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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone!

A little over a month ago I posted about my female rat, Annabelle. She started acting erratically and doing a head tilt, plus in new places she would circle. At the time, I was just hoping for an ear infection. I took her to the vet and her ears are fine. Without the funds to excessively look into what the problem was (CT scan, x-rays that may not even provide any answers, blood work), the vet suggested we try antibiotics and an anti inflammatory and see if those helped. She was prescribed those meds for just over 6 weeks, twice a day. There has been no change, at all. She still head tilts, has erratic behavior, is difficult to wake out of a sleep, has poor balance (we can't perch her on our shoulders when we have her out, have to hold her with two hands and watch her carefully), and she does what the vet said is "star gazing". She always tilts her head to the left, and circles to the left if she is removed from her cage. A friend of mine that has a lot of rat experience suggested that she may have possibly suffered a stroke. Has anyone experienced this before?

We have two female rats, both we've had since tiny babies. They are less than a year old. Annabelle is still eating and drinking fine, and this hasn't really affected her relationship with her ratty sister. She gets to where she wants to go, she just seems to need to put more effort into getting there. She still eats and drinks fine. Her weight hasn't changed. Has a decent coat. My biggest concern and problem, is that she seems to have no control (or desire) over her bathroom tendencies. My other rat is litter trained and always pees in the same spot. Annabelle goes wherever she wants, in her bed, food dish, anywhere. They have a massive multi-leveled cage and it gets so ridiculously gross after 2-3 days, because pee splashes everywhere (outside of the cage too!). I've run out of ways to try and scrub this thing, and as a busy mom of two boys and a business owner, I don't have the time to scrub a massive rat cage 5 times a week. I've been trying different bedding for the bottom tray, but I gave up using nice soft blanket scraps on all the levels because I was throwing them out every week. Any ideas or advice would be super welcome!
 

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Has your vet possibly looked into an ear infection? D: I know it's simple, but that's definitely one of the signs of a possible ear infection (The loss of balance.)


I've been using bath mats (I don't know if your ladies are super mega chewers) .. My boys lost interest in chewing them after snugly securing them under the plastic panels. They're super absorbent, I have 6 boys who pee everywhere and I'm on day 5 and still can't smell the bath mats. Some people get Boris mats because they're easy to clean.

Good luck! Hope your rattie feels better soon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's what we originally thought it was, and the vet said her ears looked fine but prescribed the antibiotic just in case. I don't think that is it, after 6 weeks of the meds there is no change and if it was an ear infection, you'd think the meds would have helped somewhat. I originally thought brain tumor, but she is just so young.

I'll look into the bath mats, thanks! So you just wash them in the washer/dryer like normal? My girls are chewers, but I think the bath mat option might be better than leaving the plastic levels bare. Right now I just shoved a blanket in their hut and covered the bottom tray with the paper bedding.
 

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She's. Bit young for strokes or brain tumors. It's likely an ear infection. If you didn't see a lessening of symptoms you should've switched meds within 5 days. Not everything will work with one med.

However, ear infections can cause a permanent tilt. You shouldn't see circling however. Balance issues will resolve with time, even with a head tilt.
 

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I'll look into the bath mats, thanks! So you just wash them in the washer/dryer like normal? My girls are chewers, but I think the bath mat option might be better than leaving the plastic levels bare. Right now I just shoved a blanket in their hut and covered the bottom tray with the paper bedding.

It depends what kind of bath mats you get. I got Mainstay's bath mats at Walmart for 19.97.
For mine, you wash them in cold water and dry them in the dryer, should work fine. :)

I'm assuming if you go for a latex bottom, you're going to have to wash the mats in cold water.
 
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