Author Topic: Pet rats euthanasia  (Read 6498 times)

snacky

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Pet rats euthanasia
« on: May 09, 2017, 06:22:34 PM »
My beloved kids' beloved rat has a big tumour. They are very upset. It isn't time for her to go yet- she isn't in pain, has normal energy, good appetite- but her end is on its way.

I want us to give her a good, peaceful death at home and be buried under a flowerbush in the yard.

How have you fine people euthanized your small pets?

RetiredAt63

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Re: Pet rats euthanasia
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2017, 06:32:13 PM »
Sorry to hear that.  Rats (some breeds more than others) make good small pets.

A vet clinic could either do it by injection or with CO2.  At home?  Hard.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2017, 06:33:51 PM by RetiredAt63 »

G-dog

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Re: Pet rats euthanasia
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2017, 07:23:02 PM »
Rats make very nice pets - I have stories (never had my own, but friends did). They are pretty smart too.

Are you planning to do this yourself? Or a vet?

You don't want CO2 - it is not peaceful.

I assume a vet would inject something like used for dogs or cats. I would expect this to be peaceful. A vet may also be able to give you something in liquid or pill form that you could feed to her. 

A cervical dislocation or guillotine are both considered humane. Neither is peaceful for the human in charge of the process.

Rats actually handle surgery really well - if you would consider that option.

EdgewoodDirk

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Re: Pet rats euthanasia
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2017, 07:57:59 PM »
I have offed probably hundreds of rats (in laboratories). I always hated it, never got used to it. I always liked the rats (the mice were jerks, though) even though I'm horrifyingly allergic to them. I do not recommend anything you can do yourself. Attempting to kill a rat humanely and failing is the stuff of nightmares.

There are tons of drugs out there- I'm sure a vet could help you out. Fortunately for pet owners, drug companies have fewer reservations about their drugs being used for pet euthanasia so there are many more options (and better ones) than those available for executions for criminals. 

They do handle surgery pretty well- if the tumor is well contained, it would likely not be a difficult surgery, although it gets harder the bigger it gets.

G-dog

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Re: Pet rats euthanasia
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2017, 08:09:28 PM »
My experience is lab based as well - and is the same as [Edgewood Dirk's[/b].

Best of luck.

Gin1984

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Re: Pet rats euthanasia
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2017, 08:13:07 PM »
CO2 if done properly is humane but I don't think a vet's office would have it.  But there are drugs the vet can give him/her. 

G-dog

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Re: Pet rats euthanasia
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2017, 08:17:47 PM »
CO2 if done properly is humane but I don't think a vet's office would have it.  But there are drugs the vet can give him/her.

Hmm, having seen this done by animal care folks, I disagree on CO2 being humane. But, it was considered humane and was approved for use. I'm not sure if it still is according to updated protocols. Freund's adjuvant used to be OK to use in antibody production protocols, but is no longer approved.

At the very least, even if it is humane to the rat - CO2 death would be quite disturbing to the witnesses I think. Unless there is another protocol I am not aware of.

snacky

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Re: Pet rats euthanasia
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2017, 08:29:45 PM »
This is really good info.

Splinter is a few years old and so nearing the end of her lifespan. Palliative care and a graceful exit are the way to go. I will call the vet in the morning and see what the options are.

The kids are 9 and 11 and I think being there, if it can happen peacefully, would be better than having her go away and not come back. If not for them I could swiftly dispatch her as I have done with chickens and rabbits.

The internet suggests vinegar and baking soda to gas her, but it seems like there are many ways this could end very badly.

Gin1984

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Re: Pet rats euthanasia
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2017, 07:17:05 AM »
CO2 if done properly is humane but I don't think a vet's office would have it.  But there are drugs the vet can give him/her.

Hmm, having seen this done by animal care folks, I disagree on CO2 being humane. But, it was considered humane and was approved for use. I'm not sure if it still is according to updated protocols. Freund's adjuvant used to be OK to use in antibody production protocols, but is no longer approved.

At the very least, even if it is humane to the rat - CO2 death would be quite disturbing to the witnesses I think. Unless there is another protocol I am not aware of.
Given I used it yesterday, it is approved for use.  And again, if done properly it is humane and should look like the rat just went to sleep.  Rarely do people do it properly because it requires adjustments in a CO2 levels but regardless this is not something people can do in their homes.  The worse you should see is the rat urinate or defecate if it is done properly. 

