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We have a pet rat that had a bout of loose stool...it has…

We have a pet...

We have a pet rat that had a bout of loose stool...it has stopped but now he isn't eating normally and chewing on random non-food items and we haven't seen him poop in a while....(this has happened before but this time it seems a little worse)

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Strange behavior is often perplexing. I'm sure the Veterinarian can help you. What is the rat's name and age?

Haku he is about a year old.

Veterinarian's Assistant: What is the rat's name?

Haku

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Haku?

We also have his male littler mate (they are dumbo rats) and his brother is fine.

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Answered in 2 hours by:
3/19/2018
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11,196
Experience: 15 yrs experience in vet med, 8 in emergency med. Founder of a non-profit animal rescue
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Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.

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Have there been any changes to the diet? New food, including a change of flavors or protein source within the same brand? New treats? Bones? Has any human food been fed? Torn up toys or trash? Stressful changes to the environment? Addition of medication?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
There hasn’t been any changes in his diet, he eats kibble on the regular as well as small servings of fruit and yogurt treats. For some time leading up to this he was taking weekly doses of a laxative but he’s been stubborn lately about taking it. I forgot to mention, that this weekend we discovered what felt like a fairly large, hard lump in his belly. Though he didn’t seem to take notice to it. Since then it’s almost completely dissapeared. We suspect that this is some form of Megacolon which isn’t uncommon in rats but we’ve never had this confirmed.

Can you share information on what kibble you're feeding?

For what reason was he taking laxative and what kind was being given? When was this prescribed?

Has he had any x-rays performed yet?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
we feed the oxbow essentials adult rat food. he was taking lactulose to keep his stools soft because he's had bouts of constipation alternating with loose stools in the past. no xrays have been performed.

And has your vet performed a fecal analysis thus far to check for parasites?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
No...our other rat is fine and has no symptoms.

I do think that you've reached a point of needing diagnostics. Your other companion not having symptoms is not an indicator that Haku doesn't have parasites. Every individual functions differently under parasitic infection; some may show symptoms where others don't. Conditions to consider should include roundworms, tapeworms, pinworms, giardia, etc. For most individuals, we don't see the presence of worms in the stool so it may be difficult to determine that there are problems without diagnostics. X-rays can be useful in determining if megacolon exists. I would move forward with a fecal analysis before x-rays, personally, as fecal analysis is a non-invasive diagnostics where x-rays may involve sedation of Haku to obtain the views needed. If your vet cannot obtain or run a fecal analysis, I would ask about a course of broad spectrum dewormer and metronidazole.

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