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Discussion Starter #1
Reading through one of my books this morning (Rats: Complete Care Made Easy, by Debbie Ducommun), I found a disturbing fact that I haven't heard mentioned here before, so I thought I'd post it.

Apparently, "rats need a period of complete darkness at night. If they are constantly exposed to light they can be more prone to tumors." 8O

Although our rats do have complete darkness (phew!), I'd never heard about this before... has anyone else?
 

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Yep, it seems to be true. However the one thing to mention is it seems to increase the rate that tumors grow in rats *that already have them.* But it takes *very* little light to do it. So little, in fact, that I don't think I could get rid of enough light in my room to do it.
 

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How cmplete is complete? My rats get moonlight and such at night. Will that kill them? Or how about passing cars? Or fireflies?

:lol:

I think they'll have to enjoy their incomplete darkness.
 

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Moonlight is actually too much. The scientists tested with 0.2 lumin, or the amount of light coming underneath a door into the hallway. According to wikipedia, this is almost equivalent to a full moon.

I doubt we all have to worry about our rats falling over dead from a full moon, though :)
 

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My ratties are in the living room. It can't be completely dark in there :(

we can probably construct things that will be light free for our ratties to play in though. though it might be tricky to have ventilation and be light free.
 

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My room is Completly dark at night except for the clock.
Also, during the day it is dark...not 100% though.
(I like my room Dark )
 

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Discussion Starter #10
chrisstrikeagain said:
uh oh, I sleep with a tv on. I know its bad for me, but its bad for my girls!?!
I would assume it constitutes a light source, yeah. Maybe try having some music on, instead?
 

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chrisstrikeagain said:
uh oh, I sleep with a tv on. I know its bad for me, but its bad for my girls!?!
Why is sleeping with a tv on bad for a homosapein? (spelt wrong?)
I wanted to get one of my few big words in there...lol...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Matt said:
Why is sleeping with a tv on bad for a homosapein? (spelt wrong?)
I wanted to get one of my few big words in there...lol...
hehe, you were close! It is spelt homosapien.
 

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wow! Knew this was a possibility to increase adrenal gland disorder in ferrets but had no clue about rats! And when I have them out for playtime it's usually late so I have the light on then ): I also have it on right now and it's 10 O_O

Is melatonin used in rats safely medically? I know it's been used recently with ferrets in implants for adrenal gland disease when surgery isn't possible due to health, age, etc. It helps regulate the hormones that will be produced with the seasons. Apparently in ferrets there is an overproduction of hormones by subjecting them to unnatural light at night as their body tells them the days are long (like during breeding season) Is this the case with rats to I wonder?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Poppyseed said:
wow! Knew this was a possibility to increase adrenal gland disorder in ferrets but had no clue about rats! And when I have them out for playtime it's usually late so I have the light on then ): I also have it on right now and it's 10 O_O

Is melatonin used in rats safely medically? I know it's been used recently with ferrets in implants for adrenal gland disease when surgery isn't possible due to health, age, etc. It helps regulate the hormones that will be produced with the seasons. Apparently in ferrets there is an overproduction of hormones by subjecting them to unnatural light at night as their body tells them the days are long (like during breeding season) Is this the case with rats to I wonder?
I really don't know any more than the book says (which I posted here) and that people have linked to. Maybe some of the breeder peeps will know more about it. I don't think 10 is that late, though, really... as long as they get some night time and you're not up all night, surely?
 

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Well like I said, with ferrets it's an over stimulation of hormones causing the adrenal gland to develop growths thus causing it not to function correctly, or that is one theory. The over stimulation is from not getting pure darkness most of the day (lights out exactly when it's dark out, not a few hours after as that tells their biological clock that it's spring/summer all the time). But that usually happens after 4+ years in ferrets and rats don't live that long...

Not sure that's the same way things happen with rats, but it's a thought.

It could very well explain why most of those tumors are mammary tumors though if it is linked to unnatural light so closely. I wish there were as many studies on rat health as there are with ferrets ): I would like to see this explained more.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Might it be worth contacting one of the organisations that have done research on it to see if there are any more extensive reports on the subject?
 
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