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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know, I'm paranoid.. My baby Lulu is suddenly lethargic, it feels like her heart is pumping harder than normal when I pick her up, and her eyes have been closed/half closed since I got home from school. Is something wrong or is she just tired? Thanks for putting up with all my questions
 

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she may have gotten into something toxic while out on her great adventure
(If I recall correctly you were the one with the escaping rats)

If she did get into something I have no advise for you other than get her to a vet.

I mean if there wasn't a concern of eating something bad because she was out... if she was just simply acting as you described under normal conditions I would say what her for 24 hours & make sure she is taking in fluids, that she is eating & that she is pooing & urinating... but since she has been out, it's vet time because if she has gotten into something time could be crucial & not something that you can put off to investigate on your own.

good luck & please keep us informed
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yep, mine are the little explorers ^^

She's about the same this morning. I put her and Lola in a dark, quiet place for the night thinking she just needed a good nap. She was a little more alert when I got her out, but she doesn't struggle or anything when I hold her like Lola does. It'd be kind of cute if I wasn't so worried, lol

Any tips on finding a vet for her? Rats don't seem to be very popular pets where I'm from.

And thank you for your help Julia, I think you've replied to every one of my posts since I joined this forum ^^
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I was taking a good look at her and noticed that it's really only her left eye that's half closed. Her right is pretty alert. She still isn't moving much, though.

And Lola just darted under the bookcase again *sigh*
 

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I thought you got the new & proper cage?

all I can say is that you have to look for a vet that treats exotics.

I'm not a vet & I can only speculate as to what may be happening based on my own experience with pets & what I have learned over the years of being a care takers of many different species of animals... but again, I can't diagnose what is going on with your pet. Only you, because you know your pets best & the professional you chose to have treat them can determine what is going on.

Please do your search for an exotics vet in or around your area. If you know someone with a bird or ferret... well these too are considered exotics & from my experience these vets also treat rats.

I don't think that it is that rats are not a popular pet or that vets don't want to treat them... I really think the blase', nonchalant unconcerned attitude that is often discovered when seeking out proper rat care from a professional falls onto the shoulders of those still view this wonderful creature they bring home like a cheap disposable & replaceable temporary pet, one they can sit back & "let nature run it's course with" & if nature takes a turn for the worse... well no biggy, plop another fin on the counter & get another one. Because of this there is no real big call for vets to be well versed in treatment because frankly, people often don't seek treatment for this particular pet.

Then there are those of us who do wish to get the same level of treatment for them as we would with a dog or cat. We have to go to great lengths to find that vet. Many times they are not local & some travel is involved. But when we do find that special vet, they are like gold to us.

I was able to find the vet I currently use through this site. Hopefully it works for you.

http://www.aemv.org/
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You described my dad perfectly. I told him this morning I was taking Lulu to the vet and his answer was "It's just a rat." *insert not-happy face here*

I'm not sure if my local vet will treat her, but it's worth a try. She looks more alert now, but still acts weak and her chest is still heaving.

And I did get a new cage ^^. But I decided to let them have a little free time before I went to school.

I'll keep you updated on Lulu's condition
 

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Here's a good place to search for vets (although I don't see any listings for Alabama, I don't know how close you are to other state lines):

http://www.rmca.org/Vets/

Please be sure to get her in as soon as possible. Don't be afraid to search on Google or call around. If one vet doesn't treat rats, they might know someone who does.

I know a lot of people view rats as disposable, but that couldn't be farther from the truth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I got extremely lucky in the vet department! I called aforementioned local vet to see if they take exotics, and the girl who answered said no, but one of the doctors who was there was a rat owner!

So Lulu went to the vet ^^. The doctor weighed her and Lola and, to my surprise, Lulu is a full 20 grams lighter than Lola! So the doc concluded that competition for food was probably driving Lulu hungry, told me to separate them for about a week, gave me a syringe (sp?) of super-high caloric paste stuff, and sent me to the grocery store for Gatorade and baby food.

Lulu's gobbling up the paste like mad (with a little help), so maybe she'll get her strength up by tomorrow. And I found the perfect vet in an unexpected clinic! Thanks Julia and Macabri for your support ^^
 

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Sure thing. Glad you found out what was going on.

Once you put them back together, make sure to put lots of food in the cage so that one of them can't eat it all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I didn't think they ate that much oO. Both of them hide most of their food in their igloo. But now I know ^^
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well Lulu's condition has gone downhill again. She's shaking worse and I can't stand forcing liquids and baby food down her. I gave her some supervised free time this morning and when she's not hiding in my bed, she sits by her sister's cage. This is really making me sad...
 

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Honestly I don't understand why the vet told you to separate them. I think that your girl may be depressed from missing her sister. I would put them back together and then just make sure that Lola got separate time to eat. Basically feed Lola and take Lulu out for free range time. then Lola can eat as much as she wants without Lulu harassing her. Plus I would get some ensure plus and Rice baby cereal to give her to get her weight and strength up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I had started keeping them together again because it was too sad to watch.

