How do you identify a blind rat? - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-26-2008, 04:57 AM Thread Starter
Zippy Chickenshorts
 
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How do you identify a blind rat?

Well, before I jump to conclutions, I was wondering how you can tell if a rat is blind or not? I know rats have very poor vision, but I've been watching my rat Arthur for a while now and conparing some of the things he does to the others. I seem almost convinced he is blind, but I'm not entirly sure.

When I first got Arthur (two weeks ago tomorrow) he seemed to get extremely confused when he was put in a new place, first, I put him in a small cage with Husky, which he didn't seem to worried about, than once I was sure (the same night) that my other rats were fine with them, I cleaned out my current rats cage for them all to go in and so I could see how it went. I put the Husky and Arthur in the cage first so they could get their scent on the cage a bit and Husky went wild! Up, down,up, down, he went straight down the tube, no worries, up and down the bars, no worries...
But Arthur, this whole time had stayed on the top floor where I'd left him? He did seem to want to go down the tube, but he kept backing up. He seemed to want to climb down the bars, but when he tryed he decided to go back?

Yesterday night he was laying on the ladder which hangs from their cage, not asleep, just looking down, like he was trying to get a picture of what was below him and he will also sleep anywhere.

It also seems like he always uses his hearing, touch and sense of smell more than his sight and more than the others and he is quite mouthy, however never draws blood- just like he is tasting you.. I'm very confused! When I try and give him treats he always misses the treat and gets my finger- than manages to find the treat and he always talks to everyone in loads of different noises and ways? I've had him out for free range time twice now in two weeks, I know it's not a lot, but he always seems to stay in the same place, the first time I had him out, he did not want to leave me either?

Does he sound blind to you, any signs I should be looking out for?

Thanks for reading all this!
x


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RIP Arthur 10/04/08-22/11/09
RIP Pepper 13/01/08-15/03/10
RIP Husky 10/04/09-20/03/10

Last edited by laydeerodentzz; 04-26-2008 at 05:00 AM.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-26-2008, 05:29 AM
 
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Aww, poor guy. =(

I had a rat who gradually went blind. She would hold still when she heard you calling, then sniff the air, perk her ears up, and slowly creep in a general direction toward you. You'd have to keep calling and calling and calling before she could locate you exactly. The best way to tell is to wave your hand slowly a few feet above the cage where the other rats can obviously see you, but not smell you right away. If the other rats see you and are climbing all around the bars, but he doesn't seem excited wait a moment. He may just be sight impaired, but not quite blind. If he starts sniffing the air rather than bobbing his head back and forth, then he may very well be blind.

Living with a blind rat is just like living with any other rat -- you'll just have to be more patient with him. Be gentle with him, when on out-of-cage time go to him instead of making him come to you (don't use me as an example, I'm cruel XD), and be patient with him. Try showing him around the cage, or if he seems freaked out by that put him on the level with the food and water and let him figure where everything is in his own time. He'll be a bit more slow, but he'll get the hang of it. Just try not to change his world around too drastically or too often and everything should be good ^_^.

I mean, can you imagine if you're blind and one morning you go to sit in your favorite chair only to find out someone has moved it? Despite being funny to everyone else it would be a bit cruel lol. So if you have a hammock under another hammock, make sure you wake him up and put him on another shelf before removing the under hammock or else you'll come running to a loud THUD during a mid-day potty break..... You'll only do that once -- but he'll do that a hundred times over.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-26-2008, 05:51 AM Thread Starter
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I know it sounds cruel, but that last line really made me giggle LOL

yeah, he always seems to smell everything and you can always hear him sniffing away as hard as he can! I think I'll try the hand thing later when they are all up, since it's been two weeks he is quite familiar with the cage now, but it never really crossed my mind he could be blind until now.

When he is in the hammock sometimes he does actually stick his nose over the side and sniff to find the floor.

If he is blind though, I will not love him less, but probably more- I have a soft spot in my heart for disabled animals LOL, I dunno where it came from hehe.

Anyway thank you for your help!


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RIP Arthur 10/04/08-22/11/09
RIP Pepper 13/01/08-15/03/10
RIP Husky 10/04/09-20/03/10
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-26-2008, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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well it looks like Arthur is not blind after all, bless him LOL! Like you said, I think he is sight impaired. I found he was not blind because when I had all 4 of the rats out today I was playing 'chase the pen' with Pepper and Rayray when Arthur joined in hehe, silly me LOL! well thank you for your help!
x


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RIP Arthur 10/04/08-22/11/09
RIP Pepper 13/01/08-15/03/10
RIP Husky 10/04/09-20/03/10
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-26-2008, 01:14 PM
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wow what an ordeal! poor sight impaired ratty. at least he's not blind, thank heaven!

"If you can't change your fate, change your attitude." - Amy Tan
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-26-2008, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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yeah ..hehe..
I'm not really sure what to call it, just poor vision really L0L
As you said, at least he's not blind!
Thanks!
x


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RIP Arthur 10/04/08-22/11/09
RIP Pepper 13/01/08-15/03/10
RIP Husky 10/04/09-20/03/10
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-26-2008, 03:24 PM
 
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Oh that's good to hear. I'm glad he's not completely blind.

Ratties have bad vision anyways (20/600 for black eyed, 20/1200 for pink eyed) so they adapt to being blind pretty quickly. Don't... ask me how I know that by the way. It's one of the many useless facts that I have. Another one would be that rats glow in blacklight.

Anyways, I tried to make you smile ^_^. I'm glad it worked. But like I said, living with a blind rattie isn't unheard of. Some people might even not know they have blind ratties. It might happen someday if you decide to keep ratties for the rest of your life like I have (apparently -- I can't seem to stop lol). So just prepare yourself for when it does.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-27-2008, 03:46 AM Thread Starter
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hehe LOL! I have many facts up in my mind everyone thinks is empty LOL, I dont know if I will keep rats for the rest of my life, I wish I could, but the job I really want involves travelling rund the world ect... (wildlife biologist)

I do love my ratties though and since I've come across their wonderful nature, I will find it exedingly hard to stop keeping them!

Thanks again!


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RIP Arthur 10/04/08-22/11/09
RIP Pepper 13/01/08-15/03/10
RIP Husky 10/04/09-20/03/10
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