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Hey, My rat has lost a lot of weight, has been breathing heavily,

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My rat has lost a lot of weight, has been breathing heavily, and recently I discovered he lost one of his two incisors -- there's just a socket there.

He is urinating in large amounts at once, and he's terribly upset when I put him in his cage. His cage-mate died a few months ago of a large unknown growth inside all of his internal organs.

He's about 2-years old now -- my experience with multiple vets has been negative, they will take $250.00 from me just to inject the rat with some water under his skin, and say they can't do anything, or offer to euthanize the rat.

However, the last rat had a very complex problem to analyze -- what's wrong with this rat? Is it old age combined with a respiratory illness?

My question is how treatable is a respiratory ailment in rats? I keep him in a clean cage and I've been feeding him babyfood since he lost his tooth and to put some weight back on him.
I know he needs a cage-mate but I don't want a never-ending cycle of new rats when one dies.

Also the beer is empty, I know they can't have carbonated liquids
No idea, you need a vet who is an expert on rats.
Sounds realy bad.
i'm going to take him to the vet tomorrow and have him put down if there's no treatment or optimism
Sounds like you are doing the best you can. Maybe there are some recipies for sick and weakened rats on rathealthguide.

Dehydration can make him very weak. Do you see any signs of wasting on him?
Wew spending that much on a rat
Which usually only live about 2 years
My mom has owned a lot of rats and from the symptoms you're describing it may be cancer. There's not much you can do for them beyond keeping them comfortable in preparation for their passing or being put down.
I've had rats for about 7 years, and it's because of the never ending cycle you described. Sounds like your little guy is just on his way out..2 is up there for rats. You can do things to make him comfortable, try giving him Pedialyte and baby food to keep him hydrated.
I'm sorry anon. One of my rats isn't doing well either, and sometimes there is nothing you can do except love them :(
Not op but in a case like htis, would it be better that the rat died at home, without the stress of a vet visi and possibly painful injection, or would it suffer too much dieing on it's own terms?

i've only put two of my rats down. i did it because they were seizing and in really, really bad shape. the vet i saw gave them gas and injected them through the stomach..which is awful but they were suffering.

otherwise i don't like separating them from their friends, and i think it's comforting for them to pass with thier bffs.
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he always has access to water, but I think i missed that his tooth was busted. It was my fault, I wasn't supervising him and he pulled some stunts that he was too old for and fell off my piano, he must have hurt his tooth.

yeah I can afford it but I sometimes think about how far that money could go with.. a human being if i donated it lol

thanks anon. there's some crust around one of his eyes and it's squinting a bit more than the other, has your mom ever had a rat with an eye infection?

I've been feeding him baby food and he's got a good appetite for it. ill look into the pedialyte
here's a picture of him i just took
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whoops thats pretty small
>they will take $250.00 from me just to inject the rat with some water under his skin

Yeah, vets will be happy to do that. Mine sells me the pouches for $35 a piece for my cat and I just do it at home. There's no reason they have to be the ones to administer it. Find a vet that isn't blatantly ripping you off. Good luck OP, I hope your rat becomes well. I had three ages ago, they're neat animals.
i've been to about 5 of them in my city, that's the extent of the exotic animal places around here
it's good he's sitting up and eating on his own, anon.
sounds like the 2-year-curse. most rats develop cancer in this time and it can go pretty fast at the end. I'm sorry OP. you may have to put him down tomorrow :(
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thanks guys. he's only occasionally grinding his back teeth so i'm having a hard time telling how much pain he's in
I never thought of rats as exotics, but it sounds like you're doing the most you can for him. Again, good luck.

If you believe he could be in pain rats can tolerate children's ibuprofen pretty well. this website has helped me with my ratters over the years and it has dosages for ibuprofen.

