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Today we had our last boy Ollie, out of 6, put to sleep. He had deteriorated to the point where his hind legs didn’t work at all and his quality of life was suffering. We have no plans to get more.

They are wonderful pets but their lifespan is heartbreaking. When we got our original 2 we loved them so much we got 2 more just a few months later. Those were Tempy, Buddy, Zeeky and Nibbler. We loved them so much we came up with a plan to get 2 more every year so we always had some young ones around to keep them active. About a year after we got the first 4 we got two more, Ollie and Diggles. Introducing them to the pack was a bit harder than anticipated and they never fully integrated. Then about 4 months after we got them Tempy died suddenly of an unexplained illness. He was only a year and a half old. The loss was devastating and I decided right there that the plan was off and we weren’t getting any more. About a year later Zeeky died, followed a few months later by Nibbler, then Buddy a few months after that. Buddy was my heart rat. His death nearly broke me. Then Diggles got sick a few months later with an incurable respiratory infection. I tried every antibiotic combo in the book, but nothing worked and it finally took his life in March. Ollie has been all alone ever since. A couple months ago we noticed him kind of dragging one of his back feet. This happened to two of the others just before their deaths so we assumed the end was near. But he was strong and he held on until he completely lost control of his rear end. He was still somewhat mobile, so we held out, but today we decided his quality of life wasn't there and had him put to sleep. That was tough. All of the others went on their own. Having to make this decision was hard, but we believe in the end it was the right thing to do.

So now we're petless and it feels a bit empty. We plan on grieving for a bit, taking a long needed vacation, and then getting a dog. Something small that'll hopefully live for 15+ years so we can have some relief from the constant heartache.

I commend those of you who can be rat parents. Ultimately I couldn't deal with the heartbreak and grief, so we're moving on to a longer lived species. Good luck to you.
 

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**Hugs** So sorry to hear about Ollie. Yeah. That's the one drawback to rats. Such piddly short life spans :'( That's one reason why I didn't have rats for so long. Then after 10 years hiatus from rats, I decided to get a trio again. we'll see how I fair when my girls have to go. If it hurts too much to see them pass on, I won't get more rats, either.
 
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