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My youngest rat, Autumn ( 1yo) Has suddenly ran into a lot of problems, And I'm unsure of what to do. To put things simply, she's gotten so....lazy?
It's a bit more serious than that. I'll just lay out my basics so you know what the situation is.
  • My rats are fed Oxbow, Regal rat.
  • They always have fresh water at all times.
  • They are housed in a huge critter nation, Lot of places to run around.
  • And there housed on fleece.
Within the last two weeks, I've noticed a huge change! She was a young, energetic alpha rat, always playing around with her two cage mates and could be seen running all over the cage at almost all times, Something huge has changed. She's incredibly Lethargic.
  • She hasn't moved much from her hammock.
  • She's not moving herself when she needs to urine, her whole belly is all pee and she smells very gross. I think she's moving for number two though,
  • She's barely eating
  • She's not playing with others, and lets her self be the omega. Very strange.
I knew that HLD Was big in males, but I checked her legs and there perfectly fine. I'm scared, I don't know what to do. I should mention that in this point in time, Going to a vet is impossible, as the only vet who looks after small animals in the city is out until after Christmas.
 

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This doesnt sound like HLD at all, it sounds like a health issue. Its tough not being able to get to the vets, have you got any meds in the house?

Theres a Few things sudden lethargy could be caused by;

The first would be some sort of heart issue, she seems very young for this to be honest though. Treatment would be fortefor and frusomide, but i would probably only try this if the others arent the case.

It could be an infection, possibly ear or UTI or possibly pyo. Check how she walks when you put her on a flat surface, you may need to convince her to move but if shes unwell and you put her in the open she will probably try and get under cover. If she walks in a circular pattern or with a head tilt then its either an ear infection or a stroke. A urinary tract infection would useually show up as swirls of pinky blood in her urine or pain when urinating. Pyo would be occasional drops of blood around the vagina. An ear infection is best treated with a high end dose of anitbiotics and ideall steroids too. I would use baytril and coamox with predinose steroids. A UTI is better treated with septrin (antibioitic). Pyometa really needs a spay but in a emergency where spaying isnt an option you can treat with high end dosage of antibiotics, again baytril and coamox are probably my preferred.

Stroke - this tends to be where a rat has suddenly gone from fine to very unwell / lathargic, they may improve gradually day by day but also might not. They also useually have a one sided weakness but it can be hard to tell unless you know it. Shes a bit on the young side for this but its not unheard of in young rats. Rats can recover well from these but she needs to be on steroids ASAP and i'm not sure how you would get these without a vet (in the US you can get antibioitics online but i'm not sure about predinose). If you can find a vet who will do what you ask on her even if they dont know small animals (over here vets must help an animal in distress even if they dont normally see that kind of animal normally, though some will only see them to put them to sleep) then i'd ask for a dex injection (powerful steroid) and then predinose to be given daily to see if she improves. Honestly i think this is most likley from your description

PT / brain tumour / encephalitis - the tumours are unlikey at her young age but again do sometimes happen in young girls. The tell tale signs of a PT is lack of grip in her front paws, try offering her a small treat and see if she can grip it, or the bars. A more general brain tumour is harder to diagnose but useually you see confusion, a personality change, some difficulties with coordination etc. In both cases they are very gradual onset and improve under steroids but dont get fixed. Encephalitis is a tough one, it mimics neurological symptoms in many cases and does happen in younger rats. You want an antibioitic that can cross the blood brain boundary, i can look this up for you if you like, its been years since i've had a case of encephalitis.

Other than that theres odd things like kidney failure, penumonia without obvious breathing difficulties (v unlikley) or other organ failure / cancer. All these seem unlikley in this case, given her age and lack of resp symtoms.

In your case unless you can narrow it down with the info above i would get her on a good broad spectrum antibiotic combo like baytril and coamox and ideally a steroid too. If oyu cant get a steroid putting her on a weaker anti inflammatory such as metacam or kids ibuprofen suspension is an option, though not ideal. This might tide you over for a while. If she gets worse though or doesnt respond to any of the meds you can get and you dont have any other option i would turn up with her at your nearest vet and if they wont treat her it would probably be kinder to have her put to sleep than potetnially suffer until she fades away.
 
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