Jul 20, 2014
11:18am

Hi! If it’s getting super desperate, you can take them to the vet & get them gassed a little bit & get them trimmed up there. I don’t trim mine unless one gets exceptionally long. I know a lot of people put bricks or rocks (make sure to wash them first & maybe even bake them to get any nastiness off) directly underneath the water bottle so that their front paws get filed down naturally. If you can run a nail file under them really quickly, that will also help—I know it’s easier said than done with some rats, but they’re not really like dogs or cats where they HAVE to be clipped, they’re so short that even a superfast filing will help quite a bit.

HI DRUNK!ANON! I appreciate your love. I hope you are not too hungover this morning. <3 

(this makes me a little sad though, as I cannot drink on Prozac without it counteracting the effects & making me into a nervous, anxious wreck the next day. but it’s okay, I was never much for alcohol any day & I would give up being drunk the rest of my life to not feel anxious any more, so I shan’t complain too much!)

I’ve never experienced that. It might have just been something in her eye (sometimes bedding can irritate it, or if they get a piece of hair or fuzz in there).  I’d keep an eye on it (oops, no pun intended) & take her to the vet if the eye starts looking really swollen or shut all the time, but if it is gone now, it’s probably nothing to worry about. You can try rinsing it with plain saline (available for really cheap in the contact lens cleaning department of most stores) if it happens again.

♥ 2 notes — tagged as: #anon #ask


He is!! I guess you could say he is my NUMBER ONE cutest rat (hahahahahaha, omg that was awful don’t tell anyone I said that, or that I’m laughing for several minutes over it).

RLY THO, HE IS SUPER ADORABLE.

Hi! I’m not sure what kind of parasites you mean—they can get internal parasites (similar to worms), in which case you need to take them to a vet, as those can cause blockages when they try to expel them, since they’re so small. It’s not really like dogs or cats, where you can just buy an over the counter dewormer that will more than likely work. 

Internal parasites are fairly rare (I know people who have had them in rats, but I’ve never had one with them), so I’m going to assume you mean ectoparasites—usually mites, lice, or fleas. Lice or mites come from storebought bedding, food, or new rats & the easiest way to prevent them are to freeze all food & bedding for 24-48 hours before putting it in a cage, & pre-emptively treat all new rats before bringing them into the house.  Mites are invisible to the naked eye, lice look like little tiny white dots. When a rat is infested, they’ll have a raggedy appearance (for lack of a better word), & may scratch an unusual amount & have little red dots on their skin.  In my experience, infestations seem to be strongly linked with sickness or general weakness, which makes me think that mites are probably something that are always on most rats in small amounts, but can often get out of control, either from untreated bedding, illness, or old age…IMO, that’s why you’ll often see one cagemate get covered in mites while others on the exact same bedding won’t show any signs at all.

Revolution, which is only available from a vet, kills them very efficiently.  It is pretty expensive (I just paid $20/tube for my cats, plus most vets won’t give it without an exam).  Give a small dab between the shoulder blades & then distract the rats with food so they don’t lick it off before it dries.  A much cheaper alternative that usually works just as well is Ivermectin, it’s a horse dewormer you can buy for ~$7/tube on Amazon (it’s also available from tractor supply-type stores).  The tube is designed for an entire horse, so I usually put it into a small container & mix it up to make sure the medicine is evenly distributed.  I give an amount the size of an uncooked grain of rice, orally, to each rat.  I have found that it often won’t clear up really stubborn cases of mites, Revolution is definitely a lot stronger.

Haha, I love you, anon. I HAD JUST STOPPED LAUGHING OVER MY STAR TREK PUN AND NOW I’M LAUGHING OVER THIS AGAIN EVEN THOUGH IT’S BEEN IN MY INBOX FOR AGES.

WHAT PRETTY RATS YOU HAVE! I love PEWs, too!! I am sad I have no PEW boys right now, only Bonkers (well, and Bob, if we are counting mice!)

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tinypawpets:

karasratworld:

I promise she’s ok lol. A small moment of discomfort will not harm her. She is actually a very calm rat and doesn’t really care about being held this way

Some rats actually do. My Delmus, Terra, and late Kairi, and even Lisa’s Rory like it. Rats are flexible, lightweight creatures and do not mind the lack of support in the way a guinea pig does. Same with a ferret.

