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Dr. Taus
Dr. Taus, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 505
Experience:  Veterinarian with experience in equine and small animal medicine.
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We have four female fancy rats that are about 18 months old.

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We have four female fancy rats that are about 18 months old. Today there is something very wrong with one of them. She's mostly in a ball stance with her fur sticking up, and her two front legs/hands seem to be stiff (she can't pick up food and eat it), and she keeps rolling onto her back, having a hard time getting up.
Hi there,

I'm so sorry to hear about Ratty! With the signs you are describing, it sounds as if her problem is very high up in her neck or at the base of her brain. There are a number of causes for signs like this, including seizures, trauma (such as a neck fracture), and tumors of the pituitary gland. Since this came on suddenly, I'm more worried about seizures or trauma, as signs from a pituitary tumor tend to come on gradually over days to weeks.

At home, these are my recommendations.
Ensure the rat’s environment is as free from stress as possible.
Prevent loud noises.
Prevent sudden changes in temperature.
Approach the rat slowly, speaking softly so as not to alarm.
Allow the rat to stay with cage mates unless they are causing undue stress.
Provide a safe environment with a one-level cage that includes soft bedding/litter.
Maintain a healthy diet free from sugar or sugar additives. Keep food and water within easy reach, but don't force-feed.

Ultimately, she needs to visit a veterinarian and have a neurological examination. This can include a physical, visual exam, x-rays, or bloodwork. This is the best way to find out exactly what the problem is and what can be done to fix it. For example, many rats with seizures do quite well on anti-seizure medication.

I hope this is helpful. If so, please rate me positively, and don't hesitate to let me know how I can help further.
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