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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

Recently, one of our babies has been standing completely still, staring off into space. She was doing it just today, and only reacted a little bit when I reached in to pet her head. When I scooped her up, she was really tense, but after I held her for a while (15-30 seconds) she completely snapped out of it and sprung out of my hands to go play, just like normal.

I'm really, really scared, because I read it could possibly be seizures, and that's how we lost our darling Jackie. She acts completely normal otherwise, but so did Jackers...does anyone have any advice?

We've had her for maybe a month, and her 'sister' (we don't know if they're actually sisters) is just fine. My boyfriend also thinks he may have seen her sleeping with her eyes open, which can supposedly be normal, but now every little thing is freaking me out. :(

Thanks guys.
 

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It could be petit mal seizures, or it could be that she smells/hears something very interesting. Does she twitch her ears or her nose? But that won't make it definitive. I eould say don't worry, but if you're really freaking out contact your vet.
 

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Does she brux at all when staring? I had a girl who would stare off into space sometimes and brux, but I believe she was deep in concentration. She was definitely a thinker and always trying to figure things out (mostly trying to figure out how to increase her exploring area or go into an area she wasn't supposed to be). Rats will sometimes groom themselves or brux while thinking or trying to figure things out. If she is bruxing and staring, I probably wouldn't worry. Sometimes my girl would be so lost in thought, I'd startle her when I pet her even though she would have been able to see me coming if she was paying attention. Is she ever out of the cage for playtime when she stares off?

I have a boy now who loves to stare at us. It's not the same thing I think as staring off into space, but he'll just stand completely still and stare in our general direction without a break for a looong time, but reacts if we do something to interact with him.

I've seen my rats get sleepy eyed and seem to fall asleep while their eyes are half lidded. Really scary to see that, but they wake up when touched or when hearing a noise. I also have two rabbits, and they have definitely fallen asleep with their eyes open. Especially my boy bun. He has a strong instict to stay alert and usually nods off during the day with eyes open and at least one ear up. The only way I can tell he's asleep is when he starts dreaming or wakes up after starting to fall over from his loaf position into a sleeping position.

I hope it's nothing serious, hopefully she's just a little thinker too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
She's totally fine during out time, being crazy and making mischief. It's just when she's in the cage. She perches on top of her house and stares. According to my boyfriend, she even ignored a tiny piece of bacon once when she was tranced. :( We're trying to stay positive...she's such a brilliant, excited baby normally. I couldn't bear to think of anything risking taking her away early. And I know her sister would be crushed. We know that if we try hard she'll be okay...I think we're just both still traumatized from Jackie.

Thanks for the responses, btw. It's nice knowing there are people who understand adoring these little critters as much as I do. :)
 

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If she is only doing it in the cage, and especially on top of her house, it sounds totally voluntary. She may be super lost in thought, but that doesn't seem to be something out of her control like the thing you're worried about. I guess I would just watch her and try to take mental notes on if anything changes or if there's some kind of pattern or possible triggers that put her in the trance. Try clicking your tongue against your teeth to make that sharp kinda sucking noise. Most animals respond to that right away if they're not totally knocked out asleep. See if that gets her to notice. Try a tasty treat like the bacon again. Maybe it just wasn't close enough to her to notice or it didn't smell good? Did she want to eat it after her trance? Sometimes my rats won't be in the mood for favorite treats if they think something else more interesting is happening, but will then change their minds if what they think is happening doesn't happen (if that makes sense).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That does make sense, and I'm a little less worried now. :) And she did end up eating the bacon immediatly after her trance...it was just worrisome because she didn't even respond when he put it right on her head! We'll keep a close eye on her, and probably try to take her to a vet if it keeps happening/gets worse.
 

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All of our rats do the occasional staring thing. It's more common when they are young and I've always found it amusing. It's nothing to be concerned about. Misty still does it a lot, Cloud is old and generally doesn't move much anymore so there's no way to tell if she's in a trance of just being normal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I guess that explains why it's so startling to me! 'My' first rat belonged to my sister, and when he was a baby I was so afraid of hurting him that I stayed away. We got my second rat when she was over a year old. So now we're having to get used to crazy, unexpected baby mischief! ;D
 
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