My neighbor has a rat terrier, she comes to visit often and my family enjoys her company. However, I'm concerned because she is really skinny. All of her ribs are visible and her hip bones. My neighbors state her appearance is normal due to her breed. I'm not familiar with this breed. Is this something I should be concerned about? In all other ways the dog appears to be in good health.
I would ask a dog expert and ask if there is a breed of rat terrier that is skinny and if there is not a kind like that I would ask your neighbors what are they feeding the dog.
No, Rat Terriers are not skinny and should never show any ribs, spine or hip bones. Ratties are very muscular little dogs with a deep chest' If your neighbors Rattie shows any ribs, spine or hip bone that poor dog is being abused and you should call your locale Human Society to have the alleged abuse investigated. It is not normal for any animal or human to have their bones visible.
We have an 11 year old Rat Terrier, and he has always been very fit--we'd always fed him once per day, and he was so stately, every time we walked him and saw new people, they'd ask if he was a puppy..so healthy! Pretty thin, too..ribs not really visible, but he was thin. About 3 weeks ago, he seemed to be drinking lots of water, and he lost 4 lbs (he had been 22 lbs), ribs/spine now visible. We took him to the emergency ER vet because it was such a sudden/rapid change--Pancreatitis/Diabetes. Now he's getting better, hasn't really gained any weight back yet, and he's taking 2 shots of insulin per day. So, I say, while an ideal weight for a rat terrier is a little on thin side--nice curved waist, ribs not visible but able to be felt a bit when touched--if your dog is drinking a lot of water suddenly AND thin, get it to the vet asap.
Shame on you people for accusing the owner of abuse! It is more than likely that the dog has developed diabetes. As a " human" medical professional, I know that rapid weight loss ( along with excessive thirst, urination, hunger, as well as some vomiting due to pancreatic problems) are signs of this disease. Diabetes is quite difficult to control, especially with a little four-legged friend who does not understand the sudden change in diet, insulin injections and frequent veterinary and/or animal hospital visits. It is a work in progress, and I have been advised on numerous occasions to " put my dog down." He's doing better, has even put on a little weight, is happy, pain free, and my little buddy! Owners of rat terriers newly diagnosed with diabetes should remain patient ( the animal will not recuperatie overnight) and remain diligent when it comes to their dog's care. Best of luck, !!