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Discussion Starter #1
i've tried to find information regarding dwarfism in pet rats, but found nothing. maybe someone around here will know.

i've been wondering about one of my rats, who has lived with me since last summer. i have no idea how old she is- at least 18 months, i'd guess. anyway, she was missing half of her tail when i adopted her from a petco after someone abandoned her there. she has a short, rounded nose and a short body, as well. lately she's become rather plump, probably because her companions have been much older than her, and much time has been spent lounging in hammocks instead of running around.

anyway, i was just wondering. this isn't an urgent health question or anything- it's just a kind of weird thing. could it be dwarfism? could it have something to do with the early loss of the tail? i know they use tails for balance- maybe her body's compensating?
 

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One thing I read (I don't know for sure if it's true) is that rats grow to their surroundings, so if your rat was kept in cramped conditions, perhaps it stunted her growth?

It would be helpful if you could post a picture. I'm sure that we'd be able to work out if she was a dwarf, then.
 

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The tail was most likely an injury. I would imagine her "different" look is from bad breeding/genetics. Is she really tiny? How much does she weigh?
 

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what donnaK said is defo true in fish if u keep a fish in a small tank it wont grow as large as if you kept it in a large tank. but im not sure if its the same in rats. i also agree pic would be a good help!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
sorry, here's a picture... this is an older one, but she hasn't grown (except widthwise). she's pretty much stretched up to her full length here, and you can see how her tail is short.

she's not very thin or anything, and i'm not sure how much she weighs. she's just... short.

maybe you're right and it's just a weird genetic thing.
 

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fallinstar said:
what donnaK said is defo true in fish if u keep a fish in a small tank it wont grow as large as if you kept it in a large tank. but im not sure if its the same in rats. i also agree pic would be a good help!
This is correct as far as fish in concerned...some think that the stunted growth means that their bodies stop growing but their insides dont, ultimately leading to an early death.
 

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the cool part with fish is that if you take tankwater from a fish that normally grows large and is stunted in a little tank, you can stunt the growth of fish that normally would grow fine. they secret an anti-growth hormone and it emanates in the water. i don't know about the stunted outsides vs stunted insides thing, but yeah.

on that note, i don't think it applies to rats. and i don't think your rat is a dwarf, i think she's just little, and i doubt that it has anything to do with her tail, although that's cute too. :) an adult dwarf rat is like, the size of a 4 month old baby rat, or something similar, i think. one way or another, if your rat is a dwarf, you'll know. i think yours is just a little gal, just like how some people on this forum have some monstrous boys. :D
 

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she does look oddly proportioned (long neck, short face budda belly and long back feet) but i don't think she's a dwarf. though she may have some of that in her line and its only partially showing... i don;t know. looks like bad genetics really. she reminds me of the "alien" beast machine in beast wars (a computer generated canadian cartoon back in the late 90's).

the remains of the tail seems adequate enough but keep a closer eye on her when its warm, she'll feel the effects of heat before the others where her tail is shorter. i had a rat that was missing some of her tail too and though she never seemed to have much of a problem with heat she did slow down first when it was warm out.
 

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haha, i think she just looks funny cuz of the pic. her neck would be longer cuz she's stretching up and her feet seem long cuz she's leaning back all the way to the ankle for support. she might be a little fat causing her buddha belly too. or it's cuz she's standing up and making rat pants around her knees. just the way you worded it cracked me up. you should check out cuteoverload.com, they have an obsession with animals sitting up and making "pants" around their feet, it's hilarious.
 

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OnlyOno said:
an adult dwarf rat is like, the size of a 4 month old baby rat, or something similar, i think.
Dwarf rats rarely 100 grams and are about the size of a 4 week old rat, not 4 month. :) I had an awesome dwarf buck who was literally half the size of his girlfriend and she was petite. His highest weight was 79 grams and was teeny. He was on the big side also. LOL!
 

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right, sorry, i knew it was tiny or something similar. :D i want one because i bet they're just as personable as a regular rat, but TINY. :) was your dwarf's girlfriend a regular rat then?
 
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