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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I really don't know what to think everyone! My husband and I came home last night to discover that our two remaining males from our adopted accidental litter had suddenly died while we were at work. I can't explain it.

They had fresh food and water and a clean cage. We feed harlan teklab so very high quality food. They had no weight loss, hair loss, discharge, porphyrin, or diarrhea of any kind. They had been eating and playing at the same rate as ever. The night before we had them out playing with them late and they were just as sweet/insanely wild as ever. I checked on them the next morning before work and they were lazing around cuz it was day time, but nothing out of the ordinary.

I would think they got into something, but their cage is in the same room with all the others and everyone else is fine. Our apartment hasn't been fumagated or anything like that recently. We play with them in the same area as all the others, and we haven't had any recent escapees. So it seems like if they had been exposed to something toxic our others would have been too.

Then I thought maybe something genetic. We did adopt mom already pregnant so God knows who dad is or if he was maybe related to mom or whatever. But wouldn't it be oddly coincidental for a genetic issue to get them both at the same time with absolutely no previous sign of symptoms?

I know I should have taken them for a postmortem. But what with raising and delivering 14 totally unplanned for babies, my extra money reserve is depleted especially since the hubby got laid off last month.

I have a pet insurance/credit program that I use for emergencies if one of my kids gets sick when I'm broke, but I called to check and it doesn't cover necropsy exams, just treatment of live pets. So for now I'm kinda left in the dark. Anyone have any idea what could have happened? I'm so sad for the little sweeties, and sooo baffled. They were so chubby and active and happy!:confused:
 

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Zoo Keeper
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I had this happen to most of the males in my hamster litter. The best we can guess is a congenital heart defect.

Neither of my males had ANY previous symptoms and both died around the same age. 3-4 months.
 

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I am SO sorry about your boys. I know how hard this must be for you. :(
It obviously sounds like you and your husband are excellent and caring ratty parents and you did all you could to ensure a very comfortable and healthy life for your boys. I am sure it must be something that was not your fault. I hope some others on the forum who are very knowledgeable will post some information on this. I am so sorry for your loss. :(
 

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OH NO!!!! THAT is horrible. I am givin you big hugs! I am happy to report that Stripe and Spot.. renamed Jackie & Chan.. hehe are doing very well.. I just picked up them both and told them they lost brothers.. they are upset too.

We luv ya...
 

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Rat Rescuer and Hospice
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I worry because babies "borrow" their mom's immunities through the milk. Once they are about 6 weeks, that's over and this is when latent viruses in a colony will kick in and can kill, like Sendai. Two babies suddenly dying at 7 weeks of age would make me worry about this. Any other rats crackling?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sorry, it took so long to get back to this. I've had technical difficulties. To answer you, lilspaz, yes they were between 7 and 8 weeks old, and no no one else has symptoms. For that matter these boys didn't have any symptoms that stood out at me at the time.

Of course since they passed I've been checking everyone constantly. They all wonder why I hold them up to my ear all the time. No crackling, no porphyrin, no runny poo, no lethargy, no appetite loss, nothing. It's all sooo weird. And if it a virus, or even a genetic issue why would they both go so close together? I mean they were literally both fine that morning and when we found them dead, they were both still soft and warm, so they died within a very tight time frame. And of course there were no lumps marks injuries or discharge of any kind on the bodies. Sooo terribly weird!

When I did rescues I had litters before of mice and rats where because of some genetic flaw you'd lose most of the babies or just most of the males within a few days of eachother, but never at virtually the same time with no symptoms! And apparently (knock on wood) with no effect on the rest of the litter or the rest of the rats occupying the same room. I've contacted all the folks who got babies from me, and all the kiddos are fine.
 

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Official Loofah Tester
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It /has/ to be some kind of toxin the boys got into together. Nothing else makes sense. *mulling the mystery
 

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Zoo Keeper
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Could they have slipped and eaten something when you werent looking? Sometimes they are so quick you never notice and they sho no signs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I suppose that's possible. I mean I supervise them very closely when they're out, especially the youngsters, but like you said they move quite fast. But if they did get into something toxic I don't know what it could be. We have parrots, which are very delicate so we never use pesticides or room deodorizers or anything like that. We only clean with vinegar or non-toxic environmentally friendly cleaners, no harsh chemicals. We have a request on file with our landlady to never fumigate or put out any poison in our apartment, and if they were able to get into something, it would have to be potentially possible for the other rats, the dogs, or the birds to get into it, and no one else is a bit sick.

But you're right, happening as fast as it did to both of them with no obvious symptoms you do think toxins.
 

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Zoo Keeper
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It could have even been chewing a garbage bag or something they could not digest and a blockage happening.
 
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