Help!! my rat is sick!! (poor frankie) - VeggieBoards - A Vegetarian Community
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#1 Old 04-12-2009, 09:55 AM
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My rat, Frankie, is sick. I was trying to play with him today, but he wasn't responding to me at all! He is only about 2 months old. I got him from petsmart. But he is usually a ball of energy, since he is still a baby, but he was just sitting there when i called him.

Also when he finally did try to come from out of his hut, he was very wobbly when he was walking. His demeanor seems to have changed. I held him and instead of jumping all over me like he usually does, he just sat there.

Another thing i noticed he was doing was staying very low to the ground.

I have a book on rats, but it doesnt say anything about what he is doing. I think he might have fell but im not sure. I am really worried about him, i dont know what i would do if anything happened to him. he is my first rat and i love him to death. Would someone please help out with some advice. I'm going to take him to a vet. but the practice is closed today so i have to wait until tomorrow to bring him.
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#2 Old 04-12-2009, 10:06 AM
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He needs to go to a vet. I'm sorry if this sounds harsh but do not get animals if you can't afford medical bills. Just because they are cheap at the store doesn't mean they won't be expensive to care for.

what his diet like normally? what bedding do you use?



is he eating and drinking? going to the bathroom? How long has he been acting strange? the walking funny is what concered me, but it's not like any of us can actually see him. People can't give medical advice over the internet really, so I hope you get him to the vet.
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#3 Old 04-12-2009, 10:39 AM
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Please take him to a vet...That's all I can offer

^Cool story, bro
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#4 Old 04-12-2009, 01:40 PM
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i know about the medical bill and i am going to take him to a vet, the bills arent the problem...and he really wasnt cheap i paid over 200 dollars for everything he needed and i made sure it was right for rats. I use the paper bedding for him, and he eats rat diet pellets everyday with only two seeds for a little treat. he can eat normally, but i had to move the food closer to his hut because he wasn't going to the food bowl. i was watching him for a few hours and he was going to the bathroom normally, its really just his wobbly walking and lack of energy thats worring me. but thanks for the advice. As i mentioned in the original post, the vet is closed today so i do have to wait untill tomorrow, though i do not want to.
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#5 Old 04-12-2009, 01:47 PM
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If you researched rats so much before getting him, you should know rats are very social and you should have atleast 2.

In the OP you said you want to take him to the vet but you dont have a lot of money, which to me seems like you dont have the money for the bills..sorry if I read that wrong.

Has he only been doing this today?
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#6 Old 04-12-2009, 04:59 PM
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yea he just started today.



i usually play with him all the free time i get, so when i'm home he is usually out of the cage. as for only having one, my mother told me i could only get one, though i explained to her that there needs to be two or more.
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#7 Old 04-12-2009, 05:19 PM
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I have much experience with rats, they are amazing animals. Frankie probably fell like you said before, or he is just having an off day. Make sure that he is eating normally and drinking plenty of water until tomorrow. Take him the vet ASAP. Just hope that nothing else happens tonight. Give him lots of attention, he probably feels worse without any company either. Try getting another rat, after he gets better of course, just in case he is sick, it is very likely that he will get the other one sick as well.

Good luck!
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#8 Old 04-12-2009, 05:21 PM
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Okay, this is going to sound harsh but I dont know how else to word it.

So you do research, and you find out rats NEED to have friends, or else they can get depressed. So you tell this to your mother, and she says you can only have one. So instead of saying/thinking 'Okay, I can't meet this animal's social needs, so maybe they're not the right animal for me at this time' you decide 'well, I asked her, but she said no, so oh well..' and just get the one anyway?
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#9 Old 04-12-2009, 05:32 PM
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If he's still having trouble tonight and the vet doesn't open until tomorrow, consider taking him to an emergency vet clinic. There should be one in your city, I'd assume.



And yeah, if the animal needs companionship, one is a bad idea.
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#10 Old 04-12-2009, 05:34 PM
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Good idea about the emergency vet clinic. I didnt see the OP mention falling like TheCabLover said, so if thats the case, something could be broken/damaged.
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#11 Old 04-12-2009, 05:37 PM
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I agree with everyone else. He needs medical attention immediately. I realize that it is sunday and a holiday(depending where you live) please get him to the closest emergency vet clinic asap. btw how would he have fallen??
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#12 Old 04-12-2009, 08:45 PM
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wow animallover, i understand what you are saying but i'm really not the only person in the world who has just one rat.

the only emergency vet clinic in the area doesn't treat exotics unfortunately, but it was a great idea.