>2 years old is old age for rats
that sucks.
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op here thanks man. Today he's got a much better appetite.

i think he was basically starving to death because his damage tooth was preventing him from eating kibble, but he ate a whole rat sized bowl of scrambled eggs this morning and his behavior is more normal
is that picture from today? he looks pretty good! you know rats aren't doing too well when their fur looks like crap.
it sucks pretty bad considering how intelligent they are.
No unfortunately that's from 2 years ago haha, yeah he was pretty fresh then
I've had rats for over a decade and never had one die at just two years until my last rats. Oldest was a few months over five and had many that lived over four.
The three I had, the first went at 6 months due to a combination of illnesses that would have killed him anyway so he was euthanized. Then one after a year, and the last a few months later. I have found and had pet store rats healthier than them. Put a real bad taste in my mouth.

OP is just have him euthanized. There isn't much vets can do for rats to begin with. I've put some through surgery but they were relatively minor ones.
this is pretty funny, i live in a shithole and we have vets who can prevent tumors in female rats with an implant and treat a variety of conditions like thyroid cancer reasonably effective
5 years? can you tell me more about how you keep your rats / how much attention they get / how many you have / climate / food
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update I went and bought a warm mist humidifier for him, my place is extremely dry
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here's his one tooth smile
Glad to hear he's doing better. Hopefully he makes a complete recovery.
he looks like a nice chunky fellow. his incisors may grow back. at that point you will need to ensure that they are even or he won't be able to chew properly. keep giving him soft nutritious foods. also seconding the childrens' ibuprofen idea, just watch the dose.


an implant... geez why not just spay her


a lot of vets don't treat rodents, just cats and dogs plus maybe livestock or birds. I take mine to a cat clinic, a couple of the docs there also see rats and guinea pigs
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thanks guys ill investigate the painkillers; ideally his tooth grows back otherwise im worried about how he'll keep that other incisor from growing too long ill have to get it clipped
The implant is just a pin prick compared to a very invasive surgery.
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another update, i've had the humidifier running for 7 hours now and he's made tremendous progress -- i think he was being mummified by the lack of water in the air.

behavior is normal again and i can actually hear his breathing
blow it out bro

feed it a tiny piece of bud. seriously
you want me to feed him weed? lol
happy for you and your rat, anon
>owning rats
I bet you think ALL opossums carry rabies too, huh?
Not even him but rats piss more often than goldfish, they're filthy animals regardless of what verminfags around here proclaim.
Care to share some sources on this statistic? Or are you just going to keep spewing shit?
Implant? Is it birth control? I've just had females spayed.

I've mentioned him a few times on /an/ but he was from Paper Heart's Rattery, who sadly does not appear to breed anymore and has not updated in years. Back then I had very large cages decked out in fabric, litter trained rats, taught them tricks, etc and overall was very passionate about them. They are Mazuri rat food, then switched to oxbow. They got fresh veggies, fruit and basically any safe left overs or whatever I was eating but I made it a point to don't overdue protein simcamy develope skin issues that can be mistaken for mites. I read somewhere that too much protein could also lead to tumors, cancer and 'age' them faster and while I have no source on that nor do I know of it's true, I just kept that in mind since I had a pair that the original owners were manly feeding them dog food and they looked like complete shit for apparently only being 5 months old.

Said old rat(red eye Siamese) also never had any issues. Not even a sniffle while I was accustomed to usually having to treat other new rats since they were either given to me, or the Petco employees would become attached to a rat and not wanting it to become snake food they'd give it to me. He had a great temperament even when being introduced to adult males. This was my early days of rats and I had an accidental litter with him and what I thought was another male. Woke up one day and there he was, cleaning the babies and working with the nest. He was a great dad but the mom stopped lactating a week in. Maybe it was because she was still very young but I ended up hand feeding 11 babies. He took care of the babies more than the mom(a tan hooded with a perfect making of a dick and balls on her back).
The babies were all black/agouti hooded except one agouti hooded had a white streak on his face we named Freak and two agouti females, one of which we named Zilla because she was huge for a female. As an adult she was bigger than most adult males I've had.

We rehomed some and kept four. Two brothers and two sisters. The mom was spayed and stayed with old rat, another spayed female, two sons and two hairless males while the daughters were put in the female cage. All the babies we kept were also very healthy and lived to four or over with the exception of one of the sons who was euthanized a bit over three due to an unknown illness that he was not recovering from.

