Tragedy in the Critter Nation (TW: Death)

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littlelunarat

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Jun 24, 2018
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Hello guys,

I’m at a loss for words, and just need to post this somewhere to try and make sense of what happened.

I have (or, had I guess) six rats in a double critter nation. Three up top, and three on the bottom. The three up top were all five week old females, so very small rats. I had always read though the bar spacing was perfect for even babies with the critter nation. Well, this morning I found one of my little girls hanging from the middle panel (ceiling of the bottom cage and floor of the top cage). She had burrowed under the fleece and tray I had and her head was stuck between the wire underneath. The crazy part to me was, her body was in the bottom cage and her head in the top. I have absolutely no idea how it happened. We had to literally get pliers to get her out. I know the rats in the bottom had nothing to do with it.

The main reason I’m posting this is I’m just at a loss and don’t know what to do. Has anyone had this happen before? Where did I go wrong? What could I do to prevent this in the future? It’s heartbreaking because she was fine earlier this morning and gone the next. TIA, anything or advice helps.
 

mapleplus1

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Jun 17, 2018
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I am sorry this happened to your ratty. It is not your fault. Sometimes horrible, random things happen. Unfortunately your little girl had really bad luck. There was nothing you could have done. Your cage was top notch. Try not to blame yourself. Sometimes bad things just happen. She was clearly well-loved when you had her.
 

littlelunarat

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I am sorry this happened to your ratty. It is not your fault. Sometimes horrible, random things happen. Unfortunately your little girl had really bad luck. There was nothing you could have done. Your cage was top notch. Try not to blame yourself. Sometimes bad things just happen. She was clearly well-loved when you had her.
Thank you for your kindness, it means a lot [emoji173]️
 

SQ

Senior Member - Vegan for the animals
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Jul 21, 2007
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central New Brunswick Canada
I am so very sorry.
I have heard of other deaths caused by this cage (poor welding causing side bar of the stand to crush rat, and heavy doors falling on rats and killing them), but I have never heard of this.
Did she go through the large metal grid with the hole for the ramp?

Again I am so very very sorry.
The cage is supposed to be safe for rats of all sizes and I have had babies in it, including nursing infants and their mama
It is hard not to do, but please do not blame yourself, the cage is supposed to be safe and no one ever imagined that this could happen to a baby
May I share your post as a warning to other rat owners?

{{hugs}}
 
Last edited:

jorats

Loving rats since 2002.
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What a tragedy! I'm so very sorry this happened to you. There was no way of you knowing this could ever happen. I know it will take a long time for you to get over this... please know we are all here for you and are grieving with you. hugs
 

littlelunarat

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Jun 24, 2018
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I am so very sorry.
I have heard of other deaths caused by this cage (poor welding causing side bar of the stand to crush rat, and heavy doors falling on rats and killing them), but I have never heard of this.
Did she go through the large metal grid with the hole for the ramp?

Again I am so very very sorry.
The cage is supposed to be safe for rats of all sizes and I have had babies in it, including nursing infants and their mama
May I share your post as a warning to other rat owners?

{{hugs}}
Thank you so much for you kind words [emoji173]️
Yes she got caught in the large grid separating the cages. She got stuck right across from where the ramp opening is where the spacing is normal. She crawled under the tray that comes with the cage and had fleece attached. Like I said it was so strange because she managed to get her body to the lower half of the cage while her head was on the top half. I have no idea how she managed to get that way.
You’re more than welcome to share this, I hope my instance is a one off but it’s heartbreaking none the less.
 

littlelunarat

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Jun 24, 2018
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Location
California
What a tragedy! I'm so very sorry this happened to you. There was no way of you knowing this could ever happen. I know it will take a long time for you to get over this... please know we are all here for you and are grieving with you. hugs
Thank you [emoji173]️ it’s of course hard but I really appreciate the kind words
 

Ratmama17

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Apr 20, 2018
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Kentucky
She somehow got under the plastic tray? That's so awful, none of my girls seem interested in chewy or burrowing under the pans... I'm so so sorry, I know she was loved.
 

