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My first and dearest ratty is Eris. She is well over 3 years old. I am struggling with the decision to put her to sleep.She has really advanced hind leg weakness; her back legs are next to completely paralyzed. Her abdomen is swollen, and she has a really unpleasant looking abscess. She sleeps almost all day and eats very little. All that is the bad. But she still recognizes me, comes when her name is called, and goes exploring (very slowly). She can't groom herself so I've been doing my best. She's returning the favor right now. Eris is my little buddy and we do everything together, even go to class (with permission. One of my profs refers to her as a 'charming little lady). I really don't want to be without her but i don't want to hold her here if she's suffering. She doesn't seem like she's in pain, but rats are well known for hiding their pain. How do I know when I should let go?
 

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I don't have much experience with rats but I do with the issue of deciding when its time. A few months ago I had to part with my best friend Skunk. He was a ferret who lived at my job, but everyone knew he was mine. I would carry him around all day at work and tell him how my week was and rub his belly(he loved that). And I like to think I was his favorite person. He got very sick with adrenal disease and multiple tumor/ enlarged organs. but he still loved life, I could just tell. ferrets live longer than rats obviously so he lived with his illnesses for a long time. But closer to the end my boss told me I could take him home. We had fun for a while but then i noticed he was different. he never wanted to play or listen to my stories. he just wasn't the same being. It was time for him to move on and one night after seeing him thrash about in pain i rushed him in to be PTS. I knew my best friend was just suffering to the point that he wasn't there anymore.
So I guess my advise is that you'll know in your heat when its time. I understand what your going through and hope my story gave you some perspective :)
 
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