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A rat’s lifespan depends on factors like breed, health, diet, environment, and genes. As sad as this is, it is ideal that you know how to tell if your rat is dying.
Is my rat dying? Death is inevitable, even for our pets. It is even worse for pet rat owners since rats have a short lifespan, 18 months to 3 years, if they survive infancy. Some rats might outlive the 3 years but will not likely survive the past 4 years.
If someone we love is dying, we always want to be there and try to alleviate their pain and suffering. The same applies to our pets. Part of ensuring their comfort is knowing when they are suffering, and when such suffering results in death.
We have a few pointers that will help identify when your pet rat is about to die.
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Is My Rat Dying? How To Tell If Your Rat Is Dying
It is rare for a rat to drop dead. On most occasions, the rat will be ill or have an underlying health condition that leads to death. Rats are highly susceptible to diseases like tumors, respiratory diseases, and skin infections. If not treated, these diseases can lead to death.
There are a few ways that you can use to tell if your pet rat is sick:
1, Loss of appetite
If your pet rat has lost his/her appetite, then they might be ill or have food stuck in the throat. A healthy rat usually has a high appetite, and if you notice any changes in your rat’s eating behavior, then see a vet immediately. If your pet rat does not eat, then they will not have the energy to survive.
2. Change in behavior
Rats are naturally playful animals – curious, energetic, lively, and active. Since they are nocturnal animals, you can hear them move around at night. A change in their behavior, like reduced activities, energy, and sociability, indicates a severe problem with your beloved pet. It would be wise if you took him/her to a vet.
3. Loss of weight
If your rat is drastically losing his/her weight, then they might be sick or aging. There is no way to tell the real cause, but a vet will help diagnose any underlying conditions.
4. Change in skin color
A rat’s skin color might change due to skin infections. One of the causes of skin infections in rats is through mite bites. Mites are tiny and look like white spots or dots on the skin or fur of the rat. They are usually on the face or shoulders of the rat. You can also tell if your rat has mites if it has scratches on some parts of the skin. If left untreated, these scratches can develop into scabs and can be fatal.
Check if your pet rat has any red discharge from the nose or eyes. The discharge is known as porphyrin, and it’s a sign of a respiratory infection.
6. Tilting of the head
Is your rat tilting the head to its side? This is a sign of an ear infection. A visit to the vet will get you a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Spotting any illness signs is the best chance on how to tell if your rat is dying. It could be the loss of appetite, weight, change in skin color, or discharge from the eyes and the nose. If you sign any of these, take your pet rat to the vet for proper diagnosis and possible medications.
Hey, I’m Amy and I’m in love with my Pets! I have a diverse variety, including 2 cats, 1 dog, 3 rabbits, 2 guinea pigs, a rat and a beautiful macaw. I love writing about everything pet-related and spend as much time as I can sharing my personal experiences.