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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-07-2009, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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Question Porphyrin: How much is too much?

Ok, I have a lot of health-related questions lately!! I might just be the paranoid new rat mom again, but I'm wondering how much is too much porphyrin? I've noticed that my boys seem to have a bit of porphyrin crust on their noses after waking up (not just once a day, but sometimes a couple of times a day after their long naps) but they then proceed to wash it off right away. Sometimes they'll have a bit of staining on their forearms from cleaning their faces. This morning I noticed that Stanley had some porphyrin around his left eye (which I haven't seen before), but he washed it off right after waking up.

Is this okay as long as they wash it off, or should I not be seeing it this often anyway? I have heard them sneezing a couple of times a day, and this morning Stanley seemed to have the hiccups. Otherwise, their eyes are big and clear, lungs sound fine, fur is shiny and clean (though they're still a bit itchy), they eat very well and are just as active as ever. So, for those who have owned a lot of rats, would you take them to the vet as a precaution? Or if not, how long would you wait (i.e. what additional symptoms would indicate that a trip to the vet is needed?).


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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-07-2009, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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Just to update: I decided to go ahead and make a vet appointment to be on the safe side. The earliest was for Saturday afternoon, so if they seem to be fine I can always cancel, but I feel better knowing they'll be looked over. Stanley had a bit more porphyrin around his eye this afternoon after waking up, and made a few chirping sounds before I took him out of his cage.

Is there anything I can do to make the visit go as smoothly as possible for them? Since they're still pretty young, it's still a little hard to hold them still and pet them for more than 30 seconds or so!! I plan on wearing the hooded sweatshirt that I always wear with them. Anything I should take with me?


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-09-2009, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-09-2009, 09:43 AM
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hey i had the same question for my rat, and if it's when they wake up and then they clean it all themselves easily it's fine.

If it's not getting worse, I would say it's ok. but I guess it's always good to check with a vet when not sure!!
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-09-2009, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your reply, Dustette! My boys have been looking perfectly fine ever since I called the vet 2 days ago, so I just called back and talked to the nurse, who said I don't need to bring them in unless it seems to get worse or if they stop eating/drinking or acting lethargic. So, looks like they're fine for right now! (Luckily they now have a vet file just in case I have to take them in at some point.)

I'm still wondering what kinds of porphyrin everyone's rats get on a consistent basis. Does it crust a little bit on their nose sometimes? Around the eyes? And is it only too much when they don't clean it off?


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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-09-2009, 06:26 PM
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well I usually don't see Louna's porphyrin, but sometimes when I catch her right when she wakes up she has crusty eyes (but I've never seen a crusty nose yet) I had asked the question on the post when 2 or 3 times in a row I took her out and she had more crusty eyes than usual... but she was fine and it only came back after sleeping. Now she again cleans herself enough that I don't ever see it!
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-11-2009, 11:48 AM
 
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Bella usually wakes up with one eye having porphyrin. It is still usually a little goopy when I catch it. My rats don't really wake up and clean themselves right away. I have a tendency to wake them and then start playing with them during the day so I usually have to clean Bella's off for her.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-11-2009, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Shelby and Dustette! My boys usually wake up at least once a day with a bit on their noses, but they seem to be able to wash it off pretty much right away, before coming out of their cage. (Though sometimes, like Shelby said, they'll come out so quickly that they haven't had a chance to wash yet!)


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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-14-2009, 08:15 PM
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Most rats wake up with porph around the eyes and nose. As long as it's not excessive and they wash it away and are otherwise acting normal, no need to take them to the vet.

also, in light colored rats, you might notice porph staining on the back of the neck. This is simply from the motion they use to clean their face off - clean the face, then rub their neck, transferring it.


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-14-2009, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapriceCritters View Post
Most rats wake up with porph around the eyes and nose. As long as it's not excessive and they wash it away and are otherwise acting normal, no need to take them to the vet.

also, in light colored rats, you might notice porph staining on the back of the neck. This is simply from the motion they use to clean their face off - clean the face, then rub their neck, transferring it.
Thanks for your input! This is also really good to know.


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