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Discussion Starter #1
I got a new boy today from the pet store, and I'm having trouble figuring out how old he is. Based on his sluggish movement and lack of strength to climb, I assumed that he's pretty old. However, I've never had an old rat before, nor have I been around old rats, so I don't really know what to look at to figure out his age. He's a pretty big dude and pretty plump.

He's got pretty extreme yellowing on his belly, but he was living in overcrowded filth, so I'm not sure how much is from being dirty and how much is from age. He got a bath today and looked & smelled much nicer afterwards, but he still has this weird smell that I've never smelled on a rat before. It's kinda like poop... but not really.

As far as his health, he appears to be in good shape. His eyes are bright, he's eating & drinking normally, and he's interested in his cagemate. His coat is shiny and his poop is normal. No tumors or abcesses, either, but he has one big scar w/o hair next to his mouth. His teeth are also normal length, and not as yellowed as my 1 yr girl's.

So how do I tell how old he is?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sure. I took a couple with him & the new little boy on a ruler, for comparison's sake. He is BIG when he's stretched out! I marked the ruler #s in Photoshop.

He really does smell funny. I keep noticing it everytime I hold him. I've given him a full "exam" (even checked for penis plugs) and noticed nothing awry. He appears entirely healthy, he just smells sort of like a nursing home.

Sorry for the large photo size, but I thought it important to post large images in this case.

I don't think the poor guy has ever been around humans, either, because he's very scared of being picked up. He seems like a real sweetheart, though, and is very happy to snuggle up and get scritches.




 

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My guess is he's not that old at all, maybe7 or 8 months old. His lack of climbing strength will improve as he probably didn.t do much at the pet store.
The yellow/orange stain is probably Buck grease(testosterone) a wet warm washcloth will get most of the color and smell off.
He could be a little older but I doubt it, I adopted one from Humane Society same size, he was 7 months old. Your guys coat is too nice for an older gent.
My 2 cents. Spider
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yep, he was in an aquarium with 4 other full-sized boys. Definitely no exercise there.

I looked up buck grease, and I'm going to start feeding him olive oil to combat the yellowness. I wonder how long it'll take for the yellowing to go away?

And I'm wondering if a vet visit is in order for his odd smell, but I'm not sure the vet would be able to do much that I haven't already done. He's got absolutely nothing wrong, as far as I can tell. I've felt him up and down for tumors & abcesses, checked for penis plugs, etc. He's just really smelly, andt he other boys don't smell anything like this guy. Maybe the buck grease just stinks? (The other boys don't seem to have buck grease issues.)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, guess the G in Mister G is going to have to stand for something other than geriatric. Grande seems appropriate, instead...

Oh, and he's currently attempting to climb the bars, with difficulty. With the tall, round birdcage, he's forced to be a climber... so hopefully he'll trim up in no time. I did put in a ladder for him, though, to make things easier.
 

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oh he is beautiful!! i want one LoL I would guess he is about a year old too looks to be the size of my Iriquois and just as healthy LoL nicely groomed coat where as my jackson who is two doesn't groom the way he used to and it shows.
 

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The one I was telling you about carries this old uriney smell about him. Although Buck Grease is an issue, I am begining to think there might be some urinary infection going on too.
If I really scrub the cage, and give it fresh linens, litter etc., by morning the next day it stinks, not a poop smell but really amoniac, pee stinky. I don't know if its the case with yours, but its something I am going to have to look at.
Also Chucky lovable as he is, is a big fat slob, who pees in his sleep space, can't seem to get the hang of what the litterbox is for, unlike all the others who like to keep sleep areas clean.
Spider
 

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Yeah, he's a real pretty one. Once he's properly socialized, he'll be amazing. He's already quite the sweetheart.

Come to think of it, I did notice that his urine smelled a bit strange when he let out his bladder on my shirt yesterday.

I started treating him with Baytril last night, because he is showing some myco symptoms. If there is a urinary tract issue, then the antibiotics should take care of it in a few days.

I also noticed today that he is very squeaky when touched on his back. He might just be a whiner, or he might be in pain. I suspect whiner, because it's a very small protest squeak.
 

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weird my rat fizzgig squeaks when I touch his back too and he smells like my rabbit used to (his pee reaks) and he drinks like a mad man *goes to the phone to call the vet*
 

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Looking at your guy I can see he's just loaded with personality. He seems like a good old fashioned happy go lucky rat-muffin.
You were really lucky to find him and he seems aware of his situation and happy to be in a loving home.
Personally I'm of two minds regarding pet store animals
1. Its a dirty business, buying perpetuates alot of misery
2. Its never gonna end and you have to face reality and make the best of it. I've seen some wonderful loving creatures come from Petco, and you're freeing them from a poor existance.
I think the best that can be done is to make Pet Shops accountable for what they sell, clean up their act.
Sorry to ramble but I've been having words with someone about Pet shop Rats, and then I see a real Beautie like yours.
Spider
 

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2manyrats said:
Yeah, he's a real pretty one. Once he's properly socialized, he'll be amazing. He's already quite the sweetheart.

Come to think of it, I did notice that his urine smelled a bit strange when he let out his bladder on my shirt yesterday.

I started treating him with Baytril last night, because he is showing some myco symptoms. If there is a urinary tract issue, then the antibiotics should take care of it in a few days.

I also noticed today that he is very squeaky when touched on his back. He might just be a whiner, or he might be in pain. I suspect whiner, because it's a very small protest squeak.

Fizzgig has an appointment tomorrow at the vets office to see if there is a urinary infection at all. I was going to start him on antibiotics today but i think I am going to hold off untill the vet checks him out. We'll see how it goes.

Does your guy drink alot? Fizzgig drinks like 15 oz.s of water a day
 

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Is Fizzgig a pretty mild-mannered rat, or is he somewhat easy to annoy? When rats are aggressive or territorial, when you touch their back they will hunch up and sometimes squeak/scream.
 

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oh he was a demon rat when we first got him LoL but he has calmed down and it isn't and aggressive or get off me squeak it is more of a painful squeak. and it is only sometimes I have broken the trying to bite everyone and everything but he is still meh about being handled. The things that bug me most is that his pee (even one time of peeing) smells like a rabbit's urine and he drinks NONSTOP. I hope the vet doesn't have to ctheterize (sp) him tomorrow
 

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i'm not sure if you mean put down or de-nutted with "ctheterize". but i would be concerned with his drinking habits too. if he really is drinking a lot that can often be a first sign of diabetus. i know its treatable in larger animals and humans but its very very expensive. but they use needles quite often and i'm not sure how well a rat would do with that. though, you never know, there could be another method of giving the medication then injectable now. and it may not be that bad yet. early diabetus can be managed with diet and excerise. then again you may just be being an overly concerned rat mom. its best to get him checked out but i'm hoping that its nothing more then worried momma nerves. good luck stephanie, let us know how it goes.
 
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