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Discussion Starter #1
I have had my ratties for about two weeks now. When I got them I was told they were approximately 5 weeks old, and were all male. However, one of them, Bubonios (name now changed to Bubonia) became a cause of concern because the balls never dropped on that one. We were studying rat sexing diagrams online to try to make sure this rat wasn't actually female, and weren't able to come up with any conclusive answers because the spacing between the urinary opening and anus looked like the ones on the males in the diagrams and no nipples were visible. But there were just no testicles. I decided to have a vet check it out, and booked an appointment for this weekend.

Even the vet was stumped at first. She was referring to a book and online resources, and leaning towards male for a while and even asked to see my other (now big-balled and obviously male) rats for comparison. After a while of studying the rat, the vet finally noticed another opening and came to the conclusion that the mystery rat was a girl. Darn.

I feel sort of dumb that this happened, but it looks like it has happened to other people here, and on her it was hard to tell. Also, we're thinking that Bubonia (whose name was changed after the gender was discovered) may have been younger than the other two rats we got her with, and her age may have been younger than we were told, making it harder to tell. I asked the vet if she could possibly do an emergency spay, since this girl rat has been living with the two males due to the mistaken gender. However, she said she is not comfortable spaying a rat this young. She did give me a phone number for a more specialized place in town that *may* do it. I will give them a call tomorrow to inquire about an emergency spay. We have separated the rats today. Depending on whether we can get a spay done soon, we may put the one now known as Bubonia back in with the boys. Or we may end up having to buy another cage and get another female. Fingers crossed that it all works out in the end and that if no one agrees to spay her at this age, she was too young to get pregnant, or isn't pregnant. I found another place in town that says it treats exotics, but it's a bit of a shadier place and my fiance says he is not comfortable with attempting to get the rat spayed there and would rather go with the place that was recommended, if they'll do it.
 

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I'm guessing you got these rats from a pet store?

(Give me a sec, while I have yet another private rant about irresponsible gender ID with so many pet stores.)

Okay, moving on, first, thank you for checking with a vet, for separating them immediately once the mistake was discovered, and for considering an emergency spay.

Seriously, you have no idea how many folks would NOT be acting in such a caring, responsible manner, so, thanks.

If it helps any, I went thru pregnancy watch on my two young girls, as the family had them chucked in the same tank as a male (who was almost surely their litter brother, too).

My situation turned out happily with no pregnancy--I got the same feedback from my vet, that the girls were so small and unhealthy, she didn't feel comfortable doing e-spays. I'm guessing my girls were about five to seven weeks old, at the time.

One thing that comes to mind is--you've had them two weeks, right?

Rat gestation is about 21 days, so I'd imagine you could ask your vet about doing ultrasounds, if you wanted to confirm or rule out pregnancy. I'm assuming she doesn't appear to be pregnant, just visibly, right?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
They were being sold as feeders at a pet store. We were told that all they had available were boys (I'm guessing females were being kept for breeding?) and even had them double-checked before taking them home. And I think this one is built in a way that makes it hard to tell her gender, but I can see how pet store mix ups would be a common issue.

Thanks for the assurance that I was doing the responsible thing. I was touched! I just didn't want to wait around to take action in case it was a girl. Though if I don't find a skilled vet who feels comfortable doing an e-spay, I will prepare to keep her on pregnancy watch for the next few weeks. She doesn't look pregnant, but I understand they usually don't until shortly before delivery. I thought about getting a scale to weigh her, but I bet she is still growing so weight gain may not tell me much. I may ask about an ultrasound, thanks.
 

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You could ask your vet if she would consider using Galstrop with her, it is a drug used for hormonally driven tumours but has a side effect of causing a termination of pregnancy with just one dose and it doesnt appear to have any long term affects. It can be used at any time in pregnancy but i would personally struggling after about day 19 as the babies are pretty much ready to be born then. I would get a dose of this then look to get your little girl either a new home with other oyung girls or get her a lady friend, then consider spaying them both when they are around 6 months old. If your vet wont consider this and you cant get an e-spay then i would get her a couple of girl friends short term even if you have to just borrow them. This will give you time to find out if shes pregnant or not and mean that if she is when she pops you have 2 girls together whilst she looks after her babies, and not one alone.