Between me and my family, I can't tell you how much attention they got. Some more than others but they all had ample time to explore proofed rooms that had tiles since we didn't want any of them dribbling on the carpet or wood floors. I'd often take a pair out with me wherever for shits and giggles. My favorite was old boy because he was happy to sleep around my neck or in my hoodie, no one knew. If I wanted reactions I'd take my two hairless boys, who did tricks and would wrestle with your hands.

Anyway. As for climate, normal I guess. Hot summers, cold winters, cold to mild springs.. They also got to go outside plenty of times with very close supervision die to the many, many birds of prey nesting near by.

In all, I believe his long healthy lifespan goes to his breeder. She was very pleasant, had an entire room dedicated to rats that was very clean, neat, large and clean cages filled with toys, etc. She had rats from different parts of the country to add to her lines and was very passionate about health I'm her breeding. She also had the rare harley rats or long haired rats and dwarfs.
My advice is to just find a good breeder. Love and care isn't going to make their shit genetics to away.
She also wasn't constantly cranking out litters and would plan them in advance. Kept public track of her genetic lines also. I no longer have any rats. I burned out a long time ago after losing my old boy and four other males(years apart). I just felt like I already experienced the best ones I'd ever have. I'm not too keen on any breeders around here either, especially after the abomination of health problems I had with my last ones.
I think it does work like bc, not sure about the specifics but it releases hormones and removes those hormonal spikes from their cycles.
glad to hear he's doing better
i hope the excess pissing was just because he drank too much as he couldn't eat properly
Interesting. How much did it cost? I haven't had females in a very long time and I have no plans on having them in the future but I've never heard of that. Is it one implant for life? Require surgery? If it doesn't require surgery it sounds like it could be better than spaying if not for the danger of putting a rat under in general.
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OP here, my rats still pretty lethargic but has a big appetite. I checked his tooth and its regrown into the rim of the socket, but his other teeth are overgrowing.

im going to take him to the vet later this week and get his teeth trimmed and hopefully get some medicine for his lungs
It is injected with a needle as far as i remember and costs around 35$.
It lasts 2-3 years which is a lifetime for rats, the local rat group (Hungary) talks a lot about it. I believe they also use it in female ferrets to prevent them from dying.
Found a link, it is in Hungarian, but there is a picture of the product.

I presume you are talking about deslorelin implants (GnRH)? Interesting theory r.e the mammary tumours, what it essentially does is non-surgically spay the rat as it impacts on the HPO axis- so they basically don't cycle.

Which, I suspect if you don't have surges of sex steroids could potentially assist in the prevention of mammary tumours. It wouldn't completely eliminate the risk of them however, neither would spaying.
If you do decide to put the rat down (or another in the future, if this one is fine now. Didn't read the whole thread), here's how I did it when we had one that was too aggressive, despite repeated attempts at rehabilitation and training:

>place in Tupperware with bowl of vinegar
>give lab block or favorite treat to distract
>pour baking soda into vinegar
>seal lid

Little guy didn't even stop chewing before he went. Took less than 30 seconds, though I did monitor for confirmation of death, like the tongue turning blue and whatnot.

Total cost, $2.
I honestly can't think of a more Humane, economical, and quick way to put down a small animal. I have no idea why he was so mean, but Rats are smart enough for it to be possible that he was just an asshole.
Neat. I will ask my vet about it since they work with exotic and small animals as well. I have no interest in female rats but I'm glad to hear of this even if it's not perfect. Haven't heard about it from any US rat people.
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update op rat here

he's on drugs now and had his teeth trimmed, he also bit the vet, bonus points
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They normally use it in ferrets, I haven't actually heard of it being used in rats, but having looked it up there are a few studies showing its efficiency in essentially non-surgically sterilising them.

However, I believe the implant in ferrets only lasted 18-24 months, so it's not exactly a once a life thing. Although I guess rats lifespans aren't typically much past two, so an implant could in theory last for life.

I think rat owners need to accept that mammary tumours especially in female rats are almost an inevitability. Spaying/implants does reduce the risk, but yes.
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