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I rescued my old rat Mendez from a shelter a little over a year ago and he's hitting around 2 years of age. Lately he's been showing some worrying signs. A lot of lethargy; he won't move from a level in the cage for nearly an entire day. He's lost a lot of weight suddenly and his sides are sunken in along with constant quick breathing. My poor babe can hardly move a few inches without keeling over from exhaustion. I'm thinking about getting him put down, since he's obviously miserable. What does anyone else think?
 

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Is it possible he has arthritis? I know some members on here have found a decent medicine for arthritis that perked their rats up and helped them. Here's a few guides on arthritis if you think it might be that:
http://ratguide.com/health/musculoskeletal/degenerative_osteoarthritis.php
http://www.rmca.org/Articles/arthritis.htm

And nanashi7 just suggested glucosamine on another topic for an older rat for arthritis. If the symptoms match up, maybe you can message her? Or if you want to know more about older rats you could probably ask her as well, as I believe she has an older rat she's helping. :3
 

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I'll definitely look into that. And I also want to mention that he seems more aggressive since all of this started, he won't let me hold or pet him at all and tries to leap from my arms.
 

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If it is arthritis, it could be that he is in pain from his joints... Poor boy. </3 He may be having internal problems too. I'm not really sure what internal tumor symptoms are though...
 

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This sounds very much like hes a sick rat. Side sucking like your describing is either a sign of pain or respiratory problems. The lethargy is something you most often see in rats with heart problems, but sometimes with other organ problems or even cancer. I would take him to the vet and get his urine dip stick tested for protien and blood levels. Unless theres blood in the urine (indicating a urinary tract infection - septrin is my antibiotic of choice for UTI's) i would request Fortekor (an ace inhibitor) and frusomide (diuretic), putting him on this for a week, if its his heart you should see a real improvement in this time. If the urine test shows higher than normal protien levels then he has an element of kidney degeneration, the frusomdie will help with this to some extent but so will looking at his diet. If they find this let me know and i can give you tips on how to feed a kidney friendly diet.

The vet should also listen to his lungs as well, see if theres anything restricting them, he could have respy problems. and they may opt to put him on metacam or a similar anti infalmatory if he seems in pain.

If all of this shows up clear and he doesnt improve on the heart meds then the chances are he has cancer, this isnt somethign that can be recovered from in rats, your decision would be to either PTS or try him on steroids for a period of time until he seems unhappy, they can give temporary relief.
 
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