Diabetic 🐀 for kids?

I work in pharma. There is an animal lab nearby.
I have to go there sometimes for my work.
A few weeks ago one of the animal care folks told me she had 2 diabetic rats that they didn’t need for a study and they would be euthanized because no one will want them. If not included in the study they will let them die.
Any rats in the study will also be terminated after the study to be studied to look for side effects. But that’s another can of worms.
However these two had never been brought in so could be adopted by someone as a pet.

I didn’t think of it at the time but now I’m thinking
Maybe a diabetic kid could take care of a diabetic rat.
It might give him or her an insight into how his parents feel taking care of them. Maybe they learn to take better care of themselves.
I mean rats usually only live 2 years. And it could be traumatic if the kid overdosed the rat. I know how I was with pets and kids become greater when given responsibility.

I developed type 1 at 21 and my only daughter is 15 and no diabetes. So I can’t really speak to the idea of a diabetic kid caring for a diabetic rat.
Any parents out there think it’s a good idea?

They say they are god pets. Very interesting idea. Nancy50

Rats make very good pets and I bet when you feel like you’re the only one out there with T1, it might be kind of nice to take care of a pet with it too. They have a short life and rescuing an animal always feels good too.

I think that’s a very nice idea, Timothy.

Let’s not forget that healthy pet rats only have a life expectancy of up to 4 years. It might turn into a scary lesson in the mortality of diabetes that the kid isn’t ready for! I’m not sure at what age kids can distinguish that since they had so much in common, that they too aren’t going to die soon.


As a diabetic, I really hope none of my pets ever develop diabetes. I would hate to have to give insulin to a pet who can neither understand what their blood sugar symptoms are nor report them to me. And it’s not like we have CGMs to monitor them (though I’ve heard of people putting Libres on cats, I think it’s pretty rare). It don’t think it would have made me feel less alone when I was a diabetic child–it would have just added to the burden that the disease can bring. I think that effort probably goes better into training kids from a very young age to be aware of their symptoms and to take on aspects of their own management as soon as they are mature enough. If a kid is mature enough to take care of a diabetic pet, probably mature enough to start learning self-care; otherwise, the diabetic pet is just further work for the parents anyway.


Also a note re rats–they can be good pets, but they are also very allergenic. Exposure to them can even trigger latent allergies to cats and dogs to surface. I was warned about that before doing lab work with rats and brushed it off. 6 months later, not only was I having allergic reactions to the rats, but I developed significant allergies to the cats I owned (which I suspect I was always very mildly allergic to, but not enough to cause problems), had to re-home one I reacted the worst to (which worked out ok for the cat, but was incredibly sad for me), and now have allergic reactions to dogs as well. So I urge caution around rats as pets generally as well.

I think it teaches something bigger. Just because a pet is diabetic does not make them unwanted. Just because an animal is diabetic doesn’t mean we stop taking care of them because it’s a lot of work or because it’s a huge responsibility. Unfortunately the sad reality is that diabetic animals are put to sleep unless someone steps up.

I think kids should know that it’s something difficult and requires work, it does not mean it’s too much trouble.
Animals are not people, but the parallel is there.
So when a kid asks. What do we do with diabetic animals.?
Do we say some people take care of them but I wouldn’t take one knowing they were diabetic. Or do we say. Yes We
Would take care of a diabetic animal ,and it is a,lot of work.
Are you ready to take that on?
I would donate all my expired cgm and minimed transmitters for use on any animal. And guess what you don’t need a prescription for an animal.