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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-19-2007, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
 
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Suggestions for my rat?

I have two 2 year and 4 month old girls. I got them at 7 months old, and frankly did a very bad job at socializing them.
Here's a picture:

The dark ones is Twee, an agouti berkshire, and the round bum is Ferkel, a rex agouti berkshire.

Twee is doing great, despite having at least 3 small tumors on her sides. Ferkel, on the other hand, I'm worried about.
Here's a pic of her:


Recently, I noticed she has become incredibly lethargic. She was always calmer than Twee, but now I can just lift her without her trying to kick or anything at all. I suspect a hind leg problem. She also isn't eating too well. She doesn't hold food in her hands, but eats out of my hand or off the ground. I suppose this helps her stay up with her legs being bad. She also doesn't drink water as often because it requires her to stand. I've tried holding her up to the nozzle, but she still only drinks very little.

Yet another horrible thing I've allowed, is for a while she would frequently fall from the hammock or second level, which is a 1' fall! I've made adjustments to the hammock, but occasionally, she will sleep on the second level, and slide off. This hasn't happened in a while either from my knowledge, as I think she's adapted to sleeping in front of the hammock so that if she slides off, she will land in the hammock. I tried to feel around for broken or dislocated bones, but there are none from what I can tell. I do think a fall could have severed her spine which is what's causing the leg issue.

Now, she's in the bottom of the cage. She appears to just be sitting, but I do find her sleeping. She never sleeps in the open on the bottom. She used to go into the box that is there, but now she doesn't have much hiding instincts. When I find her sitting like this, she sometimes has her hands perched on the rim of the litter box (pictured) otherwise, she doesn't sit up at all.

They are kept on aspen. And I must admit, I haven't been cleaning the cage weekly. Because of this, they both have mites, hairloss and lesions, and Ferkel gets a lot of bloody stuff in her eyes and nose as she always did, but she doesn't groom as much, making her look miserble. Another thing, she is a bit overweight, which I'm sure doesn't help.

So what does everybody think? What can I do to comfort her. I have an one leveled guinea pig cage I was thinking of moving them into, but could that possibley create more stress? What can I do to accumulate her feeding and drinking needs? I don't know what can be done about the legs and back, coul this be repaired? Should I just have her euthanized?
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-19-2007, 10:35 PM
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hi, and welcome to the forum! im sorry your baby isnt doing so well..
I dont have any rats, so im not too sure about her injurys or health conditions, im sure someone will be along shortly to give you much better advice. I do however know how it is to deal with aging animals, we must strive to make them as comfortable as possible. You said your not sure if shes enough water. cuz shes unable to drink from the bottle, can you lower it some? or possibly give her a shallow dish to drink from? maybe put a small plate with water on it so she doesnt have to reach over the side of a dish. also maybe you could offer her some special treats to make up for her not eating as much.. baby food perhaps?
What about the mites? have you done anything to treat them? im not sure what all is involved in treating mites on rats, but im sure getting rid of the mites will help alot to ease her stress.
is it possible to block of or take off the second level of there cage?



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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-19-2007, 11:58 PM
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Mites and lice can do major damage to rats. Get her to a vet and on revolution (its like advantage but it takes care of so many other things as well). Also giving her some baby food and pedialyte and also ensure will help as well. It is AMAZING how rats can perk up after getting rid of mites or lice. A round of antibiotics wont hurt at all either. If she has plyphorin (the "bloody" discharge you are seeing) then she probably has a URI or pnemonia.

Really all I can say is get her to the vet ASAP (it really isnt that expensive. The bulk of the cost is meds) and get her treated for the mites and lice as well as some antibiotics for the URI. In the meantime, give her some ensure and pedialyte and some babyfood to help her eat.

*Missy*
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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-20-2007, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
 
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I've just put in an untippable bowl of water she is physically able to drink from, and offered a bottle cap off water close to her face. She isn't interested in water at all. I also forgot to mention that when I touch her back, she cringes, so she is in pain. I will get some baby food tomorrow though.

