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I woke up this morning and found my rat dead in his cage. I had two male rats, and the other one looks fine. The dead rat had almost his whole face...eaten away. It was so disturbing. What happened? The cage is clean, they have food and water. Did one rat eat the other? Could it be a parasite or disease or something? Please help!
 

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Oh my gosh that is so horrible! I'm SO sorry for your loss. That is strange, sorry I'm no expert and I'm clueless. I can't imagine your other rat eating him AFTER he died, unless they got into a fight or something and this is what CAUSED the death?? I don't think that disease or parasites would cause this to happen so fast, but I could be wrong. If he had a flesh eating bacteria I'm pretty sure you would have noticed scabs, abrasions, etc. on his face before all of a sudden it's just gone. Weird. Again, sorry I'm not much help and so sorry for your loss, You're in my thoughts :(
 

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Thank you so much for your imput. Perhaps the my rat died and THEN was...eaten...by the other rat. I didn't notice any problems or anything. It's so weird and disturbing! Just finished reading a Stephen King novel which made it all the worse. I hope the other rat will be okay, and it's not like a disease that can spread to him too.
 

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In nature when a rat dies the other rats in the colony will 'dispose' of the body so as not to attract predators. Your other boy was just giving him a proper rat burial, and I'm sorry that you had to wake up to find that :(.

How old are your boys? How long have you had them? If they're older it could possibly be a disease that had been gradually getting worse. Unfortunatly rats hide their illnesses as all prey animals do.

I'm very sorry for your loss.
 

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Hm, that explains it. I shuddered to think they might have had a fight and that's how it happened but a burial makes more sense. Creepy that he ate the head first, though.

I got them when they were a few months at petco and have had them since October, so it hasn't been a very long time. I have the worst luck with animals, so this isn't really a surprise. But I feel very bad for my poor little rat and now the lonely one that is left.
 

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What kind of bedding do you have them on, and what do you feed them? There are some environmental things that might have contributed to an illness.

It's odd for a rat to die that young, but the hairless girl I got my friend for Christmas is already dead. She had cancer throughout her body.

I'd recommend getting your lone boy a friend, but if you can try to find a breeder. Rats from breeders tend to be healthier and better socialised. Always rememeber to do proper quarentine (2 weeks at a different location).
 

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OMG! I'm so sorry this happened to you (and your rats, of course!). I've never heard of this happening before... I can't begin to imagine what you went through with that! :cry:

I'll be thinking good thoughts for your remaining rat. Let's hope s/he's well and does ok.
 

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That'd be Petco rats for ya.... Petco is known for selling animals from bad breeders. The breeders MASS produce them to sell to petco, and well, problems will come up with inbred lines.

Sorry it happened to your rat, but just remember to not buy petco pets anymore....
 

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Star said:
That'd be Petco rats for ya.... Petco is known for selling animals from bad breeders. The breeders MASS produce them to sell to petco, and well, problems will come up with inbred lines.

Sorry it happened to your rat, but just remember to not buy petco pets anymore....
I agree completely i had such a bad experience with petco i bought mister sniffles there and he got really REALLY aggressive he does not like any other rat and i was going to put him back up for adoption there (not knowing at the time where else i could go) and they told me he would be given to the next person that asked for snake food can you believe it SNAKE FOOD! i have called animal control on them due to the way they are selling and handling there rats and fish i walked into a petco and all i could smell was rat urine it was horrible
 
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