Pet Rats/my pet rat


a while ago i noticed that my rats eye was standing very wide open
and it isnt swollen but he often has a lot of a red substance around that
eye.He isnt blinking or scratching it.He seems totally fine
but im worried.i gave him drops that you use to clean eyes and contact lenses
and cleaned it with warm water and massaged it .

Well, it doesn't sound as though his eye is infected, as an infection would normally cause swelling around the eye, watering, blinking, etc.  The red substance around the eye is called porphyrin and is not blood.  Porphyrin can be a sign of stress or illness in a rat, but if it is always there and you don't see any other symptoms of illness or stress (like lethargy, lack of appetite, etc.), then as long as the porphyrin is not excessive, it is not a cause for worry.

I suggest you monitor your rat's eye carefully over the next week or so to see if it begins bulging more, or swelling up, or if there is increased porphyrin.  If you do see changes in the eye and especially if you see other signs of illness, don't hesitate to take him in to a good vet who is experienced in treating rats.

Please let me know if I can help you with anything else.

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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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