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I can answer any questions about pet rats, but you will probably be able find answers to simple questions more quickly on my website at If you have a life-threatening emergency you can try calling me at 530-899-0605. I am not usually on the computer on the weekend.

Experience in the area

I have been "The Rat Lady" since 1985 and am recognized as one of the world's experts on pet rats. I have 3 published books and already answer lots of questions about rats daily.


President of Rat Assistance & Teaching Society


I am a monthly columnist for Pet Business magazine, and my writing has appeared in other magazines. I have 3 published books.


BA in Animal Behavior

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Recent Answers from Debbie Ducommun

2016-06-25 swollen neck on one side:

Hi Sherry,  Unfortunately, a lump on one side of the neck is likely to be cancer. It might help to put some cannabis oil on it. I know a case of cancer that was kept under control for 7 months with a cannabis

2016-06-24 White rats-red:

Hi Brittany,  Yes, this is normal. Rats have a red pigment in their tears called porphyrin.  This red discharge is a brownish red color and is frequently mistaken for blood.  When their eyes water, the

2016-06-20 Rat's swollen belly!:

Sometimes a rat does get bloated because of something they eat, and in that case, it will eventually go down. The fact that she is pooping is a very good thing. At her age, megacolon is really not a possible

2016-06-16 change in behavior:

Hi Wendy,  As she is running around, does she seem to know where she is going and what she is doing? Does she seem frantic?  Is she running into walls?  One possible cause is a seizure, which would be

2016-06-13 2 pet rat problems:

Hi Shyneese,  Respiratory infections are the most common cause of illness in rats. I suggest you treat your sneezing girl with amoxicillin. See more info below.    As for your boy, I can see by his curly


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