They don't have lice. Mites on rats are pretty common. Fur mites are harmless other than the itching and lesions, which mine normally heal quickly (but Ferkel is not at the moment, from a low immune system I'd think), but I got them with mites from their old home, so I'd think they aren't bothered too much having lived their whole lives with them. I never tried to get rid of them though (shampoos, foams, etc). I will schedule an appointment tomorrow, but probably to euthanize her. I will probably bring Twee along for a mite inspection.

And the problem with the caging is that if the second level is inaccessible, the other one can't get the excersice she needs. Actually, she's accompanying Ferkel on the bottom now. She must be aware of her pain and is trying to help Ferkel doesn't go up unless Twee's there, hopefully this can keep her from climbing.
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-20-2007, 12:41 AM
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I agree.I had to deal with both mites and lice and they do alot to rats.They will need to see a vet to get meds.






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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-20-2007, 12:43 AM
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Is the lethargic one the 2 yr old?
When rats age,they can go downhill very fast.It sounds like she may have no more use in her paws - very common in older rats.

And also she may be having trouble eating now,due to age.Give her baby food or oatmeal,as it will be easier for her to eat.You may also have to bathe her,because she may start soiling herself a little.





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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-20-2007, 03:18 PM
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IMO the older rat does have a chance. I am no vet but I think a round of antibiotics and some revolution would help her out a lot.

Also its so unfair to say that since the rats lived with mites their entire life they are okay with it. How would you like to have bugs living on you and biting you and causing your skin to bust open?

Sorry this thread just pissed me off.

*Missy*
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-20-2007, 03:50 PM
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Yeah I agree pinkie. It kinda pissed me off too. Why ask for help when what you intend to do is neglect animals and then put them down when they start showing symptoms of it. It sounds to me like these poor animals have been living in horrible conditions and the best thing to do is a complete turn around in care, treating symptoms and causes, using cleanliness, and socializing and exercising the animals. And then when it's all said and done and these rats live out their life span it's probably a good idea not to get anymore just to get bored with them and put them through the same thing.
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-20-2007, 03:58 PM
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How did it go with the vet?

*Missy*
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-20-2007, 04:02 PM
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My replies were kinda pointless then.
I didn't see the other post by the OP...I guess they were moderated and not approved yet.

I agree with Missy,older rats do have a chance.I would not have her euthanized,unless your absolutly positive that she cannot be helped and is in pain and just don't enjoy life no more.If she can be helped,then there is no point in having her euthanized.

I do agree tho,why did you ask for help when you knew you were just going to have her put down? And not hear what we had to say?

Mites do need to be treated.It doesn't matter if it is common in rats,it stresses them out and when a rat is stressed out,their immune system gets very low and they have a higher chance of getting sick.





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post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-20-2007, 04:06 PM
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I still think to this day that Seva died from having lice. He died the day the medicine came in the mail. He started having seizures then just crashed and died.

Did these rats just come to you? Or have you had them for a long time?

*Missy*
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post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-20-2007, 04:14 PM
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I have dealt with lice...not fun.My ratty that had them just kept losing weight despite being on meds.Her name was Skye...this was back in 2002-2003.I had to throw out ALL of her wooden products (just didn't wanna risk it) and freeze the bedding and disinfect everything,plus bathe and medicate Skye.
It was stressful for both me and the rat.

Lice are worse then mites in my opinion.I had dealt with mites as well.The lice are nasty buggers that can come back and the nits are hard to get rid of!





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post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-20-2007, 04:36 PM
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Lisa next time you have to deal with lice and mites, get some revolution. That stuff is the best and actually safer then giving them ivermectin orally. When I gave the rats revolution, all I did was change their bedding and wash all their toys and things. The revolutiuon works for a month and the life cycle of the lice is something like 21 days...so by the time the revolution wore off all the lice were through their life cycle and dead...its pretty cool stuff.

*Missy*
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post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-20-2007, 04:58 PM
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I had ivermectin for Skye and bathed her using kitty shampoo.

But I did use Revolution for the mites.My old girl Blueberry had them badly and her whole throat was raw from scratching at it.I used Revolution for her and some antiobiotics (I am not sure what they were anymore...that was awhile ago).





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post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-20-2007, 05:15 PM
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Revolution is good for everything. I was even reading the insert and it said that it even kills ear mites.

Okay Im done hijacking.

*Missy*
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