Lost my boy tonight

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Emmabeeee1996

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I lost my sweet ratty, he was 2 years and 2 months and a bald rat. He had lots of issues near the end. I just feel awful like maybe I made a mistake in opting for euthanasia. Maybe it was too fast. The option was to try painkillers or euthanasia and I thought he’d be done suffering but just maybe I should have tried the painkillers for him. I hope I made the right decision.
 

lilspaz68

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What was wrong with your lad? What symptoms did he show?
There's a saying with rat owners and euthanasia. It's better a week early than a day too late. I'm sure you did the best you could and made the kindest decision for him. He was an old boy and it's only when a rat is young Ii suggest waiting on euth decisions til we can determine there really is no hope ((hugs)). So sorry you lost your boy.
 

Emmabeeee1996

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He was very confused, disoriented, losing weight, stopped eating hard food so I’d feed him soaked rat food and anything yummy that was mushy for him, I did not see him drink either, he was sneezing a bit but was on medication for it, his eyes were always having issues too and that had to be treated all the time too, he would fall off stuff and was always walking to the edge of the bed and would fall if I wasn’t there to stop him do it (but I always did) and lowered his cage levels as well, he was walking less too, sucking in his sides in pain and squinting. He had no strength and I had to hold food for him to eat and clean him all the time as he gave up on that too. Then I noticed that he had a hard mass near his genital area. I brought him right away. All this happened very fast. The vet said it was a blockage of dead skin and she removed it and so maybe he would have been able to pee again. But I’m not sure if he ever did stop peeing in the first place and neither was she and i did see him dribble pee a little. She said he could take pain killers and it might help him continue on but it might not work or I could euthanize him. And I asked her opinion but she did not sway me in any direction so I chose euthanasia because I was worried that the buildup of dead skin was not the cause of all his problems but just a symptom. But now I am worried maybe it was the cause and the pain killers would have made him better and I would have just had to continue squeezing out that stuff for him. I do know that losing this rat was particularly hard for me and that I did what I thought was best at the time. I just hope I made the right decision and did not cut his life too short.
 
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Emmabeeee1996

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Joined
Sep 24, 2018
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Location
Canada Quebec
What was wrong with your lad? What symptoms did he show?
There's a saying with rat owners and euthanasia. It's better a week early than a day too late. I'm sure you did the best you could and made the kindest decision for him. He was an old boy and it's only when a rat is young Ii suggest waiting on euth decisions til we can determine there really is no hope ((hugs)). So sorry you lost your boy.
Also thank you for the kind words I really appreciate and need that right now
 

lilspaz68

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Ok from your excellent description of symptoms it sounds like he had PT (pituitary tumour) and penis plugs (build up if hardened seminal fluid that you have to check for once a rat gets feeble and stops cleaning their bits. PT is ultimately fatal in the end so euthanasia was a good call. IF you want I can link an article I created to show my rat failing the at-home test for PT. Losing the ability to grasp with front paws etc are classic symptoms of PT. There are a few treatment options you could try if you ever gave another rat with PT. Most vets don't recognize PT as most people don't bring in their rats at that obvious a stage.
 

Emmabeeee1996

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Ok from your excellent description of symptoms it sounds like he had PT (pituitary tumour) and penis plugs (build up if hardened seminal fluid that you have to check for once a rat gets feeble and stops cleaning their bits. PT is ultimately fatal in the end so euthanasia was a good call. IF you want I can link an article I created to show my rat failing the at-home test for PT. Losing the ability to grasp with front paws etc are classic symptoms of PT. There are a few treatment options you could try if you ever gave another rat with PT. Most vets don't recognize PT as most people don't bring in their rats at that obvious a stage.
Yes I’d like to see the article, that brings me comfort, now that I think about it he really was less able to hold food and I saw him bending down to take bites so I started holding it for him. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.
 

mwp051699

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What was wrong with your lad? What symptoms did he show?
There's a saying with rat owners and euthanasia. It's better a week early than a day too late. I'm sure you did the best you could and made the kindest decision for him. He was an old boy and it's only when a rat is young Ii suggest waiting on euth decisions til we can determine there really is no hope ((hugs)). So sorry you lost your boy.
Very well said.
 

