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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone! I introduced myself and our two new rats a few days ago and posted this thread about one of the rats, Minnie. I was concerned about her shape and the way she acted differently than our other rat, and a couple of you thought she looked a bit pregnant.

Well, a few days later and I'm still worried about this pregnancy talk. She's a baby rat (not sure how old) and from a petstore feeder tank. There were males in with the females but the pet store worker told us they were too young to breed and that the two females we were buying were much too young to be pregnant. She wasn't sure of the age, but guessed around 6 weeks.

Minnie is very small, (measures a little over 4" from nose tip to tail base when stretched out) and seems petite and young. Her fur is soft and fluffy.

Here is a picture in relation to my hand.



Does she look old enough to be pregnant?

She is sooo wriggly when I try to examine her belly. She is very rotund, and it is growing each day. I wonder how much is food though. Since I've got her she went from petstore rat food to Subee's mix and dog food along with various other fresh foods.

Here are the best belly shots of the ones I took:








I hope she isn't pregnant but will do what I need to do if she is. She seems way too tiny and fragile to be able to have babies. She is a baby herself! she has a definate round belly, not hard but does seem lumpy. She eats like never before though, so maybe its all food? This rat LOVES to eat. Maybe this is just what a young, healthy, hungry rat looks like??

I have a second cage I can put Minnie in case I have to. Her cagemate is another young female of the same age. I am keeping my eye out for her too in case she gets bulgy around the middle. They get along wonderfully. Is it absolutely necessary to seperate them if Minnie does have babies?

I am not too worried about care as I've been through many litters of puppies (dog shower hobbiest and breeder here), kittens, baby squirrels, and baby birds. I've emergency hand-fed all the above. I can learn and make do. I don't worry about that.

I just wanted to post pics and see if you guys think she's pregnant. If so, well, I'll be relying on you guys for a lot of advice in the future.

Thanks!
 

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Re: Please say it isnt so!

its hard to tell with rats that young but if she was 6 weeks old when you got them then they can be pregnant. they can be pregnant as early as 5 weeks. males are able to do the deed that young as well but typically don't have the mind frame until 6 weeks. i guess what i'm saying is that its certainly possible.

how long have you had them? gestation is 21-24 days so by the end of 3 weeks, if there is no babies there won't be babies. with minnie i don't think an e-spay is even possible where she is so small. but i would check just in case. she is very young and a litter now would be high-risk for mortality or complications. at the very least make sure to have the vet on call if something goes wrong.

about separating, some people say do it every time, others say don't bother and still others say it depends on the rats. i'm in the depends on the rats camp. some mothers don't want to share their space and will get aggressive with the other rats, others appreciate the help and support the other rats give too but you're not going to know which minnie will be until you watch her. but also, you have to consider the other rat's attitude towards the babies too. most will adore them, some will ignore them and some may try to steal them, if they try to steal them a tug of war with the mom over the baby can happen and can seriously harm or even kill the baby. also, if the other rat does not produce milk but will not give the baby back then the baby could starve. so there is a potential risk involved in leaving them together but they may also be just fine. its up to you decide which side you want to err on but you can get a pretty good idea how things will work out by watching and listening to your rats.

where you're a dog breeder anyway you probably have esbilac or puppy formula, keep that on hand too just incase.

hopefully she's just happily fat. i'll keep my fingers crossed for you.
 

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Re: Please say it isnt so!

one other question... is she kept with other rats right now?

if she is, maybe you could remove her for an over night or for a few hours during the day & check her stool
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: Please say it isnt so!

A1APassion said:
were the males she was with the same age as her or were they older, bigger males?
They all seemed to be her age.

Just curious, how old does she look to be?

She is with one other female rat. Check her stool for what? She's definately pooping. We are working on litter box training and her poops (including the ones she's left on my hand) are fine.
 

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Re: Please say it isnt so!

