If you think that your rat might be unwell then it’s best to know the signs of illnesses in rats, especially due to the fact that rats are very good as hiding illness.
There are a number of signs and symptoms of illness in rats, and we’ve got a list of several to watch out for, so you can catch any issues nice and early.
Signs & Symptoms of Illnesses In Rats
While this list is fairly comprehensive, it’s by no means exhaustive, if you’re sure there’s something wrong with one of your Rats then checking out 8 Common Rat Illnesses might help you diagnose what’s wrong.If you suspect your rat is ill then waste no time in contacting your vet.
1. Porphyrin around eyes/nose
Porphyrin around the eyes and nose can be a sign of respiratory infection, however it can also be a good indicator of general illness.
Porphyrin is characterised by red discharge around the nose and eyes that can look like blood.
It is important to note that Porphyrin (if it's just a little) doesn't necessarily mean your rat is ill. But it's worth looking for other signs of illness as well.
Piloerection a.k.a ‘rough coat’ is a sign that your rat may be too cold, stressed or nervous. It can also be a general sign of being unwell, as illness by extension causes stress.
Lethargy in your pet rat may be a sign that they are feeling unwell due to some underlying cause. It may present itself as a reluctance to leave their resting place, lack of interest in their surroundings and difficulty rousing.
A rat that is licking itself incessantly in one area is a common indicator of pain in that area. This can be due to infection or several other causes.
5. Reduced Appetite
A reduced appetite in rats is a big sign of potential stomach issues, or simply general illness. If your rat has a reduced appetite for a long period of time it’s worth checking if they’ve got food lodged in their throat or it may be a good idea to book a visit to the vets.
Cataracts are characteristically observed when you notice a white ‘film like’ substance over the eyeball. This is a clear indicator that your rat is going blind. However with surgical procedures cataracts can be removed.
7. Side Sucking
Side sucking is a classic sign of abdominal issues such as kidney stones, if your rat is doing this and there’s no clear sign why then you should visit the vet.
8. Staring In A Corner:
This is a classic sign of illness which is often linked to strokes, tumors and other less serious issues.
9. Weight loss
Unexplained weight loss can be caused by several different illnesses such as stomach problems, cancers and general illness.
10. Poor grooming
Poor grooming in rats is uncommon as they are usually very clean creatures, if your rat is refusing to groom themselves and letting themselves go then it’s a good idea to look out for other symptoms of illness to try and establish a cause, or alternatively visit your local vet as soon as possible.
These are just a few of the signs of illnesses in rats, for more rat illness signs you can see this list here by ratguide.com .
We’ve tried to keep our signs of illnesses in rats list to some of the less known symptoms or ones that are often overlooked, but we hope you’ve found it useful!If you have any questions or there’s anything you think we’ve missed then let us know in the comments.