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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On March 16th I brought home a new dumbo boy from a pet store. I noticed he wasn't eating or drinking and quite scared. I also noticed he was having diarrhea. So i quickly took him to a local vet hospital. They (guessing) said it was probably just from the changes of home and sent us on our way. He continued having diarrhea and i noticed blood inside all of his stools. I took him back to the hospital where he seen a different dr and i insisted on them doing a lab on his droppings. She said it was negative and again sent us on our way. I finally got him to warm up to me and start eating. He loves Cheerio's. So now that i knew he was eating ok, but still had the same diarrhea with blood every single bowel movement is bloody, and smells. so bad. I took him back again and asked for another lab to be done and requested it be done with human eyes instead of a machine specifically to check for Gaurdia parasite. I know its hard to find and must be done with human eyes. They didn't want to but still said ok and came back saying it was negative. I suspect it was a machine they used again in the lab. I just want him to be ok and i want to move him into the big cage with my other boys but until I know what's causing him to have a yucky tummy, I cant do that. He needs others. they are quite interested in him and he is not so much interested in them. He acts scared to death of them. even squeaks when they sniff at him near by. I wanted to breed him because he is the first dumbo boy i have for my 2 female dumbos. He is cream colored and silver tipped. (he always looks dirty) I love him so much but dont know what else to do. The vets had no explanation for why or whats happening to him. Can anyone help me with this? I fell in love with him at our first dr visit, while waiting he started Boggling and it was the cutest thing ever.
Rat Rodent Whiskers Fawn Mouse
 

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Oliver Bean, Phyllis, Waffle, Taco, Atlas, Cirrus, Orion
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Hi and welcome! It might be in his diet. Sweet veggies and anything with sugar can upset a tummy upset. As for the blood, is it bright red, like maybe an irritation in the lining of the large intestine? You might want to take him back to just a basic diet of dried kibble, (Oxbow?) some processed cereals and pumpkin and/or sunflower seeds? Try that for a few days, see if you can isolate the food causing the upset. Rats don't do well with digestive issues, they can't throw up, and gas makes them miserable :confused:
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi and welcome! It might be in his diet. Sweet veggies and anything with sugar can upset a tummy upset. As for the blood, is it bright red, like maybe an irritation in the lining of the large intestine? You might want to take him back to just a basic diet of dried kibble, (Oxbow?) some processed cereals and pumpkin and/or sunflower seeds? Try that for a few days, see if you can isolate the food causing the upset. Rats don't do well with digestive issues, they can't throw up, and gas makes them miserable :confused:
for some reason my reply didnt post the other day and i just realized. As of the last 3 weeks I stopped giving him anything other then his Mazuri Rat food. No treats of any kid. No fruits or veggies. I did start adding Vitamins to his water about 7 days ago. It seems like the watery stools are worse with the vitamins so 2 days ago i stopped using the vitamins in the water. But I did notice something I had not seen previously, I walked into the room and he turned to look at me and in his mouth was a clump of his poop from the litter box with several of the critter litter pearls on it. he held it in his mouth just watching me until i reached my hand inside and he dropped it thinking i either was bringing him a treat or possibly to bite me. I dont think where I adopted him from, he ever got out of the cage so i understand the possible biting and were working through it. Hes gotten much better with not biting but I know its a possibility all the time. So i try not to either give the oppertunitys by keeping my finger tips away or giving him something he can chew on like a wood block. I know he doesnt want to hurt me, and doesnt know what the hand is except maybe food. ANyways- yesterday after seeing him eating his poo, i cleaned him up in a bath, cleaned his cage and put him back after a play time except I didnt give him food back. I did give him his water though and for the first time since March 16th- he hasnt had diarrhea everywhere. (and I mean he gets it everywhere, sometimes it looks like its just dripping out and stays on his man junk) Im going to wait to the 24 hour mark to give him a little food but think maybe i should try a different brand? Maybe the Mazuri brand isnt good for his tummy?
 