I have some that don&#8217;t like being held with their back feet dangling (mostly my girls), &amp; some that seem to just simply tolerate it, but you can definitely tell whether it&#8217;s a rat that likes being held like that or not, they&#8217;d be wiggling WAY too much to take a photo if it was something they didn&#8217;t want to sit still for.  Most of mine don&#8217;t mind it because it gives them better access to lick my hand &amp; that is almost all of my rats&#8217; favorite hobby.
I have three brothers that LOOOOOOOVE (gently) being held by the scruff of their neck. I usually hold my other hand under their back feet in case they start wiggling because I obviously don&#8217;t want them to fall to the floor, but they go completely mellow &amp; get this happy zoned out look every time I scruff them. They usually start bruxing, &amp; then if I put them down, they come running back to me &amp; force their heads underneath my fingers to try to get me to scruff them again, lol. I have thought about getting a video of it to post, but I figured it might look abusive if someone didn&#8217;t realize that the rats enjoyed it. I only have one or two others that really enjoy being scruffed like that, most rats will start struggling &amp; appear uncomfortable if you try to do that. I assume it&#8217;s because I had them since they were born &amp; I picked them up like that from the time they were babies.

tinypawpets:

karasratworld:

I promise she’s ok lol. A small moment of discomfort will not harm her. She is actually a very calm rat and doesn’t really care about being held this way

Some rats actually do. My Delmus, Terra, and late Kairi, and even Lisa’s Rory like it. Rats are flexible, lightweight creatures and do not mind the lack of support in the way a guinea pig does. Same with a ferret.

I have some that don’t like being held with their back feet dangling (mostly my girls), & some that seem to just simply tolerate it, but you can definitely tell whether it’s a rat that likes being held like that or not, they’d be wiggling WAY too much to take a photo if it was something they didn’t want to sit still for.  Most of mine don’t mind it because it gives them better access to lick my hand & that is almost all of my rats’ favorite hobby.

I have three brothers that LOOOOOOOVE (gently) being held by the scruff of their neck. I usually hold my other hand under their back feet in case they start wiggling because I obviously don’t want them to fall to the floor, but they go completely mellow & get this happy zoned out look every time I scruff them. They usually start bruxing, & then if I put them down, they come running back to me & force their heads underneath my fingers to try to get me to scruff them again, lol. I have thought about getting a video of it to post, but I figured it might look abusive if someone didn’t realize that the rats enjoyed it. I only have one or two others that really enjoy being scruffed like that, most rats will start struggling & appear uncomfortable if you try to do that. I assume it’s because I had them since they were born & I picked them up like that from the time they were babies.

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Hi! I’m always kind of wary of saying “no, they’re definitely not sick” when people send me messages, because I’m not seeing them in person, plus I’m not a vet, but that doesn’t sound at all unusual, especially for a female…she’s probably in heat (not to sound perverse, but you can usually tell because their vagina will be kind of gaping when they’re in heat & they’ll also get way twitchier). 

I have five rats that are from the same litter, two girls & three boys, & they’re all SUPER ticklish & jumpy, if you go to scratch their sides, they’ll hop around like they’re rabbits, & they’ll twitch & jerk away from you & then come back for more two seconds later.  The boys are really demanding about it & will shove their cagemates out of the way to get tickled. My friend owns their mom & she is apparently the same way, so I guess it’s at least partially hereditary.

Aww, thank you! I do have EXTRA cute rats, I just wanna squish them all to pieces because they are so adorable.

Hi! I’m sorry that this took so long to get back to you, I have been really sick with a bladder infection.  How old are they?  That sounds like that could be hormones, which may resolve on their own, or may end up necessitating a neuter. Hormones usually affect males most strongly anywhere from 6mths-1yr—some will remain hormonal for long after, but in my experience, that’s when most rats get over their “pissy boy” stage.  They could just be trying to establish dominance in the new cage, though.  Unless they’re fighting literally all of the time, drawing blood, or one is clearly ignoring the other’s submissive signals & continuing to try to attack him even when he’s hiding or obviously terrified, it’s probably just normal behavior that’s going to stop on its own.  If you are able to get one or both of them neutered, it would pretty much nip all of that behavior in the bud, but it’s not really necessary unless any of those three things apply or the behavior seems to be continuing for a really long time or getting substantially worse. 

