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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Algae's been recently showing signs of what looks like muscular degeneration or muscular atrophy. I think I first noticed it a couple weeks ago, but she had been really active and so I just figured her muscles were tiring out. But it's progressing to the point where she can't climb up or down without simply sliding off. She waddles and sways as opposed to walks, and when she's moving around, she seems to drag her limbs - like when she's drinking from the water bottle, she'll place her paw on the bars, and instead of cleanly taking her paw off when she's done, she'll let it slide off. She hasn't been dragging her tail, though.. Although, she doesnt hold it up as high as she used to. She's been eating fine up until now, but seems significantly more docile and lethargic.

I got her from a pet store so I'm not certain as to her age, but based on an estimate received by a vet, she's believed to be roughly 1yr 9months.

I'll be taking her to the vet as soon as I can arrange it, but I was wondering if you know of any diseases that includes muscle loss/loss of muscle strength? I've read of HLD, but her arms seem to be affected too. I work in a microbiology lab with potential exposure to live (but non-lethal) pathogens, but we test food products, so the pathogens are fairly mild, relatively speaking. I don't know what kind of bacterial/fungal infections rats are prone to (outside mycoplasma), but that's something I'll definitely mention to the vet.

What sort of tests could I ask for? My primary vet discourages x-rays, saying something about them moving too much or being too small or something, but I'll prolly take Algae to my sister's vet, who I know does blood work, and took x-rays of my sister's hamster (lol). I have a feeling they don't do CT scans for rats, though. I can't spend several grands, but I have several hundred dollars saved up in their vet fund. Algae's my first rat, so I'm willing to dig a little into my savings if need be.
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