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Introducing Happy

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Introducing Happy

Post Number:#1  Unread postby ButtonsPalace » Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:56 pm


So tonight while putting up the chickens my boyfriend found a young rat rolling around on the cold ground. We brought him in and he's stopped thrashing about now that he's a bit warmer. I gave him some willow and we are attempting to give him some water out of a dropper. Any advice on what to do? We've named him Happy.
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Re: Introducing Happy

Post Number:#2  Unread postby shazza » Fri Dec 02, 2016 10:11 pm


if it's a wild rat i would be VERY careful about handling it. personally i'd kill it because i don't want rats in my barn at all. humanely of course, but a live rat is a rat that will cause problems down the road.

if you don't want to do that though, i'd just make sure it has a drink and let it go again when it perks up. it'll do better on its own than inside. they usually aren't fans of being confined and will be more stressed than getting better, and you can't make a pet of a wild rat unless you have it as a tiny newborn, and even then they aren't very friendly. the most secure confinement would be a fish tank or something like that with a very secure lid as rats are escape artists. or a cage with a bar spacing of half an inch or less.
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Re: Introducing Happy

Post Number:#3  Unread postby ZachsRabbits » Fri Dec 02, 2016 10:29 pm


I'd let it go as soon as possible.
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Re: Introducing Happy

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Homer » Sat Dec 03, 2016 5:55 am


I'd put it in a bucket of water! Are you crazy or just stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night? :shock: Disease carrying rats have no place around any of our animals or people.

A couple weeks ago I called a cop friend to one of the farm's empty fields. There was a fox about 75 yards out rolling around like you described. When he got there he said they've been getting calls like that lately. He opened the truck, pulled out his 7mm Remington Mag sniper rifle and shot it. We went out and picked it up and he had it tested...sure enough, it had advanced rabies!! Hope it didn't scratch or bite you. :?
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Re: Introducing Happy

Post Number:#5  Unread postby MaggieJ » Sat Dec 03, 2016 8:41 am


For heaven's sakes, Buttons, don't put yourself, your family and your other animals at risk! Don't let your kind heart win out over your good sense. There may be a rabies hotline you can call . . . I know there is one here.

If not, call animal control, explain that you have caught a young rat that may have rabies, ask for it to be euthanized and tested. The brain must be intact for them to test it.

This kind of situation is exactly why we have our dogs and cats immunized against rabies--we never know if and where an infected animal may show up. Insist that you get the results of the rabies test.

There is treatment for exposure to rabies and if you or your boyfriend has been bitten, scratched, or has any open wound that may have had contact with the rat. My brother had to have it a few years ago when he was bitten by cat that had not been immunized. Three needles in the arm was all. Better safe than sorry.

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Re: Introducing Happy

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Preitler » Sat Dec 03, 2016 9:00 am


Before panicking, google "rats rabies" and ask some official source mentioned above. As far as I know they, and rodents generally, also rabbits, are not vectors of rabies. They are not completly immune, but at least our authorities don't consider them as a thread when it comes to spreading rabies.

Take care anyway, they can carry other nasty stuff. And when it's obviously sick I would get rid of it asap.
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Re: Introducing Happy

Post Number:#7  Unread postby Homer » Sat Dec 03, 2016 9:29 am


Preitler wrote: As far as I know they, and rodents generally, also rabbits, are not vectors of rabies.

In North America they are carriers of both rabies and the Bubonic plague. As Maggie said, their brain has to be intact for testing. That's why I said drop it in a bucket of water.
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Re: Introducing Happy

Post Number:#8  Unread postby shazza » Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:05 am


on top of diseases - rats eat young chickens, eggs, rabbits, feed stores, and will get in YOUR house and eat your food. they're big, aggressive, and big male rats have been know to kill CATS on occasion. the only good rat is a dead rat, especially when you have livestock.
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Re: Introducing Happy

Post Number:#9  Unread postby ButtonsPalace » Sat Dec 03, 2016 12:53 pm


I haven't had a chance to read all replies but I will say happy did pass away overnight. The only reason we even picked her up was because she was just put of it. Once you find out about your Fox please let me know. Also would it be a good idea to send it out for testing? She's already stiff or I'd cut her open and look on the internet for what's normal and what's not. We were planning on keeping her in until she was up and walking and then release her far far away. Although looking at her last night I knew she wouldn't live I just figured we could give her a nicer place to do. She had some cuts on her tail so I kindle wonder if the chickens, ducks or more likely the geese. I'm still curious as to what was wrong with her.

