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Pet Rats/Does my rat have an eye infection?


I'm a new rat owner. I just got two bucks around a month ago. Everything has been going smoothly so far. But today, I noticed that one of them wasn't really doing much and kept itching his eye (just one eye, not the other). I looked at it and it's red around it. I feel as though I may have caught the early stages of an eye infection but I really don't know. You can kind of tell what it looks like in the video I took (
My dad buys collodial silver a lot and we have a couple of bottles around the house, so would it be alright if I put a drop in his eye? I know that it helps my eye infections when I get them.

Hi Draya,
Sorry for the delay in my reply, I was out of town. You can try the colloidal silver, but eye infections are rare in rats. The usual cause for persistent porphyrin deposits around just one eye is some sort of irritation, or debris in the eye. Hairless rats often get debris caught in the inside corner of their eye that must be cleaned out regularly. In hairy rats it is usually an eyelash rubbing on the eye, and there is nothing you can do for that. As soon as the eyelash falls out, it will be fine for a while, but it often just grows back in again.

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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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