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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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Are there any health hazards associated with rats eating dead cagemates?

I'm going to assume the answer is 'not unless said cagemate was sick,' but I feel I should make sure.. I haven't been on the forum much, but in the time I've been absent I've lost 3 of my 12 buddies. All were over 2 years old and healthy.

No funny behavior or anything, just became little old ladies/ a little old man and passed..

Two passed while I was here so I was able to remove bodies in time. The third, though, passed while I was at work, and I came home to a cage full of bones, stripped clean. Terrifying. :c I understand that rats do this to avoid attracting predators and keep the nest clean.

A couple of her cagemates now have poo stuck by a hard stringy material in their butts.. Is this anything to worry about? I'm assuming it's cartilage or something of that sort from eating Leia. ;/

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-03-2012, 08:47 AM
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Hey Talamos,

It's good to see you. Though I'm speaking as a layman and someone may know better, I'd say not.

It's horrifying to walk in on something like that. Though I'm pretty tough and level headed and can deal with something like that myself (despite my usual fluttering and online angsting when I'm figuring out new details of rat care), I dread the day my children come upon something like that before I have a chance to deal with it.

My first thought based on your description is that they're passing the harder to digest fur and such, too. Me as a owner and not an expert, I'd be inclined to offer them some softer fruit to help pass things along, and call the vet to make sure.

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Last edited by Storyseeker; 08-03-2012 at 08:50 AM.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-04-2012, 01:42 AM Thread Starter
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Heh, I was pretty off-put to find it, but I had little issue cleaning the cage up and moving on. I knew these old babies were going to go soon, I just wasn't aware rats cannibalized their dead. It should have been common sense considering how they live in the wild.

Thanks for your help ♥ That's along the lines of what I thought it might be, about the poos. They all got some baby food and fruit anyway to help them feel better.. I'm sure rats mourn their losses. Especially since 2 of the losses were the alphas of their particular groups. :c

It'll be interesting to see who steps up as the alpha next in each group.

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