i have no idea how to help, i'm so sorry to hear that though! have you given her anything new to eat recently, or has she escaped and possibly gotten into something? what is her background (so we might know how likely some things are?)? has she been introduced to another rat recently?
yeah, i thought they couldn't, but i didn't want to say that if i wasn't sure. maybe the lettuce is getting stuck in her mouth between her cheeks and gums and she's trying to get it out? it does sound more like choking though. you can try a ratty heimlich, but you'd probably be better off trying to get her to a vet, although emergency hours are quite costly, i'll have to warn you.
shes calmed down a lot now.. she was sitting quietly in my lap getting a nice pet (she usually doesnt stay still for long). i can tell she isnt feeling better yet, but she hasnt been gagging anymore as far as i can tell.
she did regurgitate some food she ate earlier, so hopefully if it upset her stomache its all out now. i will check on her through the night and hope for the best in the morning!
Rats cannot vomit: they cannot forcibly expel food from their stomachs. On very rare occasions, however, rats may regurgitate, which means that digested food may flow passively from the stomach back into the esophagus. Regurgitation is rare because rats have a very strong barrier between the stomach and esophagus.
i have seen a rat throw up at least twice both times from choking but there ws definitely food from a prior time coming up I know people say they can't but i have seen it with my own eyes and cleaned up the vomit on at least two occasions that i can think of right now.
The rat didn't regurgitate the food from its stomach but from where it was stuck to cause the choking.
Choking is a frightening thing to witness, but 95% of the time the rat works it out themselves. Because they are unable to vomit they do everything else in their power to remove the obstruction, excessive drooling, open mouth gasping with clicks, etc...you should just leave them alone to do it themselves but keep an eye on them. IF a rat stops breathing you should already have googled the Ratty Fling...ONLY if the rat has stopped breathing because you could kill your rat if it still is breathing. Desperate measures only. Do not try to perform heimlichs as you could really hurt your rat as well not knowing their anatomy, plus I have never heard of it working.
Choking can be from anything but notorious causes are sticky things like peanut butter and bread. I only feed crusts and toasts to avoid it myself.
Here is a video of a rat choking supplied by a kind woman since I don't have one in my library.
If you rat is choking, you can keep an eye on them at home for around 5-6 hours, after that they should be taken to the vet.
If your rat had some severe choking the night before I often feed soft foods just in case their throat is sore. Most times they are bright-eyed and eating their food in the morning like normal as you look at them in disbelief.