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Discussion Starter #1
My rat Zora is 3 1/2 years old. She has an enormous growth and I think she might be in pain. I think that if I got it removed she would probably just die soon after from old age so it's not really worth it I guess. Anyway, how can I tell if she's in pain? She doesn't come to the cage door when I open it, she just goes back to sleep. She sleeps ALL the time. Her hair is thin and she is sooo slow. These are all the signs I always notice before a rat passes. But should she be put to sleep or should I let her die naturally?
 

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Does she make any noises when you touch her? Is she still eating? I had to put my cat down a few weeks ago due to a tumor. She had it for months with no pain. She slept a lot but still ate and purred when we pet her, etc. She stopped eating and the next day she began to bleed out the eye (the tumor was behind the eye). The vet said that we came at a ..well.. good.. time because once they stop eating they start getting hunger pains and may suffer a few days before they pass. Your best bet is to take a visit to the vet and see what they say. Good luck xox
 

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I also don't quite understand what to do in situations such as these. My last rat that passed away had a pituitary tumor and we were praying for it to be just an ear infection. And yes, she was on meds. At night she was in bad shape, to the point that she couldn't move. It was too late to do anything, plus we didn't have the car at that time so we just put her in our blanket and were there for her till her very last breath. That was extremely hurtful and I feel it still to this day. I was wondering if euthanizing them with baking soda and vinegar was the better way to go, but that makes me feel like the killer. So you brought up a good question, I wonder what people think is best and more humane. Do our rats deserve a natural death or should we intervene? My other rats are getting pretty old and I don't think they're going to live much longer so it's really good to know if something like this happens again.
 

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We're going through the same thing right now with one of our old guys, except he is only 2 1/2. You have a very lucky old lady rat to live to be 3 1/2! That's really amazing! I always felt just making it to a 3 year birthday would be some kind of blessing, like a human making it to their 100th. Our guy sounds similar to your girl. He's lost a lot of weight, and is weak, and has lost the use of his back legs. The vet thinks it may be a combination of organ failure and/or a pituitary tumor. We keep hoping he will pass on his own, but he's been hanging on for months and steadily getting worse. He's on 2 different pain meds now which seem to help him feel better, but we've decided now that he will be put to sleep at the beginning of next week since it seems like he's just wanting to hang on, but seems like he has such low quality of life right now..

Is it possible for you to get pain meds for her? Surgery at her health and age is probably out of the question. As long as she's eating and drinking, she should hopefully be mostly ok. If you get pain meds for her, you can at least know that she isn't suffering much. But it's a balance for quality of life I guess, which is a really hard decision for us to make. Is she still able to do the things that she loves? The things that made her happy or that you felt she lived for when she was younger? Maybe she loved cuddling with you, or running on a wheel, or sleeping in hammocks, or exploring during free-range time, or climbing on things? If she's not able to do the things she really loved, and if she seems more unhappy now, it might be the most merciful to have her put to sleep. But if you're hoping she will pass at home on her own, you can try getting her some pain meds from the vet and at least make her more comfortable until her time comes. Try spoiling her and giving her high protein treats like a good quality wet cat food, or nutrient dense things like nutrical which most rats love. It's always good to encourage foods to seniors since they seem to lose their appetite easier. But loss of appetite is also a sign of pain, so try to maybe take notes on her to track her health maybe?

I know what you're going through, it's a tough situation. I hope she's able to pass away painlessly at home.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
She is having trouble walking but she still eats and seems somewhat happy
 

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After doing a whole lot of research I want to say that it's perfectly ok if you choose for your rat to have a natural death. It's hard to know what your animal is feeling, sure they may show signs of being in pain but how do you know if they want to die? Just like people, some will push themselves as long as they can go before they give up, while others just want it to end right then and there. By cutting their lives short because you'll feel better about it, is pretty selfish if you ask me. Even in a religious perspective, people say that you must care about the needs of your animal and you must be merciful to them. The thing is, death isn't a need and being merciful makes it seem as if you're causing the animal's suffering, which you're clearly not.

Reading around I find that veterinarians mostly recommend euthanization and they spread this concept to everyone else. Then I read about their reasoning for it and I was disturbed because it seems like all they care about is money rather than your animal. They start with making you feel guilty, saying that the reason our pets have these bad and painful deaths is because they're domesticated and we make them live longer than they're supposed to because of medical intervention. They also make it very clear that by not euthanizing your pet that's in pain that you're to blame for it. I mean seriously? I found my rat outside suffering from thirst and starvation, she was already dying when I found her. I then revived her and allowed her to live for almost two years longer with other rats to play with, where she was otherwise lonely and was going to die alone.

Now if you choose to euthanize your pet I can understand why, you're scared, you're hurt, and you just want to do what's best for your animal. I don't agree with it, but some people go by it in different ways. Just so you know euthanizing a humans is illegal. Humans, people who are in pain and asking to be put out of their misery can't have it be done. Also don't forget that euthanizing an animal costs money and requires you to drive your dying pet to the vet office so he or she can be put down, not even in your arms. Honestly I'm glad that my amazing rat that taught me so much, died in my arms, and in my home. I wasn't the killer and I provided her comfort till the very end.
 

