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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Things dropped downhill at a dramatic rate tonight. Both Lulu and Meeka, both of whom came from Petsmart one week ago today, died tonight. I honestly am at a loss because it all happened within about an hour. Lulu was sluggish, then started moving a little jerky. My husband was holding onto her while I started researching emergency vets. Meeka was sleeping inside my shirt because she'd been extra sneezy. Lulu passed pretty suddenly, and not 15 minutes later I look at Meeka and she had blood pouring from her ears and nose. I just don't understand. Four hours ago everyone was great. Pan and Clover have been in the same cage, same food, bedding and water. They're fine. No one has been on the floor to get anything they shouldn't have. Hands and shoulders. That's been all. And tonight it all fell apart. We're all heartbroken. I'm at such a loss.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Sorry. I'd posted this in health hoping for some insight.
 

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I am so sorry to hear you've lost two ratties within such a short space of time. I feel for you and understand how devastating this is. Although I cannot say exactly what caused the deaths of Lulu and Meeka, I do think it's important you take Pan and Clover in for a health check with a veterinarian who's experienced with pet rats as soon as possible.

Lulu's symptoms could be the result of a number of health conditions. First one that comes to mind is a pituitary tumor. Meeka could've had mycoplasma. It's common for porphyrin (which looks like blood) to come from a rat's nose and eyes, though not from his or her ears. I see you wrote in another post that Meeka seemed underweight. It sounds like she was sick when you got her. :( When you take Pan and Clover in for a checkup, your vet can probably give you some ideas as to what happened with Lulu and Meeka.

Again, I'm so sorry to hear what you've been through. My heart goes out to all of you!
 

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I'm so sorry about your babies :( It's hard losing one, so I can't imagine two so soon. I'm at a loss on what to tell you as far as cause :/ Is there any way that you could have a necropsy done on one of them? Since they died so close to each other, it's likely the same cause even if the end symptoms weren't exactly the same. Were they on any medications? If so, how long and at what dose? I know that these are hard things to think about right now, but understanding what happened is really important so that you can prevent it from happening again.
 

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That sounds really horrible to have bloodcoming out of the nose and ears. Idk what could've caused that. Its usually uri that kills them but this doesn't sound like that. Im very sry for your loss. This is probably something just with ur new babies but I would be worried it could be contagious and since it came on so suddenly u might not know until its too late. If u cant get a necropsy I would at least call your vet and see if they know of any ideas maybe of what couldve caused bleeding like that and a sudden death randomly. Idk if they would be willing to give any information based on opinion without doing a necropsy but some vets might be helpful about it so u know whether to worry about your living ratties.
 

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If they came from petsmart, they probably have some kind of policy? It's only been a week so they may still be covered. You should definitely let them know what happened to your two babies, maybe the same thing happened to the other rats that were at the store and unsold yet? It's something they should know.

Your poor babies, I'm so sorry. That must have been so stressful and scary! I hope you can get some answers.
 

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I'm very sorry. Thats a devastating thing to happen so suddenly. I would concur with contacting Petsmart. They may even do an autopsy if there are more people who experienced this. I would suspect something contagious under the circumstances. I'm not sure about rats, but I've seen things in the ferret world similar (though generally the deaths are quite this sudden)-things like coccidia, parvo (adv in ferrets-but I believe there is a strain of parvo in rats), ece, some types of pneumonia. I am not sure about how parvo works in rats, but the possible hemorrhaging you describe seems possible. If you have older healthy rats they could pick up something contagious but survive with hopefully few or little symptoms. A young rat who may of been exposed, while still in the uterus may have a very hard time thriving-not sure how young your little ones were but if they were very young and newly weaned this may of been a detrimental time for them.

Again, I'm so sorry and hope that your vet or petsmart help you find the answer to what happened.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, I went back to Petsmart. Apparently this isn't the first issue they've had with this vendor - it happens fairly frequently and more so with the females than males. They've written corporate a few times regarding this, but nothing has been done. They'll do a necropsy to see if getting a specific identified problem might make the company change vendors.
 

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That's great that petsmart is going to do the necropsy. I know they are mostly doing it for their business sake but it will give u the answer u need and also possibly prevent others who buy from there from going thru the same thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I don't think I'll get the results - And to be honest, were I to get them, I wouldn't know what to do with the info beyond not getting another rat at Petsmart, which I wasn't going to be doing anyway. The vendor they use supplies all the stores within six hours drive of where I live. From here on, it's all rescues and breeders for me. I don't think I could handle another pet store problem like this.
 

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So sorry you had to experience such tragedy with your little babies :( :( :(

I'm a huge fan of rescuing rats, although they tend to come with their own issues. I haven't yet had breeder rats, but the good breeders are meticulous about breeding healthy rats.
 

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although it ended up being that my boys from petsmart turned out great and my little girl i got from an accidental litter on craigslist turned out to be a little brat i think i agree with you that i would probably go with a breeder situation if i got another rattie too. just safer on the health side of things and you tend to get them at a younger age and have more options. that's what i would've liked. I only had 5 to pick from and only had boys whereas I wanted a girl. and all the boys at my store always have the same exact markings, just different colors. it'd have been nice to have a variety to choose from like you may at a breeder, and my boy does have chronic mycoplasm and sneezes constantly and caught a cold within the first 2 months of having him. I would suggest that when you recover from your traumatizing experience find a good breeder in your state and choose the ratties of your dreams. I hope your current ratties are doing well and don't suffer any kind of illness from whatever the others had.
 

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Given Namaki's post i would be very concerned this could be sendai. Do you have any other rats and if so did you quarantine the new girls in a seperate air space?
 
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