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Pet Rats/Rat went limp and recovered-- stroke or heart attack

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Question
QUESTION: I,ve only had my 4 month old hairless rat Binky for 3 days now .He hasn,t shown much attention till tonite.I almost lost him.He was gasping for air and I basically saved his little life.I put him on my chest and he was really out of it but when he began to move around he started to lick my neck,chin and my lips.IT kiss him a lot and massage his neck and ears and he lays down and closes his eyes.So what does hid licking mean and why is he doing that to me?

ANSWER: Dear Elise,

Like a cat or dog, it means he loves you. It is an honor.

Was he drooling? If so, he was choking and he is fine now. But if it was due to respiratory problems, he must go to the vet.

Best of luck and happiness to him.

Squeaks,

Natasha



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: No drooling and he doesn,t have a respitory problem.I know those type of things because most breeders I get my rats from don,t use shavings anymore.He seems fine today and abit tired .He was eating last nite so to me it,s a good sign and whatever happened it was a split second .
thanks
Elise

Answer
Hi,

He may have had a minor stroke or heart attack. I have some rats with really weak hearts and a couple of them have had heart attacks where they went limp like they were dead and then a few minutes later recovered. I also had one go  limp and not recover. He died of the heart attack. His brother, who was with us, had a heart attack a few minutes later, but survived.

I also had a rat with a stroke (two days later; this was at Christmas :). ) and he went limp too. Unfortunately his stroke was very serious and he was paralyzed for eight hours and then died. But mini strokes can be very quick.

You and he are very lucky that it was a minor occurrence. He should avoid stress in the future.

I'm glad he seems fine. And he felt you saved him, which is why he was licking you. I hope the personality change is permanent.

Squeaks,

Natasha

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Natasha Millikan

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Consider me a sub, when no one else is available. NOTE YOU MUST NOT HAVE ONLY ONE RAT. JOIN MY FACEBOOK GROUP (because there are smarter people than me there!!): ***** https://www.facebook.com/groups/RatsandMiceareAwesome/. ***** Excellent sites: http://ratguide.com/ **** http://lilspazrats.wikispaces.com/ **** http://www.ratbehavior.org/rats.html **** http://www.ratfanclub.org/ **** http://www.sandyscrittercity.com/ **** http://www.ratwhisperer.net/ ****

Experience

I have had rats for 3-1/3 years and have researched them extensively. I am a mouse expert with 40 years' experience with mice. The two species are similar and yet also quite different.

Organizations
My Facebook group is Rats (and Mice) are Awesome. https://www.facebook.com/groups/RatsandMiceareAwesome/

Education/Credentials
I have a Bachelor's and two Master's degrees in Linguistics

Awards and Honors
I am honored that my rats love me!

Past/Present Clients
My Facebook group, Rats are Awesome, serves at the moment 5300 members, and, considering all the huge rescues, probably averages 5 rats per member. That means my clients are about 25,000 rats!!!

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