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I think, unless you can clearly see she cannot take anymore and she is giving up then I think it's cruel to continue her living (this is just me, and by the sounds of it, she's not ready to go yet if she's still eating and tottering on). But I think because they can't tell us how they're feeling, there needs to be a time when you say enough is enough. She can't ask you, so you need to make that decision for her. But be sure, if you're asking whether or not to put her down, you shouldn't put her down. You don't want to wreck yourself with 'what ifs' etc. Do what you feel necessary for your baby. And, if you want her to be PTS at home, see if your vet will do a home visit, my vet will charge 100 for home euthanasia when the time comes, but I don't know how much it will be for you, it's worth asking though. Hope you and your girl are okay.
 

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I think, unless you can clearly see she cannot take anymore and she is giving up then I think it's cruel to continue her living
I understand this is your personal opinion, but you gotta understand that some people can't afford to put their pet down. That or they don't have the transportation at that particular time. Their pain is not the owners fault, plus there is also those miracle situations which wont be possible if you put your animal down too soon.

And, if you want her to be PTS at home, see if your vet will do a home visit, my vet will charge 100 for home euthanasia when the time comes, but I don't know how much it will be for you, it's worth asking though. Hope you and your girl are okay.
For a few dollars you can humanely put your rat down with vinegar, baking soda, and a container. This process can be found all over the web. I don't see what a veterinarian can do that's better. If your pet isn't moving or eating, it's safe bet that he or she is dying. In my opinion, taking your rat to the vet to be euthanized is like paying someone to kill your rat. Even on my death bed, I wouldn't want some unknown person putting me down, that would feel like that's a breach of trust. I'm sorry, but from many personal experiences with vets, I just don't trust them and I never will. They've said harsh words about my rats, wanted nothing to do with them, and made it pretty obvious that each visit is only about money. I understand it's a business, but veterinarians and pet stores alike, eventually begin treating these animals like objects rather than a living animals. After witnessing all this cruelty, I'm never owning another animal again unless it's to literually save it.
 

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Dear OP - the most important thing for your rat is it's quality of life rather than quantity. It's hard to know if your rat is in pain, often animals may change their behaviour if they are uncomfortable (which varied between individuals) but if necessary you can ask the vet for some pain medication. Can your rat physically move ? This may also impact on it's quality of life if it can't. Do your think your rat is happy? As happy as she was before the tumour? Euthanasia is a difficult choice and is down to you. I have personally euthanased some of my animals (my hamster who had a tumour and was just going down hill, and my dog who became paralysed) - it was the saddest but best thing we did for them to remove their suffering.

After doing a whole lot of research I want to say that it's perfectly ok if you choose for your rat to have a natural death. It's hard to know what your animal is feeling, sure they may show signs of being in pain but how do you know if they want to die? Just like people, some will push themselves as long as they can go before they give up, while others just want it to end right then and there. By cutting their lives short because you'll feel better about it, is pretty selfish if you ask me. Even in a religious perspective, people say that you must care about the needs of your animal and you must be merciful to them. The thing is, death isn't a need and being merciful makes it seem as if you're causing the animal's suffering, which you're clearly not.
Yes, a natural death is fine, but not if their is prolonged suffering before or during death, in my opinion. Animals don't have a concept or fear of dying in the same way that we do BUT they CAN suffer both physically and mentally. Euthanasia can end this suffering - it is not selfish to opt NOT to prolong life at all costs.

Reading around I find that veterinarians mostly recommend euthanization and they spread this concept to everyone else. Then I read about their reasoning for it and I was disturbed because it seems like all they care about is money rather than your animal. They start with making you feel guilty, saying that the reason our pets have these bad and painful deaths is because they're domesticated and we make them live longer than they're supposed to because of medical intervention. They also make it very clear that by not euthanizing your pet that's in pain that you're to blame for it. I mean seriously? I found my rat outside suffering from thirst and starvation, she was already dying when I found her. I then revived her and allowed her to live for almost two years longer with other rats to play with, where she was otherwise lonely and was going to die alone.
As a vet student I am heartbroken when people think it is all to do about money. The vast majority of us are NOT in it for the money, but it is a business and we have to charge and the overheads are expensive (or else we would be out of business and not able to treat animals at all). If I wanted more money I could have chosen a better paid career with my grades. I have animals of my own present and past and care for all animals as if they were my own. We can't treat dead animals so it makes no sense for vets to recommend euthanasia routinely!

Also don't forget that euthanizing an animal costs money and requires you to drive your dying pet to the vet office so he or she can be put down, not even in your arms. Honestly I'm glad that my amazing rat that taught me so much, died in my arms, and in my home. I wasn't the killer and I provided her comfort till the very end.
If you can't pay for euthanasia then you shouldn't own animals. Animals are not a necessity and although financial circumstances can change unexpectedly, people should be able to afford basic vet care for their pets.


