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Pet Rats/bloody Diarrhea, sneezing w/ red fluid, and mild lethargy


My male rat has been sneezing lots lately, with that red fluid around his nose (can't remember what thats called) and I hadn't been too concerned.  But just last night he has bloody diarrhea, runny enough that it was all over his tush (Poor baby).  It had a sickly sweet sort of smell, and now he doesn't want to come out (which is highly unusual) and kind of just curls up in his bed.  his cage mate is lively and active.  please help!

Hi Ella,
I'm so sorry your rat is sick. Bloody diarrhea is is not a common problem in rats, mostly is a symptoms of a serious problem. I'm thinking the most likely cause is cancer on the intestines. How old is he? He needs to see a vet, and he may need to be euthanized.

BTW, the red pigment in their tears is called porphyrin.

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Debbie Ducommun


I can answer any questions about pet rats, but you will probably be able find answers to simple questions more quickly on my website at If you have a life-threatening emergency you can try calling me at 530-899-0605. I am not usually on the computer on the weekend.


I have been "The Rat Lady" since 1985 and am recognized as one of the world's experts on pet rats. I have 3 published books and already answer lots of questions about rats daily.

President of Rat Assistance & Teaching Society

I am a monthly columnist for Pet Business magazine, and my writing has appeared in other magazines. I have 3 published books.

BA in Animal Behavior

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