Animals like cats and dogs visit the vet regularly. Pet parents are also more likely to bring in a feline or canine when their health seems compromised. Neither is the case with smaller animals, like rats.
Should you take your pet rat into the clinic regularly? Only when you can tell your rodent is feeling under the weather? Or is there not any point in scheduling an appointment at all?
There’s no need for annual appointments
Cats and dogs require annual appointments with a veterinary professional. They can live anywhere between 10 and 20 years, so keeping your pet in good health is a great way to prolong his life. In addition, you need to keep your furry friend up to date on the latest round of vaccinations. The law even requires it.
Rats are much different. On average, these little rodents only live to be a few years old, so annual appointments aren’t necessary.
Rats do not need to be spayed or neutered, and they do not require vaccinations.
Is your rat sneezing?
Although you don’t need to bring your rat into the veterinary clinic every year, there are some occasions when a trip is necessary.
One of the most common rat problems is sneezing. These rodents have very sensitive noses, so some sneezing is normal, but repeated sneezing can indicate a larger problem. If your pet has an upper respiratory infection, he’ll need medication.
Strange behavior and injuries
Rats can’t tell us what’s wrong, so it’s important to keep an eye on your pet’s behavior. If he seems lethargic, if he’s lost his appetite, or if he is experiencing diarrhea, you should schedule an appointment.
Injuries and other medical problems will require a trip to the clinic as well. If your rat has a wound, if he seems to be limping, or if you notice a strange lump under his skin, you should call a veterinary professional.
When in doubt, you should take your rat to the vet! Most professionals don’t charge much for an initial appointment for such a small animal. If nothing else, they can provide you with peace of mind. At the very worst, they can provide you with options to help your rodent feel better.