I understand this is your personal opinion, but you gotta understand that some people can't afford to put their pet down. That or they don't have the transportation at that particular time. Their pain is not the owners fault, plus there is also those miracle situations which wont be possible if you put your animal down too soon.
Nothing is going to make those tumours disappear overnight, though. Yes, some animals MIGHT get better but I wouldn't put my own animals through prolonged suffering if there was only a small glimmer of hope (because if it falls to pieces and they die anyway then all that suffering was unnecessary).


For a few dollars you can humanely put your rat down with vinegar, baking soda, and a container. This process can be found all over the web. I don't see what a veterinarian can do that's better. If your pet isn't moving or eating, it's safe bet that he or she is dying. In my opinion, taking your rat to the vet to be euthanized is like paying someone to kill your rat. Even on my death bed, I wouldn't want some unknown person putting me down, that would feel like that's a breach of trust. I'm sorry, but from many personal experiences with vets, I just don't trust them and I never will. They've said harsh words about my rats, wanted nothing to do with them, and made it pretty obvious that each visit is only about money. I understand it's a business, but veterinarians and pet stores alike, eventually begin treating these animals like objects rather than a living animals. After witnessing all this cruelty, I'm never owning another animal again unless it's to literually save it.
The bicarb technique creates CO2. Increased levels of CO2 (NOT decreasing O2 levels) is a noxious stimulus - people report this to be a horrible experience.

A vet and euthanase an animals with an overdoes of anaesthetic. If you have ever had an anaesthetic yourself then "going under" is not a horrific experience. This is more humane.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
***update***
Zora is holding on quite well, her condition has not worsened. I have put down an old fluffy blanket at the base of the cage so she is incredibly comfortable because she can't climb the ladder to get to the hammock. She is eating only small amounts of food but at least shes eating at all right? She ate lots of yogurt covered raisins today and really enjoyed them. I want the ending of her life to be as happy as possible and she has always really enjoyed food so she is eating mainly junk food this week. I gave her a bit of milk. I'm not sure if it's good for rats or not but I figured she could use the calcium and she LOVES it. I moved her temporarily to a one floor cage but she was lonely so I put her back with Phoebe. She seems happy but if she is in any pain I will be sure to take her to the vet to be put to sleep. It only costs $6 here to have that done so it's not really a concern. I'm hoping for the best. Good luck Zora.
 

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As a vet student I am heartbroken when people think it is all to do about money. The vast majority of us are NOT in it for the money, but it is a business and we have to charge and the overheads are expensive (or else we would be out of business and not able to treat animals at all). If I wanted more money I could have chosen a better paid career with my grades. I have animals of my own present and past and care for all animals as if they were my own. We can't treat dead animals so it makes no sense for vets to recommend euthanasia routinely!
I'm sure most veterinarians chose their career because they truly cared about animals, but after a while they end up losing emotion from them, begin treating them like products, and start to care only about money.

If you can't pay for euthanasia then you shouldn't own animals. Animals are not a necessity and although financial circumstances can change unexpectedly, people should be able to afford basic vet care for their pets.
Some animals are homeless and are brought into someone's life because they'd otherwise die on their own or would be taken into settler and eventually euthanasia by someone in your profession. Especially with a rat, if someone dropped off a starving rat at a pet store or a shelter, you know they'll end up as snake food. Rats usually live up to 3 years, so a few hours or even a day of suffering doesn’t equate to being a bad owner. You’re essentially saying not to own animals if you’re not going to pay someone to kill them.

Nothing is going to make those tumours disappear overnight, though. Yes, some animals MIGHT get better but I wouldn't put my own animals through prolonged suffering if there was only a small glimmer of hope (because if it falls to pieces and they die anyway then all that suffering was unnecessary).
I’m sorry, but I’m just so offended but what you said and it’s exactly why I don’t want to own pets anymore when I’m required to rely on people like you. Some HUMANS would go through **** and back just to be with their family even a few hours longer, especially for some closure. You’re making it seem like I’d stick tubes into a rat to keep it alive even though my animal wants to already move on. That is honestly sick. I believe animals and humans alike deserve a natural death and there is nothing wrong with that. Just as animals are not a necessity, nor is killing them.

The bicarb technique creates CO2. Increased levels of CO2 (NOT decreasing O2 levels) is a noxious stimulus - people report this to be a horrible experience.

A vet and euthanase an animals with an overdoes of anaesthetic. If you have ever had an anaesthetic yourself then "going under" is not a horrific experience. This is more humane.
I actually hear that many survivors were unaware that they were being poisoned with carbon dioxide. They usually get tired and eventually pass out, doesn’t seem painful to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm taking her to the vet to be put down on Monday. She pooped and peed on me today and I don't think her organs are working. I'm so depressed
 
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