Does Myco mean my rat can’t live with others?

Discussion in 'Health & General Care' started by Mialee, Feb 17, 2019.

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  1. Feb 17, 2019 #1

    Mialee

    Mialee

    Mialee

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    Hi - I have also written another thread about my single female rat which I adopted a couple of days ago but after reading a comment, I need help on what’s the best thing to do for her.

    She came into the centre due to neglect as her owner had never taken her out of her cage and she has been housed alone her whole life. The owner didn’t realise rats weren’t meant to sneeze, so when she was brought into the centre she had such bad Mycoplasma (myco) that vets have said she will never recover fully. This means she ‘snores’ when sleeping in awkward positions and her breathing is a little different to ‘normal rats’ but she is otherwise healthy.

    The only problem is, I have been advised that she has to live alone for the rest of her life by the adoption centre but she looks SO sad. She is either in her hammock sleeping or lying down or in a little box which I have placed in the cage for her to hide as she’s really really timid and is not yet hand tame. It breaks my heart to keep her alone as I know rats shouldn’t be alone, it isn’t in their nature! But I want to do the right thing for her.

    She is so untrusting in humans (probably due to the neglect) and I wouldn’t be able to handle her at the moment as we’re taking things as slow as she needs. But I really think she’d benefit from ratty company, someone who understands her fully. I went back into the centre and asked if it is definitely off the cards that she could live with another rat and they said she may pass the myco onto them or the stress of introductions could make her condition flare up.

    What do I do? Does anyone have any experience of rats with myco? I feel so sorry for her and just want her to have the most amazing life possible.
     
  2. Feb 17, 2019 #2

    SQ

    SQ

    SQ

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    No, myco does not mean she can not live with other rats.
    All rats have myco and it flares up from time to time (please see this medical link to a vet approved medical site for rat owners http://ratguide.com/health/bacteria/mycoplasma_mycoplasmosis.php )
    There are different strains of myco, but since all rats (except some in labratories) have myco, all pet rat owners are or will have experience dealing with it

    Stress can cause myco flareups, but since she is on meds, in my opinion, that should keep it under control.
    Having friends to live with will make her less stressed and much happier
    Having friends will give her a much better quality of life, and will also help her to be less afraid of you.

    Please get her one or two rattie friends - I would suggest babies about 9 or 10 weeks old when t=you start physical intros ……….………. either 2 neutered boys or 2 girls
     
  3. Feb 17, 2019 #3

    Mialee

    Mialee

    Mialee

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    Thank you so much. She isn’t on medication for her myco as the adoption centre treated her when she first came in. The treatment process took a whole month and she had to have 3 rounds of antibiotics. From what I understand the vet has said that she will probably not ever be ‘cured’ (I know myco cannot be cured but her symptoms will always be there a little bit) e.g. her breathing can be loud when she is sleeping in an awkward position. But that is normal for her now, she won’t get any better than she already is.

    I’m starting to wonder how much the place I adopted her from knew about rats. As I even went back to them the next day and asked why she couldn’t be housed with another female rat, they said she would be too stressed. Hmmm o_O

    Ideally, I’d like to try and adopt a rat which was around her age, although I understand this can be hard as two adults are more difficult to introduce. Also, if she hasn’t had any socialisation with othe rats will she be okay? I’m worried I’ll get her a friend only to find out she hates them and I’ll have two sad rats!
     
  4. Feb 17, 2019 #4

    SQ

    SQ

    SQ

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    I have introed many rats, even a boy that was so terrified of other rats that he tried to kill any rat he had contact with. They all were much happier with friends. Although some did not become close friends, the cage was large enough that they could have their own space when they wanted it. All were much happier living with other rats then living alone.

    I mentioned 2 babies because it is easier to do an intro, are not territorial and therefore would not seem threatening to her, and because babies are used to being bossed around by their mama so would accept being bossed around by her.
    But being introed to a rat around her age would probably be good too.

    Please note that it is important to spay girls for health reasons if you have access to a good vet with the knowledge and experience to safely spay rats - however your girl might not be able to be spayed, depending upon how damaged her lungs are (info on spaying and neutering rats in the Reference Thread)
     
  5. Feb 18, 2019 #5

    Mialee

    Mialee

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    Good news!! I called the vetinary practice which treated her when she was unwell. They have said that as long as she has no major flare ups within the next 1-2 months (e.g. whereby she needs a lot of treatment like last time) she can live with another rat!

    Thank you to everyone who responded to my question above. I’ll be on the lookout for rat friends for her now.

    Which methods are best to introduce rats whilst keeping stress levels at a minimum?
     
  6. Feb 18, 2019 #6

    SQ

    SQ

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    see joinrats.com
    and https://www.ratshackforum.com/threads/introducing-new-rats.34842/#post-491257

    Since she is so terrified of people, it limits what you can do to reduce stress

    Personally I would not wait 2 months, I would start intros as soon as I found a potential friend, because her life is already so stressful, and an intro to babies or a gentle rat around her age or older may not be very stressful

    but introing her to 2 babies, 10 weeks old when starting physical intros would likely be the least stressful because they would not be threatening to her
     

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