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What do I do about my pet rat?

She is hardly eating and drinking, and has very little excrement. Her nose appears to be clear, and she does not appear to have trouble breathing, but is losing weight very quickly. I can not afford to take her to a vet. Am trying to get her to eat. The poop that I did find is extremely dry. I think she may be constipated, so I have given her an Epsom salt mix to loosen her up. Any other ideas for what might work? I am trying to save her life. She is getting very thin.

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First off, it is really not that expensive to go to the vet. In fact, a lot of vets will charge just for the meds or procedures and no cost for the appointment itself. I've walked out of the office only paying $20 before. Call your local animal shelter and ask if they know of any low-cost vets (they normally do.)

Pinch her skin on her back... does it move back to place quickly, or slowly? If slow, she needs water and electrolytes. Go to the store and buy some Pedialyte in the baby aisle (not Pediasure... "Pedialyte.") Give that to her in a little dish, or fill a water bottle with it. If you can't find any, make a 50/50 dilution of Gatorade. She should drink it because it's sweet. The salt can in fact make her more dehydrated... the idea is that water moves to the colon because of the salt. Just give her plenty of Pedialyte.

Also chop up some rat-safe fruits and veggies that she'll eat. Don't go with too many sweets, though. If it's OK (I'm a hamster owner, not a rat owner) you can give her PLAIN boiled chicken and boiled eggs, too.

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The only vet in my area that takes rats charges 55 dollars just to look at them. I do not even have 1 dollar.
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Honestly, though, it's probably a bigger problem than just her not eating. It's treating the symptoms and not the problem itself.

Has she gotten anything new or gotten into anything just before this happened?
What products do you use for her? What is she exposed to?
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Am going to give her electrolytes soon.
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OK good. It's a good first step for any animal with digestive or dehydration issues.

I'd also suggest going to the forum below and posting your problem. Generally people on forums are VERY helpful.

http://www.ratforum.com/forumdisplay.php?28-Rat-Health&s=9abe331cb0e61a9268c2652edd1ee036
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ty will try it.
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How old is she? Small rodents have short life spans. 3-4 years max. Maybe shes just elderly and reaching the end.

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She is less than a year old. I actually own her father and sister. Her mother is dead because she became snake food. She is an adult, but a young adult.
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