Rat Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone!
Not sure if this is health or behavior so I thought I'd post it here.

My sweet little Ruby is 2 years old, and very suddenly (within the past week) has completely changed.
She looks much different.....older. Grayer. Her eyes look so tired.

But also she's so much slower. She actually let's me hold her now for long periods of time.
She still roams around and jumps etc, but she's very wobbly. Sometimes it looks like she's limping, or dragging a bit, and
she just doesn't seem sturdy.

Is this the normal aging process for rats? Or do you think it's something else? The fact it happened so quickly makes me wonder.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,244 Posts
All of a sudden is relative, usually you don't notice a rats slow decline until it becomes very apparent. Even healthy rats tend to decline pretty fast. On the other hand your rat might be sick.

This is one of those situations no one can properly diagnose on line. If it is normal slow down you might still have some time together. Although it often goes pretty quickly from here, some aged out rats can drag along for a few of months if cared for properly and kept engaged and active.

Best luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
437 Posts
Generally when their little eyes look tired is, in my experience, when you should make the most of the time you have together. I have a pretty ancient rat who's three now and he's old looking and a little grey but his eyes are bright so I feel like he's still going strong.

Just spend lots of time with her, make things nice and comfortable for her since she'll probably want to rest and nap most of the time, and get all the cuddles you can! This is the period of their life when I personally choose to spoil them the most, fav foods and fluffy blankets and such.

I hope you and Ruby have lots of time together, best wishes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
She's going downhill quickly. Now she's nearly rolling over when she walks. Her eyes are so dull now, they're half closed. My poor sweet girl.
I think I will make an apt soon to help her across the bridge. In the meantime she's getting lots of cuddles, baby food, and I've removed a lot of things from her cage, that are no longer toys and are more like obstacles.

Thanks for the replies. It's comforting to know this is normal, although still sad to watch.
I keep telling myself I'm so glad she lived a full happy 2 years, when she was destined to be snake food before I brought her home. In the end that's all we can really do!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,244 Posts
We were able to keep Fuzzy Rat active for several months even when she was more tumor than rat. We kept taking her places and letting her lay about in the clovers in the sun in spring. When people would gather around her, her eyes would brighten up and she would give kisses and pull herself together and be the little prima donna she always was. Then she would be all wound up for a few more days when we had to take her out again...

Fuzzy Rat enjoyed big fireworks shows, yes the noise frightened her a little but she loved the colors and she would stare into the sky and the fireworks would reflect in her eyes. Her last public appearance was the town's 4th of July picnic and she didn't want to go outside that day, but I dragged her along and as I was holding her I noticed her eyes no longer reflected the fireworks... they were dull and she rested her head on my forearms throughout the show... I pretty much knew then it was the end.... But we took her to the public pier afterwards and several of her old friends, both kids and parents were there and she perked up again... she couldn't walk anymore, but she gave kisses and even dragged herself from my arms onto someone else... She munched a sausage and insisted to be put down on the ground, where she ate some of someone's discarded corn on the cob. We were out with her that night several hours until the event closed, no one really felt like going home, for the last time... Some kids were thrilled to meet her for the first time, while other's who knew her when she was young and strong teared up when I explained that this was her farewell appearance.

When it was time to go home, we always ended every public appearance with putting Fuzzy Rat on the ground and she would lead us to the car, usually the kids would follow and the other parents loved this trick because it got their kids back to the parking lot too... This last time Fuzzy Rat couldn't walk, not a single step, she just lay there looking up for help... we carried her home where she napped for a couple of hours then she woke up still all bright eyed and we lifted her to her food and water and she hung out with us into the early morning hours, It was like her batteries were recharged again... From that evening it went downhill... her tumors grew tumors and she quietly faded out until one night after spending the whole day with me, preening my lips one last time and slicing her last phone cord, she asked to go back to her cage where she waited for my daughter to skritch her good night and give my daughter one last kiss... then she quietly went to sleep and passed over the rainbow bridge... Her last months were challenging for us, we had to pretty much hand feed her and lift her to water, her roommate Amelia preened her and kept her clean and warm and we had to find ways to keep her engaged and active so she wouldn't just give up, but they were also wonderful and warm times with our best furry friend... Yes her life went from climbing tall trees, to battling tiny ants to steal scraps of food people had dropped along the path under the bench and she didn't swim anymore, but munched little weeds she found growing amongst the clovers and she always pulled herself together to put on a great show for the children... Up to the very moment she passed away when my lips were preened of dead skin, the phone line properly cut and my daughter appropriately kissed, she lived an amazing and charmed live and she died a brave death.... She was our family rat, and she took her job very seriously until there was absolutely nothing left and perhaps a bit longer... She had a beautiful heart and it kept beating long after the rest of her body was consumed by the tumors.

When Fuzzy Rat's roommate passed away, we had been holding her for 5 days... she bolted up to my shoulder and as I reached up to hold her so she wouldn't fall, I felt her go limp and she was gone. Just like Fuzzy Rat she died exactly where she wanted to be... it was a touching and a bit surprising for a rat that had lived most of her life avoiding too much human contact...

Most likely, you won't have to help Ruby across the rainbow bridge... she'll pretty much fade away on her own. I'll never forget that last day we spent with Fuzzy Rat as she napped on my arms and nibbled grapes cookies and candy... And the last days we spent with Amelia as she was taken by congestive heart failure... They were hard, but they were special times too... The last months, weeks, days or even hours together with your best furry friend can be very special. Make the most out of it if you can. I remember being disappointed when my daughter chose Fuzzy Rat, she was so pudgy and mismarked. And in the end, when Fuzzy Rat asked for me to put her back into her cage one last time, I couldn't count the shards my heart broke into. I couldn't imagine taking her to a vet and waiting outside while she was alone and afraid in her final moments, she lived and died on her own terms... And I will forever be proud of every second of her brilliant life. If Rose isn't in apparent pain, spend as much time as you have with her, try to keep her engaged and eating and drinking as much as you can and when her time comes she will most likely just go to sleep and be gone...

I know this is a very sad time, but you can still make it special...

Best luck.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top