Veterinary care goes far beyond the needs of canines and felines exclusively. If you have a pet rat in your life, it's up to you to keep up on his health and make sure that he gets everything he needs, whether it relates to a nutritious diet or even routine, once-a-year vet appointments.
Typical Signs of Illness in Rats
A lot of the symptoms that signify health ailments in rats aren't too different than those that denote problems in human beings, oddly enough. Some telling signs that might point to illness in rats are shifts in weight, reduced appetite, crimson coloring by the nose and eyes, excessively long teeth, crouching over, sneezing, immoderate time spent sleeping, exhaustion, listlessness, diarrhea, hobbling, lackluster eyes, nasal discharge, eye discharge, breathing problems and unexplained bleeding. If it seems to hurt your rat whenever you touch him, there's also a good chance that something is amiss, health-wise.
Illnesses That Rats Frequently Experience
Rats are often prone to breathing issues due to respiratory infections, so you might notice these kinds of troubles in your little pet. Apart from the aforementioned breathing struggles and watery eyes, you might see symptoms in the form of persistent gasping sounds, overly loud breathing and even weight decreases.
Parasites are also a particularly prominent issue for many rats, specifically mites. If your wee rodent is dealing with a bout of pesky mites, he might display key symptoms such as intense scratching and serious skin redness. Mites are miniscule white arthropods that look simply like tiny dots. They show up below rats' coats, commonly on the face and shoulders. Ignored incidences of rat mites can often trigger the discomfort of infection, so don't brush them off.
It's imperative for pet rats to visit their veterinarians a minimum of once each year, no matter how glowing and healthy they might seem to you on the outside. Not all illnesses in pets are necessarily obvious to humans. If you pick up on any hints of a medical problem in your rat between vet visits, get the little guy to the doc again as soon as possible. Along with providing your pet healthy rat chow, fresh produce and plentiful clean water, encouraging his physical activity and making sure that his living environment is spacious and tidy, vet care is a must for promoting his longevity and well-being.
- ASPCA: Rat Care
- RSPCA: Rat Health and Welfare
- SmallAnimalChannel.com: Practically Perfect Rat Care
- SmallAnimalChannel.com: New Rat Checklist
- The Humane Society of the United States: Welcoming Your New Rat
- People's Dispensary for Sick Animals: Rats - Health
- Rat & Mouse Club of America: Nursing Care
- PetMD: Mite Infestation in Rats
- National Fancy Rat Society: Keeping Pet Rats - A Short Guide
- The Humane Society of the United States: Rat Feeding