I also have some rats that died without proper care and knowlege in my past. I will always feel badly for them, but there were no exotic vets available when I was younger and I didn't have the internet.
Just some comments to think about pertaining to your past rats.
In the future remember that if you can see the buggies its most likely lice. Mites are almost always microscopic, and mites are also inside all our rats and a stressed/unwell rat may have a flare up. There are really only 2 recommeded treatments for external parasites. Ivermectin and Revolution. I prefer Revolution for its ease of use and how fast it gives relief.
OTC products are highly discouraged as you know now. Some supposedly safe things at a petstore can kill.
Pine bedding will not kill your rat...right away. The excessive porphyrin (red fluid from eyes and nose) were probably a sign of a URI. Did these rats have any other symptom of illness? Rough fur, hunched posture, lethargy, excessive sneezing, trouble breathing (wheezing, rattling, gurgling, chirping?). Pine phenols will cause long-term damage and for rats with sensitive respiratory systems will often cause a problem.
This rexy girl probably had a heart attack or a stroke and died. She was older, and she would've shown signs of poisoning if the lubricant contained something toxic. Often rats will take a small nibble of something over months since this is an instinct for survival in a wild rat. A small bite and wait to see if they get sick.
Sounds like this little boy was sick already...loss of weight and not cleaning himself. It could've been an inner ear infection or something similar esepcially with the falling over and seizures.
Rats are "On the Job Training" but we have to take each situation (sad or not) and learn for the benefit of our future rats. :heart:
there is no need to get defensive, and it did not need to go this far to begin with. you can merely agree to disagree. i think where forensic is coming from is because the common knowledge of rat mites is that they can not be seen with the naked eye while lice can. you have obvisously found different information. does this mean, because you searched and found this information that it necessarily is correct? not really. on the other hand, just because the accepted norm is that you can not see the mites, does that make that information necessarily right? again, not really.
so you can both agree to disagree as each of you will view your stance as being right because that was your experience with the buggies. does that mean that either of could not try to other's method of treatment? of course not. perhaps revolution or ivermectin would be effective against what ever these bugs were. perhaps not. but it is always worth a try. you may find a easier solution then spraying the poison and hoping that you got them during the right stage in their development.
all that being said it wasn't really the purpose of this thread to debate causes of illnesses, if that were the case it would have been under the health section. this thread was made in honor of your past babies, to remember them and what you have learned through their life and death.
i'm very sorry you had to lose your babies at all and especially the way you did but you said yourself you learned from the experiences they shared with you and that's all you can do. remember them fondly and never forget their lessons. i think you have a very healthy coping method for their passing.