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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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