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HI All
I am new here but not to rats, we have had them off and on for several years, they have been so healthy for the most part. In mid Decemeber we adopted two littermate girls, they were barely weaned, may have still been nursing a bit..but this is a place that sells for snake food, so we decided to take them. I have goats, so we offered them fresh goat's milk several times a day, they did great on it. About 2 weeks ago we noticed one had an enlarged belly. She also seemed to have a little difficulty passing stool. She was playful and frisky however and ate normally. Now in the last couple of days she is acting quite ill, belly still too large, as a nurse I am suspecting a congential defect in her intestines, I don't know if this is a known disorder with rats. She is such a sweetie and I know she is dying. A vet is not psosiblem we are out in the boonies and there are no exotic vets. Any thoughts?
Julie in OK
 

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Well Kim died this evening. We had a nice hour of snuggling earlier and I out her back in her cage for a rest, she then passed. It was a short life but a sweet one, and no snakes involved, thank God!
 

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It sounds like it could be megacolon. This is a link with info on that:
http://ratguide.com/health/digestive/megacolon.php

Either way, from working with people with the human equivalents of the rat GI problems, I'm sure you're aware of how painful those conditions can be and the inevitable result of going without treatment. I don't have a rat savy vet in my area either, so I understand your dilemma.

While I hope you don't have to deal with a situation like this again, if you do have another suffering rat, a caring regular vet will probably at least humanely euthanize them rather than let them suffer. Please be aware though, that regular vets are often not aware that injection is not humane as it is for cats and dogs, and you must insist on having an overdose of anesthesia or at least having them put fully under before the drug is injected.
 
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