I was having some major behavioral issues from Dotcom when he got hormonal, & I actually made an appointment to have him snipped.  I had to cancel it due to something else coming up, & by the time the day came & went, he had calmed down. He still has problems with Worf sometimes (who I’m actually considering neutering now, lol), but he doesn’t ever fight with anyone else any more. These issues can definitely resolve, but if one or both of them are hormonal enough that they need a neuter, there’s not going to be anything else that is going to fix them, short of permanent separation, which is cruel & I 100% don’t recommend at all.  I had a male in the past that had hormonal issues & wasn’t able to be neutered due to pre-existing health conditions—I separated him into a solitary cage at mealtimes & when he got in a bad mood.  That worked really well for him, I’d say he was alone maybe 25% of the time, which isn’t an ideal situation, but he was able to live with his friends the rest of the time & I think he had a good life.  If you aren’t able to get them neutered for whatever reason & the problems continue, it might be worth trying out a “time out” cage like that.  Good luck! I ADORE boy rats, but when they’re bad, they’re freaking awful.

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Thank you. I know it was his time to go, I had been crossing my fingers constantly he’d go peacefully in his sleep the last few days, because he really looked awful.  He never seemed to get to a point where he seemed uncomfortable or in pain, which obviously I’m grateful for, but at the same time, it is rough because I find it really difficult to decide when to put elderly rats to sleep if they’re not really in any discomfort. I think in his case, it would’ve made him a lot more stressed to take him to the vet & have him euthanized.  I know he lived a full life, but I will miss him.

Aww, I will pass your love on to Courage!  He has been having really extensive eye issues for the last year or so (fairly common with hairlesses since they have no eyelashes) & so he doesn’t get posted a whole lot due to the fact his eyes often look a bit disturbing.  I don’t think he can see much of anything any more, but he still has the same grumpy personality.  He is a little more active now that it’s summertime—he spends most of the winter burrowed in his little nest.  He snuggles up next to Alan a lot & it cracks me up because Courage is a tiny little thing & Alan is huge, plus he’s got this big poofy fluffy curly coat & he’s pretty much the exact opposite of Courage.  I am crossing my fingers that I can introduce my newest group of four middle-aged boys (well, maybe four, I don’t know if I’m keeping the two newest) in with them because they’re all big boys & Courage will have a fit having that much mass to cuddle with. :P

Haha, it can be a little much sometimes, but I am pretty good with time management & I enjoy it/don’t have a lot of other hobbies, so I don’t mind.  Two of the cats are almost completely independent & don’t like a ton of interaction, so it’s pretty much like they’re not even there. Mitch & Harvey Wallace are a little more demanding, but they’re old enough now that interaction with them is more like “cuddling on the couch while reading or watching TV” as opposed to actively playing.  Cece is REALLY mellow (especially for a puppy who is mostly lab!) & is pretty good at keeping herself occupied.  I walk her a mile every day & usually play either fetch or Frisbee with her in the yard when I get off work, but in general, she is satisfied either sitting on the porch chewing on a stick or lying beside me eating a bone.   She goes to a park, the dog park, or downtown 1-2x a week because I’m still trying to socialize her around people & dogs & that can be hard just staying in the neighborhood.

The rats take up waaaay more time than the other animals, mostly because I have so many.  I spend 1-2 hours playing with them each evening—I’d like to spend a little more, but things have been hectic since the fact I work regular hours five days a week is still weird to me (you’d think I’d be adjusted after four months, but I’ve done retail all my life prior to this & had constantly changing hours, so this still feels strange!).  I space out cage cleanings so that I usually do one cage a day & never more than two a day.

I think it would be a lot more stressful if I viewed them as chores or if I had a busy social life or a ton of other hobbies, but my main interests are music & photography & I can listen to music while playing with the pets & I mostly photograph them! I wouldn’t recommend for everyone to have this many, but I find it very fulfilling & I like being surrounded by a little zoo.  I’m way more stressed when I’m NOT around them, it feels weird & too quiet!

Hi! YAY PUPPY!!!!

I definitely wouldn’t try it until you trust her, especially if you live on a busy street, & probably wait until she’s a little older since puppies tend to be easily distracted & more likely to run.  I am at the very end of a dead end road.  Cece ran off a lot when she was young & I used to have to be reaaaaallllly firm with her as far as yelling at her if she ran off because even though there’s not a lot of traffic on my road, there’s still other dangers (lots of loose dogs, tons of people scared of dogs that kick/beat at strange dogs, etc.).  It felt almost abusive at the time & I hated being so stern with her because she’d get super-upset, but she was bad about trying to get away with things when she was young if she thought no one was going to get pissed at her.  She caught on fairly quickly & I trust her 90% of the time when she’s out alone now. 

