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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have vented to my boyfriend and family members about my loss... but I want to share Cricket's life with people who will really understand how impactful rats are in your life.

Cricket and his brother Oxnard were bought from a pet store. I was uneducated about myco and the downsides to petstore rats back then... but, I loved them so much and fed them everything I could think of to make them healthier.

It was the day after Christmas, boxing day. The boys had mites and I had given them 1 successful treatment of Ivermectin through apple flavored paste. Neither of them showed any ill effects at all, so when the time came to give them their second dose, I was confident...

I gave them their dose. Each got the same amount, but Cricket licked the toothpick, and I believe this is what happened to him. If he was overdosed, it was a very tiny amount that did it. We have thought and thought, and there may have been an underlying problem that I had no idea of... Because it just makes no sense. The paste was pre-mixed because it was not a tube that was for 1 full dose, there were notches for different doses for different sized horses on the syringe.
He could have choked on it by getting sick from it and trying to throw it up. It could have been a heart attack. Or he could have gotten toxicity. I had no remote clue that I may have given him too much of it. I went about giving their cage a deep cleaning, which took probably about under an hour, while Oxnard (his brother) and himself was hiding out in their temporary cage in a box...

I've replayed this in my head ever since... I was completely devastated and heartbroken... I still have not come to terms with my baby's loss... I picked up their box, put it to the door of their cage and Oxnard hopped out, Cricket didn't. He was laying in the box as if he was just sleepy, his eyes were still a bit open but looked glassy. He didn't look deceased, he had no porphyrin around his eyes, which I take as he wasn't under a lot of stress when it.. happened. Because he was a high strung guy. I touched him, and he didn't move. I started to panic... I picked him up and he was stiff... it was like someone shot me with an icy arrow... He just layed there in their cage, I wanted him to wake up so badly, I felt like he should have, he looked like he was going to... He looked so perfect... But he was gone. Stiff, and gone... My worst nightmare had come true.

Oxnard was very distressed... his tear ducts were inflamed with porphyrin. He was fearful for the next day or two but he came around, loved my pets and scratches for comfort and groomed my fingers. Honestly, Oxnard's strength and love for me is the main thing that has helped me through this. Seeing him alright is the main thing for me.

I still have a heavy weight in my chest. I still miss him so much, I haven't been anywhere near my normal self since this happened. He was such a spunky little rat, and huge for his age, stretching out fully he was easily a tad under a foot long at 7 months old. He wrestled his brother a lot, and loved exploring my desk. He loved being talked to and pet. His coat was absolutely beautiful.

But, because of Cricket, I have learned hard lessons, I had a reason to laugh and smile every day at his cute little curious face. I am so thankful to have had him in my life. Because of him, I have a brand new huge cage, and was able to adopt 3 new young ones to help a girl out who could not take care of them anymore for Oxnard's new friends. He granted me these things. And I will never forget my original 2 boys, my first two rats of my very own.

 

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Sorry to hear of the loss. It is the bane of rattie ownership. They are with us for a very short time. But that is all the time they need to enter our hearts.
 

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I'm very sorry for your loss. Just think about how you rescued him from a pet store and treated him properly. You gave him a very good life. He wouldn't want you to be sad. I'm sure he'd be so grateful for the good life you have him :). Stay strong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I agree. they are such incredible little animals; I will always have rats in my life!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you... I'm so happy I could give him months of comfort in his life compared to the fate he had at the pet store. <3
 

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Ivermectin has a relatively low overdose threshold. Not so low that it's generally considered dangerous, but unlike revolution that you can overdose massively ivermectin has to be administered pretty carefully. Somewhere on the internet there's a comparison of mite and flea treatments and the amount of safe overdose you can get away with... it's part of the reason I use Revolution. Certain rats also have a strong adverse reaction to ivermectin, again it's supposedly rare, but it does happen, even without an overdose. So you may have done nothing wrong. You may just have been one of those unfortunate people that had a rat that was sensitive to the drug...

In any event, don't beat yourself up, when I was doing my research, I found a case where a vet killed someone's rat with an ivermectin injection. Some vets still use this medication and even with the best dosage and handling it's lethal to a very small group of rats. Some people have had very good experience with ivermectin and still recommend it, so you might not have been mislead... but for the most part it's not something I'd use given a reasonable alternative.... hindsight being 20/20 I know it isn't going to help you feel too much better, but going forward I'd consider revolution before trying ivermectin again.

Now, we all screw up and rats get killed. Yesterday I sat on one of my rats, thankfully I didn't sit down any faster or I'd be sharing your grief... Cloud jumped from my desk onto my chair and I didn't think to look before sitting at about 200 lbs this could/should have ended badly... but I got lucky. I haven't always been so lucky... and I still carry the pain of my mistakes with me, it doesn't get better, but once you realize you didn't intend to hurt your rat, it's something you learn to live with....

Some years ago my friend and I were working an auction, and for some reason we didn't have the right change so my friend gave me his lucky 2 dollar bill as change. I promised to hold it and return it to him the next time we saw each other... A few days after the auction my friend got out of his train and went around the back of it to cross the tracks... likely he had done it a hundred times or more, he was always in a hurry, but this time the express train on the other track was early... he landed some twenty yards away from the point of impact according to the newspaper article. I still have his lucky $2.00 bill and it remind me that sometimes it's the little mistakes that can have the worst consequences. Sometimes rat die, sometimes people die... it never makes any sense and for the most part it can be prevented in hindsight... but you were trying to do the right thing and in the end that's all we can do... my friend was getting married, I'm sure he was rushing home to see his fiance and I'm sure the last thing on his mind was the oncoming train or the possibility that his very next step would be his last... Instead of getting home 5 minutes sooner he never saw his fiance again... worth the risk? I suppose he thought it was... sometimes things go wrong and luck is just against you. You gave Cricket a good life and you never intended to hurt him... that's as good as you could do... In time it will hurt less worse....

My condolences on your loss and I'm sure Cricket is in good company until you see each other again on the other side of the rainbow bridge.
 
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