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Pet Rats/Seizures and excess porphyrin


Hi, I have a one year old female double rex who is currently unwell. A week ago it looked like she had a seizure and then it passed and she was normal. But since then she's had several seizures and afterward she's really lethargic and it takes a while for her to feel normal again. During her fits she will walk in circles, tip over, panic and knock her body against the cage and stand upright and appear to be hiccupping frantically (no hiccupping noise though).

Yesterday she had another fit but she hasn't recovered and will just lie on her right side. She won't get up at all and when she does move she has no coordination and tends to wobble. She won't do anything so I have to give her food and water by hand, though she's having trouble trying to eat. When she was normal she was never fond of people and always squirmed out of your hands which I didn't mind, but she goes completely limp in my hands now.

My rat is also blind and a year ago she scratched her eyes and has been blind ever since. Despite that she's been perfectly happy but since yesterdays seizure she won't stop scratching her eyes and there's a constant flow of porphyrin coming from her eyes and nose. She cries every time she scratches her eyes and she does it frantically. She also keeps rubbing down her face from the back of her head. Just now I listened and her nose sounds a bit stuffy and she sneezes often.

I'm taking her to the vet tomorrow but I wanted some advice from someone who really knows rats. I'm just worried what could have caused this sudden disaster. I keep her on the bed during the day by me so she doesn't hurt herself when she has a fit and during the night she's in a cage by herself with towels so she's comfortable and doesn't injure herself. I've owned several rats for years but never had one in this condition. I wish I knew how to make her more comfortable.

Thanks so much for reading

Hi Shauna,

Rats are as complicated as humans, so the answer could be so many things. A stroke is pretty likely. It does not sound to me that her quality of life is going to be worth keeping her alive. :(

I am very very sorry. They say pets go over the rainbow bridge when they pass. On the other side is everything they ever loved.

Sad squeaks,


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Natasha Millikan


Consider me a sub, when no one else is available. NOTE YOU MUST NOT HAVE ONLY ONE RAT. JOIN MY FACEBOOK GROUP (because there are smarter people than me there!!): ***** ***** Excellent sites: **** **** **** **** **** ****


I have had rats for 3-1/3 years and have researched them extensively. I am a mouse expert with 40 years' experience with mice. The two species are similar and yet also quite different.

My Facebook group is Rats (and Mice) are Awesome.

I have a Bachelor's and two Master's degrees in Linguistics

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My Facebook group, Rats are Awesome, serves at the moment 5300 members, and, considering all the huge rescues, probably averages 5 rats per member. That means my clients are about 25,000 rats!!!

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