Do elderly rats age faster in same age groups?

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yoshimi
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Do elderly rats age faster in same age groups?

Post by yoshimi » Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:29 am

We have a very definite split in ages in he cage at the meoment, we have a 28mth old with ongoing pneumonia and slight HLD & 3x 24mth old (one with a suspected PT). They're in an aviary right now, and I'm sure they would appriciate the larger loor space and easier climbing of the freddy (horizontal bars on the freddy, vertical on the aviary). However I have a couple of reservations; First there is nothing wrong in keeping them in the aviary, they are all able to climb still and they have everything they need on the floor and easy to access hammocks down there. Secondly (and this is the reason this is in health ;) ) I'm worried that if I put them in the freddy, the reduction in activity, and being away from the youngsters might cause them to age faster (kind of how like old people often deteriorate faster after quitting their jobs when they are no longer stimulated).

So does elderly rats health deteriorate faster in same age groups in an easier environment?
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Rapalje
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Re: Do elderly rats age faster in same age groups?

Post by Rapalje » Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:18 am

I think they would, yes.
Or put the other way: I think they stay more active and healthy in a challenging environment with youngsters around.
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Re: Do elderly rats age faster in same age groups?

Post by annc » Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:39 am

I would agree, in that my older girls have started acting much younger with younger rats.
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Sammy88
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Re: Do elderly rats age faster in same age groups?

Post by Sammy88 » Wed Dec 09, 2009 12:18 pm

I definately agree with your hypothesis that reducing their activity will age them considerably. If they are all still mobile and seem happy in their current cage then I would leave them be. My rat Lilly is 3 years old and has to put up with two 6 month olds. She still seems happy to ramble about in the three tier cage and will climb all over the outside of the cage, explore the window sill and come snuggle with us on the sofa and on occassion has a good ol' sprint the length of the sofa. A retirement cage isn't an option for us as we only have the one cage, can't afford another and Lilly would either be left alone or the other 2 would have to suffer being moved. For now she is enjoying her freedom of a big cage.

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