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Discussion Starter #1
I'm a little worried about my oldest rat, Tilly. She's been shedding a LOT lately, and her fur on her back isn't soft, it's fairly coarse. She's the only one of my five I've noticed shedding in, I only have 1 other PEW and a hooded and their fur feels the same but I'm finding a LOT of white fur near where Tilly's been sleeping or after she eats, there's some. Also, I'd been noticing weird shaped poo but couldn't figure out who it was coming from, just saw her poo, it's definitely her. Some of her poos are normal but a lot are skinny and wrinkly/lumpy. Really thin and kinda long but then normal ones too, not runny, sometimes even dry. Shes a pet store girl, PEW, big but not crazy fat, bred for food. She's like 21 or 22 months old, almost 2. She's definitely getting up there. She's acting the same, not losing weight, but I think this is just old age right? I really hope so because I don't really have money if there's a vet bill.
 

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What's her diet?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Oxbow Regal Rat, They get hay fairly often, some treats but not many. Veggies and fruits on occasion but I know it's not as often as they should get them but we don't eat a lot of vegetables and don't have many in our house. They get a handful and a half or 2 of oxbow 2x a day, they dont go without food for very long
 

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It sounds like she could be dehydrated. Maybe give her some unsweetened applesauce or a piece of apple, not too much, but this will help to hydrate her. It's not necessary to give them hay. Rats do benefit from some supplemental foods including fresh fruits and veggies. You may want to give her a small piece of bread soaked in olive oil to help her coat, although rats tend to get coarser coats as they age and I suspect the issue here is dehydration.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I don't think it's dehydration, she drinks plenty, but I'll try it. I used to give them ground flax and chia but we moved and forgot all of my health foods! I will be getting more soon though. I know hay isn't necessary but I gave them some of my chinchillas hay and they loved it so now I get them their own. I did start adding Marshall's No Odor for Ferrets, its the same thing as the one for small animals. I think it's helped with odor some but it also get's them really interested in the water bowl. They've been dunking their heads and arms in it and started drinking more.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
She's started holing up more than she used to. I think I'm going to move the water bowl and start feeding closer to her, even though one girl stashes all the food up on the same level. She comes out and can move, it's just not quite as much as normal but I did give them an apparently extra comfy Pepsi box, since that went in, she's been very comfy. She can be there with the other 4 instead of one not fitting. There's still some of that weirdo looking poo, not extremely dry but odd shaped.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So I was just on ratguide and I realized some of the mild/moderate pain signs apply to Tilly. Porphyrin around eyes/nose (she's always had some, and it was a little more than normal but she wasn't acting differently so I didn't think anything of it) squinting eyes (PEW, thought it was just light sensitivity because I only tend to see her right when she wakes up) and the rough coat (thought was old age) Now I feel like I've really failed at paying attention to my baby. She doesn't have trouble moving and was prancing and hopping when she was in heat a few days ago, still uses the wheel some. Is it maybe like arthritis? She is old and is a very big rat. I've gotten her to lose quite a bit of weight, not suddenly and she didn't drop half her weight, but she is thinner in a good way now. I don't have money for a vet right now. We just moved, there were some job issues but we will be good in a few weeks. It isn't very bad or I would have noticed it, shes not squealing, shes still playing and keeping her rank in the mischief. Could it still be old age and am I being paranoid or do you have any experience with this?
 
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