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Pet Rats/Rat not pooping


QUESTION: Hi, I have two pet rats, Quincy and Bambi. A couple of weeks ago, I noticed Bambi was more lethargic than usual and had become very bloated. I took her into the vet, they did an X-ray, and saw that her bloating was due to a back up in fecal matter. She also tested positive for girardia, for which she has been treated. She was hospitalized and given many enemas to try to get all of the poop out, but when I brought her back home, I noticed she wasn't pooping again despite a high fiber diet and 0.2 ml of lactulose twice a day. I took her into the vet again and they did more enemas overnight. I'm very worried about what could be causing this persistent problem and I can't afford to keep having her hospitalized and putting her through more ineffective, short term treatments. She's eating, drinking, and acting normally. The only problem now seems to be her inability to pass fecal matter. If you've heard of a similar case or can help me out in any way, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you so much.

ANSWER: Hi Mellania,
How old is Bambi?  If she is young, she might have Megacolon. See the article on my website at

If she is older, she might have cancer of the intestines, but some of the tips in the megacolon article might help.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I'm not sure exactly, I got her at petco and they had no idea how old she is but I've had her for almost a year now.

More likely to be cancer, or something else causing a blockage then, I'm sorry to say. But like I said, some info for megacolon might help, especially helping to squeeze the feces out of the descending colon.  

You could try giving her canned pumpkin, that can help things go through. Also, give her lots of tasty fluids to drink.

Good luck.

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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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