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My tractor full of rats! I'm just kidding, I only have one rat and my tractor is invisible. It is still sexy in my mind though. My life is a lie.

So I turn to the interweb instead! I wanted to puke rainbows everywhere on this site but I was glitter blocked because I have to be social and say hi to everyone. So heeeeeeeeey guuuuuurl (I don't care if your a dude, your a girl now. Its too late to take it back) I think I should move on to the general information that is me.

My name on this site will be Gangsta. You can call me gangsta, gang, sta, or The Flying Flopalafagus Gangsta (my current title in the Pomeranian loving mob of rebellious teenagers.) You can join too if you want, I just need a few drops of your blood and your immortal soul.
I have one Pomeranian I have spoiled rotten, she will eat your face if you get near and I will probably let her because I think everything she does is adorable. She has a cute bond towards my little buddy Nemo.
Nemo is my cute little Dumbo rat in which is why im here trying to gain access to the other threads. I got him when he was around two and a half weeks old from a feeder tank. Now before you say that was a stupid idea, realize that I knew that when I was taking him. It was my goal to learn how to take care of a baby rat and I thought that the most logical thing to do was find a rat that would have a miserable future if left out of my care. I knew that there was a potential list of things that could be wrong with him internally (due to nonstop inbreeding and poor cage conditions) but at the time I did not see or hear anything wrong with him so he was a keeper.
After a few days of intensely watching over him, I noticed he was frequently itching near his chin. Deeeeeep god dang gaping hole infected and rancid, that is what he was itching at and I am baffled as to how I missed that over his first inspection. I will save the rest for when I move into the correct thread for my questions.
Any whooooo, talk to me you hunky humans, my goal here is to learn more and make more sexy friends.
 

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Could be a number of things, pictures would help paint a better image of what's happening. 2 and a half weeks is really, really young which is worrying. Are you sure he isn't actually older? Welcome to the ratforum.
 

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Howdy there and thanks for the welcome! Oh yes he was very very young when I picked him out, but I knew what I was getting into. My specialty is baby animals, I think its the best way if you want a strong bond. He was just opening his eyes. That was around 2 weeks and some odd amount of days ago, he is around 5 weeks now with fully developed ears and teeth. My problem is no longer the hole, I was able to keep the infection down so it could heal. Nemo appears to have an abnormal squeaking behavior which makes me believe he is in some kind of pain. I have read somewhere that it is normal for young maturing rats to vocalize a lot, but I am not sure if that is true. When he is under my blanket or burrowing into my shirt he will squeak as if he is stuck. It sounds like squeaking, clean and not congested as with a URI (my experience with rats is limited though, I know more about mice with uri's) When I lift the blanket or remove him, he stops squeaking. He is super energetic and always in search of food, he is in the process of being completely weaned but he finds it fun to try suckling on my pom (she just looks at me questionably)
Along with the squeaking, even though his teeth have developed, I think that sometime during the fight to clean the infection his teeth were pushed so the are crooked and uneven. This I figured could be a possible explanation for his squeaking. So uneven I might have to go with the diagnosis malocclusion and find someone who could teach me how to clip his teeth so I can do it when needed.
Reminding me about food he is eating rat blocks, the occasional thievery of my dogs food and I recently started him on a vegetable/fruit blend for more of a variety for his ever-growing body. His stomach is still adjusting to the new food but I give him a little spoonful (fills the bottom of a tea-light sized water dish) in the morning.
He stores his food cause I check every now and then but he acts as if he is starving and will occasionally try his hardest to claw open my mouth in search of food.
The vegetable blend is Carrots, Broccoli, Peas, Celery, Tomato innards and 2 chunks of a dog biscut.
The fruit blend is Strawberries, Blueberries, Banana, and dried oats.
Any recommendations for food would be helpful :) I did notice some dandruff so im starting to cut down on protein intake.

I am not at home right now, so I do not have access to my camera, I will run to get it later today or tomorrow and then post some pictures (I've been meaning to get pics of him anyways)

Ohohohoh I forgot. He is a lone rat, I have no buddies for him cept my pom (which can only work with my supervision) Sadly my mom would kill me if I get another rat, though I can get away with breeding mice...... I was thinking perhaps I can give him a mouse buddy. I have seen it work where I got him, some baby mice were actually raised in one of the rat cages and right now they are adults and still getting along fine. He is still young so I think that if I choose a young mouse, they can coexist as friends. I could just be sounding like an absolute idiot though :D
 

