You are here:

Pet Rats/Pituitary tumour


This is really a follow up, but I could not see how to do it, it may be that it is just too old.  However, I contacted you a few months ago about Sophie who had been neglected while I was away and I had come home to find that she was very weak, lost weight, broken front teeth, loss of balance, choking, unable to use front paws.  It was difficult to know exactly what was going on at the time and you suggested it might be respiratory, or pituitary tumour.

I just wanted to let you know that in the end it looked as though it was the tumour.  She recovered pretty much from a lot of the problems, but continued having problems eating and balance was not good.  She became very weak and so I had to have her put to sleep on 11th March.

I'd have contacted you sooner to let you know, but three days after I lost Sophie, Bree started showing the same symptoms and it started all over again.  The vet did a chest x-ray to confirm that it was not respiratory, and made enquiries with a vet hospital in Scotland to see if it was possible to do a blood test to confirm the tumour, but apparently its not possible in this country.  However, before we had chance to really consider the use of steroids, Bree deteriorated over a matter of hours and so I had no choice but to put her to sleep as well, 12 days after I lost Sophie.

Family illness has also delayed my getting back to you, but just wanted you to know what happened in the end.  I was grateful for your consideration and advice.

Oh I am so sorry to hear about your losing of both your girls one right after another.  That must have been so hard on you.  Almost as though a coincidence, I received your question less than a week after I lost my very own female rat to none other than a pituitary tumor.  My girl deteriorated so quickly.  From the time I noticed the signs to the time I had to put her to sleep was just about one week.  Pituitary tumors are just about the toughest illness to deal with in rats, as sadly there is no cure.

I really appreciate you sharing what happened after we were last in touch.  If you do decide to have rats in your life again in the future, you may wish to consider males as their chances of having a PT are far less.  If you wish to get females, you can consider spaying them to reduce chances of mammary and pituitary tumors.

Pet Rats

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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.

©2017 All rights reserved.