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Pet Rats/Head tilting


My pet rat, Caoimhe, was very dizzy and falling over, so I took her to the vets who said it was most likely an ear infection. I was given a course of antibiotics and the vet said that she may never be 100% better. We went through the course and the dizziness has gone, however she has been left with quite a severe head this normal? It isn't affecting her at all really, she is still active and giving her sisters hell, although she isn't as confident about jumping or climbing much anymore.
Also, I have a very elderly rat, Lemi (nicknamed ďTubsĒ), is it normal to be able to feel her spine? She is still very active and by no means thin, she eats plenty of food (her head is never out of the bowl). I think she is getting frail due to her age, but just want to make sure. As long as they are happy, then Iím happy, but all three of them are my babies and you never stop worrying :)

It is good that you had her treated with antibiotics promptly.  In most cases, when the infection is treated successfully, the head tilt goes away.  However, it is not unusual in some cases for the head tilt to remain throughout the ratís life.  This permanent tilt won't cause any problem as rats are able to adjust to it very quickly.  As long as your girl is happy and able to eat, drink, groom, play, etc. and seems generally happy, I would not worry about her at this time.  If you do see the symptoms recur, remember that prompt treatment is key.

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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