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Please do not house rats and mice together. I will briefly mention 1 instance I've seen in which someone's partner didn't know they couldn't be housed together put a feeder mouse in the rat cage because his snake rejected the mouse and the rat killed and ate the mouse and then also died. Poor rattie and mouse.
It sucks that he can't have a friend, because that is the most important thing about rats: they should be housed in pairs or even larger groups. But otherwise it seems like you are doing okay. I do worry that he was so young but I have no way of knowing if his mom was in the feeder bin or not so he may not have been able to get anymore milk in his situation. In any case he won't be snake food now.
This for food:
http://www.ratforum.com/showthread.php?39486-Good-and-Bad-Food-for-Rats-amp-Ratty-Recipes
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I feel as if they are raised together, it would be a different scenario. He is so young that he is incapable of ripping a critter a part, I would notice if any harm was coming to the mouse before any real damaged is done. I can understand with older rats though, my best friend had raised a pair of mice from jumpers and she was very attached to them, we both knew that her rats would pose a real danger to any thing that landed on her floor, and unfortunately one day that is what exactly happened to her male mouse, so I know first hand of the danger too.
It may sound terrible but at the time I felt a lonely life would of been better then living in an overpopulated fish tank only cleaned because we volunteer to do it. (If we didn't, the conditions would be much worse)
Thank you for the link!
 

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Here is my experience with lone rats. We currently have one guy living on his own (about 2 years old) who we rescued from a hoarding style situation in the summer. He was housed with at least 50 other males in a guinea pig cage not even adequate for one piggy. They were pressed so closely together, they were forced to hang elevated from the cage bars in order to have space to 'stand'. We took him and and a baby (from a separate overcrowded 10 gal aquarium) home with the intention of eventually housing them with our three original boys. Sadly, the older rat was never able to get along with the others, despite repeated introductions of all sorts of styles (we are still trying to this day!). My longwinded point was that I understand that being housed without a friend often seems like a better solution than the previous circumstances but it would be really unfortunate for a baby so young to never be able to have the comfort of a friend of his own species. I feel terrible for our 2 year old boy having to live in solitude but at least he is in his retirement phase and seems to enjoy the peace and quiet. Rats really should not be alone unless it is an absolute necessary evil especially when they are so young and full of energy. They need the social interaction to lead full and enriching lives. I would try very hard to convince your family that your rat needs a cagemate. Looking after two rats is no more difficult than looking after one and if you get him a buddy of a similar age, they are very likely to blond instantly and without any issues. A mouse friend is not a good alternative since rats are instinctually territorial and view mice as prey. Being housed together where they would be unsupervised at least some of the day is a really bad idea.
 

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Expecting a rat to be happy with mice and a dog as its only socialization for its entire life is like someone expecting you to be happy with only the company of a bunch of 5 year olds and a 40 year old. Just because his previous living condition was very bad doesn't make his current living condition acceptable. I hope I don't sound too abrasive; you sound like you have very good intentions for the little guy, but I'm wondering how much research you put into this...
 

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Welcome to the forum! I hope you find it informative here :)

I would not under any circumstances house rats and mice together. Rats are natural predators of mice, and studies show even the scent of a rat can be stressful to a mouse. I wouldn't for a second underestimate the natural instincts of a rat. A rat can inflict serious injury and death to a baby rat or mouse in the blink of an eye before you even had a chance to register it. When your baby rat has grown up he may become hormonal and territorial - it's not easy to predict. You won't always be there to stop any fights. It's just not worth the risk.
 

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Thank you everyone for posting!

I know how important it is to have more then one rat, I wish I could change my current situation but I truly can not unless I move out. I had researched rats a few years back along with the information I picked up on the way, I know the danger of other animals and basic rat behavior/instinct. I did not say I expected Nemo to be fully content with the occasional company of different species, but I do expect that he will be not as lonely as he would be in complete solitude without those other species. I am not ill informed, I am just an optimist trying to find obscure solutions to a problem I can not solve by normal means. I have spent hours at a time researching every little thing he does to make sure its normal, I have researched so I know how to properly care for him when he is older as well. I may not have a lot of experience compared to everyone else on here but I have had experience which is more then I can say for some other people who have rats.

I will have to keep an eye on those mice at his birthplace. Nemo will not get a mouse buddy, it was only an idea I threw up into the air. Though it truly is tempting.
 

