Rat is actively dying. What to do?

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New Member
Sep 8, 2021
In advance, I’m sorry for sounding robotic. I’m extremely distressed, but I don’t show it well, so please don’t think I don’t care.

Now, this isn’t a case of ‘Take her to the vet for treatment.’ It’s a case of, pass away at home or assist her by putting her to sleep.

Please believe me when I say I’ve done all I can do in terms of vet care and home care, and she’s in the process of passing away right now. Barely responsive, sometimes rolling from one side to another. Her breathing is ragged, but was perfectly fine last night.

So yes, I’ve come to ask for advice on whether to let her pass here at home, or take here to the vet to get her put to sleep.
All of my rats have been either put to sleep before any real suffering, or died of ‘old age’ overnight. This girl is the first I’ve seen in the process.

I’m not sure if she’s in death throes and just taking a while to pass, or if she’s suffering.
She did respond to petting and loving on her before with some bruxing [which I know can mean comfort or discomfort], but within minutes was barely there at all and she’s now sometimes getting up and rolling about.
I don’t know if this is her quickly deteriorating and she’ll be gone soon or if every minute is just worse.

Many advice or personal experiences would be appreciated.


Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Mar 9, 2019
Rhode Island
I wish I could give you good advice (and perhaps it's already sorted out). I just lost my boy Boobie, last week, such a sweet boy. He made it to three years and at the end I had a very hard time figuring out whether to put him to sleep or not, and when. It's an easier decision when they're suffering a lot, unfortunately, and harder when they change day by day. I ended up having the vet do it, and it was a new vet and I hated them. but I believe it was the right thing to do.

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