mwp051699

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I lost my sweet ratty, he was 2 years and 2 months and a bald rat. He had lots of issues near the end. I just feel awful like maybe I made a mistake in opting for euthanasia. Maybe it was too fast. The option was to try painkillers or euthanasia and I thought he’d be done suffering but just maybe I should have tried the painkillers for him. I hope I made the right decision.
You are obviously a very caring person and second guess your decision to the point of insanity. JK. I can relate. But in the end, your decision was definitely the right one. It sounds like you had been treating him for awhile, and if he doesn't respond or improve after a set period, them he will only get worse. I am telling you from the heart, you did the right thing for him. It always feels like you double-crossed him or violated his trust, but believe me, what you had to do was your final act of love. You saved him from an agonizing suffering and death. He would have thanked you if he could. I've had rats hold on to their last moments just so I could accept it and let them know it was ok to let go. Sounds corner, but I swear they know when you're hurting, so they hang on until they know you're ok with them passing. Anyway, I am very sorry. I lost my original nekkid boy after attempts to treat his Preputial Gland abscess failed. I had the infection cleaned out several times while waiting for him to get better, but he only got worse. I finally had to acknowledge the inevitable and relieve him of his pain and suffering. But he did have days of joy during his decline also. I introduced him to my nicest female and he loved her! So that was nice for him. In total, I spent $1600 in a few months on him. And I'd do it again! My nekkids name was Gollum, and he was beautiful. Miss him very much. Ok, I've said enough lol.
 

Emmabeeee1996

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Joined
Sep 24, 2018
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Location
Canada Quebec
You are obviously a very caring person and second guess your decision to the point of insanity. JK. I can relate. But in the end, your decision was definitely the right one. It sounds like you had been treating him for awhile, and if he doesn't respond or improve after a set period, them he will only get worse. I am telling you from the heart, you did the right thing for him. It always feels like you double-crossed him or violated his trust, but believe me, what you had to do was your final act of love. You saved him from an agonizing suffering and death. He would have thanked you if he could. I've had rats hold on to their last moments just so I could accept it and let them know it was ok to let go. Sounds corner, but I swear they know when you're hurting, so they hang on until they know you're ok with them passing. Anyway, I am very sorry. I lost my original nekkid boy after attempts to treat his Preputial Gland abscess failed. I had the infection cleaned out several times while waiting for him to get better, but he only got worse. I finally had to acknowledge the inevitable and relieve him of his pain and suffering. But he did have days of joy during his decline also. I introduced him to my nicest female and he loved her! So that was nice for him. In total, I spent $1600 in a few months on him. And I'd do it again! My nekkids name was Gollum, and he was beautiful. Miss him very much. Ok, I've said enough lol.
Thank you for sharing your story always makes me feel better to be less alone in hard situations. I really needed to hear all that. He was my only bald rat and I will really miss having him. The more I am looking into pituitary tumour the more I realize that’s exactly what he had and by the time I brought him there I believe now that he was too far gone anyways to of treated for it, on top of that he was on meds for a respiratory infection and that was getting worse as well, so it really was just his time to go. At least now I know what was causing him to be so ill, I wish I realized sooner but you are right I definitely am going a lil crazy overthinking this haha. I just have such a soft spot for bald rats, that’s so nice that little Gollum made a new friend before his time! I don’t know why they are just so goofy and he brought me lots of joy. He was happy until the end as well. Because of social distancing they didn’t let me in for his euthanasia and so maybe that’s why I’m second guessing so much, usually I am there to see it all happen and even tho it is hard it makes me feel better to see he went peacefully. But I’ll let that all go now and remember the good times, thank you
 

