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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a little angry with my friend, though I'm sure she didn't know. I guess I should be angrier at her boyfriend.

We got Snow because my friend's boyfriend's snake wouldn't eat her. She claimed Snow wasn't touched, but was scared. When I picked her up, Snow seemed fine but very visibly shaken.

Apparently, despite her spunky behavior and no tell-tale signs, she had a pierced lung from a broken rib due to constriction. It wasn't totally punctured, but was bleeding and never healed right. She didn't die from this, but the secondary infection of strep pneumonia killed her. Because of the lung injury, her immune system was very weak, and she passed very quickly.

As for Luna, she was healthier and without injury, which is why she lasted long enough for us to find her in the morning. She also had strep pneumonia and had succumbed because of it. It probably wouldn't have mattered, though, as the vet noticed some early liver damage that was probably genetic and eventually could have been fatal. She didn't go into details there, since I didn't have any other rats from that pet store.

Neither of them came from the best of conditions (one from goodness knows which feeder store and one from a pet store). The only thing I can say is that I tried. Apparently, strep pneumonia can come on very suddenly in young rats and can kill in less than twelve hours. I'm sure some of you know this, but for those that don't, it may be why you lost a healthy young rat with no apparent signs. Sometimes there are signs, sometimes the signs aren't immediately noticeable.

I figured I would share the results. I know it costs a lot to get a necropsy done, and most people don't, so I figured the information could be useful. My vet helps me out at a cheaper price because she's fairly new in the field and wants to expand her knowledge; she's a sweet woman. It's a win-win for both of us.
 

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his and thanks for posting this. It is always useful to see results of necropsy. I've had a guy go from pneumonia (possibly strep but i didn't get the bacteria cultured). It is horrific and happens so fast. My guy went from perfect health to dead in 3 days despite throwing all the meds at him
 

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Poor rat being attacked by a low-life snake :(
 

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I've never seen a snake attack AND constrict something it didn't intend on eating, so there may be more to the story there. Either way, it's unfortunate, but I'm glad you had the necropsy done. So few people do this (for understandable reasons mostly), but I feel like more people doing it would really enhance the knowledge our vets have of small animals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've never seen a snake attack AND constrict something it didn't intend on eating, so there may be more to the story there. Either way, it's unfortunate, but I'm glad you had the necropsy done. So few people do this (for understandable reasons mostly), but I feel like more people doing it would really enhance the knowledge our vets have of small animals.
The vet thought it was weird as well, since there was no bite or other broken bones. It could have been a smaller snake and he bought the wrong size, which is why the snake didn't eat it. I never did ask what kind of snake he had. I don't really want to think about the alternative. I have known of snake owners who intentionally injury the live feed so the snake won't be injured. My father used to do this with our giant red tail boa; he would 'stun' the rabbits. I was very young and didn't really understand at the time, I just remember watching him do it and the snake do his business. I think I was five or so.

It also could have been a drop injury and I'm thinking too much into it because I feel like being angry at something/someone. I know when to admit that, lol.


Thank you all, by the way. Maybe I'm just a little overtly emotional for two rat babies I had for less than three weeks, but it is crazy how fast they burrow their way into your heart. I was making mixed fruit 'pies' (in those little mini fillo shells) for everyone as a treat. I gave them to my girls and immediately started to walk into my quarantine room for the babies, thinking about how much they were going to love this! Then, it hit me, and I had to sit down for a few minutes. I ended up taking the shell outside as a sort of offering for any wild animals. Probably silly, but just me.

Oh, and I asked for a printout of the necropsy. If I can get it (I asked in her voicemail), I'll post it. She did want to send the findings to her collegue (who specializes in small animals, but is very far from me) to see if she missed anything, just in case.
 

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Its the circle of life I suppose that ppl own snakes as pets and thats what they eat. Unfortunate for us to think about who are on the end of owning ratties and would never want to have them fed to a snake. It honestly really saddens me thinking about how scared poor snow must've been since she didnt get to have her misery ended quickly like most feeder rats.im sry u had to picture ur rat in there with the snake and it really is too bad her injury wasn't noticeable. She may not have made it thru the pneumonia tho either way. Its a scary illness. My baby has it right now and I think she pulled thru but I still worry cuz 2 weeks later her health still doesnt seem good. U never know with pneumonia. Ill say a prayer for u and ur little ones. Sorry for your loss and I hope u can find 2 more healthy adorable companions who may turn out to be true shoulder rats.
 

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I own a python and I'm guessing if the snake attempted to kill the rat and failed, something happened--a human walked by the tank and disturbed him, the rat scratched him and he lost interest, etc. Thanks for posting this, my rat Luna also died very suddenly and it may well have been pneumonia.
 

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Either the snake constricted her and then lost interest, or she was injured some other way and there may be things your friend is not telling you (or she fell when no one was looking). I'm so sorry.

Last month, my rat Marburg died suddenly. He was fine and then literally two minutes later, dead. I never figured out why. Though it would have cost money, I sort of wish we had had a necropsy done, for closure.
 
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