Located in Toronto, Ontario.

Here is a picture of my rattery from November 2017!

Here is a picture of my rattery from November 2017!

Pet homes only- my ratties go to pet homes only. They are not to be used as breeders unless my written permission is given and a contract is signed between both parties.

Closed door rattery- for security and biosecurity reasons my rattery is a closed door rattery, meaning that visitors are not allowed. I hope to help you choose a baby for adoption by taking an excessive amount of pictures and sending videos and personality descriptions if requested.

Cages- my rats are homed in 6 double critter nations. I use fabric bedding as I find fabric is best to keep the smell down, it is the easiest to clean, I can do cage scoops daily, ratties are easily litter trained on it, ratties can’t throw fleece bedding everywhere, and dust from fleece is non-existent. In the cages I have wooden chew toys, extra levels, huts of various sizes, hammocks, fleece toys, kleenex boxes, paper towel rolls, sock bins (bins of socks) among other toys. Litter boxes are present in all cages. I do not use litter bedding but instead empty the litter box daily.

Food- lab blocks are present at all times in every cage. I personally use Mazuri but, in the case of a late shipment, will occasionally switch to Oxbow or Harlan Teklad. I add vegetables and fruit to their diet daily and extra protein (eggs, chicken) to the diet of babies and nursing mamas, as well as all the other ratties.

Cleaning- I use vinegar and water as my cleaning solution (1/4 cup vinegar, 8 cups hot water) and clean my cages every 3 days (every day for tanks). To clean the critter nations I use a cloth on the bars a few times weekly, and power wash them monthly. Fabric is cleaned with regular detergent in the washing machine with white vinegar added to the load. The floors are swept, vacuumed, then mopped. F10SC veterinary cleanser will be used in deep cleans and power washing.

Free range time- rats are taken out every day to play around the rat room or around my bedroom for at least an hour. I have blankets set up to cover my bed and other furniture in case they feel the need to mark, a cat climber if they would like to climb, and food and water out if they are hungry or thirsty.

Vet care- I bring my rats to the Links Veterinary Clinic if necessary. A rat that must be brought in to vet care will be treated fully. If a rat needs to be brought into the vet at any point they will no longer be used in my breeding program. I will treat them as long as is necessary and then look to rehome them. If a rat being re-homed has attended the vet you will receive a full synopsis of their visit and treatment. I will always notify the adopter if their rat has attended the vet in the past.

Litter frequency- I ideally have 1-2 litters per month available for adoption.

Adoption fees- All money brought in from adoptions will be put towards the rats and their care. If extra funds are available they will be saved for emergencies and/or spent on toys, climbers and extra entertainment for the rats while they stay with me.

Fostering/Taking in litters - If you have an accidental litter that you do not know how to take care of or cannot keep in your care, on the occasion I will be able to take in the babies. This depends on whether I have a foster home available to keep them for a quarantine period and if I have the space in my rattery to take care of an extra litter.

Rat Room - rat cages - rat cage set up - rat breeding - Rat Emporium Toronto

A look into my life, my disorder, and what this has to do with your rattie :)

(All health updates can be seen @sydneyiskindasick on Instagram)

The Story of the Rat Emporium

The Rat Emporium is located in Toronto, Ontario in Canada.

As a kid my dream was to own as many pets as humanly possible. I had fish, hermit crabs, guinea pigs and cats and spent all the time I could hanging out with my animals.

In 2013 I took a few accidental hits to the head and was diagnosed with post concussive syndrome. I had to spend my days in a quiet and dark room on my own for a few months with my pets as company, the best companions I could have for my state.

After my concussions I began to sleep 22 hours a day and went to do a sleep study. I was diagnosed with Fragmented Sleep Disorder meaning that when I am unconscious I never go into REM sleep (restorative sleep) as I wake up every 4 minutes at night but stay unconscious. This is the equivalent to someone poking you every 4 minutes until you awake every single night. Sleeping 12 hours for me is the equivalent of you sleeping 1 hour.

Every medication that I tried within the next year that were supposed to cure Fragmented Sleep Disorder were uneffective. We finally found a medication that cut my sleep down to 15 hours a day but continued to try and find a reason why my sleep disorder could not be cured. I did two subsequent sleep tests, 1 sleep test per year, and was soon diagnosed with Idiopathic Hypersomnia, possible narcolepsy, possible seizures, EDS and OCD: all disorders that could lead to my condition, but the treatments that would commonly help these disorders have been ineffective.