G-dog

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Re: Pet rats euthanasia
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2017, 08:05:17 AM »
CO2 if done properly is humane but I don't think a vet's office would have it.  But there are drugs the vet can give him/her.

Hmm, having seen this done by animal care folks, I disagree on CO2 being humane. But, it was considered humane and was approved for use. I'm not sure if it still is according to updated protocols. Freund's adjuvant used to be OK to use in antibody production protocols, but is no longer approved.

At the very least, even if it is humane to the rat - CO2 death would be quite disturbing to the witnesses I think. Unless there is another protocol I am not aware of.
Given I used it yesterday, it is approved for use.  And again, if done properly it is humane and should look like the rat just went to sleep.  Rarely do people do it properly because it requires adjustments in a CO2 levels but regardless this is not something people can do in their homes.  The worse you should see is the rat urinate or defecate if it is done properly.

Good to know, thanks for updating. It's been a long time since I've done this. And for lab work, we needed tissue samples, so not all euthanasia options were compatible with our next steps.

G-dog

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Re: Pet rats euthanasia
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2017, 08:09:26 AM »
This is really good info.

Splinter is a few years old and so nearing the end of her lifespan. Palliative care and a graceful exit are the way to go. I will call the vet in the morning and see what the options are.

The kids are 9 and 11 and I think being there, if it can happen peacefully, would be better than having her go away and not come back. If not for them I could swiftly dispatch her as I have done with chickens and rabbits.

The internet suggests vinegar and baking soda to gas her, but it seems like there are many ways this could end very badly.

Yes, I think the kids being able to be there is good. Instead of just coming home and learning that she is gone (what my mom and dad did with one of our dogs - but this was the old days).

Vinegar + baking soda sounds like a bad idea.....

lthenderson

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Re: Pet rats euthanasia
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2017, 08:49:33 AM »
How old are the kids? If they are younger, I would just take the rat to the vet to get euthanized while they were away in school and then say the rat died in its sleep and have a burial when they get home.

snacky

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Re: Pet rats euthanasia
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2017, 09:03:21 AM »
The kids are 9 and 11. The tumour is very apparent and they have started grieving. This is hard, but I don't think it's bad for them.

The vet charges $45. The rat was $5 and has cost $0 since her initial purchase. It's petty and mercenary, but this seems like a crazy expense. I could do it for free if not for the emotional delicacy of children...

Gin1984

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Re: Pet rats euthanasia
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2017, 09:13:22 AM »
The kids are 9 and 11. The tumour is very apparent and they have started grieving. This is hard, but I don't think it's bad for them.

The vet charges $45. The rat was $5 and has cost $0 since her initial purchase. It's petty and mercenary, but this seems like a crazy expense. I could do it for free if not for the emotional delicacy of children...
Actually if you did it for free you would be torturing a living creature because it is not worth $45 to behave humanely.  I think you may want to rethink your attitude.

marielle

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Re: Pet rats euthanasia
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2017, 09:15:47 AM »
Just because a pet is free or cheap doesn't mean it doesn't deserve well. People say stuff like this about budgies all the time and it angers me. "Why should I take a $20 bird to a $100 vet visit?" Ugh. Pets are living, breathing companions that deserve equal care regardless if they're "cheap" budgies or $10,000 macaws.

$45 is trivial especially if your kids are emotionally attached. You've probably already wasted more than an hour of your life just thinking about it, and MMM says your time is worth $50 an hour right?

snacky

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Re: Pet rats euthanasia
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2017, 09:22:29 AM »
I grew up rurally and know how to quickly kill a small animal. You guys think I would torture a family pet to save a buck? Wow.

I will pay to do it the vet's way because I remember being that age and this kind of thing being so painful. Then I will pay for a lilac bush to plant on her grave because that feels like a good tribute and I really do like her.

NESailor

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Re: Pet rats euthanasia
« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2017, 11:54:07 AM »
Sorry if I come across inhumane or at least insensitive but hell is this hilarious to me.  Also grew up in a rural area so I've seen (and dealt) death.  My 90 year old great grandma would kill rats in their chicken coop with her cane - WHACK! 

I too think that I could end a rat's life without it suffering much if at all.  It would not be pretty but it sure would be quick.  I take no pleasure in this but sometimes a quick death is better than slow long suffering (our cat has a tendency to catch small rodents and play with them).

RetiredAt63

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Re: Pet rats euthanasia
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2017, 07:22:33 AM »
Euthanasia (= good death) = fast and/or painless.

