Putting my boy to sleep :(

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Lisa23
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Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2019 6:01 am

Putting my boy to sleep :(

Post by Lisa23 » Thu Jun 11, 2020 11:23 am

Hi,
Unfortunately I have a very poorly rattie. He turned 1 year old last month. He has always been the dominant one and has all the personality, so much so, his nickname is Captain *please do not swear* lol. But recently (about a week ago) I started to notice his belly was rather big and he became more lethargic. I put this down to the heat we'd been having but i took him to the vets anyway just to have him checked over. The vet was very quick to diagnose the first thing he could think of, which was Myco, (hes said the same about my other boys and he was wrong)....it felt like he just wanted us out the door as fast as possible. Over the next few days he continued to decline and I noticed that his feet started to swell, i booked him in with a different vet for a second opinion. She said that it is more than likely a heart problem, i continued with more meds and he still got worse. I took him back to the vet and she gave him a diuretic injection which did help, but not much. Since then he has been on tablets (which I crush and put in water), he is still bad. He gets up for water and he eats baby food when i feed him, but i feel so cruel keeping him alive. He has attached himself to me, although I'm not complaining. He still gets out of the cage and finds me just to cuddle. We have had hours and hours of cuddles over the last few days. Right now he is on my lap wrapped in his blanket. I think its time I booked him in for his final appointment at the vet. I am absolutely devastated and I have no idea how to deal with it emotionally, I also don't know how his cage mates will react, I dont want them to get stressed. Does anyone have any tips on how to deal with him passing and what to do for my other boys? His decline happened so fast, has anyone else's babies had anything like this?

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[cub]
Posts: 905
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:04 pm

Re: Putting my boy to sleep :(

Post by [cub] » Sat Jun 13, 2020 9:58 am

Rats are unfortunately rather prone to sudden illnesses and rapid declines; they often hide illness well in the early stages, so they can be quite unwell by the time they have noticeable symptoms, and illnesses also often progress much more quickly in them than they would in larger mammals. That said, they can also end up having long, slow declines from end-of-life illnesses. They really span the spectrum from "absolutely fine one evening, found dead the next morning" to "several months on increasingly intensive palliative care until it's no longer fair to them".

There are a lot of things that could cause swelling like that but I don't think any of them are good, and if he's not responding to treatment and is that lethargic, it sounds like it's a sensible time to call it a day. You can ask for an x-ray which might shed more light on what's going on but I suspect that would be more for you than for Captain Swear-Filtered.

It's impossible to predict in advance how your other rats will react to losing a cagemate. Increased squabbling is common, as is increased anxiety which can last for several days, but sometimes the cagemates don't react at all. It seems harsh but rats are rats, and they see and deal with things in a different way than we might. As for how to cope with it yourself, I'm not sure I have any real answers. It's always hard, but I find focusing on the remaining rats helps me. Depending on how many rats you have left and how old they all are, this might actually be a good time to start planning for the future of the group. If you want rats from a good breeder, many of them have long waiting lists, so it's never too early to get on one, and looking forward to new rats can be a nice positive to take your mind off the grief.
Poo-shoveller to: Calyn (NLA32); Zephyr Nyahir; Zephyr Zymandis; Zephyr Blasto.
Fondly remembering: Zephyr Mick Jagger "Edgeworth"; Din (NLA28); Zephyr Donovan "Phoenix"; Xeltan; Lita (NLA32); Lia (NLA28); Zephyr Delanynder (NLA28); Falere (NLA36); Mirala (NLA36); Zephyr Opold; Rila.

Lisa23
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2019 6:01 am

Re: Putting my boy to sleep :(

Post by Lisa23 » Sat Jun 20, 2020 5:59 pm

Hi,
Thanks for the reply. I had to make the awful decision and have him put to sleep, he was struggling to breathe and I was having to give him water and liquidised food by a syringe. I had 1 final day with him and cuddled him in my dressing gown almost the entire time. I hate myself for having him put to sleep but I know that keeping him alive is a very cruel thing to do. I have had a canvas made which arrived yesterday so I get to see his little face all the time. I do miss his personality, my other boys don't do much other than sleep and eat, which is fine. But Milo was always very active and adventurous.

I have 3 boys in the cage still and to my surprise they dont seem to have been that bothered by Milo not being there. He was also a bit of a bully sometimes so I have noticed that their coats are extra shiny and they all look a lot healthier now. I have kept Milos blanket that he always liked to snuggle in and I asked the vet that he be wrapped in that when they put him to sleep. Im finding it very difficult to deal with because he was so young, but i knew the risk of things like this happening when I decided to get pet rats.

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[cub]
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Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:04 pm

Re: Putting my boy to sleep :(

Post by [cub] » Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:34 am

It's always hard but you did the right thing. :hearts:

You could try some enrichment feeding with your remaining boys. It would hopefully motivate them to be more active, and also give you something positive to focus on. One of the UK breeders made a playlist of nice food enrichment ideas here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yb4_Lo6 ... 2GcvADcYZd
Poo-shoveller to: Calyn (NLA32); Zephyr Nyahir; Zephyr Zymandis; Zephyr Blasto.
Fondly remembering: Zephyr Mick Jagger "Edgeworth"; Din (NLA28); Zephyr Donovan "Phoenix"; Xeltan; Lita (NLA32); Lia (NLA28); Zephyr Delanynder (NLA28); Falere (NLA36); Mirala (NLA36); Zephyr Opold; Rila.

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