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Pet Rats/rat has diarrhea


QUESTION: I asked a question about my pet rats having diarrhea and then there was a couple follow up questions and you asked me a question and i couldn't answer it because allexperts only allow around three follow up questions, which is fine i just need to start a new chain. the question you asked is what kind of pellets i give my rats. When we first got our old rats, as  i was doing research on their care i found a lot of recommendations for oxbow adult rat food so we got it. our old rats were 100 percent spoiled ans would not eat their pellets so when it was gone we never got it, instead we got the mix (which was a mistake, cause they ate what they wanted, but they were cute and healthy so i never thought we needed to being forcing pellets on them). Anyway thats what i give our current rats, and they do eat it, yesterday they didn't have any in their bowl and the human food they were getting was being devoured so i realized they didn't have food and gave them more. They devoured it and within 20 min the bowl was empty again but they didn't eat all of it, the one was eating it and the other was making a path with it. i do have another question though. we got these rats at 4 months old and after the first like 2 weeks i noticed that they had a pattern they went to sleep at 8 in the morning and they woke up at 8 at night, it was like clockwork. these past couple days i have been giving them yogurt drops twice a day as you said but they have been having very irregular hours, like now at 11;02 am one rat is sleeping and the other is still up and wont go to sleep herself but most likely will if i put her in the hammock with her sister. is the change in schedule normal or is it caused by something else? they are now 6 or 7 months old.

ANSWER: Hi Isabel,
You are always welcome to email me at instead of using allexperts. I believe I recommended live-culture yogurt for the diarrhea, not yogurt drops. It does sound like the yogurt drops have affected their schedule. Maybe they are sensitive/allergic to them.

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QUESTION: the yogurt drops are live cultured. i made them myself  using live cultured yogurt mixed with fruit, i also made sure there was little to no sugar in them so they could have as many as they wanted. should i stop giving them yogurt and see if its whats affecting their schedule? they haven't had diarrhea since then and i saw super soft poop that looked like soft serve ice cream which i counted toward all the yogurt. if the yogurt doesn't seem to be whats keeping them up what else could it be? also if the yogurt is bothering them why do they keep eating it when offered?

My, that sounds like a lot of work!  How do you make the them into hard drops?  I'm glad the probiotics have cleared up the diarrhea. They may be allergic to the milk in the yogurt. They still eat the drops because they don't associate them with a change in their own behavior.

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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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