Pet Rats/my pet rat


hi irene
ive had my two rats for a year now.
they always sleep together and looked healthy.
i lately noticed one of them was sneezing often.
i took her to a vet who said it must be an allergie.
the vet gave her an injeccion that would stop her allergie.
it seemed to have work.she sneezed les often so we were pretty sure
it was an allergie.the 2 days after the injeccion she was perfectly healthy.
Even before the injeccion she had no loss of appetite just sneezing.
than suddently one morning (the thirth) she had lost a large amount of weight.her spine suddently
was very notable and she had bald patches around  the spot she had got the injeccion.
and small wounds . Also small wound with without hairlos.she drinks and eats normally but
is a lot more quiet and stays inside.She looks really worrieng.

You worry me when you mention the fast loss of weight.  First I need you to answer a few  questions.  Is this vet an exotic vet or one who is experienced with treating rats?  It does not sound as if he is!  Also, I need you to find out from your vet the exact name of the medication that was injected into her and let me know right away.

Rats do not have allergies the way humans do.  Rats basically can develop an allergy to food or their bedding.  Did you give a new food or change to a new bedding type prior to her sneezing?

If not, it's possible she had developed a respiratory infection which is common to rats (thus causing the sneezing).  The vet should not have assumed it was an allergy.  Even if it was an allergy to food or bedding, medication should not be given!  Instead, the cause of the allergy needs to be identified and promptly removed by you.  He should have examined her for a possible respiratory infection and if that was the prognosis, he should have prescribed an oral antibiotic.  A common and very helpful one for respiratory infections is Baytril.  I'm just afraid she might have been injected with something that is actually CAUSING her to have a reaction.  I am not trying to scare you, but I have heard many horror stories of inexperienced vets who have killed rats with medications and surgeries they have no business doing because of their lack of knowledge.

The bald patches and wounds around the injection site could be caused by her own scratching in that area due to either pain or itching from the injection.  For now, you can apply a topical anti-itch medication to the injection area and also clip her nails on her back feet to minimize any more damage to the area.  However, it's the quick weight loss that worries me most.  Often weight loss is due to an illness.  Is her appetite the same as before?

If your vet is not experienced with rats, please in your reply let me know what city you live in (or closest large city) and I can try to locate a good vet for rats within a reasonable distance to you.

I look forward to your reply.

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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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