can my boy live by himself?

Discussion in 'General Rat Chat & Photos' started by Caitlin, Oct 4, 2019.

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  1. Oct 4, 2019 #1

    Caitlin

    Caitlin

    Caitlin

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    hi guys, yesterday i had to say goodbye to one of my beautiful boys due to a respiratory disease :( he lived with his brother and they’ve only just turned one this month. so far, james seems to be doing ok. he was looking around my room for william for about half an hour after he died but now he seems to be better. i’m just wondering if it’s possible/ kind to keep him living by himself? it may sound selfish but i don’t know if i can think about getting another rat to ever replace the baby i lost but of course, if that’s what james needs i would do anything. like i said he’s active and still eating but could he become lonely and depressed without his brother?
     
  2. Oct 5, 2019 #2

    TheFatRatGirl

    TheFatRatGirl

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    Hi there. I'm sorry for your loss. James will be feeling it as keenly as you, so it really is necessary to get another rat. The brown rat in my profile pic (Bobby) lost his brother when he was two. In the few weeks it took me to find him a friend his health declined rapidly. He stopped eating properly, stopped grooming himself; it was awful. I ended up moving Tyrion(the white rat) in with him. I had tried to introduce them earlier but Tyrion had some aggression issues so I had him neutered and he had been living happily with two females up until this point. Desperate, I tried to introduce them again, now that they had mellowed out, and Bobby's health improved immediately. Almost over night! As you can see, they became really good friends and Bobby - who I thought was on death's door - ended up living to nearly FOUR years old! Crazy, but it did really give him a whole new life.

    At the end of the day, rats are social creatures. It would be awful to lose someone you love and have spent your entire life with, and then never have another friend again for the rest of your life. I know our rats love us, and that a human/rat bond is wonderful, but it's not the same thing. Have a look for some males around Jame's age. It will be best for him. Hope this helps :)
     
  3. Oct 5, 2019 #3

    Caitlin

    Caitlin

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    Hello thanks for your reply :) i’m just wondering how soon after the loss of your rat did bobby start to stop eating and show signs of illness? i’m just concerned because james currently has lice (which we are treating) and i wouldn’t want to introduce a new rat until i’m sure that they’re completely gone so that we don’t end up with an endless cycle of getting rid of them and them keep coming back
     
  4. Oct 5, 2019 #4

    TheFatRatGirl

    TheFatRatGirl

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    Very soon after. Within a week.

    Lice don't take too long to treat, besides you'll want a quarantine period too. Since you can never be sure how long it will take to find a rat needing a home (there are very rarely any where I live; never any in shelters, hardly ever accidental litters or older rehomes), you'll probably want to start searching now. I see a huge number of them in pet shops here, but never any ethical, purposeful breeders. It could take a long time and if a male becomes available near you then you'll want to at least put your name down in case some one else comes along before you're ready.

    Have you ever introduced rats before? There a few different method, I'd suggest looking them up online. :)
     
  5. Oct 5, 2019 #5

    SQ

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    Lice are treated with selamectin/revolution and it works quite fast http://ratguide.com/meds/anti-infectives/selamectin_revolution.php
    James needs to live with one or more ratties friends as rats living alone can stop eating, become depressed, withdrawn, and even die. You would not be replacing your baby William - nothing can ever do that ..... You would be honoring William's memory by helping another rat and by taking good care of his brother James for him

    There is info and links regarding how to intro rats in our Reference Thread. Please check it out because there is a lot of wrong and dangerous information out there https://www.ratshackforum.com/threads/reference-thread-read-only.35894/
    If any rats are over 12 weeks old then gradual intros are essential so that no one is harmed
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2019
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  6. Oct 5, 2019 #6

    Dena

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    You can also check out www.joinrats.com for some helpful tips. In the meantime, you could get him a little stuffed animal that's baby safe (no small parts that could come off and choke him, and no threads that could get wrapped around his little toes) and let him snuggle that. Still not a rat replacement, but it may help until you get him a buddy. If it was me, I'd try to get two babies over 12 weeks old, that way if another rat passes, it won't leave the other alone.
     
  7. Oct 6, 2019 #7

    Caitlin

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    going back to the lice, i’ve been given a product called xeno 50/ ivermectin will this treat them? and i’ll definitely start thinking about getting james a friend :( just feels wrong to replace my baby
     
  8. Oct 6, 2019 #8

    ViciousCurse

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    Kitten Revolution is preferable since you don't have to do multiple treatments and do a massive overhaul of everything your rats have touched or could be vectors for lice/mites. Ivermectin can work, but you need a very small dosage, will need to give them the correct dose over a couple of weeks. And, at least from what I've heard, it's a lot more difficult to find the "correct" type of Ivermectin.

    To help prevent lice and mites, freeze any and all bedding that comes into the house, whether it be litterbox bedding or bedding you place on the floor of their cage.

    I don't know what England's rules are for prescriptions, but here in the US, we have to seek out a vet willing to give us a prescription (which Revolution is). My vet is willing to give me the Kitten Revolution based on having met me and a few of my rats before, and from the symptoms I listed. However, this may not necessarily be true for every single vet in your area.
     
  9. Oct 6, 2019 #9

    Ratly5

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    Yep, you need another rat, preferably two more. Moving forward, it's a good idea to try to avoid this situation if you can by having more than two rats at a time if that's at all possible. That way, if someone passes, no one is left alone. Get your lice situation sorted straightaway--most folks recommend kitten Revolution for this and I'd give your entire setup a good clean, washing the fabric stuff in a hot water wash, then dry on hot, then put in a Ziploc bag and put in the freezer. Also, vacuum well and give the cage a good disinfect, as well as any wooden or woven cage items. If you do all of the cleaning in one day and dose the same day, you can be done with this within a week. Which means you can start looking for some friends for James. Friends will help James recover and help you too. William isn't forgotten, it was just time for him to move on and time for you to help more rats.
     
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  10. Oct 7, 2019 #10

    ViciousCurse

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    To add to this, I almost always take rats home in trios if I get babies or if I'm rescuing. And when I do add more rats to my mischief, I usually wait until my current rats are a year to a year and half old so that everyone is settled in, well adjusted, and bonded to me by the time they pass away. I've noticed having more rats makes the grieving process easier for everyone, including the human. When my boys lose someone in their group, they tend to cuddle up with each other more often.

    I always throw away wooden or cardboard items after a week just because there is so much urine buildup on these items and urine buildup not only attracts bacteria and whatnot, but a build up causes a buildup of ammonia, which can cause your rat to have a more difficult time breathing.
     
  11. Oct 9, 2019 #11

    Caitlin

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    thanks for all the replies everyone :) you’ll be happy to hear that james is absolutely fine so far! he’s not shown any signs of withdrawal or loneliness and is still active and eating and playing but of course i am looking for more rats to rescue as soon as possible as i will never buy from a pet shop ever again after this experience:( i think for the most part his lice are gone but i will do a top up to be sure
     
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  12. Oct 10, 2019 #12

    ViciousCurse

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    Rat grief can be extremely subtle, believe it or not. I just lost my Grumpy and seeing my other rats (I have six currently) grieving is very eye-opening. They're all grieving, but a couple are more pronounced (such as Ni Ni and Lil Chu), but others are very subtle. Even my youngest rats have suddenly become very lazy and not very active.

    Unfortunately, your experience with pet shops is shared with a lot of people. Some get a ton of luck and never bring home a sick rat, but that's not always true. Even if you get a rat from a pet store and he or she isn't sick, you don't know what's happened behind the scenes. No one knows how mistreated or neglected the rats were before you took them home.
     
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