Weird Health Occurence

Discussion in 'Health & General Care' started by ViciousCurse, Sep 10, 2019.

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  1. Sep 10, 2019 #1

    ViciousCurse

    ViciousCurse

    ViciousCurse

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    So, recently I had to euthanize Owen. He was only estimated to be about 2.5 years old (previous owner told me he was 1.5 when I brought him home, but as some of you may know, the owner seemed rather apathetic about Owen and Peter), and I decided it was time for him.

    Some lovely news before his eventual passing:
    About two or three months prior to euthanasia, his personality did a complete 180. Perhaps he knew he was getting sick and wanted to reconcile, or something else, but the biting and bullying ceased. Just... stopped. It wasn't like the habit tapered off, it just stopped cold turkey.

    He went from rearing up and biting me if my hand got close, to actually coming up for head rubs.


    Anyways, onto the reason for this post. Owen very rapidly lost weight. All of my other boys held weight and I had seen Owen eating, drinking, sleeping, etc. He was doing his normal activities, but his muscles were wasting away. I gave him yogurt and applesauce, and I watered down Oxbow just for him. I did everything to keep on his weight, but he was just losing it way too quickly. I called my vet and they were nice enough to give me advice over the phone. I tried high-calorie baby food, avocado (no skin or pits), hard boiled eggs, I even tried Ensure. I tried 95% dark chocolate. Anyways, I digress.

    However, his stomach remained rather distended. Some palpation by me (and eventually the vet) told me he was holding a lot of fluids within his stomach. He was drinking a lot more water, so I suspected a very aggressive cancer in his abdomen, or renal failure. The vet agreed with me when they pressed (gently) on his stomach, right before he was euthanized.

    At the vet, basically waiting to say goodbye to him, I noticed his skin had seemingly just opened on his left shoulder. Mind you, there was absolutely no blood. My rats have NEVER inflicted this type of injury on each other. My cage (yes, I checked after we got home) had NO blood anywhere. His shoulder didn't have any type of discharge coming out. I could see into his body. I watched his scapula move back and forth, along with atrophied muscles.

    It honestly reminds me of a huge cyst that opened up, just with how the skin was opened up, but there was no discharge and I would have seen this cyst on his shoulder.

    Any idea why his shoulder could have just... popped open? I asked the vet and they didn't know either.

    His ears, tail, and toes were a healthy pink, so he couldn't have been anemic.

    Also, this opening wasn't there when I put him in his carrier on the way to the vet, so it happened during the car ride or while at the vet's. He didn't cut his shoulder on the carrier, the carrier had no fur or blood or puss stuck to it. I checked after we got him home.


    I didn't get pictures because I quite frankly hate taking pictures when my animals are at their worst and it honestly doesn't cross my mind. I'm usually way too concerned with them to worry about pictures.

    Thanks for any advice. I'm just a little lost, right now.
     
  2. Sep 11, 2019 #2

    Dena

    Dena

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    So sorry for you loss. He is with his brother now. The shoulder thing is simply weird to me. I'd like to know too....
     
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  3. Sep 11, 2019 #3

    Rocket99

    Rocket99

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    To answer... You ssid his "opening" on his shoulder was clean, and you could see his scapula. I assume there was no immediate bleeding and probably very little afterwards. That said, therefore there wouldn't be any blood on anything in the carrier anyway, nor his cage. Very clean slices that are clean down to muscle, but dont cut any muscle tissue, are almost always from another rats nails. The nails are curved and therefore they cut though skin tissue completely but, because the nail tip is curved inward, it doest get into muscle and only brushes against it on its outward non sharp side. Plus, the nail, as it slices the skin, pulls the skin up away from the innards, so basically it won't even touch the muscle. If you have a nail cutting utensil, or a carpet cutting razor blade, youll see exactly how this occurs. The razor blade is used in a utility knife, and is a perfect example of how this nail injury happens. So.... Thats my guess of what happened.
     
  4. Sep 11, 2019 #4

    Rocket99

    Rocket99

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    One more thing, if he was very frightened i wonder if it is possible (well, of course it's possible) that he scratched himself and cut hisself. It would have to be a seriously hard scratch or bad itch.
     
  5. Sep 13, 2019 #5

    jorats

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    I want to address the abdomen, I had a rat with a bladder that stopped eliminating fully. His abdomen also felt a bit harder than usual. My vet showed me how to locate the bladder and do a gently squeeze to help him eliminate. But really, all this did was allow him to love longer in palliative care which in hindsight, I wish I had him pts instead. Also, the symptoms you described could have been kidney disease which is very common in rats which is why it's so important to keep their protein very low. I'm sorry for your loss.
     
  6. Sep 16, 2019 at 4:17 AM #6

    ViciousCurse

    ViciousCurse

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    I saw Owen urinate and defecate normally near the end, so I know he was eliminating properly. His abdomen felt very squishy. He didn't indicate any pain, and I suspect he would have immediately told me if it hurt. At one point, he looked so distended, he resembled a heavily pregnant rat.

    There was absolutely no blood. Not a single drop. Not on his cut, in his cut, not even in his carrier, the fleece inside, or anywhere in the main cage. I wiped things down with paper towels to make sure I wasn't missing anything and there was no blood. In hindsight, it sounds kind of eerie lol.

    As I said, I really don't think of my rats did this to him. I saw absolutely no signs of aggression between him and ANY of the other rats the months leading up to his euthanasia. I live in my room all of the time and would have seen/heard anything go on. I really adamantly believe this wasn't caused by a cagemate. If I was, I would have heard or seen it.
     
  7. Sep 16, 2019 at 4:23 AM #7

    ViciousCurse

    ViciousCurse

    ViciousCurse

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    Sort of a double post, but has anyone ever brought another rat (or two) to a euthanasia appointment? I thought about bringing one of Owen's buddies with, but I didn't want to needlessly stress them out, but I also didn't want Owen to feel stressed. Ultimately, I made the decision to bring him alone and offer my comfort to him. Should I bring a buddy rat with next time?

    When I euthanized Gideon over a year ago, I brought Gideon alone. But Gideon was so sick, I didn't want to try to handle a sick rat and a scared rat on the way to and from the vet. I also had a too-small carrier back then, so putting them in the carrier was out of the question.
     
  8. Sep 16, 2019 at 8:10 PM #8

    lilspaz68

    lilspaz68

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    I think it really all depends on a bunch of factors. I often have to drop off my rats for euthanasia, so having a sad lone companion left at the vets all day isn't worth it. Most rats are quite resigned by the time you get to that point so I usually just bring in the one rat myself. IF they are a very frightened nervous rat, and you have a car and are just doing an appt, then you can definitely bring a companion then.
     
  9. Sep 16, 2019 at 8:12 PM #9

    lilspaz68

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    The tension slice sounds more like a bloodless slice through old man skin. They happen for all sorts of reasons.
     
  10. Sep 16, 2019 at 11:55 PM #10

    ViciousCurse

    ViciousCurse

    ViciousCurse

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    I know it isn't always possible, but I prefer to be there and say goodbye when the time comes. I'd definitely bring friends along in general appointments.
    Owen was always a nervous rat, but yeah, he was pretty resigned at that point. I think he just felt so cruddy that he didn't care :(
     

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