That wee one is young. I would say 5-6 weeks myself and more within the safety zone. If the boys were her age I would say unlikely she is pregnant. Babies have pudgy bellies and she has a shorter more compact frame as well.

Here's an example for you. I took in a young adult mom and her four 7 week old daughters about to be euth'd at a shelter. They had been with their brother and adult father up to 6 weeks old. I had the mom e-spayed (she was a bit pregnant) and the babies I had to take the "hope and pray" route.

Here's Terra's belly when I was doing the same as you (7 weeks old)



None of the baby girls were pregnant.
 

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Re: Please say it isnt so!

She does look a little rotund, but maybe she's just a little piggy! I had some similar worries myself with one of my girls (there's always that fear with petstore girls, isn't there?), but it turns out Belgie just likes to eat.

Something no one's said, is that I don't see any nipples. I'm not sure when they get prominent in gestation, but I don't see them at all in that photo.
 

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Re: Please say it isnt so!

That wee one is young. I would say 5-6 weeks myself and more within the safety zone. If the boys were her age I would say unlikely she is pregnant. Babies have pudgy bellies and she has a shorter more compact frame as well.
My thoughts exactly.
 

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Re: Please say it isnt so!

I'm in a situation alot like yours. Except mine was somewhat my fault(female got loos while boys were having their free time). And also my female is 6-7 months so its not much of a problem. Anyways I hope your little girl isnt prego because shes still just a baby herself. I wish you and your sweetheart the best of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: Please say it isnt so!

Okay Update:

I've had the two rats for 2.5 weeks now and I dismissed any possibility of there being any baby rats coming.

I went to clean their cage tonight and really took a look at them. Today both have visible teats. Not obvious, but more than when I first got them. Pin sized holes in their fur. They are too darn squirmy to take any decent pictures.


Both rats teats are most visible right under their front arms and each have a visible set lower down. Investigation reveals erect nipples.

Minnie (the rat mentioned above) looks swollen and wide around her vaginal opening, and moist.



Now I'm worried again. PLEASE say it isn't so... Please tell me all female rats get barely visible teats. Please tell me that Minnie looks normal and not about to give birth. 8O

Edit.. I finished changing their bedding and put strips of flannel and paper towel on the bottom and Minnie is carrying it all to one corner and making a little nest... I picked her up and my hand got wet and I flipped her over and she was leaking clearish brown (mostly clear) fluid.

How long do I have? A day? Two?
 

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you can just barely see ozzy's nipples there

has she gained any weight? start feeding her higher protien foods (egg whites) and i dont know what to tell you about the fluid, sorry
 

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Yikes, I'm sorry I can't help, but I have no idea what that means... Even if she's not pregnant, leaking fluids is a bad thing down there, so you might want to get her to a vet asap. As far as I can tell, she doesn't look very preggers, my girls have a little belly to them, too. But I could be wrong, and rats don't show until the last week or so anyway- you could have a small litter.

Like rat_rascal said, get her some protein. Take any shelves off so that she can't drop rittens off, and you might want to separate the two, in case mommy doesn't want help. But nesting doesn't always mean rittens, some boys nest a lot too. In any case, you should know within a few days either way!
 

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I really think if she is prego and shes leaking fuilds in an nest at 7weeks or under then u probably want to put extra paper towels and nesting material in the cage and take out her cagemate so no risks are being made!


I would be ready for premature babies since she is young and her nipples dont seem formed fully. Dont be worried as rats have a weird way of knowing if something is wrong... i beleive if the babies are not healthy or the mom is in danger premature labor will happen and the dead babies will pop out..

These are my thoughts nd i have went through a healthy accidental litter with a young mom as well! 13babies all healthy!!!!

Boil eggs for the mom it gives nutrients!!! also mix oatmeal and brown rice for a soft food for the mom and babies when they begin to experiement with solid food!!!!

I hope i could help let use kno if she pops some babies out and how it goes!
 
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