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I have 2 male rats who around a year and a half old: Roscoe and Jenkins. Jenkins has been to the vet several times for a reoccurring wry neck and sinus infections. His latest "illness" however is that his entire eye appears to be dead. 2 days ago, he was fine, but last night before I went to bed I noticed his eye which was almost unbearable to look at. It is about the size of a raisin, as well as having a similar texture. There is absolutely no life left in it, it is not shiny, but rather dull and crinkled looking. It is scabbed over, swollen and he cannot blink it at all. I'm not even sure where his eyelid is. It really doesn't appear to be bothering him, but I know that it must be painful. I am guessing that he bumped his eye on something in his cage or roscoe might've hurt it, as they fight sometimes. So basically, I still live with my parents and they pay for my vet visits, but they are getting fed up with spending so much money on my rat. I have been contemplating putting him to sleep, because I know that my parents will not pay for him to get his eye removed, which is probably what my vet will suggest. I cannot get in to see my vet until Wednesday, and was mainly wondering if I could somehow make him more comfortable. Since his neck is almost always cocked to the side, his eye on bottom is the one that is infected and he drags it around some, so I put him in a separate cage next to roscoe with fresh bedding, and have been cleaning up after him when he goes to the bathroom. What should I expect to hear from the vet? Is there anyway that I can keep my rat and his eye, or should I maybe just consider euthanizing him? Do you have any idea what it could be? Maybe and abscess?

More Info:
He is a Dumbo rat
Poor motor skills because of wry neck
Sneezes from respiratory illness
Acts completely normal otherwise (does not appear to be in pain)
His other eye appears to have conjunctivitis or something and is slightly bulging as well
Appears to be completely blind
Eats, drinks, poops, pees normally
Seems slightly itchier than normal
No mites
Red drainage from nose/eye(s)
His eye is hard to the touch, not soft!

also, how much will my vet visit cost around, because like I said, my parents really don't want to spend any more money on Jenkins and I feel bad because we don't have a lot of money.

Oh my gosh, how horrible.  Thank goodness it doesn't seem to bother him, poor little thing.  I hate to tell you that this a severe infection and won't resolve itself on it's own.  If you don't do anything, it will get worse and is sure to cause him a lot of pain.  This needs to be treated with proper antibiotics, both topical and oral.  In this case, there is nothing you can do for him but to immediately take him to a good vet to save his life.  

I know you said expenses are tight for you, but please don't have him euthanized as he can be saved.  Are you aware that a proper humane euthanization will cost you about $100?  You need to try the antibiotics first so that you can do everything you can to give him a chance.

The other alternative besides antibiotics, as you know, is to have the eye surgically removed.  I don't know what a vet would charge for that but you can ask your vet.  Many vets will understand financial hardships so if you explain your situation to them, they may be able to put you on a payment plan to help you pay for what is necessary for Jenkins.

Let me just ask you if your current vet is a qualified vet who is experienced in treating rats?  If not, I can help find one for you if you'll respond back to me with your zip code.  Please consider doing the right thing for your little boy so that you don't have regrets in the future.  

Meanwhile, you may want to try applying moist heat to his eye (a warm moist towel) several times a day if he will sit still for you.  

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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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