I don’t have a fenced in yard, so most of her outside time is either in the backyard on a big tie out (I don’t leave her out there a ton because I’m paranoid she’ll choke, plus she gets bored because there’s nothing to look at) or either on the front porch. She can usually go out on the front porch loose, she’ll just sit there & chew on a stick in the evenings, & she likes watching all the people walking around.  There’s about a dozen stray cats in my neighborhood & she likes to run off after them if she sees them, so if I happen to see cats out, I’ll normally tie her to the porch table on a long leash just in case.  My elderly neighbor is scared of big dogs & likes to sit on her porch, so I will tie Cece up if I see that she’s outside because I don’t want her to worry about Cece coming up to her.  I check on her every 5-10 minutes when she’s out, regardless of whether she’s tied up or not, & she usually won’t walk off within five feet of the porch as long as I make sure to put enough sticks by her, because she likes to wander off in search of more sticks if I only put one or two up.

I was worried she’d never get to this point because she had a stage where she was constantly trying to run off.  I looked into training methods & there was one a lot of people recommended where you put flags up around your yard & give treats when they stop at the flag, but that didn’t work with her at all because she’s not very food motivated & responds a lot better to praise vs. yelling.  There are a lot of parks here with secluded trails & that’s where I usually practice recall with her, because she doesn’t like me getting out of her line of sight if we’re somewhere unfamiliar.  I can pretty much take her on an empty trail now completely off-leash.  I’m still working with her on staying with me even if there is a dog or person around (ESPECIALLY if we’re near a sandy area or a big muddy bog, because those things are 100% guaranteed to make her dart away & completely ignore me).

I’ve had a lot of experience around dogs, but this is only the second dog that I’ve ever been responsible for & the other one had some aggression/psychological issues due to prior abuse that made him very hard to deal with, so I don’t really know a lot about training methods & what not.  I have mostly tried to focus on not babying her & that has seemed to work out okay. She still gets way too excited when people come over, but I think that’s something that’s mostly a result of her being young, & I don’t mind all that much if she wants to run in circles acting like an idiot, it’s more jumping that I want to curtail.  The main thing I’ve found hard is remembering to not ever let her get away with bad behavior, because it’s easy to accidentally pet her if she jumps up on me when she’s excited that I’m home from work, & I know that’s not fair to her because she’s not going to understand why that’s okay but she gets shoved off if a friend comes over & she tries to jump on him.  It is all very new to me because she’s the biggest dog I’ve ever spent a lot of time with & it was never a huge deal if my mom’s Jack Russell pulled on his leash or the Chihuahua jumped on my legs all the time, but Cece’s already WAY stronger than me & she’s not fully grown, so stuff that’s fine for small dogs is unacceptable (& even dangerous) for her.

Yeah, I haven’t had meat since I was 7.  I don’t know if I would want to try vegan.  Meat-free stuff is definitely getting a lot more popular than it used to be…I stopped eating meat eighteen years ago & it was just about impossible then to find meatless dishes in restaurants & I had only ever heard of one other vegetarian.  It’s still pretty uncommon now where I live (rural area with a lot of hunters) & I get a ton of flak about it, but it’s not unheard of like it used to be & I only occasionally get treated like a zoo animal.  In the last year, I have only had a few people tell me I was the only vegetarian they know, & I used to get that pretty much any time someone found out.

I know there are a lot of cruelty issues in the dairy industry (& obviously issues with male chicks being disposed of in the egg-laying industry!), but I don’t feel like it’s really practical to be vegan in the town I live in now on my budget.  I do buy free-range eggs & milk (often from local farmers’ markets)…I don’t personally have any ethical problems with the production of eggs/milk if the animals involved are being treated humanely.  To be honest, I wouldn’t have a problem with the meat industry if the animals weren’t (generally) treated so horribly & the slaughtering process was made less stressful.  I wouldn’t personally want to eat meat even if it were from a free-range chicken that lived a happy life & then was slaughtered in as humane of a manner as possible, but I don’t really feel there’s anything morally wrong with that if someone else wants to do so…I don’t feel that it’s a whole lot different than a lion killing a zebra or a rattlesnake eating a mouse.  I know a lot of vegetarians strongly disagree with me on that issue, just my two cents. 

Thank you! I am glad you like them.  :)   I love TNG.  I wish I had picked a nicer character to name Worfrat after because he is a complete asshole & I’m pretty sure I jinxed him by using a grumpy character’s name, lol.

