OT - really sad

So my pet rat Pernicus has been really sickly for the past few months. He’s over 3 years old, so it was to be expected. Things have been going down hill… weight loss, fur falling out, cysts, hind legs not working so well… but this morning when I checked with him it seems that he developed a cataract in one of his eyes. It has gone completely white/cloudy. I knew it’s time for him to be put to sleep. I made an appointment for him at the vet’s tomorrow. I just wish I knew I was making the right choice. I feel like a bad rat momma. Plus, everything I have read about rat euthanasia is so horrible. I don’t want his last moments to be of pain. I’m in tears here at work. :pout:

:hug: :hug: You are not a bad rat momma! I am sure that he loves you and had a wonderful, spoiled rat life. And I am sure that if you talk to the vet, he will try and make Pernicius’ last moments as painfree as possible.

I’m so sorry! :hug: I’m sure the vet would be more than happy to give Pernicus some sort of pain medication. I’ll be thinking of you!!!


Oh, I feel with you. :hug:
It is a very difficult decision to make, but in your heart of hearts you know you have already made the right one. It is not good to let those that are in our care suffer.
I hope your vet will be able to put you at ease about the procedure, and may your find solace in the good times you two had together and in the memory of all the joy that he brought to you. It sounds like he had a wonderful life!
I had to have one of my dogs put to sleep two weeks ago and I am still grieving deeply, but also cherishing the good memories.
My heart goes out to you, you are making the right choice. :hug:

Thanks everyone. :hug: My main concerns about the pain is because rat’s don’t have large veins for the drug they use, so they have to go directly into the heart through the chest. My vet said they don’t give gas as an anestetic before, but they give some kind of shot. But is that shot through the chest also? I’d like to also have a private cremation for him, but I doubt I can afford that either. bites quivering lip

awwww… :hug: I’m sorry. If he has all of those problems, perhaps the relief will be worth any moment of pain he might feel? I don’t know if that’s helpful–it sounds horrible but I think it might be worth thinking about???

I’m so very sorry you are going through this. I was just saying the other day to my hubby (there were some rats on television) how cute they were!! When we had to make that decision I knew right away it was the right thing to do as horrible as I felt about it, he was just in too much pain to keep living.

I wonder if the shot is a relaxant. :?? That’s what they gave my little boy before the time came to give him the final medicine. He went completely limp in a few seconds so I knew he wasn’t in any pain anymore.

I am so very sorry. :hug: :hug:

I’m so sorry you’re going through this…its so hard to have to make a decision like this about a pet that’s part of the family. You’re not a bad rat momma, I’m sure you gave him a great life and always looked out for him. I hope you feel better about this! :teehee: :muah:

Thank again everyone. It means a lot to have you guys listening to me vent. The little man is sitting on my lap as I type this. It sounds bad, but I’m scared about how much it will cost to have him put to sleep. It’s just so much to handle all at once… having to put him to sleep, his death, the cost of it, everything… :verysad:

:hug: You’re a great rat momma! :hug: And I’m sure your rat loves you, too! :slight_smile:
I think you’ve made the right decision, I know how hard it is… :hug:
But now your beloved rat wouldn’t have to suffer so much pain! So think about the positive side of it! :hug:

Three years is a good long life for a rat. At this point, I really think you are making the right decision.

I have had many rats euthanized, and my vets always gas the rat down with either sevoflourane or isoflourane first. Please, please, please ask your vet to do this. It is the most humane method. Why is it considered inhumane to do a cardiac stick on a dog or cat without sedation, but it is considered okay for our pocket pets? We first put the rat in a knock-down box, then only when the rat is under to the same depth as if the vet were to perfom surgery, will the cardiac stick be performed. The euthanasia solution is injected directly into the heart with this.

If your rattie is not gassed first, and is active enough to not want to be restrained on her back, a heart stick will be very, very difficult. Your vet may do an intraperitoneal (IP) injection in this case. Some vets give a small amount this way first, to knock the rat out for the heart stick, others give the entire dose IP. Results with this vary. I have heard of very peaceful passings, but also times where the rat reacts to the shot, panicks, and seems to suffer a bit before passing.

Again, I strongly suggest discussing the possibility of using gas first, followed by a heart stick. Because of the risk of gas anesthesia (to you, not your pet), some vets will not allow you to be present for the euthanasia, but most will allow it.

Pernicus will be waiting for you at the bridge, and, in the meantime, my many rodents past will show him the ropes up there. My :heart: goes out to you, this is never an easy decision. But you are doing what’s best for your pet. And write off anyone that ever tells you, “It’s just a rat. What are you so upset about?” Because I’ve heard it, and it hurts until you realize that some people just don’t understand the bond between a person and their pet (any type of pet).

Thanks frostwolf. Your avatar is adorable btw! This is what the receptionist at the vet’s said when I asked her about the procedure. I asked her if they gave the rat gas before the euthanasia and she said no. She told me what they do is anesthetize the rat first with a shot. But where do they give this shot? She told me I can hold him then, and then after that they will take him back to euthanized. She said after the anesthesia the rat will be unconscious. Also, they don’t allow the pet owner to be present for the final injection. I’m so scared… I don’t want them to do anything inhumane.

Talk it out with the vet (not the receptionist) first before you do anything. Very likely, the receptionist was referring to the injection into the abdomen to anesthetize the rat, follow by the heart stick. I would still ask about the vet him/herself about the possibility of gas first. Some docs have a usual routine, but will work with what the owner is comfortable with. Make sure you are comfortable with the procedure the vet will use. Just because you have a euthanasia consult, does not mean you cannot take a bit of time to think things over.

Trust your gut, and do what feels right. Personally, I would never have a pet euth’ed at a vet where I did not have the option of whether or not I could be present for the euthanasia. I have been with every one of my rats as they passed. This isn’t the way for everyone, it’s just too much for some people, emotionally. And a cardiac stick is particularly hard to watch. But for me, my rats come first. I want to bring them comfort, and let them know I am there, close by. However, if you trust your vet, that is okay, too. There is clear cut right/wrong method.

PS - the rat in my avatar was the hardest euthanasia I’ve ever had to face. That is OSED Ludo, and he was my heart-rat. I’ve never had another quite like him. He grew into a BIG, handsome buck, with the sweetest temperament you could hope for. He and his two best friends, Artex and Kira, are on my bureau, together forever.