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Is My Rat Getting Old?

Is My Rat Getting Old?

Postby Ladd » Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:57 pm

I'm just wondering if my rat is getting in her years. she is 1 1/2 years old (maybe a little more) She has slowed down a lot lately, she doesn't want to leave her little house at all, even to eat or use the toilet. She wont eat anything solid so I've been giving her yoghurt and oats. Normally I let my girls out to play every night, the other one (nice and fat and healthy) will run out zooming around exploring everything (like normal) yet Shia (the rat in question) is not interested at all... even if I take her out she will either just cuddle up to me or go straight back to bed. She is also very skinny (always has been, but am noticing it a lot more now) and her fur is not as thick and shiny as it used to be (when she moves I can see the skin and stuff).

So is she getting in on her last legs? or is it just a phase cause its winter?
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Is My Rat Getting Old?

Postby oswin » Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:09 am

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Is My Rat Getting Old?

Postby Breck » Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:10 am

Good question. Pet rats will generally live 2 to 3 years. As they become older, they become less active and may develop joint problems. This may explain half of what you are experiencing with her. Thinning of the fur is also normal with age. If I were to guess, I would say that your rat is reaching the end of its years and going through the normal stages of "rat development," so to speak. I am not an expert in this area, however, and so I hope someone else may provide further insight. If not, I suggest you get your rat checked out by a vet.
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Is My Rat Getting Old?

Postby Horado » Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:25 am

Rats generally live between 2.5-3 years so 1.5 years is a mature rat but it doesn't mean that she is on her last legs (yet). Her fur becoming thinner and less shiny is all a normal aspect of aging. Her lower energy levels and decreased physical activity might be due to joint pain (arthritis). It is quite common in rats around this age but it's not life threatening. If you are worried, you might want to talk to your vet as there are some medications that can ease the pain and make her "feel younger" again.

My rat started showing the signs you are describing around the same age and lived happily till he was over 3 years old.
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