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Hi! So I was cleaning the bin that I keep the momma and babies in, and while I was transporting them to their cat carrier I inspected the pups for any problems. I noticed that one of the pups doesn't squirm much when you put it on it's back, and you can see the edge of it's ribs. I was wondering if most pups 6 days old are like this, or if it's not getting enough milk.

Thank you!
 

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If you aren't seeing a milk band, and if you're concerned that he's not getting enough milk, you can take the mom and maybe two other pups and put them in close quarters for awhile and then observe. I have seen small animal carriers recommended for this, though have not tried it myself.

Also, the link above for a milk band is not working for me, but if you google it you can find plenty of pictures of what it should look like. Is it a big litter? Are there more than 12? If so, you may need to separate the litter into two piles, if mom allows it.
 

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Her litter is only 8. One died already so there may just be a failure to thrive. If the pup is weak it may not be able to latch onto a nipple properly or might be pushed out of the way. You might try hand feeding at this point as it sounds like he's not getting enough milk.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
as kksrats said, my litter is 8 now, their skin is getting harder to see through, but I could not really see a milk band too well, I saw a small bit of milk, but not much. It seems as though the rest's milkbands are a little more visible.

So do you think I need to hand-feed her? If so, how do I warm up the soy formula? would on a stove work?

thanks!!
 

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you'll only need a tiny bit at a time, so just warm up the water in the microwave and then mix the formula in. Test the formula on the back of your hand for temperature before giving it to the baby. It should just feel warm, not hot.
 

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Oh lol stove is fine then. Even running hot water out of the tap should be ok. I know that most people don't give tap water to babies or even adult rats, but I haven't seen a problem yet.
 

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I wouldnt hadn feed at this stage, but i tend to be a bit hardened if they dont make that first week as generally it means theres something up with them and natures just taking its course. Its possible that this little one is just a runt, and may well keep on going just a bit behind the other rats and catch up when they get older and move on to hard food. It might be that theres some major issue with their developement and they will pass on in time. In this case its not a case of mum not having enough nipples as can sometimes happen with larger litters so its most likley he's either getting fed enough but is a bit behind or shes choosing not to feed him for some reason, in which case mum rats generally know best
 

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I don't think it's normal to see ribs, I know in vicky 's litter they seemed to rotate weights (except Hector and jasper, they were always the fattest, and blaze always the smallest ) like some would be a bit lighter than everyone else one day but the next it would switch around, but they all seemed to be getting enough milk over all, then again it was a litter of 15 and vicky was super mom, then like isamurat mentioned with the hard food they all caught up to each other once they were weaned, you could try hand feeding the baby if you wanted but....don't be too shocked if it doesn't work, there may be something else wrong
 
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