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Pet Rats/rat has diarrhea (continuation)


QUESTION: I am the one who keeps adding on to the pet rat has diarrhea question. You concluded it is probably a sensitivity to the yogurt I have been giving them so I stopped. They did get yogurt earlier today but that was before the conclusion. I thought I was done asking questions but they are both awake now and they are both eating like they are starving, I even saw one with her mouth around the wire. Their food bowl was empty so I filled it (the third time in two days, they keep spilling it) and the one is hovering over it digging and eating, the other is chewing almost nonstop on an edible log I got them two nights ago. They usually spill their food and devour it when I put more in but every time I clean their cage I find little to no stored food so I figured they eat it after storing it and they don't seem to be doing that. Is this okay or do the different symptoms add up to something else? When one of the rats has an issue that will fix itself and is not an emergency I then take into account everything I notice that seems odd because sometimes it all adds up to something more, and that is why I always ask so many questions.

ANSWER: If the edible log is a Snak Shak, remove it from their cage as it isn't safe for rats to eat a large amount of it. The company refuses to change their label to say so, but I know of a rat who died from eating a bunch of it.

As long as they aren't just hiding the food you give them, and aren't getting fat, then you should have food in their cage for them all the time.  About how much have you been giving them?

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QUESTION: our old rats ate almost a whole snak shack over the course of a year and a half and it didn't seem to make them sick, is it different for different rats? i always fill their bowl almost to the top sometimes over and they dig around as if looking for "the perfect piece" and they start eating after digging around. i don't know what's different but our rats are now sleeping and not seeming to wake up easily (normally, not in a bad way), i didn't give them yogurt drops today and i have stayed away from everything that is not their food except corn chips in the past 24 hours. is there something else that could have caused the rat you mentioned to die? i mean if there wasn't i'll take it out but our old rats ate a lot of it and they died from reasons not caused by the snak shack, also i think the rats are just eating a lot of it cause its new and it will wear of within the next week. i'm not trying to play the expert, i just like that it gives them another place to sleep since they only have their hammock, they do have an igloo but they rarely sleep there.

The danger comes when they eat a lot of the Snak Shak at one time. Eating one over 1 1/2 years I guess is okay. Just keep in mind that rats can't really digest it, it has to pass through their digestive tract. The company adds honey to it to make it taste better. I found the stomach and intestines packed with pieces of the Shak in the young rat who died suddenly.

How big is their dish? You probably need to give a rat at least 2 or 3 tablespoons of a grain mix a day.

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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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