Rat Forum banner
1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There was an ad on craigslist.com a few days ago that said "two male hairless rats, 1yr old - free". I have always had pet rats, and I already a hairless female and a normal female. No, hah, I never had any intentions to breed, but I figured I'd go ahead and look into taking on the two male rats. I went to pick them up at a nice suburban house in an upper-middle class neighborhood on the west side of Orlando. What I saw was horrible. Two full grown male hairless rats housed in a 10gallon glass aquarium. They were FILTHY, smelled like urine, and were SO skinny. One much thinner than the other, but both are terribly underweight. Even though they looked bad, I had to take them anyway. Couldn't forgive myself for leaving them in that horrible place. The owners said that I could take their "cage" too, but I said "no way!" and gave them a piece of my mind about their rat-keeping skills. I went by Petsmart on the way home and bought a nice large wire-mesh cage.

I've put down some thick cellulose-fiber type bedding, some old bedsheets for them to cuddle up in, and a cracker box. I put a heating pad under one side of the cage, and I put up a fresh waterbottle with a full bowl of food. SOund like a decent set-up?

Neither rat has much appetite. Is there anything I can try to get them to eat?

They are so sweet, docile, and not even all that old -, it's an awful shame that they were so neglected. They have a good home now - I just need to get them through this rough time - any suggestions are appreciated!

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
527 Posts
aw, poor babies..they look so emaciated. :(
i'm glad you've taken them in..some people are just unfit to be pet owners!
maybe could give them "yummy" food..i know my rats LOVE hardboiled eggs and go crazy for them. maybe try fruit/veggies as well?
and if they're not drinking, put a bit of sugar in their water.
they could also not be eating much due to a new home, so i'm sure things will improve with your care in a few days!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
the skinnier one is so dehydrated that I got some diluted fruit juice down him with a syringe. I'll probably do that a few times in the next few days. I have the cage covered now so hopefully they won't get drafts. They cuddle together to try to keep warm. I hope they turn out okay, they are sweet little boys.

Thanks for the suggestions. I'll boil some eggs for them tomorrow. Hopefully the juice will get them a little bit more motivated to eat on their own.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
443 Posts
Good grief, those poor rats! I really don’t know how people can live with themselves sometimes. :?

Honestly, I think I’d take them both to a vet ASAP. I bet a course of antibiotics would do them a world of good. As for foods, maybe try baby food. When one of my rats had an ear infection I gave her Ensure and applesauce, which she loved.

Good luck with the poor little guys, hope they're feeling better soon. :wink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, the vet will have to be Monday, after I get paid. Unfortunately, I wasn't expecting such a dire situation, and I've found myself in a financial tight spot. I get paid some debts on Monday, though, and straight to the vet we go.

Does baby food flavor or type matter? I don't want anything that might make them sicker, given the circumstances.


Aww, you have a rat named Fiona...so do I. That's her in my icon. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Small steps, small steps. :)

The skinnier of the two rats just wobbled over to the water bottle ON HIS OWN and started drinking! I squeezed the bottle a bit to make it all easier for him. Then the other rat came over and they both spent a good two minutes side by side lapping up clean water. It made me so happy - at least they are taking in fluids!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
443 Posts
Aw, your Fiona is cute!

I’d try veggie and turkey baby foods. And the Ensure, maybe some oatmeal too. But in small frequent meals. I've never seen such thin ratties, much less had to nurse them back to health, so hopefully someone with more experience will speak up.

edit-typo :oops:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,195 Posts
Oh poor dears! That's what drives me crazy about Craigslist, but I keep going back to it, and at least you were able to get them out of there!
Try yummy fruits, I know watermelon is (suprise) most water, that might be good for the dehydrated one.

I don't know exactly how applicable this is to rats, but I think it probably works the same way. But when people come out of the wild, or off Survivor, or something where they haven't been eating well, then tend to get sick from eating too much food. So I would try to feed them smaller and gradually increasing amounts to give their bodies time to get used to nutrition again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I thought of names for them. :)

Gollum for the really skinny one because, well, he sort of looks like Gollum. heh Plus, while I was syringe-feeding him, he was SO saying "NOOO we don't wants the syringe! We HATES it!"

Sam for the slightly less skinny one because he is caring and sweet and supports his friend with everything he has. He lets Gollum rest his head on his back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,535 Posts
But Gollum didn't have any friends. :( :lol:

I'm glad to hear they're drinking. Perhaps Ensure or something similar for liquid and vitamins.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
506 Posts
Oh they are so lucky that you came along and rescued them! Yeah I would suggest that you take them to the vet and have them checked out. Maybe even have them treated for internal parasites just in case that is part of they're being under weight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,002 Posts
aww those poor boys look the absolute picture of miseryness but at least they will have a good home with you :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Today they are doing MUCH better! The are walking around a little bit more and are pretty interested in their surroundings. I put another water bottle up, so now there is one with Pedialyte and one with plain water. They drank a lot last night, and even nibbled a little bit on some of the fruits and veggies that I put in. I'm going to put some new fresh veggies in this morning, and hopefully success will continue.

Gollum still walks around like an old man with bad palsy, but he's a little stronger, I think.

Gollum DOES have friends ;) Sam takes good care of him. Hey, this isn't Lord of the Rings. ;)

I called my vet and set up an appointment for Monday morning.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
520 Posts
Katy, you rock.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
aww thanks :) I just don't want to see these little guys die. :( They are eating diluted chicken dinner baby food now - ON THEIR OWN! I just have it in a little shallow bowl and they are both lapping it up. I can't wait to see them put weight on - especially Gollum, I am most worried about him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
192 Posts
What I find interesting is how rats mimic many of the things humans go through when they are put through bad situations. Depression, loss of appetite, losing a will to thrive, and so on.

I am glad you are helping them. I am sure they will be fine in a few weeks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
520 Posts
cjshrader said:
A rat's psychology is very similar to that of a human's. That's why they are used in psychological lab tests.
And why they are so fascinating to me...
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top