You are here:

Pet Rats/Sick dumbo rat


Sick baby:(
Sick baby:(  
Me and my boyfriend have five rats, the oldest being a little over a year. One of our dumbos, Lucy, is usually really hyped up, hates being held and would much rather wonder around getting into all sorts of trouble. Today we noticed she was laying around a lot more than normal. When we took her out of the cage we realized that se sees to be having difficulties breathing, she's whimpering some, her tail went from a light shade to almost an orangish brown color, and she had a nose bleed, and at one ppint se lost her balance and started to fall out of my lap. She has been laying with my boyfriend most of the day resting, which is really strange. she wont eat or drink either, were havig to hand fee her and use a syringe to give her water. We have no clue what's wrong and can't take her to the vet until Friday after we get paid. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Thank you for your question.

The tail turning an orange-ish brown sounds as if she is not grooming regularly, which is common with ill rats. I would make all attempts to get her veterinary care. Perhaps if you speak with your vet, they might be willing to take a portion upfront or have some sort of payment plan they can work out with you. Lucy does sound very sick- my guess would be that she suffered some sort of stroke, but the fact that she is not eating or drinking raises alarm.

Sorry I could not be more help.  

Pet Rats

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Shawna Laufer


Nutrition has always been an interest of mine as well as creating stimulating environments for rats. I conduct product reviews on my blog so I can take questions regarding products marketed or intended for rats. Other questions regarding basic husbandry, feeding, grooming, and other pet rat care will be accepted. I have very little breeding experience so I would not be able to answer much in the ways of breeding or genetics questions. I can help with some basic health care questions but am not a vet and always suggest contacting your vet for serious inquires.


I have over 13 years of experience with pet rats, having worked in several pet stores, as a veterinary tech assistant, and with my own pet rats. I run a highly regarded blog on the subject of pet rat ownership ( with a corresponding YouTube channel and Facebook page. I have been and always will be open to questions and comments.

A photograph of my lady rat's cage is being published in Worth Publishers' college textbook "How Children Develop, 4e" by Robert Siegler, Judy DeLoache and Nancy Eisenberg on the subject of how complex, stimulating environments and how they relate to the brains of rats.

I have some college experience, but not in the field of animals. I completed the majority of an at-home Veterinary Technician course which I was unable to complete due to financial reason. The majority of my knowledge on rats have come from personal experience, conducting my own research with the help of published medical studies and journal, the internet and through other knowledgeable 'rat people'.

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]