To this day I continue to travel and change sleep doctors to find a proper diagnosis and medications that will help further with my condition. In my current state I cannot hold a regular job or go to school as my sleep hours are irregular. I often am unconscious between the hours of 1am to 1pm with several naps within my day. My joints are sore because of continuous dislocations so difficult physical activity is not an option which makes me a bit house-ridden.

Though this condition is very difficult to deal with in terms of being social, going out, studying or working I always had my pets to support me and had a special amount of time to spend with them. The disorder is a blessing in disguise as though I have to deal with it daily, it has helped me to discover and live my dream.

Many years back I went over to a friend's house and discovered that she had an accidental litter and I obviously couldn't help but bring home two new little baby boys. My infatuation with rats started there.

Before I brought home my two little babies I had no idea that rats could be the amazing companions that I have discovered them to be. My boys stayed with me and snuggled me when I was too tired and always cheered me up when I was feeling down. I started looking intensively into rat care, health and even genetics in my free time. What I discovered about the rats in my area is that there actually were very few places where I could find healthy rats that were treated well. I decided I could do my part in helping out the rattie reputation and also help out people like myself who were looking for the best companions to help get themselves through a rough patch, or just help people find a little happy furry friend.

This is when I decided to start a small adoption centre. As everyone else I wanted to be a different type of breeder, one that actually cared about the little creatures and not just sales. My awake hours were (and are) perfect for being able to provide full time care for the little ones and my inability to work and go to school allows me to devote all my time to my ratties. I clean my rat room every 2-3 days and the entire time I am not cleaning I am spending with my rat babies playing and cuddling.

With my story and condition I am able to promise many things that other breeders cannot promise:

- Your rattie will definitely be handled daily... handled and played with and pet and kissed and generally loved

- Your new friend will be as free of illness as you can find. I have travelled to find rats in the best of health that I could find. Ratties are sensitive animals and are prone to specific illnesses but my babies and the conditions they are living in are the best for eliminating risk of illness.

- Your ratties are treated as my pets in my home, not a source of income. They are rather spoiled and are all living in the optimal conditions that a rattie could live in with hammocks, huts, toys, treats and free roaming time.

- I am not breeding for patterns or colours and all my rats are to go to pet homes where they will be treated with love and have the most attention.

- I regularly have 1-3 litters in a month so all babies and parents can have a ton of attention. This occasionally means that I will not have babies available for a while or that I do not have the specific colour or pattern that you are looking for but please be patient and you will find the best rattie friends soon.

Thanks for reading, if you have any further questions about me or the ratties just message me! I will reply within 24 hours and do my best to have you and your new rattie friend together in no time.


- Sydney

 Health Update Jan. 19/19

I cannot eat or drink by mouth. Everything that goes through my feeding tube into my stomach, I throw up. Everything that goes into my j-tube at a rate that is faster than currently (Jan. 19) 26ml/h, causes extreme pain. Extreme debilitating chest and abdomen pain are a constant daily. The medications are stabilizing me so far, but the more I increase my feeds the more pain meds I have to take, which is also bad for my G.I. system. I am not able to get enough nutrients in per day and have lost weight from 105 to 94lbs in 2 weeks off of TPN. It is likely I will be put back on TPN soon. Currently the hospital has decided that there are no further medications or testings that they feel are necessary to determine what is going on. They sat us down and told me that they feel they "are nearing the end of what they can do", and told me that I should start meeting with psych to deal with "loss of independence and body function" and to "find meaning in life as it is".

If this is true, then I went from the best I've ever been to "one of the worst cases they have seen recently" within 4 hours, while being unconscious. Over the total of my hospitalization time, around 3 months right now, we have been telling them that something has happened to my body, and that it is getting worse. We have seen my condition decline steadily over the past months since I stopped tolerating G-tube feeds for unknown reasons. We are pushing the fact that we need to find the cause of what is going on instead of just treating symptoms, because the symptoms are getting out of our control even from a pain management aspect.