littlelunarat

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Jun 24, 2018
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IMG_2410.jpg


Just as a little memorial to her, I did want to post a picture of Peaches. She’s the little lady on the right. She was so sweet and finally starting to warm up to me like her sisters did. She will be missed greatly [emoji173]️
 

littlelunarat

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She somehow got under the plastic tray? That's so awful, none of my girls seem interested in chewy or burrowing under the pans... I'm so so sorry, I know she was loved.
She was able to wedge her way in underneath the tray unfortunately :/ I could tell she was a little digger from the start but didn’t think she could fit between there and never saw her fit between there. Thank goodness the other girls don’t seem to be interested in such things.
Thank you for your kind words [emoji173]️
 

Sheldon

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Bless you and her sweet heart. I could not begin to guess how she was strong enough to accomplish this. Freak accidents do happen on occasion, though. I would be shocked to ever hear of another instance of this. My girl and I are praying for you.
 

Luna&Ralph

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Mar 28, 2018
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British Columbia
I'm so sorry for your loss. You couldn't possibly have known that this would happen and I'm sorry that this rare occurrence happened to you. My rats really only crawl under the pans during cage cleans, but I can imagine that this could have happened anyone's babies if they had managed to crawl under the pans as well so try not to blame yourself. I can kind of understand how she ended up in that position because the only part of her that wasn't able to squeeze through the bars was her head because of her skull. Maybe she tried to climb down bottom-first for whatever reason and then couldn't get her head through or she was crushed by the pan and the part of her body that went limp fell between the bars after she had already died. I'm really sorry if picturing that was upsetting but I just wanted to help you understand why she would have ended up like that. I hope that you and the rest of the babies are doing as well as you can and that nothing like this ever happens again!
 

littlelunarat

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Bless you and her sweet heart. I could not begin to guess how she was strong enough to accomplish this. Freak accidents do happen on occasion, though. I would be shocked to ever hear of another instance of this. My girl and I are praying for you.
Thank you so much, I appreciate it [emoji173]️
 

littlelunarat

New Member
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Jun 24, 2018
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I'm so sorry for your loss. You couldn't possibly have known that this would happen and I'm sorry that this rare occurrence happened to you. My rats really only crawl under the pans during cage cleans, but I can imagine that this could have happened anyone's babies if they had managed to crawl under the pans as well so try not to blame yourself. I can kind of understand how she ended up in that position because the only part of her that wasn't able to squeeze through the bars was her head because of her skull. Maybe she tried to climb down bottom-first for whatever reason and then couldn't get her head through or she was crushed by the pan and the part of her body that went limp fell between the bars after she had already died. I'm really sorry if picturing that was upsetting but I just wanted to help you understand why she would have ended up like that. I hope that you and the rest of the babies are doing as well as you can and that nothing like this ever happens again!
Thank you [emoji173]️

The way you explain it actually kind of makes sense, maybe she saw the other rats below and tried to wedge her way through to them. All I can hope for was it was quick and painless (which I think it was because neither my boyfriend or I heard anything when this was happening).
 

Fidget

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Jul 24, 2007
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Victoria BC
I'm so sorry! Hard enough to suffer the pain of loss, but this one is so shocking too. We always question ourselves, but this is a random freak tragedy you never could have foreseen...
Poor sweet baby, she still knew only love & care & happiness all her life.. My heart goes out to you..
 

littlelunarat

New Member
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Jun 24, 2018
Messages
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Location
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I'm so sorry! Hard enough to suffer the pain of loss, but this one is so shocking too. We always question ourselves, but this is a random freak tragedy you never could have foreseen...
Poor sweet baby, she still knew only love & care & happiness all her life.. My heart goes out to you..
Sorry for the late response, thank you for your kind words [emoji173]️
 

happytails2

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Apr 4, 2012
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Location
Norfolk, VA, USA
my baby rats also would go under the tray (replacement tray) and get stuck, however no deaths. I would hear the squeaking and grab them. The rats below would attack them. Finally they grew to the size that they couldn't do that anymore.
Sorry for your loss.
 
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