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My darling little rat, Ratty (yes I know, not original, so shoot me) has for awhile now been having an eye problem where her left eye (and only her left eye) has been having a reddish coloured discharge coming from it.
I have been washing her eye with a saline solution daily but to no effect, and our vet tried giving her an eye ointment which did nothing.
The seepage looks somewhat like blood, and whenever I was her eye, I will wash it out and only minutes later, there is a red ring around her eye where more of it has appeared.

She's lost weight despite the fact that she eats her guts out. She LOVES food and never stops eating. She will eat anything we give her, but we are careful about what we feed her. For the most part she is given a commercial rat feed mix, but when I have the money I actually buy separate ingredients from the stock feed and mix up my own feed. She is also regularly fed raw vegetables and


I researched information on the WWW that came up saying her problem could be a respiratory problem and we took her to the vet with a printed out page of information and he gave her antibiotics, but they haven't seemed to help a whole lot. She's put on a little bit of weight (has been on the antibiotics for around a month) but thats about it. Her eye is no better and is still constantly discharging. I am frequently being forced to clean out her eye because the discharge goes hard and clogs her eye closed. Nothing I can do is stopping the eye from seeping.




Her cages bedding is wood shavings and plain recycled paper that we get from the pet store and we've always used it. Have had the rats for approximately a year but this health problem has only come up in recent months.
She shares a home with another rat, Hattie, who has no health problems, no eye discharge and is completely healthy.

You can sort of see the eye gunk in this picture...
 

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The eye gunk is porphiryn which is basically normal in small amounts. My little man used to have alot of oozing around his eyes come to find out it was allergies. I removed all smelly thing (candles, air freshners, perfumes) from around his cage, stopped taking him outside with me, changed his bedding and the discharge stopped.

As far as the weight loss have you tried giving her a diet supplement to help? I always use Ensure plus and it fattens them up right away.

how old is she? what kind of cage is she in? (it looks something like an aquarium in that picture if so you may want to change it to a wire cage they do better in them), what kind of bedding is that? Pine and cedar are toxic to most all rodents wood chips may be too dusty for her try Yesterday's news or Care Fresh (not a big fan of that myself but some people like it ) I use old towels some people use fleece. What kind of food are you feeding her?

;edit; just saw what you feed her!!

:the food from pet stores is horrible really try getting some lab blocks either harlan teklad 2014 or oxbow are the best. seed mix is basically nothing a rat really needs. There are also some good dog foods out there but i never tried those.:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
the enclosure she's in in that picture, it is actually a little travel cage I purchased especially for dealing with my small animals (my little rabbit and the rats) when they're sick... I can transport them to the vet in it, and while they're on any medications, they can be kept in it to keep them from doing too much activity.

The anitbiotics the vet gave me is called "Baytril" and I am to give her 0.2cc until she's better...
He did give me quite a lot though.

As far as nutritional supplements go, I've only ever given a vitamin and mineral powder that can be sprinkled into their food.

Her food mix consists of lucerne pellets, black and grey sunflower seeds, bits of chaff, some other seeds I can never remember what they are, millet, bits of dried fruit, biscuit... I always sprinkle the vit/min powder on it when feeding them... she also gets the raw veges all the time as well as sometimes she's given dog biscuits for a treat... The food mix when I buy food mix usually comes from the stock feed place, where they make up their own commercial brand of pet food mix for rabbits/hamsters/mice/rats, etc.

I'm not entirely sure how old she is, I've had her for just over a year but I don't know how old she was when I got her. She's double in size though since I got her!

The regular cage is a stainless steel cage (not treated or anything) that has wire down the front and sides and a little lock to stop them escaping. And wood chips are the bedding the pet store sells... I'm pretty sure they might be pine, but not like treated pine, just regular pine....
They're sold commercially in a big huge bag and labelled as non-toxic for use with rats, mice, cavies, rabbits, etc.

Would a pet store or stock feed place really sell it if its toxic to the pets, because if thats the case, they're just ... ARGH! Makes me want to slap them about! Though they do use it in their own cages in the store.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Also, the stuff coming out of her eye... its not just a little bit... it comes out until it rings her eye, but keeps coming out until her eye ends up glued closed when the stuff goes hard, which is why I keep cleaning out her eye!
 

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It almost sounds like the rat version of pink eye... I don't know if its possible or not, and as for the weight loss, you say she still eats like a pig, so maybe she has worms...
 

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It definitely sounds like what little man has I would remove all smelly things, switch the litter to towels. And yes the petstore will sell anything that will make them money. Also the baytril is excellent but if it doesn't help in the first three days at all then it is not going to help. Talk to your vet about adding doxy or switching to amoxicillin. I used amoxicillin with little man whenever he has a flare up and it takes care of it right away.
 

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Perhaps you should seek a second opinion...

My baby girl, Dragon, is also on Baytril... It is working quite well...

Originally she went from 275 down to 190... And she was put on Baytril (at 190g,) and i was told to give her 0.5ml... Is ml the same as cc?

Anyway, once she got up to 280 again, and they still wanted her on the meds, i was told to give her 1ml, now that she weighed more...

So perhaps the reason that it is not working so well is that she isn't getting the proper dose?

Good Luck!
 

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Looks like what she's on is pine, which could be causing a big part of the issues right there. Unfortunately petstores sell it because it's cheap, and most small pet owners don't want to spend much money. They'll even tell you it's non-toxic which is a complete lie.

Your best option for bedding is fabric (towels or polar fleece) with a litterbox filled with Yesterday's News. YN is a great cat litter made of recycled newspapers.

Also, most store brand foods are junk unfortunately. A great option is a high quality dog food if you aren't able to order a lab block like Harlan (not available in petstores).

To get the weight on I've always had great success with baby pablum mixed with boost. They go nuts for it and it helps keep the grams on them when they're going through a rough time. It actually helped add a month or more onto my sick girl's life.

Welcome to the forum, by the way! I'm sorry you had to find us when your darling is doing so poorly, but hopefully she'll bounce back. She's not that old afterall :D.
 
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