Pet Rats/my pet rat


QUESTION: Hi debbie
can you please tell me what it means for a rat to have often a lot of poryphin around
an eye ,a very visible white skin around the eyen  but to have the eyeball
itself not swollen or iritated but to have the eye wide open?
Thank you because i dont know what to do sins i dont no what it is.

ANSWER: Hi Luke,
The white skin around the eye means that some of the fur around the eye has fallen out. This can happen if there has been a lot of porphyrin discharge sticking to the fur. When there is porphyrin discharge from only one eye, the most likely cause is an eyelash rubbing on the eye, and there is nothing you can do for that.  As soon as the eyelash falls out, it will be fine. You just need to help your rat by washing off the porphyrin once or twice a day.

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

QUESTION: Whats an eyelash?im 14 and i im not sure what it is.
And does the fallen out hear give the effect that thh eye is wide open?
And i dont have to get it checked by a regular vet?
Thank you!

In Spanish, and eyelash is a cil. Oops, that's French. In Spanish it is a pestana. Sometimes they grow crooked so they rub on the eye. Although this can cause a slight irritation that caused the eye to water, the rat usually can keep it open normally.

Pet Rats

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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

©2017 All rights reserved.