I tried baby food last night, and applesauce, the food the doctor gave me and just regular fresh food I used to give her. But she stopped eating again. I put her in the bed with me because the shaking was so bad and I kind of knew she wouldn't survive the night. I found her this morning on the floor beside her old cage
 

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I honestly don't think this is the diagnosis of what is going on...

Again I can't speculate but knowing animals as I do, I don't believe Lulu is sickly because Lola is gobbling up all the food.

I'm sorry I am not more help in determining what is wrong. It is hard to do when you don't have the rat right there in front of you,
 

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yes it does seem like its more then just lulu not getting enough to eat. that doesn't explain the shaking or the continued deterioration. however, my post may be to late. by saying you found her near her old cage, did you mean that is where you found her body?

if she is still alive i would go ask for a second opinion. crack open the phone book and call every vet within traveling distance. don't ask if they treat exotics, ask if they treat vets. as you have found, some clinics that don't handle exotics will still handle rats and it has been my experience that reverse can be true as well. then you will want to make an appointment as soon as possible. if she's not eating and is shaking like and it has gone on now for 3 days, well you're already behind the clock. as you have seen it does not take long for them to go downhill. make sure you tell the vet every little thing that lulu has been doing, including when and for how long she was missing as well as all the symptoms and duration of each.

i hope she is still alive and that you still have time. but if it too late, i am very sorry for your loss.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I agree with both of you, the vet didn't really explain the shaking to me and I was still worried. But she was eating so well after that, I thought maybe he was right.

But yeah, it was her body I found Twitch. What exactly am I supposed to do? Bury her? Throw her in the woods? (I hope not on that last one)
 

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bury her

I buried my Fluffy right alongside the babies that didn't survive. I planted a beautiful red bromeliad above the spot.

(looks like this)
 

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you do what feels right for you. whatever ceremony you want to perform for her passing the same as you would for a human. some bury their lost ones, others, like me, cremate them and have a place of honor for them in the home. still others will write poems or songs in dedication or plant some flower or tree. it all comes down to what will comfort you and you feel right in doing. whichever way you want to show your last respects for poor lulu is what you should do.
 

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sorry, i forgot i was logged into modreport.
 

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I know it is too late for this girl but I would like to pass along some info for you to catalog away in your mind based on this experience.

I don't know if it was her getting out & eating something toxic or something that caused internal injury... I don't know if she may have been simply a rat that may have weakened & died due to some genetic thing that prevented her from thriving.

But regardless... you know your rats best... you will know when they are not feeling well & as soon as you recognize this there are a few things you can do to help you determine what is going on.

Granted she had escaped & this leads me to believe she sampled some things she found laying around while searching for food. It could have been something toxic or it could have been something that injured her internally or even something that became trapped in her digestive tract.

Whenever I believe one of my babies are not feeling well I will immediately remove them from the colony for observation... maybe as little as a few minutes or much longer... depends on a few signs I want to see.

I have a what I call my hospital habitat. It is a bin that has been modified to house the rat. I place them on a clean white material liner (old t-shirt) provide the minimum comforts, igloo to hide in, measured water bottle to track how much they drink, measured amount of food to see how much they eat... just the basics.

I say a clean white material because I want to watch for urine & feces. I want to see what color eat are & if they are relieving themselves properly. If they are taking in food & water, using the bathroom & everything looks normal I will most likely just observe behavior for 1/2 the day, give them some extra love & most likely return them so they don't get lonely.

If things don't seem normal, no signs of relieving themselves & not eating them it is vet time because rats will go downhill very rapidly.

When you first told us about what took place I knew you didn't have the time to investigate things. I was afraid that if I told you to do so & she passed that you would have blamed me for telling you to take time & watch. Because she had escaped & had been escaping so many times over several days I knew you didn't have time on your side.

I want you to know you did everything you could & to not be down on yourself because of the loss. You have made sure you now have a cage Lola can't escape from. Now you have the process of introductions of a new friend for Lola. If she is young it is best to do this sooner rather than later. I don't know her age so you would need to reveal that.

Since this has taken place you need to go one further step. You need to clean your entire room if you continue to let them free roam. If Lulu did ingest something in there that poisoned her or blocked her digestive track then chances are there is more where that came from. Vacuum, pick up, clear out corners, put away any clutter you may have.... clean clean clean. Clear the area so that you have a pretty clear view of where the rats would run around while free roaming & don't allow them to explore in areas that you have not completely rat-proofed.

If this was a case of poor genetics & failure to thrive please know there was absolutely nothing you could have done.

I wish you all the best with Lola & I am hopeful that she is young enough to do a successful introduction with a new friend once the new friend comes out of quarantine.
 
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