CO2 is humane if done properly, the rat goes to sleep (just like people do in a  stuffy room, but we wake up).  But not for home use.
Cervical dislocation (quick breaking of the neck) is considered humane because it is so fast.  But it doesn't look humane, and the person doing it has to know how.

So, vet clinic. Warn them the boys will be there, so they know to do the proper setup.  Make sure the person doing it is good with small animals, small animals are harder because everything is so small.

Spork

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Re: Pet rats euthanasia
« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2017, 07:39:56 AM »

This gives me awful flashbacks.

Anecdote: My adult sister was very much a manipulator/user.  She always wanted Dad to pay for everything (and was fairly successful).  She had a cat that was 8-9 years old that had neurological problems since birth.  She was about to move in with her boyfriend and he didn't want the "special" cat that peed everywhere in his house.  Instead of trying to rehome it... or having taking it to a vet to euthanize it, she called my Dad (a doctor, but NOT a vet) and asked him to do it.  She then drove poor kitty 2 hours to get to dad.  Dad, having no idea the mechanics of euthanasia (they don't quite teach that in medical school) called a vet friend of his and got the drugs.  He attempted to euthanize the cat at his house and botched it horribly.  Not peaceful and worse: at the end the cat was still alive.  They had to then take the cat to a real vet and have it done properly.  So, to save $50 at her local vet, she drove 200 miles round trip, tortured her cat, then had Dad pay for a vet to euthanize it.

Moral of the story: Just pay a vet to do it.  And tell your kids we're sorry.  I bond really hard with animals.  Even as an adult it is really hard for me to let them go.  I totally understand how you/they may feel.

Mtngrl

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Re: Pet rats euthanasia
« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2017, 10:10:15 AM »
FWIW I have a friend who euthanized her ill, elderly cat with a can of brake cleaner and a rag. She said it was peaceful -- sprayed the brake cleaner on the rag, held it over cat's face and she was gone fairly quickly. I personally don't know I would have the guts to do this, but it might warrant more research. (My friend adored this cat, but the cat freaked out if she went anywhere near a vet's office, so my friend was trying to spare the cat that last trauma.)

TomTX

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Re: Pet rats euthanasia
« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2017, 09:37:47 AM »
FWIW I have a friend who euthanized her ill, elderly cat with a can of brake cleaner and a rag. She said it was peaceful -- sprayed the brake cleaner on the rag, held it over cat's face and she was gone fairly quickly. I personally don't know I would have the guts to do this, but it might warrant more research. (My friend adored this cat, but the cat freaked out if she went anywhere near a vet's office, so my friend was trying to spare the cat that last trauma.)
Starting fluid used to be (diethyl) ether, and most should still contain ether. Ether is the classic general anesthetic.

EdgewoodDirk

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Re: Pet rats euthanasia
« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2017, 08:56:35 PM »
I mean, if you happen to have some heroin lying around, 50mg/kg should definitely do it and the rat would go out having the time of her life. Definitely weird to see, though.  *Disclaimer- the highest dose I've ever used on rats is 10mg/kg and they were absolutely rigid and high as a kite. None died but I've heard of it happening- I suspect those cases were not actually heroin directly but suffocation from being SO high that they didn't move their faces out of their bedding. Hit me up for stories on what happens when you try to move a super high rat.

Otherwise, fork over the money and call it a kid cost. I've done CO2 ... once. I swore to never do it again. If you have the right protocol AND the right equipment, it can be peaceful but in my experience, that is rare. Cervical dislocation and guillotine are both fast and humane but pretty gruesome and if it goes wrong, it goes reeeeeeally wrong.  *Disclaimer- I've never actually had it gone wrong when I was doing it but I've seen/heard it happen with others. *shudder*  Also, I don't know where the average person can find a rat guillotine and cervical dislocation gets more difficult the larger the rat is.

Don't underestimate the emotional scarring from loss of pets. I'm still furious at my dad for leaving a window open that let the cat I grew up with out when she was recovering from surgery and also for getting and keeping a dog that was obviously aggressive towards cats... you can see where this goes. That was a decade ago and I was a full grown adult and I still resent him for that. You sound like you'll do the right thing, though- I like the lilac bush idea. Your kids will appreciate it. I hope if the event has occurred, all went well.

PS the cost of obtaining a pet is often the least expensive part of owning a pet. I've easily spent $15k on my 2 cats that cost $10 each when I adopted them. Probably shouldn't admit that here, but eh, I'd do it again.

