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Pet Rats/Older rat getting sick?


I have a 2 year old dumbo male rat named Drek. He has a history of epilepsy that I've linked back to sugar and seem to have gotten under control. Over the past couple of days he's gotten rather lethargic. Before he was as active and destructive as a toddler and now he just stays curled up asleep. Last night when I took him out of his cage he was foaming at the mouth and seemed to have trouble swallowing. I rushed him to an emergency vet where he was given the all clear. They think he choked on some food. His energy is still down though and the vet can give me no answers. Is he just finally showing his age or is there a bigger issue?

The drop in his activeness happened too quickly to be his age.  A normally aging rat would show decreased activity gradually over time.  It is possible that Drek is suffering from a secondary bacterial infection which is causing the lethargy.  I recommend that he be treated with Amoxicillin in the event it is such an infection.  You can get a prescription from your vet.  The basic dose is 10 mg/poung given  twice a day.

I with you the very best in getting Drek back to good health.  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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