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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This might be a little long :oops: I hope that's not bothersome - if it is, tell me and I won't mind editing.

My girlfriend and I both have three rats. I have one chocolate Irish-American marked girl, Alice, and two albino brothers, Damian and Fletcher. Emily has one blue-hooded boy with a mismarked saddle, Zuzu, and two albino girls who're presumably sisters as well as family to my boys, Zap and Zizzle. We've had the albino four since late August. The petshop we got that from kept them in very poor conditions (we had to treat them all for lice when we got them, and it was evident Fletcher had wet tail pretty badly before we even tried to handle them... an don't get me started on caging conditions >/).

Despite that, the rats are great. The girls are playful and curious and in excellent health. The boys are a bit more shy and slightly more jumpy, but they're still friendly, happy, and healthy.

We play with them often, and since they're albino, their eyes get a lot of attention.. whether it's Emily and me admiring them or other people getting creeped out by them. However, recently when we were trimming the girls' nails to give them a bath, we noticed something extremely peculiar about them.

I noticed it first in Zizzle. I saw that her eyes were asymmetrical and didn't match up - one pupil was in a regular position, an the other eye was so off from it that the pupil was beneath the lower eyelid so it couldn't even be seen. We gave her a hurried check-up, checking for clearness in the eyes and any swelling, discharge or other problems, and I took a flashlight to make sure both pupils were responsive.
I did this to both of them and we found out Zap had the same problem, only her eye wasn't quite as off as her sister's.
When I did this, we found out that their pupils were abnormally shaped.. or something. :? They were oblong, like a cat's eye - not round like a rat's pupil, but pointed on the top and the bottom and longer than wide.
I have a couple of pictures uploaed here, but they won't show anything clearly enough to see. :/

Emily and I are terrified at this point. We've never heard of this even with all of our research, and we never noticed this before - and we're very attentive to their health. And, like I said, their eyes get a lot of attention.. I love looking at albino eyes, because they look so see-through and fascinating, so we surely would have noticed this earlier if they'd always had it. Neither of my boys have this problem.

Maybe even stranger is that neither of them show any ill effects. Both of their eyes are clear and healthy-looking. Their gait is normal, and they don't show any apparent signs of disabled seeing - they know exactly where they're going, and they rarely even sway their heads unless they're absolutely terrified of something. Which is close to never, being the bravely explorative little girls they are.
My mother suggested it could have been a mini-stroke, which would make sense.. disabled parts of the body are common with those, and they're hard to notice from what I've heard. But their gait is normal and they show no limpness or weakness in any of their extremities.

I'm aware the store didn't take good care of their rats at all, and inbreeding is a possiblilty.. They were kept in the cage with what we assumed were their father and mother (two albinos) as well as another female rat, a black-hooded. The adult rats all looked the same age (and in rough condition to boot :/), but that can be tricky to tell at times. Regardless, we know that the breeders weren't interested in the rats' welfare, which is a shame. :/

These are all the things we can think of that might be a cause.. I've never heard of anything like this, particularly the felinesque pupil. I've heard of cataracts, blindness, all sorts of things - but never of this. Does anybody have any idea what it could be, or what we can do? We're keeping a close watch out for any changes in their behavior, but if anybody has anything specific to watch for, that'd be great.


Thanks a bunch - I really appreciate it.
 

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First off let me just say rats don't get "wet-tail" that is only hamsters (and only Syrians from what i remember) any who they do get diarrhea (SP?) and since that is not even close to the issue I will drop it there since it seems to have cleared up.

My advice on the weird eyes would be to keep an eye on them, make sure there is no swelling, discharge, or anything else weird. If something does show up I would say get to a vet asap.

I have never really looked into a rat's eye ball and noticed pupil's or anything like that but now I am tempted to lol.
 

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My guess would be a genetic issue as two of them display the same signs. Pupil malformations can be seen in humans from time to time. The other option would be an old injury. Being kept in cramped conditions would increased possible claw-to-eye issues, but it likely wouldn't appear in the same manner.

I would watch for any other signs of illness and watch it until the next vet checkup. If the eye bulges or they display other symptoms, I'd saw definite vet time.

:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We've been watching for signs of anything odd. I'll be sure to tell Emily some things to watch out for and to check on them daily, since I'm not there myself to help. I really appreciate the advice. :)

Stephanie: My bad - Emily uses it as a general term for diarrhea an I've picke up on it, so the connotation was the same, but I should have been more attentive to the definition.


Forensic: That's possible.. they have it in opposite eyes, too, though I'm not sure if that'd be significant. Emily supposes they could have been born from the same placenta, but I don't know enough about that to pass my own judgment on it. I wish we'd have taken a better look at the parents now.

We're certainly keeping a watchful eye, and we're hoping like crazy veterinary attention won't be needed, of course.. Emily's mom won't pitch in, that's for sure. I'm keen about money, but I'm probably going to be even more avoidant of spending in the case that I might have to help pay for a vet bill. I'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it, in any case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I hate to bring up a dead topic, but something new came up with this. Recently the girls' eyes have re-aligned, for lack of better word, so they no longer have lazy eyes.. but they do have the slit pupils. It's only the former that's confusing to me now.

No problems came up with them; no swelling or discharge, and they still don't show any signs of poor vision (any poorer than what they naturally have, at least), so that's good. We just don't what's going on with their eyes moving around like that. Is it possible they really could have lazy eye, or could this be a sign of a disease or a tumor or anything?
 
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