Fishindude

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Re: Pet rats euthanasia
« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2017, 07:10:37 AM »
I would not spend vet money on a rat.
Death is still death, no matter how it is administered.   I'd probably just handle it at home, just make it quick.
Have put down numerous farm animals and dogs as well.  It's never a pleasant thing, but my thinking was that meeting their maker right there at home was probably less painful for them than the car ride and trip to veterinary office, strange atmosphere, etc.

o2bfree

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Re: Pet rats euthanasia
« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2017, 04:48:56 PM »
Isn't it CO, carbon monoxide, the stuff in car exhaust, not CO2, carbon dioxide, the stuff we exhale?

Our neighbor swears by CO poisoning for euthanasia. She claims to have put down a number of pets that way, and says they exit peacefully.

snacky

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Re: Pet rats euthanasia
« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2017, 04:59:40 PM »
Isn't it CO, carbon monoxide, the stuff in car exhaust, not CO2, carbon dioxide, the stuff we exhale?

Our neighbor swears by CO poisoning for euthanasia. She claims to have put down a number of pets that way, and says they exit peacefully.

How does she do it?
When I was a kid my parents put my ailing Guinea pig in a paper bag, taped it to the exhaust pipe, and we went for a ride. There is no bag in existence that would contain a scared rat. This seems like a risky plan.

Gin1984

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Re: Pet rats euthanasia
« Reply #25 on: May 18, 2017, 05:01:40 PM »
Isn't it CO, carbon monoxide, the stuff in car exhaust, not CO2, carbon dioxide, the stuff we exhale?

Our neighbor swears by CO poisoning for euthanasia. She claims to have put down a number of pets that way, and says they exit peacefully.
No, euthanasia is done with CO2, not CO.

o2bfree

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Re: Pet rats euthanasia
« Reply #26 on: May 18, 2017, 05:07:03 PM »
Isn't it CO, carbon monoxide, the stuff in car exhaust, not CO2, carbon dioxide, the stuff we exhale?

Our neighbor swears by CO poisoning for euthanasia. She claims to have put down a number of pets that way, and says they exit peacefully.

How does she do it?
When I was a kid my parents put my ailing Guinea pig in a paper bag, taped it to the exhaust pipe, and we went for a ride. There is no bag in existence that would contain a scared rat. This seems like a risky plan.

She says she uses a large cardboard box with a hose running from the car exhaust to the box. The pets she put down must have been pretty mellow, our current cat would freak out if we put her in a box.

o2bfree

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Re: Pet rats euthanasia
« Reply #27 on: May 18, 2017, 05:10:02 PM »
Isn't it CO, carbon monoxide, the stuff in car exhaust, not CO2, carbon dioxide, the stuff we exhale?

Our neighbor swears by CO poisoning for euthanasia. She claims to have put down a number of pets that way, and says they exit peacefully.
No, euthanasia is done with CO2, not CO.
So it is! Thanks.

Guidelines for Euthanasia of Rodents Using Carbon Dioxide

https://oacu.oir.nih.gov/sites/default/files/uploads/arac-guidelines/rodent_euthanasia_adult.pdf


RetiredAt63

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Re: Pet rats euthanasia
« Reply #28 on: May 20, 2017, 07:22:40 AM »
I have never heard of CO as a humane euthanasia - nausea, etc. are typical symptoms.  CO2 just makes an animal go to sleep - it can also be used as a short-term anesthetic, if, say, you want to handle an animal that would be stressed by handling.

the_fella

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Re: Pet rats euthanasia
« Reply #29 on: June 03, 2017, 09:30:31 AM »
Just because a pet is free or cheap doesn't mean it doesn't deserve well. People say stuff like this about budgies all the time and it angers me. "Why should I take a $20 bird to a $100 vet visit?" Ugh. Pets are living, breathing companions that deserve equal care regardless if they're "cheap" budgies or $10,000 macaws.

$45 is trivial especially if your kids are emotionally attached. You've probably already wasted more than an hour of your life just thinking about it, and MMM says your time is worth $50 an hour right?

Right! My dog's adoption fee was "only" $20, but he was very sick when I adopted him (he would've been murdered if I hadn't taken him; he's perfectly healthy now, fwiw). I've spent many times that on vet bills, but to me it's worth every penny because he's my baby. I'll probably get a lot of hate for saying it, but I'd spend my last penny to keep him alive. I love him. And he is a large part of what's keeping me alive. I've struggled with suicidal ideation in the past, and the main thing keeping me from going through with it was a desire not to leave my dog alone with my mother.