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Pet Rats/rat feces......


QUESTION: My poor little rats look a little sick........ i was wondering if there was something wrong with them because their feces are, lets say, squishy. I was just cleaning the cage when a fece easily smashed on my cloth. I was grossed out, but a little curious of whats wrong...... any ideas of how to make it stop? Or why it is coming? Thanks~ Angelina

ANSWER: Diarrhea in rats can be caused by a number of things including:
An excess of fruits or vegetables
A new food or more of a certain food than accustomed to
Stress, or a frightening situation
Internal parasites, especially pinworms or giardi, which causes a strong odor

If you can rule out the first three above, then you must take them to a vet as parasites or perhaps something more serious must be treated with antibiotics.  

With diarrhea, make sure your rats are getting plenty of water, as dehydration can happen very quickly.  You may also give children's Pedialyte.  Feed a plain, bland diet such as rodent block, baby foods, or rice while the diarrhea is a problem.

The recommended treatments are:
Antibiotics: Give your rats a probiotic such as Benebac or yogurt with live active cultures.
For internal parasites, have a vet examine the feces to determine if parasites are present.
Fresh fruits and vegetables should compose no more than 20% of your rats' daily diet.
Always when offering new foods, start will a smaller amount to acclimate them to it.

I hope your rats get better soon.  Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: What causes the pin-worms? i think they may have a parasite, because their feces have a smell.......

There are many different parasites that can affect pet rats; pinworms are only one kind.  Parasites are living organisms that enter a rat's body either by being ingested by the rat or by penetrating the rat's skin.

Because the feces have a smell, there is a good chance it is some kind of parasite but you must take them to a good vet that has experience with rats to find out for certain.  Because there are many different species of parasites, there is not one drug that can effectively treat all parasites.  The vet may do a stool exam, urinalysis, or perhaps blood work, to determine the type of parasite and treat appropriately.  

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Irene Murphy


I can answer a variety of questions regarding adoption and care of pet rats throughout their lifetimes, including questions about their health and well being, temperment, diet, bedding, cages, toys, etc. I will try to answer your questions to the best of my ability in a timely manner and I have an abundant amount of resources to help me to help you with your pet rats. I love rattie pictures, so include pics with your question if you can. You may ask me medical questions, but please be advised that I am not a vet. I may use my resources to answer some medical questions, however, I will need to refer you to your local vet with medical questions that I feel I am not qualified to address.


I have been a huge rat enthusiast for many years. Since becoming a rat owner, I have educated myself in all areas of pet rats from every resource I could find including the internet, books, conversations with local exotic vets, as well as several local rat breeders.

I have a college degree but not in the area of animals. I have obtained my extensive experience and knowlege of pet rats all on my own because in my eyes, pet rats are the most interesting and fascinating creatures you can ever imagine to have as pets. I also am saddened by how mislabeled and misunderstood these amazing and extremely smart animals are by the majority, and my mission in life has become to educate and change as many people's perceptions of rats as I possibly can.

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