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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I apologize in advance for the incredibly long novel below. I really needed to get this out though and share his life story.



About a month ago, my heart rat was euthanized. I haven't been able to post about it until now, and I'm already tearing up a I type. I fell in love with his baby picture on his breeder's website. I had gotten a rat from her previously and he passed away at about 2 years old. Tybalt was still alive and I wanted to get him a friend. One look at this adorable picture, and I had to have him:

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Milosh had a good life, but it started out pretty traumatic... I drove three hours for Milosh and his brother Basil (Baz). We kept them quarantined for a couple of weeks before starting intros. We did everything by the books. It was a bit rough, but eventually Tybalt seemed to accept them and was grooming them/eating with them. Out of nowhere, he attacked Baz, went for the neck, and killed him in seconds. There was nothing we could do to save him and he bled out in my hands. I was frozen in shock. My boyfriend ran over and put Tybalt and Milosh away. From that day on, Milosh was a timid, nervous little guy.

I got him a friend the next day and they bonded instantly (probably because they were only ten weeks old). As Cato (new rat) got older, he became aggressive and would hoard the food in a pile under himself and attack Milosh if he tried to eat. I separated them for feedings and when I wasn't home to keep an eye on them until I could get Cato neutered. After the neuter, things were great, but Milosh remained scaredy forever. I swear he spent half his life running to me for safety and licking my fingers:

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I have never had such a strong bond with an animal before in my life.

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A couple of month ago, I took my ratties out to play. Milosh had been totally normal the day before but that day he slowly crawled under a blanket and wouldn't come out to explore or play:

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I picked him up and he just laid in my hand, licking my finger and breathing slowly but heavily with his abdominal muscles. Of course it was a Sunday, so my vet was closed. I took him to the PetSmart vet and they diagnosed pneumonia. They gave me some antibiotics and sent me on my way. I had so many questions, but I didn't realize the vet wasn't coming back in the room. She sent somebody else in to discuss the medication and he had no answers for our questions and said the vet was already with another client. Whatever. I was mad...

I followed up with my vet that week. He took an x-ray and I cried as soon as I saw it. One of Milosh's lungs was completely filled with fluid and the other one obviously had some in it as well. I didn't know how he was still alive. The vet told me that this is the end of his life. He's over two years old, we've treated him for respiratory issues in the past and all we could do at this point was keep him as comfortable as possible. He upped the antibiotic dose, added azythro as well and gave us some prednisolone for the inflammation. As he was leaving the room, he turned around, but avoided eye contact and said, "You know, it would be okay if you decided to have him euthanized. I've had pets with a better outlook than this who didn't make it. I know you're far away so if you decide to have it done elsewhere, let me know. This little guy is cool as heck." Then he left... and I cried.

I think the steroid did more for him than anything. He seemed to be getting better, but I knew it was just the steroid. His breathing was still heavy, he was just more active and appeared more comfortable.

After a week, he stopped being more active and just wanted to lay in my lap for hours. I obliged:

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After nearly two weeks, he stopped eating entirely. If I tried to cuddle him, he just wanted to go back in his cage and be alone. Food and cuddles were his two favorite things... when I couldn't even get him to take a treat from me, I knew it was time to let him go. I called a local vet because my rat vet is far away and I couldn't even get word out when they answered the phone. I apologized and the lady who answered the phone told me to take my time. I explained that I needed to have him euthanized because he was losing to pneumonia. She asked if I was sure I wanted to do it that night, or if I wanted to wait another day. I know it was selfish, but I couldn't say goodbye yet. I made an appointment for the next night.

My boyfriend left work early that night to go with me. He knew I wouldn't be able to drive myself. He offered to take one last picture of me and Milosh. This is our goodbye before we left for the vet:

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It took a lot of effort to keep from bawling my eyes out for this picture. I miss him so much. It's been over a month and it still hurts so much to know that he's gone. Cato is still acting depressed. I got him a lady friend, Myra, and they became friend immediately... but he still seems so depressed. He lost some weight, he's more cuddly and he just lays around a lot. I thought he was sick too, but he was looked over and all is well... he just misses his friend. We both miss him....
 

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Oh FiMarie, you certainly know how to make a grown man weep. :(

I'm so sorry for your loss. Milosh sounds like an amazing rat and I hope my two new boys are half as awesome. I can't bear to think what I'll do if/when that time comes... but your story or courage and selflessness is something I'll strive to duplicate.

You're in my prayers.
 

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Such sad news :(
 

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My boyfriend and I both shed tears reading about Milosh. You are in our thoughts and prayers. I am SO sorry for your loss.
 

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So after hearing about Milosh Sunday I found this thread... Definitely made me tear up... So sorry for your loss!
 

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I'm so sorry. I had to euthanize my rat too, and he was the best pet I think i'll ever have. It's easy to find a winning personality in rats, but then it's hard to say goodbye.
 

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This may be a bit late, but...I cried a bit with you too. How lucky you were to have had each other.
 

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This made me cry as we'll. hope your doing ok. Milosh was furever loved.
 
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