Posted: May 27, 2011, 5 a.m. EDT
Q: My rat is bleeding in the butt area. What could be wrong? How is it treated?
A: This is an unusual condition in rats. Bleeding from the rectal/tail area can be caused by a number of factors, none very common in rats.
The most important thing is to decide what is actually bleeding. Blood can be coming from the rectum. This can be caused by bleeding into the large intestine sometimes from ulcers or polyps or even cancer. Bleeding in the rectum can also be caused by masses around the anus itself. Sometimes blood in the urine can stain areas near the rectal area, so this may be a urinary tract problem rather than an intestinal problem. Or if this is a female rat, there may be a reproductive problem, such as an infection or cancer in the uterine tract. Finally, there can be an ulceration of the skin near the anal area, either due to trauma or infection or cancer, that causes blood near the “butt area.”
For all of these conditions, take your rat to the veterinarian and have him or her give you a diagnosis and an appropriate plan for treatment.
See all of Dr. Rosenthal's Critter Q&A articles>>