Author Topic: Questions Re: Rat Life Expectancy Survey  (Read 29555 times)

Offline Rzrwyre

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Re: Questions Re: Rat Life Expectancy Survey
« Reply #25 on: January 12, 2011, 01:06:38 AM »
Wow!  8 years!  Mutant?  Alien rat?  Very cool.  Enjoy your new kiddos.  Yay!

Offline Alicia

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Re: Questions Re: Rat Life Expectancy Survey
« Reply #26 on: January 12, 2011, 02:44:59 AM »
My oldest rat currently is 37 months, 17 days old. He is a fawn dumbo dwarf, adopted from an amazing breeder in Renton, WA. He has never been sick a day in his life, but has lived on antibiotics and in a homemade e-collar for the past week. He was attacked by a spayed rescue girl (after proper intros over many weeks) once they were placed in a cage together with his two other dwarf "brothers." He is still going strong, and will have his 8 surgical staples removed in a few days.

I've had other dwarf rats live 3+ years, but hve also heard of pet store rats living 5+ years. Honestly, diet plays a HUGE roll in health, and it isn't species-specific.

Pets fed a mainly processed diet of lab blocks, "rat food," seeds, kibble, etc. (whether it be rats, dogs, cats, wolves, cougars, monkeys, etc.) will live a much shorter life than those fed a fresh food diet. I used to feed my rats lab blocks and a mixture of dried fruits, veggies, cereals, pastas, etc., and never got more than 2.5 years out of them. Since switching to mainly fresh foods (I'll give canned and the occasional dry mix when I'm in a pinch), I've seen healthier rats living longer lives. I've cut out corn from their diet completely, and fix them fresh meals twice a day, (I'll also prepare a few days in advance and refrigerate, when I know I'll be short on time.) and I've never had healthier rats! I've only had one rat develop an URI in the past few years, and I know diet is why they're so healthy. Same thing is true for dogs and cats; fresh foods and/or a raw diet drastically improves their health and extends their life.

Think about your own health; if you ate cereals and fortified foods and fast food ONLY, how healthy would you really be? We need fresh fruits, vegetables, and lesser processed foods in order to remain healthy. It's just as important for our little furry friends! Even if you can't do an all fresh food diet, giving them fresh foods a few times a week can significantly improve their health. Try it. What do you have to lose? (Organic baby food is so easy and oh-so-good for them!)


~Alicia

Offline Sorraia

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Re: Questions Re: Rat Life Expectancy Survey
« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2011, 08:55:02 PM »
The problem with trying to compare breeder-bred rats to pet store rats is what breeders do you include? Not all breeders are equal. Just because this, that, and the other breeder claims to be breeding for health and longevity, are they REALLY succeeding? How are they attempting to accomplish it? If you have one breeder who is working very diligently at improving their rats and is successfully producing rats that live to 4 or 5 years old, is it fair to lump them with another breeder who isn't working so diligently and whose rats are only living to 2 years? If not, how do you make that judgment? How much do you play into politics? Its a LOT more complicated than a blanket statement of "Breeder rats are better than pet store rats." Some breeders really are no better than pet stores.
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Offline CrazyFarm

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Re: Questions Re: Rat Life Expectancy Survey
« Reply #28 on: January 12, 2011, 08:58:19 PM »
Many moons ago, a rat chose me in a pet store. A fawn hooded male, he narrowly escaped being lunch for a reticulated python by bounding out of the rubbermaid container and into my lap. I have no idea how old he was when I got him, but he grew to nearly two pounds, lived just over 7 healthy years with me, and saw dozens of other ratties come and go, before finally passing quietly without any signs of illness on the morning of October 16th, 2007.

Offline WildRatsRu

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Re: Questions Re: Rat Life Expectancy Survey
« Reply #29 on: January 23, 2011, 04:08:45 PM »
So, has anyone tried to do some statistical analysis of the data?
   
I'm going to put the data in an Excel spreadsheet. If anyone is willing to help, please let me know. I'll start from the first topic of the thread and someone else could start from the last.
The order of columns I'm going to use is as fallows:
origin - gender - color - marking - coat type - body - lifespan - cause of death

Example:
store - m - agouti - hooded - rex - dumbo - 15 - suspected brain tumour
breeder - f - black - self - standard - standard - 24 - pituitary tumor

For now, here is some statistics on the lifespan of fancy rats in Russia (in months, average standard deviation):
all varieties (376 records): 22 8
dumbo rex (20 records): 20 8
agouti standard standard (36 records): 26 8

Offline Hitchhiker

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Re: Questions Re: Rat Life Expectancy Survey
« Reply #30 on: January 24, 2011, 03:13:15 PM »
How about spayed/unspayed too?

