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Do you think she's pregnant?

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Discussion Starter #1
So, first off, Hi, I'm new here :)
I rescued 2 dwarf rats a bit ago, and I think one of them might be pregnant but I'm not sure. The first rat, Paris, I got about 3 and a half weeks ago. She was housed with intact males (they were all feeder rats) but she's never showed any signs of being pregnant, and based on what I've read, there's no chance of that at this point. The other one, Vegas, I got a week later as a companion for Paris. She had been housed in the same conditions, and lately she's been showing sort of a bulge around her midsection that doesn't go away when she stretches. I've noticed that I'm having to refill the food bowl much more frequently lately, but I thought initially that it was just because both girls are still growing. Vegas also sleeps a lot, but I thought that that might be due to her respiratory infection (it's being treated, don't worry, she's almost completely cleared up now). The biggest thing that gives me doubts is the absence of any perceptible behavioral changes. There might be something I'm missing, but she hasn't been oddly aggressive or anything. As for nesting behavior, she's always liked to dig in her bedding, so I'm not sure what to look for exactly.
Any (civil) advice is welcome!

If she is in fact pregnant, I have no clue what I'm doing when it comes to little ratlets so if there is anything I should read, or just information from your personal experience, that's be very much appreciated!!

Thanks y'all!
Vanessa (Paris and Vegas's mildly concerned mom)
 

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I don't know how old they are but after 5 weeks it's possible and also many rats from feeder lines mature faster, so in some cases they can be receptive as early as halfway through week 4.

Behavioral changes don't always happen, so I would not take any absence of nesting or maternal behavior as evidence she isn't pregnant. Some moms don't ever build a nest even after birthing.

I know you said that Vegas is getting a belly; you also mentioned that you've been refilling their food bowl more frequently. Have you measured how much food you're giving them per day? They might just be getting more food than they need.

As a resource I would recommend watching Isamu Rat Care's breeding series on Youtube as she goes into great detail about caring for gravid moms as well as the week-by-week care of a litter.
 

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I don't know how old they are but after 5 weeks it's possible and also many rats from feeder lines mature faster, so in some cases they can be receptive as early as halfway through week 4.

Behavioral changes don't always happen, so I would not take any absence of nesting or maternal behavior as evidence she isn't pregnant. Some moms don't ever build a nest even after birthing.

I know you said that Vegas is getting a belly; you also mentioned that you've been refilling their food bowl more frequently. Have you measured how much food you're giving them per day? They might just be getting more food than they need.

As a resource I would recommend watching Isamu Rat Care's breeding series on Youtube as she goes into great detail about caring for gravid moms as well as the week-by-week care of a litter.
Thank you, this is very helpful. Vegas is the only one getting a belly, Paris is quite slim. Most of the food Vegas takes, she stores while Paris just eats what she wants for the most part.
 

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Thank you, this is very helpful. Vegas is the only one getting a belly, Paris is quite slim. Most of the food Vegas takes, she stores while Paris just eats what she wants for the most part.
I would have a separate one-level cage ready (no shelves/ledges/hammocks) just in case she is pregnant. As she was housed with adult males it's very possible since they're a lot more likely to impregnate females at that age than their brothers would be. Definitely a good possibility, so be sure to have all the necessary preparations out of the way. Jemma's video series I mentioned will be a great help for that.

Another option is to go to your vet and request cabergoline/galastop which would safely induce resorption of the litter, and this is a good option if the rat is very young or ill or for any other reason you or the mom can't cope with having the litter.

Many vets are less-than rat savvy though and may not prescribe it so if you choose to go this route then I would bring this with you for them to look at. However, if she is very late into her pregnancy now I would personally not feel comfortable with this route because it can interfere with lactation.
 

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I would have a separate one-level cage ready (no shelves/perches/hammocks) just in case she is pregnant. As she was housed with adult males it's very possible since they're a lot more likely to impregnate females at that age than their brothers would be. Definitely a good possibility, so be sure to have all the necessary preparations out of the way. Jemma's video series I mentioned will be a great help for that.

Another option is to go to your vet and request cabergoline/galastop which would safely induce resorption of the litter, and this is a good option if the rat is very young or ill or for any other reason you or the mom can't cope with having the litter.

Many vets are less-than rat savvy though and may not prescribe it so if you choose to go this route then I would bring this with you for them to look at. However, if she is very late into her pregnancy now I would personally not feel comfortable with this route because it can interfere with lactation.
Thanks for all your help. Based on when I got her, she would be very late into her pregnancy at this point, and could be due any day now. You've been very helpful! Thanks so much!
 
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