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Hello, and thanks to anyone who may be able to assist with this.

I have 5 rats, two that are near a year old, and three that about 4-5 months old now. Out of the two older ones, Ratty has always suffered from seizures. I took her to the vets who basically said that it was something that she needed to live with. It was mentioned that there was anti seizure medication, but that it would only work on one specific type of seizure.

The medication didn't seem to make much difference.

To start with, I bought denim material and made hammocks that stretch across the levels of the cage, I have two stacked cages probably about 4 foot high. This meant that is she had a fit near the top, she wouldn't hurt herself. And for a while that seemed to help.

However recently, the 2 of the newer rats, seem to sense there was something wrong with ratty, and would not leave her alone. Follwoing her. Harrasing her. Tring to pin her down and nipping at her. These two love to wrestle anyway, but this was constant.

So I bought a single level cage, and moved ratty into it. On the same day I moved her in, I gave her four to five hours on her own, and she seemed to relish the peace. She really seemed ever so happy. By the evening, she had seemed to have settled in. So, i figured I'd let Fizzles, the other older rat, and Poppy, the third newer one who was always friends, spend an hour or so in the new cage. I figured if I do that once a day it would give Ratty company and companionship as she has always come from a cage with others.

But, she seems to really love, and i mean really love having her own space. I stuck Poppy in and she pinned her down, wouldnt let her up. I put Fizzles (her sister) in and the same thing.

If I get them out together outside the cages, they have no problems.

So that's the history. I have two questions if I may pick the brains of the community.

1. There is so much information about not keeping a rat on their own in a cage. She seems so happy to have the peace and quiet. Has anyone else had to keep a rat isolated long term (except for communal play times), and were there any problems doing so?

2. When she has her seizures, I have noticed that the white part of her right eye only, after the seizure, goes red, as if filled with blood. It's just this eye, and within 20-30 minutes, it goes back to normal. I tried to get a picture, and apologies it isn't brilliant, but this is what her eye looks like. As it reverts to normaly quickly, I dont think it is internal bleeding or anything like that, but I was wondering if it might present a clue as to the nature of the fits? I know we have epilepsy as well as neurological fits in rats, but there isn't a huge amount of info on fitting that I can find, and the vet didn't seem to know much about seizures.

Many thanks to all for any help!

IMG_1969.jpg Her one eye red.

IMG_1940.jpg Ratty in her new cage!
 

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1, I would probably ask what makes you think shes really happy on her own in there. If its just that she pins rats you put in thats fairly normal as shes just telling them its her cage and shes boss, not that she dislikes them. Most rats are a lot better off with the right companion, they can groom each other, sleep together and so on. Its a lot easier for them to have a perminant companion than ones they only see now and then, its lower stress generally.

2, the red stuff may well be blood pressure related or jsut from the violent movement. Out of interest have you looked into audio generated epilepsy at all. They can get seizures from certain sounds, often very high pitched stuff that we cant hear.
 

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Thanks Isamurat for the reply.

1, I would probably ask what makes you think shes really happy on her own in there. If its just that she pins rats you put in thats fairly normal as shes just telling them its her cage and shes boss, not that she dislikes them. Most rats are a lot better off with the right companion, they can groom each other, sleep together and so on. Its a lot easier for them to have a perminant companion than ones they only see now and then, its lower stress generally.

​The reason I say she seems happy is purely based on observing her. Having had her for a year, her moods seem fairly obvious. I can tell when she is being cheeky, when she wants to play, when she just wants space etc. Her behaviour in the cage is very mellow. Best I can say is she gives off happy and contented vibes. Does that make sense?

Completely agree with the pinning down, and should have given a bit more info. Not just the pinning down, but when I have her and Fizzles out together on the sofa next to her cage, she physically blocks Fizzles from going near her cage. She positions her body sideways, blocks, and looks ready to fight. Other than that, they play together as happily as they always have.

2, the red stuff may well be blood pressure related or jsut from the violent movement. Out of interest have you looked into audio generated epilepsy at all. They can get seizures from certain sounds, often very high pitched stuff that we cant hear.

I'm not aware of the audio epilepsy. Research required me thinks. If she is fitting in the night or when I am at work I don't see it, but the times I have seen the fits has been when the TV is on, or we are playing games on the consoles connected to the TV, so that could be an issue. Will look into. Thank you!
 

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TV's do give off a very high pitched buzz, so its possible that this is not helping, if oyu can moving her cage into a room thats tv free might help.

It does sound like shes not that bothered by being alone, it does happen sometimes, particualrly in older rats. You could probably get her happy with a friend perminantly but if shes getting a good amount of time with her friends free ranging it might be ok. My one worry would be grooming as rats do a lot to help look after each others hard to reach places. A long free range could meet this. Or why not put her in her old cage for an hour or two a day. You could put your trouble makers out for free range or in a carrier for an hour or so to make sure shes not harrased.
 
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