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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We adopted a female hairless rat, Nana, to be a companion to our other hairless, Peaches. At first I thought about why such a ginormous rat would be available in our local pet store, as I do not see hairless ones that often there. After having her for a few weeks, her belly started swelling and now she looks like she's about to pop. I have an appointment this thursday at the vet for Peaches, but I think I am going to bring Nana too and let my vet tell me if he hears heartbeats. I have a tank set up for her and am putting her in there just in case she gives birth before the appointment. My problem is, I do not know what to do with the babies. I really hate giving them back to my pet store, as I really don't like my pet store. Does anyone know who may be looking for a baby rat on Long Island? I have NO IDEA what is going to come out of this rat, as I don't know what kind of rat she was with to begin with, so I will have no history for you.

Patty
 

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We adopted a female hairless rat, Nana, to be a companion to our other hairless, Peaches. At first I thought about why such a ginormous rat would be available in our local pet store, as I do not see hairless ones that often there. After having her for a few weeks, her belly started swelling and now she looks like she's about to pop. I have an appointment this thursday at the vet for Peaches, but I think I am going to bring Nana too and let my vet tell me if he hears heartbeats. I have a tank set up for her and am putting her in there just in case she gives birth before the appointment. My problem is, I do not know what to do with the babies. I really hate giving them back to my pet store, as I really don't like my pet store. Does anyone know who may be looking for a baby rat on Long Island? I have NO IDEA what is going to come out of this rat, as I don't know what kind of rat she was with to begin with, so I will have no history for you.

Patty
Good call on bringing her to the vet appointment along with your other rat. Just look up whatever you can online and people on this forum have been talking about their rats having babies also so I'm sure there's lots of good information there as well.

Don't bring them back to the pet store if you can help it. Where I live, I seen newborn pups kept in a cage with about 25 other female/male rats which is horrible (and they were being sold as feeders) :(

Put adds on Craigslist or whatever site like that you have available where you are. I'm sure people will show interest in having them as pets :)

Good luck!
 

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Its worth bearing in mind that hairless rats can have problems lactating. It may be worth asking at your vet if they know of any other people with pregnant or nursing rats at the moment as a back up. If you had a bit more time i would be looking at spaying or using galastop to terminante the pregnancy, as its higher risk than normal.

In terms of what to do, if she looks like shes swollowed an orange i would move her and her friend into the tank for now, better for any babies to be born in there than you have to move them in they have. The girls will be bored for a few days but its safer overall. If the babies are then born i would see how your other rat is around them and mum, if shes relaxed and staying clear you could leave her in, if mum is bothered by her or she is overly interested in the babies then i would take her out, as much as its a shame for her.

If the babies are born then leave mum to it for the first few hours, then tempt her off the nest with something tasty and take her out into a carrier. Whilst shes away gentley check the babies, you want to see a white mark on there tummy (milk band) and them to look healthy and pink. If there is no milk band then i would start looking for possible foster mums but not act yet, check the next day and if the babies still ahve no milk band then move them to a foster mum as soon as possible. If that doesnt work out you could try hand feeding, but I'll be honest the chances of them surviving without at least one feed from mum are very slim. In normal furred rats sometimes a shot of oxytoxin from the vet can stimulate milk production so might be one to chat to them about as a back up if she doesnt lactate.

Assuming that all the babies have milk bands your looking at a normal litter rasising experience. Pop mum back and make sure she has some nice food and water, though she will probably not eat much on day one as she will have eaten the placenta, and possibly any still born babies. From now on i would check on the babies a couple of times a day, tempting mum away and moving her out of the cage first (its more respectful, especially with a mum who doesnt know and trust you well yet). At first only handle the babies for a few mins at a time, but as they get older and possibly gain some fur (dad may well ahve been furred) they will maintian there temperature for longer so can be held for a bit longer. Make sure mum gets pleanty of high protien foods but she only really needs extras if shes still young herself or after the 2nd week when the babies become more demanding and want to try food too. Around about 10-14 days there eyes should start opening and from then on the fun really begins as they grow in both personality and size from day to day. You need to think about splitting the boys from the girls around 4.5 weeks old, so will need another cage to do that in, but i'd wait to see if you have any babies first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow, that's alot to take in! Thank you for all the information. I never heard of milk bands. I don't know if I trust my other rat with the babies. Got a lot of good advice here, and thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Okay, they are here!!! So far we counted sixteen babies.Mom is good. They all look so cute.
Not sure what we are going to do to find them good homes. I am thinking about posting pictures at my vet, along with putting them up on Craigs list. Anyone on here, please, if you want, or know anyone who is looking, please write to me. I cannot think of dropping all these guys off at a pet store. We have time, but before you know it, it will be time for me to have to separate them and/find them places to live. Pink Organism Hamster Rodent Adaptation sorry pic is not too good. Do not know who father is, could be a rattie with hair. Will find out soon enough.

Ok, now, about these milk bands. I cannot tempt the mother away with anything right now. Am I looking for like a white stripe?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you. I see it. I see it on alot of them too. I don't know if I can check them all. And if they do not have it, I do not think I can hand feed these guys. It might sound heartless, but at this point, I think I will hope that they all survive on just the mom's instincts. I already have the task at hand at trying to find home for an enormous number of rats, without them turning into snake meat. I have a home for two so far. Fourteen to sixteen to go. ugggh. Thanks for the feedback.
 

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honestly if she isnt feeding one or two then it is probably that she senses something up with them, in those situations i tend to let nature take its course. If she scatters them or kicks out a baby or two i will return them to the nest a few times but have found that those are the pups that do tend to die. If you do loose a couple then dont let it get to you, in a litter that size it is likley that you will loose one or two in the first week (probably first 48hrs).

In terms of checking on her, she sounds like a very attentive mother, i would give her 24 hours to settle then try and tempt her near the door and pop her out. It will give you time to count them properly and you could even ahve a go at sexing them. I tend to do that on the second day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sexing them? How the heck? I just adopted two feeder rats about a month ago. They were called "small feeders", which meant "infant" rats. Makes me sick. Anyway, they must have been about five or six weeks old, if that. I asked for two females, as I have only females. He picked out two and said "yup, these are females". Well, on their check up at the vet that week, my vet advised me that they were both males. And he wasn't 100 percent sure, cause there was nothing there to really see yet. Anyway, my point is....how am I going to sex them now? Just born??
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wow! Ok, that helped ALOT! Now I think I can tell the difference. Those pictures were very helpful. Thank you.
 

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You're welcome!
 
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