My rat died suddenly. What happened?!
His name was Loki. He was a young rat, which is why this seems so strange. I got him at the end of December and he was fairly small then, so he can't be more than a few months old... Well, couldn't have been. :c I have three other rats that lived with him in a very large four story wooden cage and I have one new baby rat that I've been working on introducing into the gang.
Two nights ago I got home from work and went to go work with their introductions. I had the other three resident rats in my new guy's cage already and went to pick Loki up to put him in there too. I could tell right away that something was wrong. He was perfectly fine before I went to work that day. But when I got home, he was kind of hunched over, not moving, with prickled up fur and laboured breathing. He wasn't making any noises while breathing though. I gave him a soft but firm poke and he gave a weird little squeak. I put some treats in front of his face and he sniffed at them but didn't really touch them. I could tell he was kind of off balance and he wasn't even holding his head up. He had it just resting on the cage floor. After some research I had assumed it was an inner ear infection, so I figured it could wait a day or two. I work third shift and didn't have time to take him to the vet before work yesterday. I was planning on taking him today before I go to work.
I got home last night and went to check on him right away. He rarely left the top floor of the cage, so it was really odd to see him in a corner on the next floor down. My boyfriend and I looked closer and he was on his side kind of stretched out a little bit, not moving at all. Turns out he had died while I was working my 12 hour shift last night. My boyfriend picked him up and he was already stiff, so he must have died hours ago. I want to bury him, but I think I'm going to take all my rats to the vet tomorrow for a check-up, and I'm thinking I should keep Loki so that maybe the vet can tell me what happened and if it is contagious. Does anyone have any idea what might have caused him to get sick and die so suddenly?
I'm sorry you lost Loki.We had something go through a group of youngsters in our house recently that behaved the same way. As soon as we saw the first symptom(hunched walking)they we taken to the vet. Despite treatment with antibiotics and fluids the rats that got sick died within 18 hours. We suspect a virus,but couldn't confirm it.
None of my other rats seem sick at all as of right now. But considering how quickly Loki started showing symptoms, I suppose it is possible for them to be sick, right? I'm wondering if maybe he just had an ear infection and then fell down the hole to the lower level and had a fatal heart attack. God, that would be awful. But I've also read that an aneurysm or stroke is possible.
He could've suddenly developed pneumonia, it can kill otherwise healthy rats in the space of 12-24 hours if left untreated. But yes, definitely take the rest of the rats to the vet just in case. I'm sorry you lost Loki.
I have four female rats: Rosie, Ellie, Daisy and Lily.
R.I.P Storm 25/06/13