Hey, my sister Jessi thinks her rat Alice is sick. She said that Alice is going to sleep in her hands when she pets and holds her. This rat was a from feeder stock. She's at least 2 or 3 years old. Not sure of diet, probably something from a petstore.
I don't know if my parents are willing to vet her, but I'm going to call around and see what prices are like. Any advice or home remedies we can try?
If you are sure of her age, the average life span is 2-3 years. Some can live longer with proper care. This is not typical behavior, if there were other symptoms I could tell you more. Vetting is recommended.
I'll try to get more info about Alice tomorrow. My sister seems really concerned. She didn't mention any other symptoms besides the sleeping, but she's also only 11 and has some mental delays so I'm not sure how observant she is.
I can also ask my other younger sister to get some more accurate info.
I don't know a lot about Rats, thought I can say that is about the age rats tend to get ill and pass away at. You may need to prepare your sister for that. I'm sorry, rats are heart break pets because they don't last very long.
I did talk to my sister a little more, and I think Alice does have tumors. Not really sure if there's anything to do about that. Parents aren't willing to vet her at all. No other symptoms besides being lethargic.
Should Alice be put down or should we wait? Is there a humane way to euthanize a rat at home?
Post by quixoticwhit on Oct 3, 2012 22:27:44 GMT -5
You'll know when it's time to put her down if she's uncomfortable or can't eat/poo whatever, you'll know. In my experience it's not worth taking them to a vet. The surgery is risky (and it can be hard to find a ratty vet) and if you remove one tumor, chances are there will be another one in a short while.
One of my raties got surgery (I got a discount because the vet had never done surgery on a rat) and a month later she had another tumor, and this one was on her face. Depending on where the tumor is, they can live quite a while without problems.
As far as euthanizing goes, I have left a couple of my rats for my mother to "take care of" I didn't ask how. I took the others to the humane society to be put down, as they are more cost effective. I don't think either way is more humane, as few places have needles small enough to put down a rat without blowing a blood vessel which can cause them pain. I haven't looked into this extensively, as, to be honest, I don't want to know.
How do people kill feeder mice prior to freezing/feeding? Maybe that would provide a humane, at home option.
Post by hurricanekatt on Oct 3, 2012 22:34:51 GMT -5
If your parents are unwilling to pay for a euth and the humane society doesn't have anything available (I'd ask how they do it btw, for the sake of tight finances humane society euthenasias are not always as humane as you think) then I would do a carbon monoxide euth. This is how feeder rodents are killed and is relatively painless. It deprives them of oxygen so they pass out ("go to sleep"), and then die. When done properly it is relatively quick. I prefer my ferrets over CO, because they are even quicker about it, but it is still a very humane and fast death. You can make a CO chamber at home. I would suggest looking it up to be 100% sure but IF memory serves me right:
Put animal(s) in a small, breathable container (such as a critter keeper). Put the container in a large cooler or box of some sort that contains dry ice, and close the lid. The dry ice produces CO that displaces the oxygen in the animals' lungs and causes them to pass out, then die in their sleep of oxygen deprivation. The smaller the animal and the faster the metabolism, the faster this works. (Thus this is NOT a good method for larger animals such as say a dog or cat). The small container keeps the animal from touching the dry ice, which will burn them, but allows the CO from the dry ice to get into the cage.
PLEASE CHECK THESE FACTS FIRST. I haven't read up on CO chambers for a long time and may have some of my facts off. A google search should get you some results...