Every day we do our best to bring new ideas to the table to help stabilize my condition, but the team has not been doing the same. I am feeling as though we may need another team that has more motivation to discover the origin of my pain, in contrast to a team that wants me to stop investigating and have me sit at home while my body deteriorates.

We are open to all ideas that anyone may have on moving forward from here. We have asked them to make contact with the MAYO clinic and the Cleveland clinic, but having to battle them to make this connection as well. Please, if you have any ideas of testing or medication that may help me, I am all ears. Thank you for reading <3

Thank you for everyone who has donated to my gofundme to help me get to the states  <3 It means so much to me.

Medications I am currently taking

  • Nabilone 0.5 mg x2 daily

  • Rivaroxaban x1 daily

  • Linaclotide x2 daily

  • Welbutrin x1 daily

  • Adderall x1 daily

  • Ranitidine x2 daily

  • Buspirone x3 daily

  • Ketitofen x2 daily

  • Sublinox 10mg x1 nightly

  • Cymbalta 20mg x1 nightly

  • Seroquel 25mg 1x nightly and as needed

  • THC oils 4-8 drops 1x nightly & as needed

  • Fentanyl patch x1 every 3 days

  • Clonazapam 0.5mg as needed

  • Tramadol as needed

  • Morphine 6mgIV as needed q3

  • Hydromorphone 1-10mg as needed 

  • Gravol 50mg as needed q4

  • T3s as needed

  • Ventolin as needed

  • FloVent as needed 

  • Buscopan as needed 

  • Celebrex as needed

Medications that have recently changed

  • Domperidone removed

  • Nabilone increased to x2 daily (from 1x daily)

  • Cymbalta increased to 20mg x1 nightly (from 10mg)

  • Buspirone started

  • Ketitofen started

  • Scopolomine patch started and then removed

  • Long acting morphine (20mg x3 daily) replaced by Fentanyl patch

  • Hydromorphone replaced by morphine

  • Zofran started and then removed

  • Gravol increased 

  • Morphine increased

  • THC oil increased by 2-4 drops nightly/daily

For those who have worried that my medications may be the issue: 

The medication listed unfortunately are all of my base necessary medications to keep my systems running and keep me conscious 😩 Many pharmacists and doctors have looked it over to see if we could narrow them down, but unfortunately we cannot. Some of the medications are for my sleep disorder (nabilone, Cymbalta, Seroquel, sublinox), some for IBS (Senna, lactulose, ranitidine, linaclotide, ketitofen, domperidone...), some are for anxiety, PTSD and OCD (Wellbutrin and clonazepam), Some are for pain (fentanyl patch, ketamine doses, hydromorphone, morphine, Celebrex). There are a lot of them, but fortunately I haven't had any reverse reactions from them interacting. The medications that were added since I've been in hospital have been ketitofen, the fentanyl, the morphine and hydromorphone (they switch back and forth every few weeks to stop me from adjusting to one) and the ketamine. If I miss one of these medications or the dose is late, I begin to throw up continuously until my pain gets back under control.

Right now the issue is that I cannot eat due to esophageal dismotility (I choke and throw it up), am vomiting everything up that I put into my g-tube (even 10ml of water) and if I put food/water/meds into my j-tube I cannot move from the pain - right now I'm trying to start running my feeds into my J tube but have only been able to get up to 10mls of food an hour before the pain becomes too much to bear.

They put in my picc line for TPN 1 month ago. I have been told that after 1 month, the risks of TPN outweighs the reward and my prognosis is much shorter. If I go off the TPN however, I starve.

To safely get off of the TPN I would need to increase my j feeds from 8-10ml/hr to 90+ml/hr. I would have to run my feeds and water all day at 90ml/hr. Because of the pain, this is impossible. I am already on a crazy amount of pain meds so adding more pain meds to raise the feeds isn't really an option.

The doctors feel as though they have tried everything that they can do here. Some of my testing is listed in my summary, if you are wondering about any testing being done just comment, but they cannot find a physiological reason that I would be unable to put my feeds in the g/j tube. My gastric motility is slowed, but not to the amount that the doctors feel gastroparesis could be the main cause of this. They are going to contact Cleveland Clinic to see if they have any further input into my case, but I'm looking for absolutely any recommendations on testing, drug trials, etc that I can bring up with the doctors.

