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Pet Rats/Dislocated or Broken Hip


About 2 weeks ago I purchased a baby rat from Petco. (Now weighs 90 grams) He made all sorts of noises I thought to be squeaking and I noticed him walking funny so I decided to take him to the vet 2 days after getting him. The vet said that he had pneumonia, lice, and either a dislocated or broken hip. He gave us medications for the pneumonia and lice and those are both almost cured! Sadly, this little guy's hip is still bothering him. He limps terribly, dragging the entire leg behind him. The vet said it was painful but he would learn to live with it. Is there absolutely nothing I can do for his leg? Can it be popped back in socket like a person's shoulder? It looks worse from when I first got him rather than better and I'm concerned. Thanks :)

Hi Erin,
This little guy is so blessed to be with you!  I recommend seeing if you can find a chiropractor who would be willing to take a look at him. Only a chiropractor is trained to deal with a problem like this. Some vets are trained in chiropractic, but many human chiropractors are also willing to treat animals as a challenge.  My chiropractor has successfully treated 4 of my rats with jaw/neck/back/hip problems!

Here in CA, a chiropractor can't charge money for treating animals unless they have a special veterinary license, because that is practicing veterinary medicine without a license, and most states will probably be similar.

If you donít see a chiropractor yourself, ask your friends if they can recommend one.  Otherwise, just start calling those in the phone book to see if they would be willing to treat an animal.

Please let me know what happens!

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Debbie Ducommun


I can answer any questions about pet rats, but you will probably be able find answers to simple questions more quickly on my website at If you have a life-threatening emergency you can try calling me at 530-899-0605. I am not usually on the computer on the weekend.


I have been "The Rat Lady" since 1985 and am recognized as one of the world's experts on pet rats. I have 3 published books and already answer lots of questions about rats daily.

President of Rat Assistance & Teaching Society

I am a monthly columnist for Pet Business magazine, and my writing has appeared in other magazines. I have 3 published books.

BA in Animal Behavior

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