Rat Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My fiancee and I are fairly new to owning pets of the rodent variety, having had a mouse for about a year and a half before it passed on and then purchasing two rats (females and sisters) about a year and a half ago. Up until today they've been in perfect health. Now before I explain the problem let me paint the picture; they own a wheel to run on, and have for quite some time. They never actually do run on it, instead using it to sleep in, store food on, steady themselves when they stand up on their hind legs, or chase each other through. Anyway...

For reasons I can't understand, the larger one (Sabir) made it her mission to climb on top of the wheel today. It's something she's tried occasionally, but this time she was really intent on it, focusing on doing a running leap at it, and then promptly sliding back down the side. She repeated this maneuver throughout the day, stopping to argue with her sister and doing regular rat things, but always coming back to the wheel.

It was really amusing at the time and we didn't pay much attention to it. Then within the last two hours we had a scare when we thought Sabir was dead. She was kind of collapsed halfway into her house, which is odd because she never does that. I poked her tail and she didn't reply, but when I poked her head she woke up slowly (thankfully). Then she waddled over to the corner of her cage and plopped down (they have two houses, one in the cage that's fairly small and one on top of the cage made from a cardboard coke case filled with bedding/cloth, which they usually prefer to use). I'm rambling at this point I know, but bear with me.

She seems really sleepy, and she doesn't seem to want to use either of her back legs. Neither of them looks swollen. I don't see any bones piercing skin. The "blood" they're supposed to get when distressed hasn't appeared anywhere, and she's not having problems breathing. When I gave her a carrot (which she normally loves) she didn't eat it. But she will eat her regular rat food and is still moving like lightning if I offer some vanilla rice krispies. She isn't squeaking in distress or anything, and I was able to pick her up and put her on a towel and put her back into her house without complaint. To eat she sat on her bum, not on her feet, which is something she's never done either.

As of now, she got up to eat some more food (which we placed directly in front of her) and then she went back to sleep in a more normal position on the towels.

Any ideas what the cause is and how to fix it? We have a friend that knows a lot about rats but I can't find her at 2am, so I found these forums and decided to give it a shot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
I'm hesitant to wager a guess, since I don't want to steer you wrong and scare you unnecessarily, or to just flat out be wrong and have the rat suffer for it. But it *could* be something neurological... a stroke perhaps... which could explain the legs thing. But it could also be so many other things... maybe she eventually fell hard while trying to get onto the wheel and hit her head or her spine. Maybe she got a hold of something she shouldn't have eaten last time she was out... one of my rats is sensitive to chocolate, and when I gave her a small piece a while back since I read it can help with respiratory problems she spent the night almost exactly as you described, except for the leg thing.

I'm sorry I can't help you, but in a case like this, I'd definitely be looking at a vet. I know sometimes it's hard to make the decision to go to the vet, but the peace of mind you'll get, as well as if your rat can get help, is worth it, trust me.

I hope everything turns out for the best, and come back and update us!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's been 5 hours now, been trying to get a hold of a friend that happens to work at a vet and loves rats (she convinced us to get them). Our rat is sleeping comfortably on her bed.

Now it seems pretty obvious she's got an issue with one leg; while she's sleeping, she has one under her like (typical rat sleeping... at least for these as I have no idea how other rats sleep), but she has the other stretched out so she isn't putting her weight on it. So I think she either sprained it or broke it or maybe even just brusied herself really bad. It doesn't look broken or swollen and she still isn't yelping or showing signs of distress.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
Rats are incredibly good at hiding their pain... if you can see they're in pain, they're in a LOT of pain.

What type of wheel do you have? If you have a metal/bar one, especially one with decent sized gaps, it's very possible she caught her leg in it while jumping on top of it earlier. A lot of people prefer enclosed wheels such as the Wodent Wheel for that reason.

Wodent Wheel: http://www.exoticnutrition.com/New_Wobust.jpg

Hope your friend can help... might be able to get a better price if you do have to go to the vet, too. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sadly less than half an hour after I posted that newest reply our rat passed away. It took us completely by surprise, she was actually starting to get up and stretch and clean, which she hadn't been doing since her illness began.

I can't believe it... just 12 hours ago she was hyper and jumping all over and fighting with her sister like a normal healthy rat. And now she's dead in a much too short 5 hours.

My fiancee is taking it pretty hard right now. I was attached to them but I can keep it in, but seeing her that bad hurts more than anything. She got that exact same way when our first pet mouse died.

I just wonder... how is the little rat's sister going to take it? Right now she seems more concerned with fortifying her home with tissue and eating. Will she even recognize that her sister is missing?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,535 Posts
Rats definitely mourn the loss of their companions, but they all mourn differently.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I had my vet friend check out her body. She died of a very large tumor near her right back leg. She said it's pretty common to miss them if you're not looking for them so that makes us feel better... and she did show us, it was really big... makes me feel bad for not seeing that sooner. It's so obvious now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,416 Posts
i'm sorry for your loss, it's always terrible when things progress so quickly. i wouldn't blame yourself for your rat's passing, and i'm sure your rat knows that you did what you could for her in what little time she gave you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
222 Posts
becareful because sabir may be trying to escape
my aunts class pet piled up things underneath the wheel so it couldnt move then climbed on top of it and pushed her way to freedom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,160 Posts
Sorry for you loss Kaey. It is never easy to lose a loved one.

Things do go quickly when they go wrong, I know... I had a recent loss as well. From the time I first thought there might be something wrong & when she passed was right around 12 hours. SHe was my Colony Queen, a pretty pink skinned hairless girl. The only warning I had was that she didn't feel as warm as she usually felt & her color wasn't the normal bright pink it typically was.

If the ratty you have now is alone you may want to consider getting a younger same sex cage mate pretty soon. You will need to do a minimum 2 week QT. If you need some tips on that just ask. Several members on here can give you all the advice & tips you could ever use on this subject.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
219 Posts
Sorry for your loss.
Find two little rats for the lonely rat, or otherwise she will be very unhappy for a long time. Two because otherwise one will live longer than the other.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,641 Posts
With the symtpoms and then the quickness of the death I would say your girl had a second stroke that killed her, this does happen. Rats often get tumours in the inguinal area but it won't kill them right away like this.

I am sorry, and I would advise 2 baby girls for your lone girl.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top