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emergency ! mom ignoring pups

922 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Tinytoes
my hairless girl just gave birth to her first (accidental) litter about four hours ago. directly after giving birth she left the nest and slept a lot. i figured it was normal and left her alone to recover and come to her senses to nurse her babies. but at the three hour mark i started to get worried. mom is eating and drinking fine but she has no interest in her babies. i tried putting her in the nest to smell them and realize she needed to care for them but she walked right out and has absolutely no interest in them. the babies are barely clean and some of them still had their umbilical cord attached and none of them have milk bands. should i wait a couple more hours for her to come around or do i need to prepare to hand feed them ?
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Definitely always prepare if your momma will give up cause even if she has had babies before ( in this case no I’m guessing) so here are the 4 main things I used the absolute most with my pups: (1) A one-ml syringe or a small dropper (1 ml syringe preferred, the drops are smaller).
(2) A box lined with a towel, and a liter plastic pop bottle that you can fill with hot water - cover with a thin towel to allow heat through.
(3) Some Q-tips and a small bowl of warm tap water.
(4) Some Kleenex

Here is how I fed them:
Warm a small amount of kitten milk replacer or human soy-based infant formula in the microwave until JUST skin temperature. NO warmer than that.
Take a baby, and hold him or her in the palm of your hand, curled around her, and drop a single drop of milk into one of the creases, near her mouth - she must suckle the milk from your skin.
An alternate position is to hold the baby in your fist, upright, head up, with the mouth near the top of your curled index finger - and place one small drop of milk at a time on the flesh of your index finger, right by her mouth. Once they learn the milk is there they will eagerly suckle it from your skin. The excess can just run down the inside of your hand.

Keep them warm, very important. If they are cold, they will not even digest what they take in.
Take the whole litter out at one time, and nestle them under towels next to an object - along the water bottle, or a bowl set out for this purpose.
Keep track of who was fed and who needs it - place one bunch on one side of the object, and the other bunch on the other side.
Keep the cage very warm and dark. Gallon plastic jugs filled with HOT water, around the outside of the cage, then drape towels over the cage. Always put the babies back in the nest, together, after feeding.
Mom may very well turn into a good Mom if you can just keep them alive in the meanwhile. If not, with enough dedication and doing the procedures right, you will be able to hand raise all of them yourself. I have done it twice.
During the second week, you can back off the feedings a little - feed every 3 ot 4 hours all day long, and get up once during the night.
If you take them out for a feed, and they have visible mild milk bands before you start, Mom may be feeding them!
Don't give up. Give it a try, it is one of the most rewarding things to do ... save those little lives.
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I’m not sure. That sounds like a very stressful situation. Keep an eye. I think it would be best to make sure you are ready to hand feed them if your rat momma does not come around very soon. If she shows no interest in her young she might continue to act like that. I have never had an accidental littler so I would not know for sure but I think the rat momma usually takes to the babies right away if she is going to ever take to the babies. Not sure hope someone else with a little more experience comes here to help. Do some research on your own while you wait to.
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How are the babies doing now? Has the mom accepted them?
thank you guys so much for all of the help and advice !! its been about two weeks now and all seven babies are happy and healthy ! two are gonna be hairless like their mom and the other five are all grey like their dad and only one girl in the bunch !

mom needed a few hours but after she recovered she joined her babies in the nest and began nursing and cleaning them :) she hasnt had any trouble nursing them so i havent had to step in to feed them thank god !

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Omg, so precious!! Congrats on your babes doing so well 💕 🐭
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