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Debby - Rat questions

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi Debby - I know you've had rats for many years. How long do they typically live? Amy's been asking, and I said 2 - 3 years, but I'm not sure this is right. Also, do they get really big? Hers is 8 weeks old, and he's about the size of a hamster (not counting his tail). He's really a great little guy. He's already learned to come out of his tubes and climb up on our hands when we're getting him out of the cage. I need to take some pics...
post #2 of 4
They live roughly 2 years, but I have had some live to be 3, and some that only made it 1 1/2.

The thing that killed most of mine, was cancer. They are very prone to it. If down the road you ever see a weird lump anywhere on his body, and it will be obvious, then that is probably cancer. I have had a few live another 6 months or so with this lump, but eventually they die. The vet really can't do a whole lot.

Sometimes they will have strokes when they get older, that paralize part of their bodies, and make them walk funny, or drag their legs.

It sounds awful, I know. But maybe yours will just die of old age, with no cancer or stroke. I just wanted to prepare you. But that will be down the road.

The males can get quite big.

Hope I helped, and didn't mean to scare you with the cancer stuff.
post #3 of 4
My poor rat boy died a few weeks ago of a stroke he was 4 years old which I understand is almost a record for rat longevity. He was a very large male(twice the size of a hamster) but always loved to get out and climb around all over you. He was the sweetest little guy MUCH nicer than any hamster I ever knew. I would let him run around in our small bathroom, after a close inspection for holes and such, to get some exercise. I gave him LOTS of fresh fruits and vegies and a wide variety of foods which, I feel, may be why he lived for so long.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys! I knew they were prone to cancer (saw it on ER Vets), but I sure hope Prince Eric doesn't get it. Hopefully he'll be on the old end of the age range. That will be the hard part of all this.

Also, we've been feeding him rat food plus fresh fruit, veggies, and some whole grain bread as treats. He's doing really good with it.
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