Medication intolerances

  • Fluroquinalines - due to collagen flowers

  • SSRIs due to increased anxiety

  • Prozac due to seizure symptoms

  • Oxycodone due to nausea and vomiting

NOTE: need propophyl or ketamine as anesthesia. Fentanyl did not work

Medical conditions diagnosed

  • EDS Type 3 - Hypermobility - collagen flowers

  • Orthostatic intolerance

  • Severe fragmented sleep disorder with micro arousals every 4 mins on average 

  • Asthma - mostly exercise induced

  • Intersticial cystitis 

  • IBS

  • Esophageal dismotility

  • Bladder cysts and small bladder issues

Past procedures:

  • 2012 - left shoulder banker repair

  • 2013 - right shoulder bankart repair - tied up nerve.

  • 2015 - radial nerve transplant - unsuccessful 

  • 2018 G-tube insertion

  • 2018 GJ tube insertion

Continuing symptoms

  • Unable to eat or drink orally due to esophageal dismotility

  • Unable to increase feeds or water in g-tube due to vomiting

  • Unable to increase feeds or water in j-tube due to pain

  • Spontaneous vomiting - all bile. 

  • Radiating, piercing, sharp chest and abdomen pain

    • Usually is worst immediately after waking up

    • Happens when I swallow, including saliva

    • Increased by vomiting

    • Increased by movement of any sort. 

Secondary symptoms that have arisen due to EDS 

  • Increased and more painful dislocations 

  • Loss of mobility : only able to walk a few steps

  • Unable to bathe alone

  • Unable to do physic

  • Increased dismotility from Morphine

  • Increased exhaustion from medication

  • Increased joint pain from muscle atrophy

Current stats:

  • Food: TPN through PICC line.

  • Water: two 1000ml bolus bags a day

  • Meds going through g-tube with water

  • Morphine, Gravol and water are. IV

  • Bloodwork done through PICC line daily - clear with occasional “unexplained” phosphate imbalances

  • J-tube feeds run at 5ml/hr.

Testing that has been done: 

  • 1 chest CT - clear

  • 1 abdomen CT - clear

  • 1 ultrasound - clear

  • Bloodwork - phosphates being weird, but relatively normal.

  • Hormone work up - clear

  • Infection and bacterial testing - clear

  • EKG - clear

  • Colonoscopy and endoscopy - clear

Things that “have been ruled out"

  • anything “immediately life threatening”

  • MALS (by CT)

  • Mast Cell - by med trial

  • Infections - by swabs and samples

  • Kidney, gallbladder, liver issues (by bloodwork and CT

Before hospitalization pain came on:

  • I was in my best shape physically in 7 years. I was on a 2 day trip on my own to an island. I went to sleep at 12 feeling alright and woke up at 4 vomiting, with severe chest and abdomen pain and with my back thrown.

  • I was at my best weight (just under 110)

  • I could drive

  • I could walk up to 10 minutes

  • Feeds went through g-tube with no problems

  • Pain medication used minimally; tramadol maybe once a week, dilauded once a month.

Update Feb. 10 2016: I am waiting for genetic testing for EDS! In 2013 and 2014 I had two shoulder surgeries to repair my dislocating shoulders. Since I was young my shoulders have been dislocating every time I raise them above 90 degrees. Unfortunately the left surgery reversed and my shoulder continues to dislocate and the surgery on my right shoulder cut a nerve and I lost my deltoid. The reverse and the cut nerve could have been a result of EDS. Fortunately I have been given the opportunity to have a nerve transplant done this February. Hopefully I will have use of my deltoid once again! 

Update: The nerve transplant failed. I still do not have my deltoid on my right shoulder, but I am doing hydrathletics to strengthen the rest of my body.

Update Jun. 30, 2016: Being treated with EDS. I have some new excellent leg braces and back braces to help me through the day! 
Update Dec. 13/16 : genetic testing has been done. I have an official diagnosis of Ehlers-Danlos Hypermobility Type 3 and am waiting on genetic testing for Type 1 and Type 2.

If you have any questions regarding sleep disorders, pain disorders or EDS or if you are experiencing one of these issues and would like any advice, feel free to send me a message.