♥ 6 notes — tagged as: #anon #ask #courage #wesley #cecilia


Anonymous: "I just got an 8 week old kitten, and I have two rats. So far all the kitten can really do is watch the cage but is there anything I should be watching out for? Will the rats get stressed out if they see the cats, aand is there a good way to introduce the two or will it probably end badly?"

Hi! I’m a lot more cautious with mine around my cats than a lot of people are—I have seen plenty of photos of them interacting with cats & not having anything bad happen, but I’ve also gotten multiple messages from people whose rats were killed by their pet cats.  Most of my rats didn’t really care when I got rats, but some of the more sensitive ones were REALLY upset (mostly Alan)—seeing the cats didn’t especially bother him, just having them in the house upset them. Pip used to be really scared of them too, but now all of them ignore the cats & some actually like sniffing at them through the bars.

I got both of my fully-grown cats (Armando/Mr. Kitty & Kitsey) when they were older. I don’t trust them around the rats because I’ve never seen them interact with them & they’re not allowed anywhere near the cages when they’re open (or the rats when they’re out). They’ve both lived outside & have presumably killed prey before, & I don’t think it’s worth the risk of them interacting, even though they haven’t shown any interest in them & rarely even approach the cages.

I am a little more lenient with Harvey Wallace & Mitch—they’re both a little over a year old & I’ve had them since they were very young, so they’re super, super accustomed to the rats. I’ll hold them in my lap when I have a rat out & I don’t mind if they come near the cage when the door’s open. They’ll usually just sniff at the rats & sometimes rub against them. I’ve brought older rats out & had them take a nap on my lap while one of the cats was sleeping right next to me. Harvey Wallace LOOOOOVES jumping into the cage & falling asleep while I’m cleaning it (I try to make sure that the rats are all separated into the top portion, of the cage but he isn’t picky as to whether they’re there or not, so sometimes he’ll jump in the rat-filled cage & curl up for naptime :P).  I wouldn’t ever let them run loose in a room with a rat & every time they’re interacting at all, I have either a hand on the cat or a hand on the rat. I am 100% positive they wouldn’t intentionally kill them—any time they’ve ever reached a paw up at them, they haven’t had claws extended or been acting aggressive—but the fact of the matter is that they could VERY easily kill them while just trying to play.  I am especially careful about having the females or babies around them because they move so fast & their tails are basically like the ideal cat toy.

I trust Cece around them because she’s very good about responding to “no,” but again, I’d never have them out on the floor when she’s also on the floor. I’ve sat on the couch with her & rats before, but I don’t let her get up because she’s so big & clumsy that crushing one would be pretty easy. Most of her interaction with them is lying her head on the cage floor & licking them if they come near her. She’s not a dog that’s particularly aggressive when she plays & I wouldn’t recommend letting a snappy dog (or 99% of terriers) interact with rats at all.

As far as general things to watch out for with cats—their eyes will get huge when they’re wanting to kill something & their body language will change (they’ll tense up & maybe even wiggle around a little).  They’ll also extend their front claws whenever they go to bat with their front paws. I wouldn’t recommend trying any sort of free range intro with a kitten that young because he’s probably pretty playful & a rat’s tail moving as quickly as it does is going to be waaaaay too tempting for most young cats.

—Lisa

♥ 6 notes — tagged as: #anon #ask


Thank you! I was home alone when I put it on, so I didn’t have anybody to help adjust the ribbons in the back. I think it’ll be a little better once I can pull it up some & fix the ribbons to make my boobs pop more. Or I am hoping so, anyway.

Haha, he actually just got over a bout of lice, I think the pic you’re talking about was taken mid-infestation. He is normally one of those gross elderly boys that doesn’t ever clean themselves even the slightest bit & he always ends ends up with the a gross thin coat.

(he’s since been treated for lice, btw. it always takes a few days for Ivermectin to come in, I order it online)

I can SO sympathize. Cece has been having ear problems lately & the only thing that seems to help is putting apple cider vinegar in her ear.  She loves playing in the river & her ears are droopy & hairy, so they tend to get yeasty & cause her pain & shake her head. She HATES getting the vinegar put in her ear & so every time I do it, she goes running from me & whines & is terrified & I feel like the worst person in the world.

Try to give him treats immediately after (this doesn’t seem to work too well with Cece, unfortunately, but she is less food-motivated than a rat) & make a point to handle him a TON throughout the day when you’re not medicating him. Handle him waaaay more than you usually do. He’s still going to get pissy when you do have to medicate him, but he’s not going to immediately get upset when he sees you.

