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I recently purchased a young female rat from a breeder. Whenever I handle her she sticks her tongue in and out, much like a lizard or snake. Is this a sign off illness or is it something strange that just she does? She's been doing it since I got her home.
 

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is she sticking it out randomly, or is she licking your hand? If her tongue is touching you then she's probably trying to groom you, if not then i have to admit i'm not really sure why... if you've fed her something sticky then maybe she's trying to clean it off of her teeth o_O
 

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is she sticking it out randomly, or is she licking your hand? If her tongue is touching you then she's probably trying to groom you, if not then i have to admit i'm not really sure why... if you've fed her something sticky then maybe she's trying to clean it off of her teeth o_O
Randomly, though very rapidly and for long periods of time. She it comes out just past her teeth. She hasn't eaten anything besides lab blocks so far. I'm going to hope she's just a little weirdo, haha.
 

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Just googling it i've found most people say it's either because she's 'tasting the air around her' or because she's scared and not use to the new environment but if i'm honest i've never heard of anything like that myself.

Have you noticed whether she does it in her cage or only when you have her out? And does she have something to chew on in her cage and are her teeth at a normal length? I'm thinking if they're overgrown she could have a sore mouth but if she's very young then probably not.

Sorry that i couldn't be of much help, but i'd say keep an eye on her, you might be right she could just have a funny habit. Oh and one last thing, is she an only rat or does she have a cage mate? I've heard of rats starting up repetitive behaviours (like excessive grooming or continual gnawing of cage bars) when they live alone without another rat. It's essential for your rats mental and physical wellbeing that she has another rattie, to play with, groom and cuddle with. Rats are very social little beings.
 

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Just googling it i've found most people say it's either because she's 'tasting the air around her' or because she's scared and not use to the new environment but if i'm honest i've never heard of anything like that myself.

Have you noticed whether she does it in her cage or only when you have her out? And does she have something to chew on in her cage and are her teeth at a normal length? I'm thinking if they're overgrown she could have a sore mouth but if she's very young then probably not.

Sorry that i couldn't be of much help, but i'd say keep an eye on her, you might be right she could just have a funny habit. Oh and one last thing, is she an only rat or does she have a cage mate? I've heard of rats starting up repetitive behaviours (like excessive grooming or continual gnawing of cage bars) when they live alone without another rat. It's essential for your rats mental and physical wellbeing that she has another rattie, to play with, groom and cuddle with. Rats are very social little beings.
That does make sense, she is very skittish and jumpy. I bet it's that, she only does it when I have her out. Her teeth are normal length, that was one of the first things I checked. As of now she is an only rat (I do have another female for her, I'm currently going through introductions again as my girlie Azul is a bit of a bully.)
 

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That's really strange, I wonder what it is!

I have a small family and kept the boys seperate from the girls once they reached almost 5 weeks of age. At 3 or 4 months old, I got the boys neutered, and did reintroductions of the 2 boys back with the 3 girls once they were totally infertile (I think it was about 2 weeks after the surgery). They were next door neighbors so they always saw and smelled each other even if they weren't allowed near each other anymore, but my one skittish girl was still very stressed by these 2 big boys being around her.

She did the weirdest thing that I've never seen/heard of before, and I wonder if it was a similar type of thing as your girl with the tongue. Whenever a boy would get too close to her, she opened her mouth really wide, stuck her tongue way out, and scrunched in her neck. It looked like some horrendous gag. Rats aren't even capable of throwing-up, so I have absolutely no idea what it was. I know it was from fear, but it was so strange! I wonder if your girl is doing something similar with the tongue thing and being in a new and maybe scary place. Does she do this when she's around her new rat family yet, or have you tried doing introductions yet?

If she does it all the time, would it be possible to get a short video so we can all see?
 

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Discussion Starter #8

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It's just something some rats do. :) I've only seen it a few times, though a friend of mine who also does rescue calls it "lip flapping" and she thinks it may be something similar to bruxing for those rats. I have a little girl right now who does it, it's darling. Grayson was not at all a nervous rat, so I don't think it is due to nervousness, maybe excitement/interest.
 

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Oh man, is that what that is? Lee has done that the entire time she's lived with me and I just thought she was being a little weirdo.
 

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Oh gosh that video is so cute! I guess as long as she seems healthy and not stressed, it's just a cute little quirk to enjoy. :)
 

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I watched the video and I can add that Chai does that too sometimes. Mostly when she wakes up to me shaking the treat container or rustling the bag of food. It's probably totally normal... and definitely absolutely adorable!
 
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