Rat Death

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Rat Death

Post by MLthing » Thu May 10, 2018 8:00 pm

I had a pet rat called Ezra (red eyes, light blonde fur) who suddenly died yesterday night. He was around 6 months old and I got him and another rat (who seems pretty healthy at the moment) from a fairly respectable pet shop. Over about the last three months, there were no health issues that drew concern, but over the last week or so, he began to get really tired and started sleeping a lot, even though he was really active usually. He also started squinting a lot, but I thought it was just a sight problem, since he had red eyes. Also, there must have been blood in his urine, but I put it down strawberry stains, even though there was no strawberries.
I noticed he was hardly active when I put out his food, so my step dad poked him. He moved. But my step dad thought he looked pretty unwell. Five to ten minutes later, we checked again and he was dead. It was so sudden. For the time being, I'm just looking for what his death was and is it contagious, because I have another rat who looks healthy, but I'm not certain anymore. Also, should I be worried about getting my rat a new friend?

Please answer this if you think you know what he could have died of and with any links to the topic. Thank you.

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Re: Rat Death

Post by ElizabethW » Fri May 11, 2018 11:27 am

Hello, so sorry to hear about your loss, it must have been an awful shock.
I'm not an expert so can't really offer any advice about what might have happened to your boy but with regards to adding new friends, if you are left with only one rat then getting him some company quickly is really important, hard as it must be at the moment. Rats do best in groups of 3 or more, so a pair of buck kittens (I think around 9 weeks is best, maybe someone can correct me if I'm wrong) would be great company for your remaining boy. Kittens need same age company to develop and would also be able to amuse each other if your older boy had enough of them bouncing around!

Sorry I can't be of more help but very sorry.
Perkin, Bramble, Teasel, Oswald :love:
Fizz, Cuddles, Bubbles, Horace, Ollie, Humphrey, Fergus, Max, Monty, Pootle, Roger, Marley - "All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle"

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cyber ratty
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Re: Rat Death

Post by cyber ratty » Fri May 11, 2018 3:50 pm

I think it's unlikely that your other rat will become ill in the same way - if it were contagious, then he'd probably only be a few days behind, and since Ezra's symptoms developed a week ago, enough time has now passed.

Ezra's lethargy could indicate a heart problem, or pneumonia, but given the blood in his urine he probably had a urinary tract infection. Rats hide their pain or symptoms of illness very well, so it's best to get them checked by a vet as soon as you notice anything different in their behaviour.

I agree that sourcing a couple of kittens asap is the right thing to do. Enquire at your local rescue centres, and contact breeders in your region in case there is a litter of babies of the right age (see the list of NFRS breeders here), but I would avoid going back to the pet shop, there aren't any that are responsible.

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