I DON’T KNOW IT’S REALLY WEIRD AND I AM CONFUSED BY IT LITERALLY EVERY DAY!!!! I don’t really find myself that likable or interesting? I dunno, I have found that it’s easy to get people to like you on the internet if you are honest about yourself. I don’t think I have any mad social skillz or anything because I literally don’t have a single friend in this city other than my boyfriend (& God knows how I got him, I’m still confused by that).

There are a lot of things about Tumblr I don’t like, but I do think that, in general, it’s a nice place full of caring people. I was really the first rat blog on here so I feel like I kind of got lucky in that regard & people started following me just because there wasn’t a lot of competition. I didn’t originally start this as a rat blog & I was really apologetic about the first few rat photos I posted, but they got positive feedback, so I just kinda rolled with it.

::hugs:: I am really sorry. It is tough when they go young. I hate pituitary tumors, my first rat had to be euthanized due to one & it was heartbreaking to watch him completely lose it mentally, even though he wasn’t suffering physically.  My friend Kaley’s dear little Kairi had to be put to sleep today also.  I think I am probably going to lose Wesley sometime this week, I hope that there is a rattie heaven where your guy & Kai are up there to greet him. Try to remember the good times that you had with him, I know that is cliche & doesn’t help a lot right after one dies, but I do find that it makes me feel better to think about what I was able to give them, even if it doesn’t feel like it was enough because they died young.

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YAY! I’m so happy for you! Feel free to submit pics once you get them! :)

They often get a little thinness to their coats (especially rex rats), particularly on the face, but if they’re losing most of their hair, there’s probably some other issues going on, like ectoparasites or some sort of fungus or nutritional deficiency & they need to go to a vet.

I presume you’re having to get one euthanized, so first off, sorry about that. :(
I’ve been present for almost all of my rats’ euthanasias, but my vet knows me really well & knows  I can handle it emotionally & I’m not going to cause a scene in the middle of the office. Quite a few vets won’t allow people in the room when small animals are euthanized because it can be a little more disturbing to witness than a dog or cat euthanasia, where they have veins that can be used…rats are put to sleep by a direct injection into the heart & that can be kind of traumatic if you’re not comfortable with medical-type situations.   I don’t think it necessarily means they’re doing anything sheisty, they just maybe don’t want to run the risk of someone they don’t know getting overly-emotional about a scene that could be understandably disturbing.
With that being said, the correct, least stressful way to euthanize a rat is to first anesthetize them so that they don’t feel the needle going in.  MANY, MANY, MANY (I’d say the vast majority that I’ve talked to) vets without a lot of small animal expertise inject the rat while they’re awake—I think it’s better than letting them suffer, but it’s definitely not the ideal way to euthanize them since they’re feeling the needle going in. Anesthetizing them can be difficult to watch because sometimes they’ll struggle against the mask (which is the absolute worst part to me, because I always am having to hold them down—most elderly rats don’t put up a fight, but the younger ones that had respiratory issues will usually freak out a bit & I have to constantly remind myself that I’m doing the right thing), but they fall asleep within five seconds. I had one that jerked a little bit after he was gassed, but it was just muscle spasms. The needle goes in right after & I’ve never once had one that showed any sign of pain or waking up whatsoever (or spasming). I hate when they fight the gas mask going on because it’s upsetting to think about that being their last moment alive, but I think the fact their suffering is ending is worth what’s literally just a few seconds of confusion & panic.

My mice eat the same thing my rats do, just smaller portions. :)  One block of rat/mouse food in the morning & a few pieces of high quality dog food for dinner.

I’m really sorry.  I’m in a similar situation with one of mine, he’s a year & a half & very, very healthy & lives with older cagemates who have pretty severe health issues, so I know he’s going to end up alone. He’s fine with his cagemates & isn’t particularly aggressive, but he’s way too much of an asshole for me to try to get him in with the average adult male. For what it’s worth, with him, I have two males that I just got recently who I’m getting neutered.  I’m hoping to get them in with Alan (he’s less likely to see a fixed male as a threat), but if that doesn’t work out, getting them in with my females should be very easy.

