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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm pretty sure one of my boys is either partially really blind or fully blind. I know rats don't have awesome eyesight to begin with but this guy just seems way worse than my others. It's like he has no idea what anything is until he feels it out with his paws or snout unless it's something he recognizes as a familiar smell. Which is fine he just does doesn't do much climbing cause of it like the other ones but there's one thing that worries me. I've noticed whenever there's a loud scary noise all my other rats react the same they freeze look in the direction of the noise then determine if it's safe to keep playing. He doesn't. He will immediately bolt to wherever he last saw me and "hide" on me. And I mean bolt I have never seen a rat run this fast. I'm guessing it's partially that he can't see so he doesn't know if the noise is from a predator. But it worries me how much he totally freaks out. And what happens if one day he goes to where I last was and I'm not there anymore? Is there anything I can do for my little blind guy? I live in an apartment and any noise from the hall travels right in.
Also, should I worry that he'll one day fall of the edge of the 2nd level of his cage or are blind rats generally smart enough to realize edges etc? I don't think falling would severely hurt him it's not a huge drop the other rats jump it all the time.
Anything else I should know about blind rat care differences? He seems pretty intelligent still regardless of his lack of vision but his fearful responses worry me a bit sometimes. I'm glad he trusts me to keep him safe but is running that quick healthy or could we be looking at like a potential anxiety /heart / panic attack type thing? He also freaks out if he's left alone, he seems to need to be near either me or his brother at all times.
 

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It is VERY good that he seeks you out in his time of need. What you should do is get him used to the tone of your voice so that if he can't find you where you were, you can talk to him and guide him back to you. Get him to learn his name and this will be very beneficial for the both of you.

For the second concern, I would actually tie up a hammock to cover that hole the shelves make. Even if they don't use it for its intended use, its good to have it there just incase. Even though the rats jump the drop, its different when they fall. Jumping is intentional and they can position their bodies how they want to land. Falling doesn't allow that and could injure any rat.

Rats can run ridiculously fast when they want to. They are prey animals so the quick sprints come naturally to them. As for him freaking when he is alone. This might just be his personality and not related to his sight. He may be a dependent rat.

Really I've heard a lot about blind rats and in the wild they wouldn't fare too well. But as long as he has you and some companions, I'm sure he'll be fine. =)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your advice! I've been working on training him to come to my voice. He's starting to get it and although he's not fully responsive to his name 100% of the time yet I think he'll get there soon seeing the progress he's making already. I also looked into getting hammocks for him to block any holes between the different storeys in his cage and found a local rat hammock seller. I know he'd be in big trouble in the wild but luckily hes domesticated. I've also started paying attention to things for him like placing things back in the cage exactly where they were after cleaning it. I've never done this before with my other rats but I noticed he seemed to be overwhelmed getting back into his clean cage and having to sniff around so much to figure things out. He seems a lot happier going back in and finding everything where he last left it.
 
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