Offline WildRatsRu

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Re: Questions Re: Rat Life Expectancy Survey
« Reply #31 on: January 24, 2011, 06:04:14 PM »
In Russia, rat owners very rarely spay their pets, so I didn't take it into consideration when I was analyzing the data from Russian rat forums. In contrast, neutering seems to be quite popular in the States, so I think you are making a good point here, Hitchhiker, and I should definitely take it into account.

What I'm most interested to know though is the average lifespan of different varieties of rats, and, unfortunately, the survey does not provide this information :-(
Anyway, I went through the first 5 pages yesterday, filtering out bias and less reliable information. It turned out that the average lifespan of rats in Russia and the States is the same.

both genders (218 records): 21,7 9,0
females (91 records): 22,7 8,6
males (66 records): 19,9 8,5

In Russia:
all varieties (376 records): 21,8 8.2
dumbo rex (20 records): 20,3 8,2
agouti standard standard (36 records): 26,1 8,5

Offline Rzrwyre

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Re: Questions Re: Rat Life Expectancy Survey
« Reply #32 on: January 25, 2011, 12:30:18 AM »
Interesting!

Offline WildRatsRu

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Re: Questions Re: Rat Life Expectancy Survey
« Reply #33 on: January 25, 2011, 01:27:44 AM »
What also is interesting is that Russian data does not reveal any significant deference in lifespan between males and females:
females (230 records): 21.9 7.8
males (145 records): 21.6 8.8

10 pages is done. The average lifespan has now bumped up to 22.3 8.6 (331 records).

Offline WildRatsRu

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Re: Questions Re: Rat Life Expectancy Survey
« Reply #34 on: January 29, 2011, 08:56:18 PM »
It's done! I went trough the first 660 posts and here is what I've got:
both genders (606): 23,3 8,7
females (191): 23,0 8,6
males (159): 23,1 8,5

neutered/spayed (28): 24,8 7,4
intact (52): 26,4 8,8
I might have made a few mistakes, putting "spayed" instead of "unspayed".

I didn't filter the data very consistently, so someone else can get something pretty different. One of the moderators here, kmw, also tried to summarize the data, but I couldn't find his results.


PS: The spreadsheets can be downloaded from here (+ some data on lab rats):
http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=ru&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwildrats.ru%2Fviewtopic.php%3Ff%3D17%26t%3D211%26p%3D4689%23p4689

Offline Rzrwyre

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Re: Questions Re: Rat Life Expectancy Survey
« Reply #35 on: January 30, 2011, 01:31:24 AM »
This has turned into what seems like a strange obsession!  MOST of our rats are living about 2-3 years.  Man, I just consider every day with my rats as being a blessing!  I've not been as blessed as many, but...you know, it's like having a dad who only lived till 40...you don't know anyone did anything wrong.  Some kids fall over dead at age 17 from heart attacks.  (I knew two who did!)  You do the best you can for that rat.  If you're a breeder, you do the best you can for the future generations.  And one way or the other, quantity isn't even always quality.  Enjoy your blessings and go from there!

Offline Stacy M

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Re: Questions Re: Rat Life Expectancy Survey
« Reply #36 on: March 04, 2011, 10:27:03 AM »
I think a small problem with analyzing the results from these numbers, while they may give a general idea, is that, who posts in that post?  People tend to want to post if they have longer living rats, or tragically young rats.  So I think the data is kinda flawed, unless someone actually decides to survey, and PM a bunch of random people, to take that out of the equation.

Also, I've been hearing a lot (especially on other forums but here too) about why don't breeders have hard evidence that their rats live longer.  Well, first off, any good breeder will have health records and make them available to you.  Second, you can't lump them all together, for "breeders as a whole", as who decides who gets included?  I know who I'd like to include, but I think it is better to look at the health and longevity of rats from individual breeders.

Also, as to breeder rats living longer, I suppose it depends what you mean.  Well bred rats shouldn't be dying young of cancerous tumors and other heritable diseases, so the overall average might be better.  But, that doesn't mean they can breed rats that consistently live 3.5-4 years.  Short of diseases being removed allowing them to live longer than they would have with disease, I don't think there's much they can do to improve lifespan significantly.  If I ever got from a breeder, I'd be far more concerned about health problems than longevity, quality vs quantity kind of thing.  Age of death is only a small piece of the puzzle.  Some pet store rats that live to four have horrible problems.  I'd rather be more concerned about having rats that don't have all sorts of health problems.

