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Sigmund seems underweight. Both of my girls are like, weirdly little for rats - neither of them is longer than my hand head to butt. They're about 10 months old. Her sister is kinda chunky (I think) so its tough to tell if Sigmund is underweight. You can't see her ribs but her hips do stick out a bit. At first I worried about some kind of internal parasite but she really just doesn't eat so much. Its really hard for me to tell if she's getting thinner or her sister is getting fatter. I've tried weighing them but they really, really don't want to stay still. From what I've been able to gather, Sigmund weighs somewhere between 300-350 grams where as her sister is in the 390-440 range.

She grunts. She started doing this happy little pig grunt a few months ago and I took her to the vet who put her on a doxy/baytril combo for three weeks, assuming it was a myco flare up. That made the grunting stop a bit, but it wasn't really that noticeable of a difference. She's never really had any other symptoms of a URI, she sneezes a bit but pretty much always has.

I've noticed a good amount of porphyrin around her nose on maybe like 3 different occasions in the last two months. Its always when I catch her napping so its certainly possible its all been groomed away other times.

The weight thing is really whats disconcerting to me, when I hold her she just feels so light. Like, feels like half the weight of her sis.

I have an entire 3 week regimen of Baytril left over from her original treatment. I don't know if I should start her on that and see if it knocks out any underlying issues, or if I should just try to fatten her up with ensure or something. or if I'm just being paranoid.

Thoughts? IMG_2024.jpg

She's in the back of that picture. Its not a great photo but it kinda gives you an idea of her figure
 

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It's really hard to tell from the picture if she's underweight. I have some very small girls and they're perfectly healthy. If the antibiotics didn't help, you might try some allergy meds and a humidifier to see if that does the trick. I wouldn't do another course of antibiotics unless you're absolutely certain that she needs them. Even then, if the antibiotics didn't help before (and you followed the regimen perfectly) then there's no reason that they'd work if you tried a second time.
 

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Can you get a photo of her from the top down as she stretches, or as shes hanging from the bars (though top down is better than of the belly). For the angle of that photo she looks a slender girl but not skinny, and that weight isnt abnromal for girls. It could actually be your other lady is a bit overweight so may need a diet rather than the other way around.

How i judge girls is like this
* body shape - should be like a long thin tube wen running, so stomach shouldnt stick out more than the hips and bum. Shoulders should be roughly equal to bum (pear shaped generally means chubby unless they are very under muscled). When they lie down a small amount of spread is ok but they should keep the same shape, just flatter, no bulgy bits and definitly not anything resmebling a pizza (i have seen a doe whose body was completely round with a head stuck on, she was a zucker rat and morbidly obese)
*body feel - they shouldnt feel squishy, ideally they should have a nice layer of muscle over all bones but you should be able to distinctly feel there structure. The bones shouldnt be pointy and skeltal either
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I think I've decided that her sister is fat, and Sigmund is of normal weight (which makes her seems skinny in comparison). I was just watching Carl as she sat up in her hammock and she really has a fair number of fat rolls, like a rather chubby human baby. Its quite endearing.

This picture is of her chubby sister, Carl. I want to give you a disclaimer that THIS IS NOT HOW I USUALLY HANDLE THEM. She usually gets scooped up with two hands but this particular angle was too ridiculous to pass up. She's such a forgiving little furball. Look at that tummy. I don't think she's obese or anything. They're on Harlan Teklad and I'm not sure how I'd even diet her if she needed it.


Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 12.28.29 AM.png
 

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I'm no expert but I believe as long as you can't feel individual ribs, they aren't underweight and as long as their stomach doesn't drag on the ground when they walk, they aren't obese.

I have one rat that is built really weird... very long and with a pinched waist that looks like she is wearing a corset. Apparently, its just her body type. I have another that looks like a pear. HUGE butt and skinny chest so I do think body types can differ.
 

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She looks a little bottom heavy, this is a sign she probably is a bit overweight and could do with some dieting. How i do this is by limiting feed, so work out what they eat in one day and only feed that much. That gives you your starting point. Next reduce that amount by about 1/4 scattering it around the cage rather than in a food bowl. Remove chubby rat when it first goes in to give her slim sister time to get a head start.

Whilst shes out get her exercising, i find getting them to run up stairs or up the cage bars works well, start off with one up, then return them for food (even if it takes you ages and some help to get them to do it). Then when they speed up realising they get food when they are done add in another repetition and so on

This approach normally works quite well with a group of rats who either need different amounts of food or where one over eats. You can further improve it by splitting the feed into 2 lots and giving them morning and evening. Also cut down on the treats they get, focuing on say a herb leaf or pea rather than a yoggie.

Grotesque - rats can vary a lot in body shape, however it doesnt mean that all body types are healthy. Pear shaped is generally a bit chubby, unless its actually that there shoulders are a bit boney or narrow, felling the rats bone structure is useually fairly easy to interprit vs fat.
 
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