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Pet Rats/baby rat didn't make it.


QUESTION: Hello, I have a baby rat who is probably around 5 weeks or so. Right when I got home from school I immediately went to take him out of his cage. I noticed he wasnt trying to crawl away. He was allowing me to hold in place which was odd because hes normally quite energetic. Hes acting sluggish and lethargic. He drinks water and still manages to walk but every now and then he releases a sharp squeak which Ive never heard before. Its obvious to me that hes in pain but I have no idea what to do. What really worries me is that if I hold him he will basically fall to one side. Its as if his head was weighing him down, he goes limp. Also, if i put him on his back he stays that way. His eyes are squinted and when he does walk his back looks arched. I am really worried and the vet isnt an option at the moment because my dad is working. I am really scared and I dont want him to die. Any suggestions as to what I should do? Also, do you know what could be up with him?

ANSWER: Dear Zenia,

He is obviously horribly, horribly sick, possibly from a brain tumor. There is absolutely nothing that you can do without a vet. When you say you can't go to the vet because your dad is working, I am not sure if you mean that just now he is at work- in which case you should call around and find a vet now and go as soon as he gets home- or if you mistyped and meant to say that he isn't working; that is, like so many of us, he is unemployed, and a vet visit is too expensive.

You must find a vet trained in "exotics" or "pocket pets." Cat and dog vets do not kmw rats.

If you cannot afford an exam and treatment, you must have him put down immediately. Of course, you can go to any vet  that will take you for this.  If you simply can't get it done at the vet, there is a way to do it at home-- but you must do it with a parent, and it is complicated. And does not always work. In other words, I really do not recommend it. The information is here:

In the meantime, before you can get him to the vet, you should give him something for the pain. If you have liquid children's Tylenol or ibuprofen, give him 0.2 ml of ibuprofen, or 0.4 ml of Tylenol, every six hours.  If you have the capsules, empty them out; if you have the tablets, crush them up completely; and give him about 1/10 the human dose mixed In something he likes to eat or drink. You may have to put it in his mouth with an eye dropper or syringe (no needle).

I really hope he does not suffer long. Whether he manages to recover, or whether he needs to be put down, I hope he has the least amount of pain possible :((

Sad squeaks from my rats,


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

QUESTION: Hey, thank you.
Unfortunately he passed away about 15 minutes before you responded. To clear things up I meant to say that my dad was working and he wasnt home at that time. I had also called several exotic vets and most of them were closed.I stumbled upon another question and the signs he was showing all point to pneumonia. He seemed completely fine all the other days. I thought pneumonia was something that develops over time so I dont understand how his health just dropped suddenly. I am very upset for not realizing that he was sick but he seemed perfectly fine. Thank you, Natasha!

Dear Zenia,

Thank you very much for updating me. I am very sorry for your loss.

Respiratory infections can take as little as 12 hours to attack and kill a rat- literally overnight. Poor little guy. But at least it was quick :((



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Natasha Millikan


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!!): ***** ***** Excellent sites: **** **** **** **** **** ****


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.

My Facebook group is Rats (and Mice) are Awesome.

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

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I am honored that my rats love me!

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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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