Aging Rat Showing Odd New Behaviors

Joined
Mar 19, 2019
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12
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California
Hello all,
I have a boy named Fish, he’s 3 and the love of my life, I’ve had him since about four months and we’ve had such a good time together and still do. Recently, he’s developed some odd behaviors and I’m wondering if he could be approaching his final days or just being an old guy. He sleeps often as a lot of older animals do, that doesn’t necessarily worry me, but he does get these odd energy spurts. Not so much running around but when I go to see him he gets almost frantic and sometimes won’t groom me like he usually does. He’s losing hearing for sure, I can call him even up close but he won’t notice me unless he sees me or I lightly poke him.
He just isn’t being like himself. I understand he’s an old guy, his hind legs are deteriorating and I’m sure more than that. I’m just wondering if anyone could point at this behavior as just aging or if he could possibly be nearing his end. I do not like to think about it, but nature takes its course.
Thank you for any and all answers!
 

Dena

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Nov 13, 2018
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I had an old girl, Macaroni. She was 3.5 years old, and did almost exactly like this, except she also seemed to lose most of her sight, and was relying on smell. She also almost had like a dementia. Ultimately what took her was a respiratory infection that hit super fast. I had her put to sleep in the beginning of November. I'd just say to enjoy him while you can. Watch for signs of pain. Make sure he's eating and drinking like normal. Make sure he has his cagemates up to the end. Mackie really relyed on them too. Make his cage one level, and as comfy as possible. I started letting Mackie out to sit with me all the time, and eat whatever she wanted (spoiled) so she could enjoy what life she had as much as possible. Cherish the moments you have....
 
Joined
Mar 19, 2019
Messages
12
Location
California
I had an old girl, Macaroni. She was 3.5 years old, and did almost exactly like this, except she also seemed to lose most of her sight, and was relying on smell. She also almost had like a dementia. Ultimately what took her was a respiratory infection that hit super fast. I had her put to sleep in the beginning of November. I'd just say to enjoy him while you can. Watch for signs of pain. Make sure he's eating and drinking like normal. Make sure he has his cagemates up to the end. Mackie really relyed on them too. Make his cage one level, and as comfy as possible. I started letting Mackie out to sit with me all the time, and eat whatever she wanted (spoiled) so she could enjoy what life she had as much as possible. Cherish the moments you have....
Thank you so much for your response. I’m cherishing it all with him. He got me through a really hard time so it’s going to be a long, hard time when he does go. For now, I’m gonna take everything in our stride.
 

lilspaz68

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Have you been helping him clean his ears since he became less able to do things? His ears may be blocked with wax. I usually help by sticking a finger in the ear, rubbing it around, and the warmth of your finger can help the wax melts and stick to it. Old rats love this assistance with their itchy ears. Rubbing sides,muzzles doing anything they normally would've done but aren't as able to anymore.
 

lilspaz68

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When he's panic running, hold his sides to your ear to listen to his lungs. If you hear a whine or clunk then he might have constricted breathing which means he runs in panic to try to get air in
 
Joined
Mar 19, 2019
Messages
12
Location
California
Have you been helping him clean his ears since he became less able to do things? His ears may be blocked with wax. I usually help by sticking a finger in the ear, rubbing it around, and the warmth of your finger can help the wax melts and stick to it. Old rats love this assistance with their itchy ears. Rubbing sides,muzzles doing anything they normally would've done but aren't as able to anymore.
I’ll definitely do that more. He likes his ears rubbed so it’ll be an easy task. He loves his face rubbed too.
 
Joined
Mar 19, 2019
Messages
12
Location
California
When he's panic running, hold his sides to your ear to listen to his lungs. If you hear a whine or clunk then he might have constricted breathing which means he runs in panic to try to get air in
I’ll check this out as well next time, thank you for the tip. If this does happen, should I treat it like a usual respiratory issue and take him to the vet? ( that may be a stupid question I apologize if it is I can’t really think straight )
 

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