The problem with unaltered males is that you are almost always going to end up with one leftover, so what I tell people is to try to stagger the ages as much as possible so that there’s not a lot of time for one to be a “widow rat.”  It can be virtually impossible to introduce males that are 1-2 years old to other males—if you get a new rat that’s the same age, he’s going to be viewed as a threat, & a lot of males will seriously harm or kill a very young rat, so there’s a balancing act to try to get two new companions that are just barely pre-pubescent (you don’t want to get just one or you’ll be in the same boat when your older one dies).  Males that are over 2 are often not really all that hormonal any more, making introductions easier & attacks waaaay less likely, but if he’s really sickly, it might stress him out more than it’s worth, to be honest (which is the reason I’m not introducing my two boys until after my oldest passes away).  In your situation, I’d try for two babies (like ~8-10wks), because like I said, with him being elderly, he’s not going to be all that likely to try to hurt them, & they wouldn’t try to hurt him at all if they’re young enough. Also, I have a fondness for really old rats with little babies, so you have to send me pictures once you do this. ;)

Yes, he does! I am blessed with many rats with overly large eyes right now.  I have five from one litter (Pip, Crawfisha, Philip, Dotcom, Podrick) & they all have MASSIVE eyes. I don’t think I’d even be able to tell if they had glaucoma like Pax because their eyes all bulge all the time!

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AAAH THIS WAS LIKE THE NICEST MESSAGE EVER I told my dog about it because no one was home & she didn’t really care but it’s okay, I care enough for both of us, THANK YOU I HOPE YOU HAVE A NICE WEEKEND!!!

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OH NO!!! I know it is really really scary right now (& I’m not just saying that, I remember the week I graduated college, I had a panic attack in my car & just sat there crying unable to get out even though I was parked in my driveway), but things will get better! It might take a little while—I worked for barely over minimum wage for six months after I graduated, but now I have a relatively well-paying job that I don’t hate & I feel relatively fulfilled in life & (most importantly to me, since I’ve always worked really varying schedules) I am working the steady hours I always hoped I could have.

Okay, sorry for the semi-patronizing, “I sound like an old person!” advice-giving, I will now move on to Rory.  I have filmed an especial video dedicated to you which I have posted here. I apologize that Rorschach wasn’t interested in making it an entertaining video (he has actually fallen asleep in the time it took me to go pee & come back & type this).

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I’ve never had one with a stroke—that sounds a lot like a pituitary tumor, though the symptoms can be pretty similar, from my understanding. A lot of the videos online are of really advanced PTs, to be honest, I’ve usually had them euthanized once they get to the point where they seem depressed or like they don’t have a good quality of life, so I’ve never had any that were as bad as some of the bad videos I’ve seen (where they walk in circles or constantly run into things). 

My first & favorite rat, Ivan, had a pituitary tumor, & it was an awful experience to go through…I don’t know of any way to describe it other than to say that he just went dead in his eyes, you could even see it in photos. He seemed happy the first few weeks after I noticed symptoms, but he forgot his entire vocabulary & completely lost his personality. I’ve found that most elderly (I’d say over 2.5 years) rats tend to get at least a little senile where they appear to have reduced mental facilities, but with PTs, it’s much more rapid & the front end stops working over just a few days. I have heard of people having success treating PTs with Prednisone, so if you’re interested in trying that, it might not be a bad idea to ask a vet about it. Best of luck with him, I hope it is a stroke & resolves itself on its own, I’ve heard of that happening.

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Haha, not that I know of. He’s actually been a lot better lately! I am still scared to expose my fingers to him, but he’s let me pet him a few times & he licks my arm sometimes now. I’ve been trying to be really patient with him & not make any sudden movements.

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I did, thank you for asking! I posted a webcam pic that night he went missing, I found him, you might’ve missed it because it was the middle of the night. He has been safe & sound since then, knock on wood!

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She is doing well, you can actually see her for a little bit in the first part of the video I linked to on the graduation ask!

I haven’t been able to photograph my girls much lately thanks to Rio’s new habit of escaping the cage every single time it’s open. If I take my eyes off of her for a second, she’s liable to be running under the bed or through the kitchen, so I have to have my full attention on the females whenever that cage door is open.

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Most of mine are buried at my mom’s house & I have a few that are buried in a friend’s backyard. I get my favorite ones cremated, I have two that were really good friends held in the same container & then one that liked to be alone whose ashes are alone. I have five or six in the freezer right now & I need to bury them, I’ve got a couple of rats (Darcy & Jameson) & one mouse (maybe two) that I’m probably going to cremate. I usually like to bury at least a few at once because I know they’re not really there, but I hate the idea of them being buried alone since they like being in groups in real life.

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That’s a really good idea, would definitely cover up the taste!

