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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went to play with my rats today and noticed a large amount of blood in my baby girl's cage. She lives alone, separate from my other 3 rats because one of them doesn't get along with her so she couldn't have fought with anyone. I found absolutely no injuries to her body anywhere and this has happened sometime in less than the last 24 hours. It has to be coming from an orifice but I don't know what one or why. It was quite a bit of blood for a little rat. I'm extremely worried about it. I am going to call the vet tomorrow but I'd like to know what they might be able to do for me since there's no physical cause that can be seen? I can't afford to take her there for them to send me away cuz they don't see anything. Would they be able to do tests to figure out where it came from? If so would the tests be expensive? Also, does anyone have an idea of what might be wrong with her? I am wondering if it could be uti and the blood is in her pee? I am also going to palpate her for a possible tumor but I can't think of what else it could be and I'm really nervous. She's only 4 months old so she shouldn't have any bad health issues yet and I wouldn't want to lose her this young. Any thoughts would be helpful!
 

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Its likely to be one of two things. The most common would be a womb issue, so Pyometra or perhaps uterine polyps, cysts or tumours. This would show up as coming from the hole directly under the urethra. It could also explain why she doesn't get on well with others. For this your best option is to spay, and whilst your waiting for the spay a course of antibiotics (I'd do Baytril and Amoxycillin)

The other possibility is a haemorrhage of some description, you can occasionally get nasal haemorrhages where the nose leaks blood (rather than the useual porphriyn) this tends to be more common in rats who have had constant respiratory issues, this would be a case of monitoring and treating any other symptoms she has, and if it happens again I'd take her along to your vet for a check over.

A UTI shows itself as coloured urine rather than pure blood, its a lot more dilute and quite distinctive.

To be honest I would get her along to the vet asap and try for the spay, but these aren't necessarily cheap options.
 

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Take a picture of the blood. Iris was bleeding internally but not visibly but I ran to the vet with a picture of the blood and insisted he look. It ended up being intrauterine tumors that, when pressed a certain way, produced blood.

I also would wonder about pyo. Is she drinking or urinating more frequently? Any odor vaginally or swelling of the abdomen?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
She actually isn't the one who doesn't get along with others. It's my other girl who doesn't like her and tries to attack her. She plays with my two boys fine though. I had wondered about a uterine issue also. She seems young for a tumor though or is that normal for a young one to get it? I know it's common in girls. She has always seemed to pee more than any others but I think she drinks a normal amount of water. I felt her tummy last night and it might be a little bloated down in the lower abdomen but it may be normal for her. I'm not sure. Unfortunately I cleaned up her cage before thinking to get pictures. It was a dark red though almost a brownish tint.
 

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Its unlikely to be a tumour at her age, but it can happen. The dark red tint sounds more like infected blood to me which makes pyo the most likely option. I'd definitely go for the spay, that way she can live with your boys after she's healed up so she's not having to live alone, quite hard on a little one.
 

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Have you noticed her scratching a lot? At one point, our rats were getting blood everywhere, but it took me a long time to find the cause. It turned out they had mites and had been scratching so much they were bleeding, but it was difficult to see the wounds through their fur.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
isamurat: what exactly is pyo? I wish I had remembered that word to bring it up to the vet today. She didn't think it was any kind of uterine issue. She did a full exam and palpated her and everything physically turned out healthy. She didn't do any tests, but figures it is probably a UTI or kidney stone. is pyo a uterine infection or a bladder infection? She is treating her for a UTI without doing a test because she left it up to me if I wanted to test her or just treat. I chose to just take the antibiotics and if she has another bleeding episode afterwards than we know it wasn't a UTI. She said that if it happens again after the UTI treatment then she has absolutely no idea what it is. Also on another note, I do plan on getting her spayed eventually. Originally I was told she was a boy and would've neutered her a while ago but she is really a girl and a spay costs twice as much so I have to wait a while. Also, my boys are neutered and live with a different female who is also spayed. I just have her alone because my first girl will kill her if they are together. I am at a point where idk what to do cuz I'd like her to have a mate but I really can't afford a 5th rat and I feel kind of bad separating my boys who have always lived together so that one can live with her. She does play with my boys everyday at play time though. I really hope the UTI treatment is the solution otherwise I will be terrified that I'll lose her because they can't figure out what it is.
Cyrix- She doesn't have mites because the vet did a full check over and it turned out good.
 

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Pyo is an infection of the uterus, full term is pyometra. It is sadly common in female rats. In terms of diagnosis you are not neccesarily going to pick it up on palpitation or looking at the rat, you’d struggle to pick up anything other than a really major infection from an ultrasound too. The same with uterine cysts or polps, unless they are big you just wont feel them. Your vet is clearly basing this off dogs or cats where everything is a fair bit bigger.

A UTI is common enough in rats but you either get trace amounts of blood in the urine so small you cant see them, or brownish or red coloured urine, you don’t get pure blood out. You can get bladder stones or cysts but this comes out like a swirl of red in the urine (or doesn’t come out at all as its blocked), not free bleeding out of the bladder because of the way its designed to hold liquid. The fact this was proper thick blood makes me think it was uterine, you could confirm it if you find any blood around her vagina.

UTI medicine is highly unlikely to fix Pyo and won’t touch anything cyst or polyp like. If it is a UTI what medicine do you have, there are some which are rubbish against a UTI and some which are very effective, vets often default to baytril which is a bit rubbish in this situation.

Honestly I’d be tempted to go to a different vet, but I don’t know what your options are over there, alternatively if you good “ ratguide” and “pyometra” you should find a very good guide to print out and take along, and perhaps explain the difference in typical syptoms I’ve put above. I’ve seen both in multiple rats and you do learn to get a good indication of the difference.

In terms of your company issues, can your lone girl not move in with the neutered boys and spayed girl? It sounds a good option if she cant move in with your other 2 girls.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok that's what I assumed pyo was but wanted to make sure. She is on di trim so I'm hoping maybe that is a good one? And maybe covers pyo too? And to clear up the housing thing. I only have 4 rats total lol 2 boys and 2 girls. My girl rose will kill my girl bella so they can't live together. Either I separate my boys who have been together since birth or one of my girls have to live alone. Or I have to get another rat and I don't really want or can afford another one.
 

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It's good at dealing with puss and brain type infections but won't do much against genital myco from what I can tell. If your not going to spay (which I still think is the better option) then combining with baytril would be a good idea to cover a broader range of potential problems, and hope it is an infection.
 

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The reason vets believe it is bad for young rats is because studies has shown that it stunts growth, however these studies were done on long boned animals and it was linked with specifically their bone growth. Rats are short boned animals and have most of the lengthening done by around 4 months, its reasonable to assume its safe to use, especially if its the best to use for the illness they have. I'm not saying it is the best to use, but its worthwhile understanding that the vets opinion will be based on her knowledge of larger animals and may not be correct for rats. Vets have to know many animals at once so don't have the same depth of knowledge on individual species, especially one they don't see a lot of. Most good vets recognise this and are happy to discuss things
 
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