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update. so, i took all food from him for 24 hours and tried another brand rat food- Kaytee brand. And almost instantly he was back to diarrhea. I took food away again 24 hours later and after the fasting 24-hour time had passed I tried yet another brand Oxbow adult rat food-- and again he started having diarrhea shortly after eating. when i take food away for the 24hour time hes not having any bowl movements. So i did it again and gave him just Cheerios and it seems like his bowel movements are almost normal. formed pellets no blood. what on earth is going on here? Also I did watch him get more of his poop out of the litter box and eat it.. i tried to get him to drop it but not even a treat could detour him. Is it possible that maybe he didn't always have food given to him and so he ate that? because when i take food from him as soon as i give it back he gets all of it and moves it to his hiding house. ALL of it. He doesn't eat it- just hides it right away. I wonder about his treatment before i got him because Hes not comfortable with humans, he cant ride on a shoulder (he doesn't know how to), and when I pick him up hes very unsure about it and all of his extremities goes straight out like if you open your hand and spread all your fingers out. He acts terrified. He also doesn't clean him self. he always has diarrhea down his man junk and all over his tail. even on his bitty hands. should i be worried or am i concerned about nothing?
 

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He is most likely eating poop because he is deficient in essential nutrients.

It's possible that there is something in commercial rat blocks that is not agreeing with him. Is there an ingredient in all of the blocks that is not in Cheerios, that you can see?

Here is an elimination diet guide related to food allergies in rats, it might help to try:
If no new foods have been added to the diet or the specific food agent is unable to be identified readily, then
proceed with an elimination diet. A true elimination diet involves giving one novel protein source and one novel carbohydrate source. This type of controlled diet can be very strict. Listed below is a modified version of an elimination diet (Ducommun 2000):

Give a base diet of cooked brown rice, raw millet, and include 1 teaspoon of Nutri-Cal (purchased at your local Pet Store or through your Veterinarian).
Give over 7 to 10 days.
If improvement is seen then begin adding a food to this base diet.
Keep a record of when each food is added and the response.
If symptoms return following the addition of a particular food then you have identified the culprit food and can remove it from the diet.
Pet store rats are hit and miss with temperament. They are bred in poor conditions in what is basically a breeding factory. They are only produced to make a profit and no thought is put into their temperament or health. So it's not surprising that he is so timid and unhealthy. Unfortunately, that's the risk one takes when purchasing an animal from a pet store vs a proper breeder.
 

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Hi there.
You mentioned you were fasting him for 24 hours at a time to give his tummy a break.
I would recommend against this, or at least maybe for a shorter time frame, as pet rats aren't supposed to go without food for long. This is why when they have an anaesthetic, you don't with-hold food like you would for a cat or dog. Partly because they can't vomit anyway, and partly because they have such a high metabolism that they need to be constantly eating, so they don't use up their own reserves. That's what I remember reading a while back, anyway. Hope this helps.
 

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He is most likely eating poop because he is deficient in essential nutrients.

It's possible that there is something in commercial rat blocks that is not agreeing with him. Is there an ingredient in all of the blocks that is not in Cheerios, that you can see?

Here is an elimination diet guide related to food allergies in rats, it might help to try:


Pet store rats are hit and miss with temperament. They are bred in poor conditions in what is basically a breeding factory. They are only produced to make a profit and no thought is put into their temperament or health. So it's not surprising that he is so timid and unhealthy. Unfortunately, that's the risk one takes when purchasing an animal from a pet store vs a proper breeder.
This article about elimination diet looks really good. It looks like a handy reference for anyone needing to go through this process.
 

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While you are trying to figure it out, start adding some whole foods. Soft scrambled eggs and cooked white rice. Oatmeal. Cream of wheat. Just like you would with a dog who is having digestive issues. Poop eating is actually normal, they get digestive enzymes that help with their gut. I wouldn't worry about that, but if he's doing it a lot, then like @Enne said, he may be deficient in some nutrients.
 

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Hi there.
You mentioned you were fasting him for 24 hours at a time to give his tummy a break.
I would recommend against this, or at least maybe for a shorter time frame, as pet rats aren't supposed to go without food for long. This is why when they have an anaesthetic, you don't with-hold food like you would for a cat or dog. Partly because they can't vomit anyway, and partly because they have such a high metabolism that they need to be constantly eating, so they don't use up their own reserves. That's what I remember reading a while back, anyway. Hope this helps.
Yes to the not fasting. Rats can get low blood sugar, especially after surgery which is why we feed them, and keep food in the carrier for them afterwards. At this point, the little guy needs his calories, but also not to have the runs and get dehydrated.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you all for the replies. Today he was put to sleep. His intestines had fused into what the dr had said it was the largest mass she'd ever seen in a rat or any small animal. i will miss him.
 

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I'm so sorry to hear, thanks for letting us know. You tried so hard with your little guy. Sometimes their fate is out of our control.
 
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