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Discussion Starter #1
Hello! I recently took in a year-old ratty from my friend who could no longer care for her rats. She had porphy eyes and nose when she arrived, but that resolved in a matter of hours.

I just had her on my shoulder and I noticed a sour smell coming from her ears. I haven't noticed any other symptoms in the 2 days that I've had her, except that she sleeps a lot. Otherwise she seems healthy and normal. Should I be worried about her ears smelling bad?

 

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It can be a symptom of an ear infection, so if you can it's worth checking.
 

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This does sound like an ear infection, if you get her along to the vet he can check inside the ear canal and put her on some antibiotics. Ear infections can get worse quickly and can lead to perminant tiltyness if you dont get them on abs soon enough (and can lead to brain infections if you dont treat at all)
 

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I'm starting to think it's not as bad as I thought. More like a faint musky odor, not a rotting odor like I've smelled on very sick rats. But I'll get her to the vet anyway. Thanks for the responses!
 

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Hey Everyone,

Just wanted to report that I took Opal to the vet and they found pus in her ear. Fortunately they were able to do a culture on the pus so they could target it with the right antibiotic, which in this case is Baytril. She's also getting 3 drops of a diluted Betadyne solution in her ear each day.

She had no head tilt, and the pus was not overwhelming so it looks like we caught this early. I'm optimistic that the treatment will work.

Moral of this story: Smell your rat's ears!! They should smell like nothing. If there is *any* odor, then a vet visit is in order.

Thanks to Isamu and Nanashi for the encouragement :)
 

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No problem. After a while as a rat owner your nose becomes a fine tuned tool lol. I can smell infection fairly well now even from a difference and i've got a friend who can track things down even earlier (and down to specific body part). Interestingly smell can also be used to detect diabetes in rats too, if they smell overly sweet or like pear drops.

Perhaps this is a sign that rat owners are weird lol, when the start advocating "rat sniffing"
 
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