Over the Rainbow Bridge: Toothless & Shenron

Today, I am sad to announce the passing of Toothless and Shenron.

I am really devastated to have to announce their crossing over the rainbow bridge. Unlike our other boys who have passed recently, Toothless and Shenron were not long off being just babies. If you read my introduction post, you might remember the situation in which we adopted these boys. They were in the adoption section of Pets at Home. They were an accidental litter that was had within the store as a result of the staff of Pets at Home being unable to sex baby rats and putting a male and female together in their display cages. Due to this, the litter had to be put up for adoption rather than sold in store. We knew at the time that taking on rats from a pet store, that had been raised in store, may result in future poor health conditions, but they both seemed in good health when we picked them up. Sadly, their good health did not last long. With us, they grew well, and integrated really well into our current group, as you can see in my intro diaries, and we were so pleased with how well they were getting on and developing. Sadly, it didn’t last.

They both developed respiratory infections around the same time. At first, it was fairly mild, and after a vets trip for diagnosis and medication it seemed to be clearing up. We hoped then that it would be a one-off, and they would be okay. But Toothless took a turn, and started losing weight, and his breathing was very crackly. In rats, respiratory infections like this (Mycoplasma Pulmonis) are a lifelong infection – in good cases they can be managed with medication, but not all rats are so lucky. After another couple of vets trips, and rounds of medication, Toothless was not improving and we had to make the really hard decision to get him put to sleep. Shenron seemed to recover a lot better, but not long after he lost his brother he presented the same symptoms as Toothless. His breathing got a lot worse, he lost his appetite, and lost a lot of weight, and did not improve on medication. He passed away a few weeks after his brother.

I love having rats in my family so much, but their short lifespans and proneness to certain ill-health conditions are really difficult sometimes. This is the sad reality of having rats.

I wish we could have done more for Toothless and Shenron. I felt really helpless watching them deteriorate like this, but I know that we did the best we could do for them, and while their lives were short we gave them a good home.

I’m so sorry you didn’t make it to adulthood sweet boys, and I hope you have met up with the other boys over the rainbow bridge. We will miss you so much.

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