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Pet Rats/Bleeding in eye


Right eye
Right eye  

Right eye 2
Right eye 2  
Hi Debbie,
I have a female rat called Momo, we rescued her and her sister from an animal shelter and I believe she is now about 3 years old. Her sister unfortunately had an inoperable tumour and was put to sleep a few months ago. We are in the process of rescuing her some new cage mates.
I think Momo is now blind in both eyes. My fiancÚ and I went away for a week and a friend looked after her for us, we returned yesterday to find that the inside of her right eye is filled with blood. It isn't the usual discharge that rats get from there eyes/nose, it is inside the eye. I took her to our local vet but they couldn't really offer any advice. She is eating/drinking fine and seems to be acting normally. I have tried to take a photo of it!
I was wondering if you have any advice as to what it could be/what we can do about it?
And also what your advice would be about getting her new cage mates at this point? She isn't very fond of human contact (no matter how much we try), her and her sister were quite traumatised when we rescued them and now that her eyesight is failing she is even more nervous and jumpy when we try to handle her. We aren't sure if at her age, how nervous she is and now with this eye issue if new cage mates will be more stressful for her than good?!
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Hi Grace,
Bleeding into the eyeball is most commonly caused by a blow to the eye, but it can also be caused by high blood pressure. Does she have any symptoms of labored breathing? You'll find more info about giving rats medication for heart problems on my website a in the article about Respiratory and Heart Disease.

I definitely recommend getting her some new roommates. She will likely feel much more secure and relaxed with ratty companions. Definitely get 2 new companions so they will have each other when Momo finally passes.

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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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