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I posted this in my welcome thread but this forum is more relevant. :) My ratties are two sisters born in February who I adopted from the pound/shelter. Their names are Penelope and Evelyn! Both brown/white. Penelope is a rex (curly whiskers) but I think she's what I read is in show terms a "bad rex," because her fur is more disheveled than curly or wavy.

A little while after I brought them home (maybe 2 weeks?) I came back from a day at my parents' and Penelope's eye was sort of crusted shut. I FREAKED out and felt SO bad since this was the first time they had been alone, but as I was frantically looking up emergency numbers (overreaction, I know-- I just felt so guilty) she somehow opened it herself. Anyway a little while later I took them to the vet just for a check-up. The vet said it just seemed like normal porphyrin but she did have a respiratory infection (made sense, she'd been sneezing) and we treated that with doxycycline for 10 days. It seemed to work. Anyway the eye crusting thing didn't really stop recurring. Maybe 3 of 10 days or maybe a little more I will find her with one eye sealed shut with a thick layer of porphyrin near the lash line (I can tell it's porphyrin because when I wipe it off it's definitely red). It is always the left eye. I used to just pop it open but honestly it's gotten to the point where I sometimes HAVE to moisten it because it's sealed so tight and it would definitely hurt her. Her fur is kind of thin (always has been, idk if it's just the way it looks sometimes because her rex-ness makes it go all different ways) but immediately around her eye area she has no fur really (her sister does) and the furless area is more pronounced over her left eye. Sometimes it will be her right eye too but it has never been just her right eye -- it usually seems like it's really bad on her left eye if her right eye is also affected. I have occasionally come home and found her with both eyes sealed shut and I just feel so sad for her, being blind all day. Her behavior hasn't changed really. I always find her curled up all sad in the hammock when her eyes are sealed, but after I pop them open she goes right back to power-grooming her sister (Penelope is def the alpha) and being playful and adventurous. So it seems like the lethargy at that time is just because she literally cannot see, haha. I do see her eat and drink and she has gotten fatter if anything. Overall seems like a happy rat except for this weirdness with her eye(s). She also doesn't seem to groom as much as her sister? Not sure if this is just her personality. It is a noticeable difference from Evelyn though -- once I was kissing Penelope's belly and she really did not smell too nice so I thought it was just that I'd been a bad mom and their cage needed cleaning, but then I smelled Evelyn for reference (haha) and she smelled great, that grape-y smell girl rats apparently have. I am almost certain Penelope just does not ever groom her tail, it has been a tiny bit gross at times.
 

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I have not had a rat that emitted that much porphyrin but they are all different. Fortunately you had them to the Vet so no worries there. Many owners have noted an increase in porphyrin excretions as the rats are waking up. Perhaps that is all it is. :)
 
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