Offline Momofsweetie

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Re: Questions Re: Rat Life Expectancy Survey
« Reply #37 on: April 15, 2011, 01:15:40 AM »
There is no proof that a spayed female rat lives longer than one not spayed.
I know people that have spayed rats and they live to be 2-3 years. Same life span as one not spayed.  Sometimes rats can live longer whether spayed or not. Genetics play a part, as well as environment.
As far as males, I haven't seen much difference either.
What we must understand is that rats have a fairly short life with us humans. Its not like a ferret, guinea pig, rabbit, cat or dog. As long as we love ratties for the time they are here, THAT IS WHAT COUNTS.. Give them the best life they can have..


Offline Stacy M

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Re: Questions Re: Rat Life Expectancy Survey
« Reply #38 on: April 15, 2011, 02:16:02 AM »
There is no proof that a spayed female rat lives longer than one not spayed.
I know people that have spayed rats and they live to be 2-3 years. Same life span as one not spayed.  Sometimes rats can live longer whether spayed or not. Genetics play a part, as well as environment.
As far as males, I haven't seen much difference either.
What we must understand is that rats have a fairly short life with us humans. Its not like a ferret, guinea pig, rabbit, cat or dog. As long as we love ratties for the time they are here, THAT IS WHAT COUNTS.. Give them the best life they can have..


Err, you realize that is anecdotal evidence, the equivalent of my grandma smoke like a chimmney and drinks like a fish and is 100...it happens, doesn't mean it is a good idea or the norm though.  No one here has ever said it guarantees a longer life.  But it prevents lives being cut short that would have otherwise been cut short by mammary tumors, pyometra, uterine cancer, etc.

Also, part of giving them the best life possible includes understanding the illnesses that kill them and their lifespan...  None of us would be here if we thought their short life span made them not worth it.

Offline Onewonder2017

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Re: Questions Re: Rat Life Expectancy Survey
« Reply #39 on: June 27, 2011, 12:14:08 PM »
They say most rats live for 2-3 yrs, but my uncle had a rat that lived for 4 yrs.
:) :) I love ratties!

Offline proudratmommy

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Re: Questions Re: Rat Life Expectancy Survey
« Reply #40 on: June 28, 2011, 03:21:29 PM »
The eariest I've lost one is at 9 months  :'(  and eldest was 3.5 years.  But I've got a mixed pack now of all sorts of ages. Including a grumpy, active old man of 4 years!! He has back leg problems but is 100% there mentally and gets around just fine. Heaven forbid you try to help him into a box or tunnel  :eek:
My girlies: Cracklin' Rosie, Brandy, Judy, Maria, Cecilia

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R.I.P. Donna <3 The one that introduced me to the wonderful world of rats; My two precious girls Ruby Tuesday & Lucy

Offline Paniz

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Re: Questions Re: Rat Life Expectancy Survey
« Reply #41 on: August 27, 2011, 02:04:27 PM »
I had a feeder girl who lasted just 4 years. My second oldest was 3 1/2, all others died around the age of 2. I really couldn't tell you what makes some liver longer. I'd say love, good diet, and a clean cage. I'm sure genetics plays a part to but like I said, my longest lived rat was a feeder. My hypothesis on why she was so healthy all her life was because she was exposed to so much early on. Cramped conditions and lots of strange rats. It must have built up her immune system. She was a trouper and I miss her so much.

Offline AstridBeatrix

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Re: Questions Re: Rat Life Expectancy Survey
« Reply #42 on: November 12, 2011, 02:16:38 AM »
One of my ratties  :heart:, Gracie, (rescued and not spayed) lived to almost 5 years (a long, healthy and happy life =)..and Aeris and Sahara  lived for 2 1/2 years (spayed). My current ratties, Astrid and Beatrix (rescued and not spayed, will be 9 months old soon  :occasion1::D   





« Last Edit: November 12, 2011, 02:24:38 AM by AstridBeatrix »
Current bubs: Trogdor the Ratinator, Tofu, Spoons and Bradley

Winston, Nyssiri, Phoebe, Ljubica, Freya, Kizonhe, Astrid, Beatrix and O'Xana Play hard!

