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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I have never had baby rats before, and my bf and i rescued a couple from a very bad owner, they are still babies, but I know for a fact that they are of breeding age. we have had them both for about three weeks, and I had no idea if they were boys or girls, or what. yesterday I did some research online and checked out my two ratties, to find out one is a female, the other a male! I didn't think too much of it, until I read how easily they can get pregnant, and mine have been living in the same cage for three weeks! I feel really bad since they are also siblings, and I had no idea. Based on what i have read, and the fact that the female is a bit plump, I bet she is surely pregnant, which worries me! I am going to buy a new cage tonight when my bf gets off of work and will put her in there for about a month, if no babies arrive we will get her spayed and put her back in with her brother. but if there are babies... well I have no clue what to do besides handle them to socialize them. i feel really guilty, even though it wasn't really my fault. I wish i would have checked them sooner to detect their genders!
 

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please don't think of me as rude for suggesting this, but have you considered an e-spay?
inbreeding is not a good thing, especially if the parents are "pet store" rats with no real breeding in the first place.
that's just my two cents though. forensic and the others will have better/more helpful things to say. :D
good luck with whatever you decide to do.
 

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If it were me, Id take her in for an e-spay now. Believe me, its hard dealing with a litter. We had a female dropped off at the rescue and wihtin a day or so, she was in labor. we had no idea.

it has been beyond expensive and its so time-consuming that Ive had to put off seeing clients for a while (I work out of my home). And thats not even the beginning of the mess.

Dont beat yourself up - you didnt know and once you did, you remedied the situation.

But seriously, consider the e-spay...its the best thing for her, especially if she is that young :(
 

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is this the two rats that were rescued from the abusive twits that are obviously a prime example of human inbreeding?

you may be fretting over nothing at all... I don't think those rats are more than 5 or 6 weeks old

or maybe I'm thinking of a different post...

separate them now... don't wait. Use a box, bucket, whatever you can & then go out & get the cage
 

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How old are the babies? This is important. I would say if they are 6 weeks and younger you have dodged a serious bullet. Very few vets would do an e-spay that young anyways too.

If you are not sure of the age can you post pics?
 

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Hard to tell from just 2 pics...6 weeks maybe? If she got them at 3 weeks then. I think I'll post pics of babies week by week after their eyes are open and see which one she thinks they used to look like most. If we can pin down the age she got them....

Eyes just open...17 days old...squinty eyes, snub noses (the better to snug into mom for nursing). scrawny bodies, big head...


3 weeks old (actually 20 days)...eyes are open, still snubby noses (they are now hamrats I call them...hamster-rat), bodies are filling in, they are super active...my fav age. :)



4 weeks...pointy noses, bright eyes, more of a rat shape...mini-rats now


5 weeks...bigger



6 weeks...much bigger, small rats now...first pic is Megan my runt :)

The girls with their mom

Tucker, my boy


You will have to remember I had the mom from before birth and supplemented her and the babies, the Bronlings (their mom was Bronwen) were nice big chunky babies unlike some petstore babies who never received this type of care.

So what did your babies look like when you got them?
 

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the only diff is that these babies come from really poor beginnings, I know you have seen really healthy lines like Bella babies compared to the average baby & they are monsters when placed side by side... same could be said of these little ones if placed next to an average baby... these little guys had no benefit of proper care, proper diet or even a properly cared for Mom & dad

They may be undersized or whatever... & seeing that the one is looking to be hairless of some degree, the hairless babes tend to be a bit smaller than haired babies. You can see size difference with littermates with mixed haired/hairless babies,

I agree... the big head compared to body really places them at that awkward age of 5 to 7 weeks

if their eyes were fully open & they were hopping around really well when she got them I would guess they were at least 3 weeks old... add the three weeks she has had them & that would put them on target for the 6'ish weeks guess

if they weren't popping around like crazy & still a bit wobbly then of course that would mean they are a bit younger
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I would say they were about three weeks old when we got them, they looked like mice when we got them, and their eyes were open , but they're heads weren't big or anything. now they look to be about 4-5 weeks, but based on how long we have had them they are about 6 weeks old. I just took a picture of the female a few minutes ago I'll post it on here, she is next to a dvd video for size reference, and one where she is on my hand.



 

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If they are about 6 weeks, as long as they are NOW separated, you may have gotten off easy. While it's possible at 6 weeks, it's not *always* going to happen. I've gotten lucky with 7 week olds who weren't separated before being surrendered... Thankfully, no pregnancies.

I really hope she's not... It would be extremely risky for such a young rat to go through pregnancy and give birth. It would be a question as to if she'd live long enough to give birth, if she would live through the birth and if the babies would be viable.

The problem is, many vets wouldn't want to e-spay so young. Things are microscopic enough, so they like females to be a certain weight/size.
 

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I know this is a side topic, but I can't help myself-
Someone needs to figure out how to keep rats the size/shape as they are when they're three weeks, that is just too cute!

If Ivana's rats have already been separated and they're only 6 weeks, maybe there won't be any pregnancies at all!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
yes, I found out that they were different genders about two days ago after doing some research and they are now separated. I really hope she isn't pregnant, I love my little rattie, she is such a sweet girl, loves to sit on our shoulders or hide in our hoods if we are wearing jackets. Also, I barely started noticing the male rat's testicles not even a week ago, before that it didn't look as if he had anything at all, then a couple of days passed and they just grew! it was as if they had just descended. I remember first notcing a bump near his butt and wondering what it was, then two days later, I realized that ohhhhh, this one is a boy! so hopefully nothing has happened between them. I will definitely keep you guys updated, I figure the latest I can expect any babies if it did happen is around thanksgiving....I think. But I will keep you all updated.
 

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I don't think anything has... & that is a very good thing.

Good job!!!

You did great by jumping in right away & asking questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
A1APassion said:
I don't think anything has... & that is a very good thing.

Good job!!!

You did great by jumping in right away & asking questions.
yep, and once I know that no babies are on the way I will go hunting for two new rats so they can have cagemates, but I will take your advice and avoid the petstores. thanks guys for all your help I really appreciate it! I will surely become a regular on this post to ensure my rats live happy, healthy lives. :wink:
 

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i thought you were getting venom spayed so she could go back with her brother. or am i thinking of a different user...?
 

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They do look pretty young, so hopefully the little girl is not pregnant. Rather than looking for new rats, seriously consider getting the male neutered or the female spayed (or both) and allowing them to go ahead and live together (just keep them separated until after they have recovered from the surgery and three weeks after the male is neutered). That way there will be no chance of accidents happening. Although it is possible to safely keep two sexes in the same house, there is always the risk of an accidental escape, an ignorant friend putting someone back in the wrong cage, or visitors who think it's "funny" to let them play together. Spaying or neutering will completely eliminate these risks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I read somewhere that spaying and neutering can be expensive and risky. I would rather just get two new rats that need homes anyway and not have to worry about surgeries. I found that I really like rats, and see no problem in rescuing two more! I am always at home since I am pregnant and they are always in my line of sight, so if they do escape, I'll notice before anything happens between them. Thanks for the advice though.
 

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Expensive maybe, depending on the vet, but with an experiences vet, it usually goes well. And it's much safer than keeping both genders in the same home. At the very least, if you do have both genders, try to keep them in opposite ends of the house. That limits mistakes (often it's visitors or small children that put the rats in the wrong cages and start issues.
 
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