__________ December 3rd, 2016, 12:53 pm __________

MaggieJ wrote:For heaven's sakes, Buttons, don't put yourself, your family and your other animals at risk! Don't let your kind heart win out over your good sense. There may be a rabies hotline you can call . . . I know there is one here.

If not, call animal control, explain that you have caught a young rat that may have rabies, ask for it to be euthanized and tested. The brain must be intact for them to test it.

This kind of situation is exactly why we have our dogs and cats immunized against rabies--we never know if and where an infected animal may show up. Insist that you get the results of the rabies test.

There is treatment for exposure to rabies and if you or your boyfriend has been bitten, scratched, or has any open wound that may have had contact with the rat. My brother had to have it a few years ago when he was bitten by cat that had not been immunized. Three needles in the arm was all. Better safe than sorry.


I was not about to touch the rat. We picked her up with a very old towel and never made any physical contact. From what I read my understanding is she had a stroke. Which is what was causing the rolling. I didn't know a male rat could kill a cat that's insane!
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Re: Introducing Happy

Post Number:#10  Unread postby MaggieJ » Sat Dec 03, 2016 1:13 pm


Thank goodness you had no direct contact, Buttons! Don't handle the body either. Dispose of it where no other animal can get at it. I doubt it was a stroke that killed it, if it was a young one. It may not have been rabies either, but rabies is too scary a prospect to take chances.

So glad you're okay! :D

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Re: Introducing Happy

Post Number:#11  Unread postby Preitler » Sat Dec 03, 2016 1:38 pm


My guess is it was a stroke, or several, administered by geese or chicken. My chicken did hunt and kill rather big wood mice (they went for the tail first), I don't think a young rat would have been safe. Older ones were, but the new cat of my neighbour took care of those (also of the rooster, I suspect...)

Anyway, good riddance. Domestic rats are interesting and good pets, but knowing the bred in differences in behaviour of wild and domestic rabbits I wouldn't encourage anyone to take in a wild rat. Apart from the health issues.

Hm, you know: When you see one rat, most likely there are a dozen around...
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Re: Introducing Happy

Post Number:#12  Unread postby shazza » Sat Dec 03, 2016 2:15 pm


it could have also been poisoned. most rat poisons these day are neurotoxins and cause seizures, rather than the gut-melting variety that were previously used.

but yeah. i'd set out some traps for sure. you never just have one rat...
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Re: Introducing Happy

Post Number:#13  Unread postby ButtonsPalace » Sat Dec 03, 2016 2:53 pm


Would it be safe to throw her in the river? None of our animals have access to the river but there are people who swim and bathe in it but then there's also the people who dispose of their own human waste into the river.
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Re: Introducing Happy

Post Number:#14  Unread postby alforddm » Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:19 pm


If she's small enough just flush her down the toilet. Even if your on a septic system it will break down. If it did die of poison, I'm not sure I'd want to feed it to the fish.

From the CDC

Small rodents like squirrels, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, chipmunks, rats, and mice) and lagomorphs including rabbits and hares are almost never found to be infected with rabies and have not been known to transmit rabies to humans.

http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/exposure/animals/other.html

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Re: Introducing Happy

Post Number:#15  Unread postby ButtonsPalace » Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:49 pm


I put her in 5 Ziploc bags and then a grocery bag and then in a trash bag outside. We had a little funeral for her and threw her away. I felt bad but you gotta do what you gotta do.
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