Its a really tough one, here in the UK you can often get free cages and stuff if you get a misexed rat that has babies, but it seems a lot harder in the US
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I did ask my vet about Galastrop. I had seen people talking about it here. I did admittedly mispronounce the name, but I still think she would have recognized it. She said she never heard of it. I did some googling afterward and am only seeing mentions of this drug being used in countries other than the U.S. It makes me wonder if it is not available in the U.S. But I will ask the other place if they have it just in case.

Where are some places where I could get temporary cagemates? The only options in my area are pet stores and a rescue I decided not to use. Thanks!
 

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I did ask my vet about Galastrop. I had seen people talking about it here. I did admittedly mispronounce the name, but I still think she would have recognized it. She said she never heard of it. I did some googling afterward and am only seeing mentions of this drug being used in countries other than the U.S. It makes me wonder if it is not available in the U.S. But I will ask the other place if they have it just in case.

Where are some places where I could get temporary cagemates? The only options in my area are pet stores and a rescue I decided not to use. Thanks!
I don't believe it is something commonly used in the US, if it's even available here.

My vet had never heard of it, inquired on VIN and never really got any useful feedback. We didn't pursue it further, but it doesn't seem to be a US thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm glad I'm not the only one whose vet had never heard of it. I also described what the drug was used for, going off of people's descriptions on this forum, so I think that would have given the vet enough information to recognize it if she knew what it was. When I was doing some research afterward, I was mainly seeing it mentioned on overseas-based forums. I also looked on Drugs.com and it had a list of countries where this drug is used on animals, and the U.S. didn't seem to be on this list. So I'm really not sure if that's an option for me. But it may not hurt to ask just in case some place has it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Update: I called the clinic that was recommended. I was expecting to at least get a receptionist since they're supposed to be open today, but no one answered the phone so I left a message explaining where I was referred from, my situation and asking if an exotic pet vet there is willing to do an e-spay on an approximately 6- to 8-week-old rat. Fingers crossed that someone will call back with some answers today. I will make myself available again on tomorrow's lunch break for more phone calls if I have to. I think that if this rat is pregnant, my time to keep looking for a vet or trying to schedule a surgery will probably run out pretty soon (because I don't think you want to do an e-spay if she's rather far along).
 

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Update: I called the clinic that was recommended. I was expecting to at least get a receptionist since they're supposed to be open today, but no one answered the phone so I left a message explaining where I was referred from, my situation and asking if an exotic pet vet there is willing to do an e-spay on an approximately 6- to 8-week-old rat. Fingers crossed that someone will call back with some answers today. I will make myself available again on tomorrow's lunch break for more phone calls if I have to. I think that if this rat is pregnant, my time to keep looking for a vet or trying to schedule a surgery will probably run out pretty soon (because I don't think you want to do an e-spay if she's rather far along).
I hope they get back to you soon--I'd agree, this is very time-sensitive, with such a short gestation.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I hope they get back to you soon--I'd agree, this is very time-sensitive, with such a short gestation.
As of the time they closed this evening, I unfortunately did not get a call back. I will try them one more time tomorrow if I don't hear from them tomorrow.
 

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We got our rats from a feeder bin. The idiots running the private shop we got them from said it was hard to tell if they are male or female, but even at 4 weeks those testicles were pretty dang obvious...

I would think if you can't see any family jewels at 4 weeks you should always assume female, but my experience is limited.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks, I'll keep that in mind.

I finally did hear back from that place, and they said that they want to see the rat before determining whether they feel it would be safe to do an e-spay, so we've got an appointment at the end of this week for an examination. I was told over the phone that apparently it is riskier to do spays on smaller, younger rats, so we'll have to weigh the risks of that (then again, I also worry it could be risky for her to be having babies if she's pregnant).
 
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