Offline Kinzy

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Re: Questions Re: Rat Life Expectancy Survey
« Reply #43 on: February 26, 2012, 12:42:01 AM »
My rat, Moses and his brother, Noah came to me when they were about a year old. Noah died from a respiratory infection due to tbat Hartz bedding crap at about three years, two months. Moses is still with me and will be foir next mlnth. He has old-age problems but something I do know to help them is that glucosamine/some similar word that starts with a 'ch' sound. It helps with their spinal problems and back leg paralysis.  Link to the site with dosagees in a few.
But I think these two must have come from a breeder before I got them from a poorly educated family friend. They were in a tiny finch cage on cedar bedding! Both guys were small but Moses seems to be aa runt. Hes about the size of an average 8 mo old male. And hes a dumbo, but there slivhtly down instead of really exaggerated. Or he could be from Petco so I dunno for sure.
Ive had one from a breeder that only lived to be 1 1/2 years. True was two and mine and my sisters rats are aboit 1 1/2 to 2 and doing fine. None were spayed or neutered but our girlie got a huge tumor on her vaginal/anal area that worked up her nelly and actually began to grow on the outside of her skin. She didnt seem like she was in pain and could still get around but we let her go nefore the tumor got worse.

Offline Breakthenight

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Re: Questions Re: Rat Life Expectancy Survey
« Reply #44 on: March 26, 2012, 08:13:24 PM »
I'd really like to see some actual results be calculated. I am also especially interested in seeing the difference between spayed and unspayed females. My momma rat had five daughters who lived to adulthood, she and all her girls were spayed. None of them ever had mammary tumors, though there was a host of other genetic issues with that family (as there are with many rescue rats). The female I kept from that litter lived to be 28 months to the day, which is a decent life span for the rats I've had. I don't know how old momma was when she died, she was an adult when I brought her home. Considering the high instance of mammary tumors, I'd love to see if spaying makes a difference.

My five month old brother/ sister pair are spayed and neutered. Their momma, and 5 sisters are all spayed. I'm interested in seeing how their health progresses as a year, since all the people who adopted from the litter are staying in contact. I think someone needs to very accurately record this data(no mistakes!, maybe a team to check, with data entry experience) and have the results posted. I think it should NOT include rats who die as "infants" (team would have to decide what age constitutes old enough to be considered, I'm thinking weaned.)

My rats have never really got past the 2 1/2 year old mark that I know of (rescues). Three would be a landmark for me, four is unimaginable to me. Not saying rats can not possibly live to be 4,5,6 or more, but quite often I think someone may have gotten dates mixed up, or miscounted, and the 8 year old rats we hear of, may have lived to be quite the ripe old age of four or so.
 

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Offline parentologist

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Just over thirty five months for a spayed female rat
« Reply #45 on: June 09, 2013, 07:05:24 PM »
Occasionally got antibiotics for rat respiratory whuffling.  Developed hind end degeneration towards end of her life, but always was able to get around.  Died in her sleep one night at over 35 months old.  We miss her.

Offline paulakim

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Re: Questions Re: Rat Life Expectancy Survey
« Reply #46 on: July 31, 2014, 06:48:10 AM »
Hi I am new on here and was just reading this thread, I have had a lot of rats over the last 30 years, and the one thing I have found is that female rats have the shortest life span, nearly all of mine have only lived to around the 2 year mark, and most have developed tumors. All the males I have had have lived to around 3 1/2 - 4 years, with only the odd exception, and nearly all seemed to die of old age, of having some kind of paraliseation involving there back legs. 

Offline natalie45205

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Re: Questions Re: Rat Life Expectancy Survey
« Reply #47 on: August 19, 2014, 12:23:33 PM »
I have been a rat mommy for about 15 years. I have had around 65 to 70 rats in that time span. All my rats that I have had have been petstore rats. When I first started taking care of them I noticed they only lived roughly 2 years or less. So I did a ton of research on what was good for them and what they liked. I did notice the ones that got chicken and meat in their diet along with a few veggies and lots of fruit rarely got mycoplasma or mammary tumers. Now that could be better genes than the others but most of the ones that had a variety of good healthy things in their diet lived to right about 4 years. Hope this helps.

Offline KitKat

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Re: Questions Re: Rat Life Expectancy Survey
« Reply #48 on: June 27, 2015, 02:34:23 AM »
I once had a common brown Norway Rat (which a lady down the street got from someone else who claimed they had found it as a baby and kept as a pet, however he was so docile I sort of doubt the claim.. who knows). She didn't like rats so she gave him to me. His name was Batty. He lived for 6 years and was the best rat I ever had! =)