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I have two rats who just turned 3 years old last month. One is blind (Sparrow), and one has hind end degeneration (Commodore). Both are still very social, eat well, and active considering their age. They still run to the side of the cage to see me.

Commodore started losing movement in his hind legs about 6 months ago. I noticed his tail was dragging and every now and then his foot would drag. Over time, he slowly lost control over both his back legs and was dragging them. Devastated, I did a lot of a research on hind end degeneration: does it hurt, should I put him to sleep, is there a cure. I found that he probably wasn't in pain but didn't have more than a few months left. So I just decided to wait it out and give him a good life.

Well here I am 4 months later and Commodore has only gotten stronger. He can now pull himself up the side of the cage with his front legs. I had to take the top level out because he still used the ramp and went up there despite how long it took him to do. He's definitely a fighter. He's eating, pooping, and moving around just fine. Like a little worm all over the cage...haha

However, I have noticed he's lost a lot of weight. I think it's because it takes him more effort to move around. He's very bony. He was always skinny but he's starting to get emaciated and I'm getting concerned. Is there anything I could feed him to help him fatten up, get stronger, and keep his energy?

Also, any comments on your opinions/knowledge about HED would be great. Thanks!
 

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Since he is so skinny, for weight gain you need to feed foods that are high in protein. Things like eggs are great (hard boiled, or scrambled seems to work well), also Ensure and chicken (unseasoned, but well cooked). The yolk is especially fatty, so try and get him to eat that. I would also make sure he is fully hydrated. As dehydration can cause loss of appetite.
Best of luck!
 
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