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My rat didn't kill his mouse buddy,but I didn't cage them together I just let them have playdates. But watching them try to interact it was almost like two people who speak different languages, overall it was kind of useless. The mouse couldn't keep up with my rat and my rat never seemed super interested in the mouse. The rat would pay attention to the mouse for moment, then he would go off and do other things. My rat would groom the house and he went to let the mouse groom him, but the mouse took too long and my rat ran off to play with other things. They never really became "friends." The mouse I used was also raised with rats. Honestly, rats naturally kill mice, we all know that. so if you are okay with one of your mice or rat possibly getting hurt or killed then it's really up to you. I took tons of chances with my rat that many have disagreed with, but I also knew the risk. That my rat might get killed or lost or whatever the case may be. Good luck.
 

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Thanks for taking our comments so constructively! We can be a little blunt at times but we truly do have the rattie's best interests at heart and don't mean to take anyone down. :) it sounds like you really care about him. The only thing I would note of concern would be warning against letting Nemo and your Pom interact. I know you've already done it and I'm sure you're sure your Pom would never hurt him, but all it takes is one dart from Nemo and a split second of long buried instinct just once to end in disaster.
 

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On the topic of mice being with rats, where I volunteer (same place as her) some idiot put mouse pinkies in with the rats, the cage with the most rats in fact. These two little mice are probably a week or two apart in age and were taken in by a young mother rat who had a litter of her own. Its been a few weeks now and the two mice (ones a male!) are still alive and healthy, they run around confidently with the giants around them and even hop up on their shoulders to groom them. Keep in mind this is happening in what is little more than a 30 gallon long aquarium with around 15 adult rats in it. I'm not saying throwing mice in with rats is a good idea, it really really isn't. Believe me, the sight of the bloody, twitching body of my favorite mouse tells me that much. I'm just saying that if they are both raised from tiny pups at a young age it would be better than solitude if done right and with luck.
 

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I understand. Sometimes the best option isn't an option at all. I hope I didn't come across as unfriendly; there are just too many people who don't know what they're doing, and the best way to discern who is who is by being blunt. As long as you are aware of the risks of letting a rat coexist with mice and a dog, then there's nothing left to say. You've clearly done a very good job of raising him! Welcome to the forum, I look forward to future posts. :)
 

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Sorry for the late reply everyone! I went to the movies yesterday and couldn't do much, but I did manage to swing by my house for my camera though! I uploaded to videos of Nemo, one with Daphne and one showing his temporary baby cage (he is still not big enough for the cage I have for him. I am worried about how thin his fur on his head still, I look for pictures of rats his age in comparison and they seem to have full coats. He also seems small. Unfortunately the photos included in the video are not high quality because he would not stay still for even 5 seconds :D
http://youtu.be/dh9p0MRnUVI
http://youtu.be/PwC86xKPkpc

Any more suggestions would be appreciated! I am using paper towels for his beading so I can monitor his poop and urine better. I hope to have a good future with nemo and I really am grateful for these communities like Ratforum.

By the way, you all should go see the movie The Book of Life, it was fantastic.
 

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What are you feeding him? The thin coat could be a sign of him not getting exactly the amounts of protein, fat, etc. that he needs.
 

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He looks much much younger than 5 weeks. His eyes are still squinted like they've just opened and his testes aren't dropped yet from I can tell. What did he look like when you first got him?
 

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This is a very young rat, definitely not five weeks. Looks like he is desperately trying to find something to suckle milk out of in that vide with the pom. I am also curios as to what you are currently feeding him.
 

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I was concerned about that as well, but I am certain that he is older then 4 weeks now. He was malnourished when I choose him and im still trying to fatten him up. When he was on milk he was plump but after weaning him he seems to be having difficulty. He gets his tealight sized water bowl filled with a vegetable and fruit blend in the morning, he has unlimited access to rat blocks and I give him pieces of dog biscuit (milkbone brand) and cat/dog kibble as treats (I give him treats everyday) His fur used to be just as thin as it is on his head on his back but now it appears to be full. I am curious if I should put him back on milk for awhile, since I really should have weaned him on the 5th week.
When I got him he had fur, http://ratguide.com/breeding/figures/birth_to_weaning_figure_2.php He looked exactly like figure 13-14, perhaps a day or two older.
I think his teeth is preventing him to eat properly so I have been giving him moistened food instead (he still gets hard food as well for his teeth). I am unsure why his eyes are still squinting. I plan to go back to his birth place to see if any of his relatives have squinty eyes, could be hereditary. Or it could be a direct representation of his current health. I hope its more along the lines of hereditary.

oh breaking news, I am not sure if he is even male anymore. It appeared that he had testes when I got him but I can no longer find anything that appears similar. (I am new to sexing young rats, though it is simple to do) I presume that if I don't see testes by now that he is a she.
 
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