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 Post subject: Advice needed on old rats
 Post Posted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:15 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:01 pm
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So, I think my rat (Spooky) is on his last few days. He's not eating very much at all, he can't really move his back legs, he's bleeding out of his nose (I think, both of my rats have had long-term respiratory infections, they had that red bacteria on their nose but this is a lot more like blood and it covers Spooky's front paws as if he's tried to clean it but there's too much blood), and he's lost a lot of weight. He's around 2 years old so I'm assuming it's old age, but I don't know what to do. My main concern is his brother Bloo, who seems quite healthy. I know when you only have one rat they can get stressed, agitated, and lonely. I'm not with them 24/7 so I'm worried that he'll get sick pretty soon after Spooky passes.

I've been hoping to get other baby rats after they both pass, but would it be a better idea to get them as soon as possible after Spooky passes so Bloo won't be alone? Or would he be aggressive towards them?

Any help would be appreciated, regarding Spooky or Bloo (who are both male rats).

Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Advice needed on old rats
 Post Posted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:35 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:02 pm
Posts: 2717
Location: warrington, cheshire
Sorry to hear about spooky. He does sound poorly and it does sound like it is coming to his time. It's hard to let them go but sometimes it is better to say goodbye before he suffers too much. Bloo would benefit greatly from a couple of new friends. Recommend getting 2 youngsters, as they need similar aged company to play with. Bloo shouldn't be aggressive with them but it is worth introducing using the carrier method http://www.fancyratsforum.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=52

Good luck and give spooky some scritches from me.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice needed on old rats
 Post Posted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:59 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:47 am
Posts: 5731
Location: South Cambridgeshire
I agree, getting 2 or 3 kittens now is your best course of action. Generally speaking, older rats enjoy having youngsters around and can get a second lease of life. Introduce them using the carrier method, ideally when the babies are about 9 - 10 weeks old.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice needed on old rats
 Post Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:50 am 
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It's also best to start searching for new rats now. Most breeders have long waiting lists, and even for those who don't use waiting lists or happen to have spare kittens available, there's still going to be a brief wait while you fill in forms and discuss with each other. Same with rescues; a little bit of advance planning is needed, you can't just turn up and go. (You can with pet shops, but it's best to avoid getting rats from pet shops if at all possible, due to their frequently unethical and badly monitored breeding practices, generally much higher risk of infectious diseases, and remarkably frequent mis-sexing of rats, leading to unwanted litters.)

I also have found it helpful to me to start introductions with new rats as soon as possible after a bereavement, since it gives me something to do and a bit of a distraction after a loss. I suspect it's the same for the rats that are left behind; making new friends doesn't replace the old ones, but it can make grieving a little easier. :hearts:

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