I'd like to thank you all for the great advice. I'm going to take frankie to the vet tomorrow morning as soon as my mom wakes up...seeing as how i dont have my license yet....

oh and i've been spending all day with frankie and he is more responsive and comes when i call him, i also put him in a 10 gallon tank so he can't fall again, if that is indeed what happened, just for tonight. He seems to have lessened with the wobbly walking.

right now he is sleeping, but he was staring at me for a while before i got online.

thanks again for all of the advice.
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#13 Old 04-12-2009, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Wishuponastar View Post

I agree with everyone else. He needs medical attention immediately. I realize that it is sunday and a holiday(depending where you live) please get him to the closest emergency vet clinic asap. btw how would he have fallen??



I have a large wire cage with comfort shelves and a hammock for him. the cage is designed for rats, but of course nothing is really 'rat safe' especially when Frankie has dog-like actions and is hyper. He started chasing his tail yesterday when i got him all worked up from playing a game of tug of war with toilet paper. but thanks for your reply
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#14 Old 04-12-2009, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by XxMiMxX View Post

I have a large wire cage with comfort shelves and a hammock for him. the cage is designed for rats, but of course nothing is really 'rat safe' especially when Frankie has dog-like actions and is hyper. He started chasing his tail yesterday when i got him all worked up from playing a game of tug of war with toilet paper. but thanks for your reply



I hope he's okay...keep us updated
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#15 Old 04-12-2009, 09:37 PM
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maybe you're holding him too often? I know rabbits get sick from that. otherwise maybe he's bored/lonely maybe a mouse wheel would entertain him if he can't have a friend. And maybe some fresh lettuce would be good for him. Also check out google about rats diets and see about a more varied diet, pellets might not be enough. Also, is he getting enough water? And be sure the paper you're using as cage liner isn't toxic. I was just reading about this stuff, hope it helps.
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#16 Old 04-12-2009, 10:27 PM
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thanks star shine, but he has a wheel, and the only time i hold him is when he decides he wants to be held and crawls(or jumps) into my hands, lap, or shoulder. also the bedding i use is one of the more recomended brands for rats. thanks for your concern anyhow. i will make sure i'll keep everyone updated on his health after the vet tomorrow.
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#17 Old 04-12-2009, 10:51 PM
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Honestly... You really should get Frankie a friend. Even if you play with him a lot, you can't be with him all the time... For example, you are asleep all night, after all.



Show these links to your mum:

http://www.ratfanclub.org/single.html

http://www.rmca.org/Resources/apair.txt

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/in...6154246AAYvWAm

http://www.nfrs.org/company.html





Oh, and you should definitely feed Frankie healthy treats like fruits and vegetables. Pretty much anything that is considered 'healthy food' for people is good for rats.



After all, it would be pretty boring to eat the same food day in, and day out, right?



If you really can't convince your mum to let you get a second rat, you should consider rehoming him. Sad, but it would probably be for the best.
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#18 Old 04-13-2009, 09:12 AM
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Yes, my rats (I have 5 girl rats) LOVE fresh fruits and vegetables. So good for them, too!



Is he going to the vet today?
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#19 Old 04-13-2009, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by XxMiMxX View Post

wow animallover, i understand what you are saying but i'm really not the only person in the world who has just one rat.

.



That still doesn't mean its a good thing. Like everyone said, he can get depressed and lonely rats are more likely to have health problems. Not saying that this was the cause but its something to think about for the future. While its great you spend time with him he needs a buddy with him pretty much 24/7.



In the meantime, hope he makes it to the vet and gets all better!
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#20 Old 04-13-2009, 02:23 PM
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ok i took him to the vet and he is ok. he's not wobbly anymore. also he's not seriously hurt. The vet said that he probably did fall and was just a little disoriented. He's doing much better today and is full of energy again. But i am going to keep him in the smaller cage until he fully recovers.



also i feed him fruits and veggies as treats too. his favorite is strawberry and bananas so far, i haven't given him apples yet, though i hope he likes them too! haha oh and he likes rasins!



thanks everyone, and i'm talking my mom into another rat at the moment.



oh by the way is it normal for a rat to be obsessed over toys?! just kidding, but Frankie loves his toys and i trained him to fetch...though he was doing it before i really trained him...i think he is convinced he is a dog! maybe i will try to teach him to sit and roll over! just kidding! haha.
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#21 Old 04-13-2009, 03:12 PM
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Yup, some rats get obsessive about their toys, or food. One of my rats is a little crazy about his food. He also hides every scrap of food I give him! It's quite cute watching him ferry his food from the bowl to his hiding spots.