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Eee, I dunno what med he’s on, but it sounds like that’s not working—-I’d imagine it’s more symptoms of the illness & not a side effect from the medication, at least if it’s something common like Baytril—I know they can have side effects, but I’ve never observed or heard of anything like that.  I’ve had some respiratory issues that Baytril didn’t work on (especially if it was a rat that had been on it multiple times in the past) & I had to try Zithromax instead. Good luck, I hope he feels better soon!

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Yay! I’m so glad to hear they’re doing well! I LOVE babies with old rats, that’s like my favorite combo ever, haha.

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It might be just a reflex? I’ve never really noticed it on any of mine, but it’s not something I’ve really looked for. I’d be inclined to say it’s nothing to worry about, though I guess technically it maybe could be some sort of brain tumor or something, so I don’t wanna go on record as saying “YEAH, ALL’S GOOD!” but with all that being said, if it was my rat & that was the only weird thing they did, I wouldn’t be too worried.

Have you gotten a new rat lately that did it? They often pick up on other rats’ behaviors, especially licking & bar chewing. I’ve noticed that a lot of rats will never do a particular action & then after they try it once, they decide they love it & want to do it obsessively. If it’s something that bugs you, try moving her away every time she does it (or distracting her). Mine are all super licky & mouthy…every time I get a new rat that doesn’t like licking me, it’ll see my other rats doing it & then get obsessive about it. :P

No need to apologize! :) It is a website that automatically places a bid for you in the last few seconds of an auction so that you don’t have to sign on. I have been on eBay for 13 years (okay, now I feel super old) & they used to not be that common, but now it’s just about impossible to win an auction for a popular item like a DSLR lens without using a sniping service. I use Gixen & have had great success with it.

I don’t see myself being with him long term—it’s not that he’s a bad guy, but his shitty points are *really* shitty—he’s almost unbearable to deal with when he’s at his worst. He’s super immature re: work, finances, & his future & he’s got some mental issues he probably needs to deal with on a professional level.

With all that being said, he’s one of the most genuinely caring & helpful people I’ve ever met the rest of the time. I really like spending time with him—he’s fun & funny & he’s very passionate. I feel bad because I am not very good at talking about feelings & stuff & so I have a tendency to complain about him a lot. It’s definitely warranted at times, but he also does really nice things. He’s really patient when I’m anxious & he took my favorite rat to be euthanized when I wasn’t able to leave work to do so & he has never once complained about there being too many rats & every time he brings a friend or family member over, he invites them in & gets them to ask me about the rats so that I can talk to them without being too nervous.  He’s not a great boyfriend or the best person I’ve ever met, but he tries really hard & he sounds way worse than he is when all you hear are the bad things (which I guess is true of anyone).

Such is the quandary of male rats.  :(

What I generally tell people is that if you want to own more rats in the future & are willing to accept the chance that you might have to have two cages of rats, go ahead & get two companions (preferably 3-4 months old, 6 months at the very oldest). You don’t want to get just one because then you’ll be in the same boat in a year when your current youngest one is your oldest one. Males can be difficult, sometimes impossible, to introduce at an older age & it’s not something to be taken lightly or rushed into. In my experience, the hardest age to get a particularly testosterone-y male in with friends is 7mths-1.25 years. After about a year & a half, many males (even ones that were a little more “manly” in their youth) have mellowed out enough to accept buddies without a whole lot of difficulty, though I have had a few that never reached that point. If you have the time & the ability to take things slowly, I say go for it, but if you’ve got some sort of rushed situation (or you aren’t going to be able to keep them if introductions fail & you end up having to keep two separate groups of rats), it might be better to wait a bit & see how the younger one reacts when his cagemate passes. I definitely recommend keeping rats together in 99.9999% of cases, but with older males, you’re pretty much always going to end up with a “widow rat” for at least a little bit of time.

I am in the same boat with Alan right now. For what it’s worth, I just got him two friends who are post-pubescent & I’m going to get them neutered to hopefully be better accepted by him. I’m not 100% sure this is going to work & they might end up going in with my girls instead. He’s 1.5 years old, extremely healthy, & lives with older companions who all have substantial health problems, so he’s almost definitely going to outlive them. I don’t know what kind of shape your older rat is in, but if he’s healthy enough, you might have better luck trying to introduce them all before he passes away. I’m going to try that with Alan, though I am definitely waiting until after Wesley’s gone since he’s got pretty severe mobility issues & wouldn’t do well in an introduction session.

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