine. But if she is asleep or deep in this food corner, then she might bite.
They kind of go back and forth as far as which rat hols the other down. I've seen both. I'll have to pay more attention.
They are big rats, and we have a 2 story cage, but I might need to invest ina bigger one. They dont use their wheel anymore at all. They used to love it. It is maybe too small.
They aren't playing usually. I see tiny bit of blood now and then, but nothing serious.
My girls are 12 and 15 and they do not tease or hurt them either. I know that's not the problem.
I will put them in another room when I vaccuum too. I didnt know that they were so sensitive. I know they sneeze sometimes right after we change the bedding though.
I will definitely do the sandpaper or rock. Thanks for your advice! These little girls are so darn cute! I would love to get more! I just wish I had a vet in the family! haha
I wont worry about the eyes...just got to figure out this swollen ...whatever it is.
 
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