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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I almost had a disaster the other day with my boys. They live in my private office at the shelter where there is someone available to help care for them when I have a day off.

My days off for last week were Saturday-Monday, with me returning to work yesterday (Tuesday). One of my co-workers came in each day to turn on the light, the radio to a talk station and feed. When I returned to work the boys were climbing the cage walls as soon as I turned on the lights. They looked stressed and their skin was very drawn than when I left. Pinkie (my white/pink eyed Rex/Dumbo) had the reddish discharge from his eyes and appeared to have them partially closed. OMG!

I checked and found food in their bowl and water in their bottle. However, as I watched, Pinkie climbed up the water bottle and was attempting to get a drink. He appeared unsuccessful. I checked the water bottle and the ball was absolutely dry - no water was coming out. My poor boys - no telling how long it had been that way.

Almost panicked, I got a small weighted bowl and placed water in it. They drank like there was no tomorrow. I then filled their water bottle and ensured it was delivering water as they drank and drank and drank. I also provided them with a small amount of apple for the water content in it. Finally they appeared satiated. I now have the water bowl set up with a weighted bowl that also contains water for them, just in case. Today they look back to normal.

My caretakers for Saturday and Sunday are both rat owners. They took the boys out, held them, turned the light on and off, fed and checked the water bottle and noted that everything seemed fine. The rats were playing and did not appear in any type of distress. The Monday person was not so experienced and just turned on and off the light and gave them their food blocks.

Now I am paranoid about this. Have any of you had a water bottle tip clog up before? Is there anything I can do to prevent it in the future? I am now placing a 1/2 full bowl of water on one of their shelves, as well as changing their water bottle every day. Feeling very bad that I could have killed the boys by my lack of experience.
 

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I have 2 water bottles available for my ratties at all time, with a view to get a third.
Firstly, to prevent the issue you had and secondly, to ensure more than one can drink at once.

When I fill the bottles, I always check the ball-bearing mechanism to see if it's working afterwards.
 
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