mwp051699

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Thank you for sharing your story always makes me feel better to be less alone in hard situations. I really needed to hear all that. He was my only bald rat and I will really miss having him. The more I am looking into pituitary tumour the more I realize that’s exactly what he had and by the time I brought him there I believe now that he was too far gone anyways to of treated for it, on top of that he was on meds for a respiratory infection and that was getting worse as well, so it really was just his time to go. At least now I know what was causing him to be so ill, I wish I realized sooner but you are right I definitely am going a lil crazy overthinking this haha. I just have such a soft spot for bald rats, that’s so nice that little Gollum made a new friend before his time! I don’t know why they are just so goofy and he brought me lots of joy. He was happy until the end as well. Because of social distancing they didn’t let me in for his euthanasia and so maybe that’s why I’m second guessing so much, usually I am there to see it all happen and even tho it is hard it makes me feel better to see he went peacefully. But I’ll let that all go now and remember the good times, thank you
I'm glad I could at least hopefully make some sense of such a senseless thing as an illness that so many rats die from. Pet rats are all descendants of lab rats, so the genetic disposition to get tumors and illnesses is quite prevalent and is unfortunate for rat lovers as well. That is why it's best to get your babies from a well respected breeder, who breeds for good genetics as well as the colorings and markings and type. I really loved my Gollum, as you did your boy. You're lucky that your vet allows you to be present during the euthanizing. How is it done? I mean, do you go to the tank or they bring it to you? Oh, wait, how is euthanasia done? Please tell me it's with gas!?!? Don't do the 2 injections method on a rat, they're too easy to mess up, and then they die a painful death anyway, that you were trying to save him from.
 

Emmabeeee1996

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Yes I 100% agree on getting rats from breeders, but most of my rats are saved from people who didn’t want them but I am guilty of being ignorant and getting a few from the pet store years back - now I would never ever do that. I have seen almost all of my rats put down, I brought them to an exotic vet who was familiar with rats, I was there for the entire time, I have seen them use a needle or gas (that is administered using a small attachment that only goes over the rats head) to sedate them very heavily and then they do a needle in the abdomen, I have seen lots of articles say in the abdomen is the least painful place to be injected. You go to a dark room so it’s less stressful for the animal and then you get to hold them while they do all this, all my rats were very calm and did not even flinch, they just passed very peacefully. I believe a needle in the heart or other organ while the animal is awake is what you’re referring to is not a good way to go and usually if they do it that way they they are not suitable vets to be putting down a rat. I do have to say that this last rat I had put down, I could only go in for the gas he received then I had to leave, I was not allowed to stay for the rest. This time was very different because of the circumstances they did inject him in the heart, but if you look it up because they used gas before hand and he was so unconscious I believe it was still humane. It might be surprising to hear I know.
 
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Emmabeeee1996

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End of Life

Quality of Life Scale

Quality of Life Scale - Villalobos - JoinRats

A Veterinarian's Advice on Deciding If and When and How
1. Euthanizing a Pet Rat: A Veterinarian's Advice on Deciding If and When - Pilny - JoinRats
2. Compassionate Euthanasia of Pet Rats

How to Humanely Put a Rat to Sleep (pts)
Humane euthanasia can only be done by a veterinarian who knows how to do it properly.

- I can not seem to find the thread we have on this topic so putting this here:
Most vets do not know how to humanely put a rat to sleep (pts) so pet owners must make sure it is done properly , ask questions, advocate for your rattie, and be present if possible.

1. The rat is given the mix of oxygen and the gas used for surgery. If the rat is having breathing problems, this will often help them to breath easier. Rats will not like the smell but will become sleepy after a few breaths.
2, The rat needs to become deeply unconscious to at least a surgical level - the vet needs to check toe and eye reflexes to make sure
3. Then the rat is injected with the same drug that is used to put dogs and cats to sleep.
The vet may give the injection to an unconscious rat in various place such as the liver or abdomen or heart
4. The rat needs to stay unconscious until s/he has stopped breathing and their heart has stopped beating. This is done by continuing to give the rat the gas and oxygen mix until they have died.

IMPORTANT: Injecting a conscious rat into the heart is extremely painful and banned in some countries because it is so painful ..... but some vets think that is the way to pts.

A humane death to prevent further suffering is the last gift we can give our ratties
I am very sorry you and your rattie are going through this.

B.C. vet urges owners to consider quality of life when pet is nearing death
B.C. vet urges owners to consider quality of life when pet is nearing death
B.C. vet urges owners to consider quality of life when pet is nearing death - Abbotsford News
This too was posted by SQ just for extra info on the topic. There are very conflicting opinions and articles on the topic. I have done much research, from what I can tell as long as the animal is completely out of it because of drugs administered or gas than that is what matters most. The vets usually check the reflexes to make sure they are completely sedated.
 
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Sabz

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May 18, 2009
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Montreal, QC
It's hard especially the ones that stick with us. I lost three rats in the last week, the more the merrier I say, but there's always those ones, that hurt so much more than the others.. Even though it's never easy. Sadly
 

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