If you are curious about anything else rat related or want some questions answered, I recommend checking out the Rats Rule forum. They are great. I learned a lot off that site.

http://www.goosemoose.com/component/...,118/forum,rat
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#22 Old 04-14-2009, 08:19 PM
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Glad to hear Frankie is doing better! Where did he fall from? Is there anyway you can try to prevent this from happening again?
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#23 Old 04-15-2009, 01:01 AM
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Originally Posted by XxMiMxX View Post

yea he just started today.



i usually play with him all the free time i get, so when i'm home he is usually out of the cage. as for only having one, my mother told me i could only get one, though i explained to her that there needs to be two or more.



i hope you take everybodys advice and get a companion for him. playing with him during your free time just isnt enough, rats love to cuddle with their buddies when they sleep and Frankie cannot play with you the way he would play with a ratty friend of his own. also, maybe if you give him a companion, he will have be able to unleash some of his energy playing with him and wouldnt feel the need to climb the walls of his cage and fall again.
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#24 Old 04-16-2009, 10:49 AM
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Your rat really needs rat companion. I hope you are giving him a good balanced diet also.
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#25 Old 04-22-2009, 11:09 AM
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I'm wary of introducing male rats to one another. Sometimes it's uneventful, but they are incredibly territorial with one another and their cage. Perhaps adopting a more submissive male would be wise- Frankie has already established his position as the "man of his cage", while a rescue would not have. Within a couple days of meeting, Frankie could then set some "ground rules" for the new rat and they would eventually get along with each other- if all went well. *Shrug* Even girl rats will squabble and try to show who's boss with each other when they first meet...
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#26 Old 04-22-2009, 03:24 PM
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I'm wary of introducing male rats to one another. Sometimes it's uneventful, but they are incredibly territorial with one another and their cage. Perhaps adopting a more submissive male would be wise- Frankie has already established his position as the "man of his cage", while a rescue would not have. Within a couple days of meeting, Frankie could then set some "ground rules" for the new rat and they would eventually get along with each other- if all went well. *Shrug* Even girl rats will squabble and try to show who's boss with each other when they first meet...



when i introduced a new male to my boys i thoroughly cleaned the cage out, removing and scents from them. i then put vanilla extract on their backs and behind their ears. that way none of their scents provoked any trouble. i introduced them one at a time on my bed and then tossed them all on the bed together and watched them for a half hour. once i saw that they all got along, i placed them in the cage and everything was peachy.
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#27 Old 04-22-2009, 03:37 PM
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I've introduced MANY male rats in my life time. Clean out the cage well, introduce the rats OUT OF THE CAGE. I normally do this on my bed. You may, for certain rats, have to keep them in a seperate cage for a while and slowly introduce them. If you think the rats can go together that day, watch them for about an hour atleast. Give them treats outside the cage, and when you put them together DO NOT LEAVE the room for a while. The reason I say give them treats together is sometimes rats are protective over their food. With all the rats I've had, the only trouble I had was one rat who was protective over his food at first, but he got over it quickly.
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#28 Old 04-22-2009, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by animallover7249 View Post

I've introduced MANY male rats in my life time. Clean out the cage well, introduce the rats OUT OF THE CAGE. I normally do this on my bed. You may, for certain rats, have to keep them in a seperate cage for a while and slowly introduce them. If you think the rats can go together that day, watch them for about an hour atleast. Give them treats outside the cage, and when you put them together DO NOT LEAVE the room for a while. The reason I say give them treats together is sometimes rats are protective over their food. With all the rats I've had, the only trouble I had was one rat who was protective over his food at first, but he got over it quickly.



be careful with the food though, that may cause fighting if the new rat decides to challenge the dominant rat
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#29 Old 04-22-2009, 08:51 PM
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be careful with the food though, that may cause fighting if the new rat decides to challenge the dominant rat



Thats why I said to do it when you're right there, AFTER you've watched them for a long time, and outside of the cage. The point of doing it is to make sure something like that doesn't happen, and if it does it happens where you can easily stop it and not later in the cage, or when you're not around, ect. That's not to say you still shouldnt be very careful with rats who are just living together.
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#30 Old 04-23-2009, 07:25 PM
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Wow thanks for all the advice on introducing new rats. I was wary about another male after Frankie has been alone, also i'm going to try and find a rat rescue or breeder, instead of getting another from a store. I don't really trust the rats that come from the stores, since when i went back about two weeks to the petsmart i bought frankie at, and the cagemate that was in with him at the time wasn't there. I asked the attendents and one said that he died. Before i bought Frankie, i held both rats and that one actually bit me twice and bit the attendent. Once i start going to work, i will get a new friend for him. also i didn't know that if they had buddies they wouldn't climb as much. thanks a ton. ^-^
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