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Discussion Starter #1
i had original said this in the say hello when i posted last night because thats when i joined and no one replied so...

Ok, so I have two female dumbo rats who are at 3 years or a little above and are sisters, well one of them looks like she may pass soon while the other is still so energetic like a child. The one i am worried about had some sort of tumor or cist under her left leg but it went away for the most part but she has me so scared right now. She's barely moving around and has stopped cleaning herself, barely eats because she has a hard time lifting her head over the food dish(when she does try to eat it she doesnt use her front paws anymore, she tries to like sit up? she had her mouth against the her arm to hold her food i guess and she keeps falling over) and because her sister buries all their toys on top of the food. I don't know what to for for her, besides what i have done: added a second dish on the bottom floor of the cage, lowered a water bottle so she doesn't have to life her head, and added a bed at the bottom of the cage so she can get all things she needs and sleep without risk of climbing around and falling. She has already fallen a few times and scared me so bad.. but i don't understand why her sister is so healthy compared to her. I know that rats need companions to make them happy but these are older girls... if she does pass, should i introduce younger baby rats to the other sister? If so could you explain how and any tips you may have, and could they be fancies instead of dumbos in case i cant find any baby dumbos?
 

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If possible, I would take her to the vet to see if meds could help her condition.

If she passes and you decide to get the other sister companions Dumbo rats are just a type of Fancy rats. Dumbos, regular ears, Manx, hairless, etc. are all the same species and get along well together.

There are two stickied threads in this forum about introductions that you can look at for more information. Basically you introduce the rats in a neutral play area and watch how they get along. There may be some scuffles at first, but unless there is blood, you don't usually have to worry. When everyone is getting along well, you put them in a clean cage with things rearranged so it seems new to everyone. Do read the stickied threads for more, better info.

Good luck and hugs to you.
 

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Dumbos and fancy rats are the exact same species, they just look slightly different and have slightly different genetics that cause the large ears and other typical dumbo features. If you decide you want to keep rats again after one girl passes away, most people here would recommend you get two young girl rats and doing intros once the babies are 10 weeks old (or older). That way, when the second elderly rat passes away, the new rats won't be alone and will have each other.

I'm so sorry about your girl. 3 is very old for a rat! Do you know that they are actually 3? Have you had them since they were small babies? Or did you get them when they were adults and you're just guessing the age? You're very lucky if your girls actually made it to 3! That's a great old age. It could be that your one girl is just feeling the effects of time. Not everyone gets "old" at the same age, so the other sister could just be slightly healthier and have a better longevity than her sister. If she is very weak, has difficulty balancing and eating it could also be signs of many things, but sounds like it might be a pituitary (brain) tumor. This unfortunately is common in rats, especially older rats. Is she losing weight? I'm also very surprised that it sounds like your girls haven't ever had mammary tumors which effects something like 75% of all girl rats. But if she had a lump and it went away, it was likely some sort of abscess and not a tumor. Usually tumors grow very quickly and get very large.

I would seriously recommend taking her to the vet though. That does not sound good. She could have something that might be easily treated with antibiotics, or it could be something else. But you won't know until you have a rat savvy vet check her out and can give you suggestions on what the issue might be and if there's possible treatment options available. It may even be kindest to have her put to sleep if she's suffering. If it turns out she has a pituitary tumor, having her put to sleep would be the kindest thing since it can really stress them out and as you can see, really effect their quality of life. If you're in a situation where you can't afford vet care for her illness right now, you should try to raise just enough to help her pass on and have her put to sleep since it sounds like she may be suffering. I had 2 boys with pituitary tumors too, and it's not a good thing to live through when it gets this serious. You can call around vets and find out what their rates are for euthanasia services, and ask what method they use too. Gas is usually kindest. Don't let them do a heart stick without anaesthesia. I've heard terrible stories that some vets do this.

I'm so sorry she is ill, I hope your girl will be ok! If she's 3+ she lived a very very long life! Please let us know how she does and what you decide to do for her.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
well i bought then when they were young adults at a petsmart(i dont have any breeders around here to buy from) and i've had them myself for 3 years so i kow that they are above that age. The other sister is still so spunky so i dont know why shes so sick, i managed to find a exotic pets vet to take her to with some money i scrounged up.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Also i read around for the URI, she has had the puffed for for a few months now ever since she had a tumor removed from her chest, but i figured it was from it being super could because of the snow outside, could this be anything to?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I took her to the vet, the vet said she had some sort of lower respiratory system that had gotten really bad, shes been on meds but not much has changed but i figure due to old age it may be a while. The tumor that she had under her leg the vet said was on a mamory gland (may have spelled that long) and that's why it had gotten large but had shrunken back again. He recomended taking it out when shes feeling better because in the condition shes in currently she wouldn't survive the surgery. I also feel like a bad rat owner.. i had veen feeding them a mixed seed diet that was supposed to be balanced and had other things besides seeds in it(like dried fruit, nuts, ect) but rats arent supposed to have that and i didnt know.. why would people sell rat food they cant even eat and stay healthy. Anyways he told me to use this food that all vets in this area recommend for rats called ox bows essentials for adult rats.
 

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According to this forum Oxbow rat food is best with Harlan Teklad coming in second. One reason that diets containing a lot of seeds and other individual food items are not best is that the animals can pick out the foods they like so that no matter how balanced overall the diet may be, the animal is not eating everything and not getting all the benefits. With pelleted or kibbled foods the favorites can't be separated out. It's not your fault that some companies sell things that aren't as good for our pets as they should be, educating yourself is your best defense against this type of thing. I'm very glad that you are getting the assistance that you and your pet need. You are a good rat parent who does the best they know for their pets.
 

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I feed oxbow and it is quite amazing and my rats love it. But if you had a lot of time you could make a better homemade diet. And I believe cagedbirdsinging owns a rat food store.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
well.. i wanted to say she passed away this morning, i tried everything i could do and spent so much on her antibiotics.. its hard loosing my first rat but im proud that i was able to keep for for over 3 years, and her sister is as spunky as can be and looks like she could even make it to 4. One thing that worries me is the night befor she spazzed out in her cage and started running around for no reason then stoped and was like gasping for air for a good few minutes, i heald her close to me to calm her down for a half hour to 45 minutes. I dont know what caused it, she was eating befor she spazzed.. R.I.P my little Pan..
 

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You were a good ratty parent if they made it to over three years! She knew she was loved, and you did everything you could.
 
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