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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What do you folks think - based on the below picture - could my girl Evaleen be preggo? She definitely wasn't that chunky when I brought her home a month ago. She has not had unrestricted access to the boys, but my younger boys were in the bottom of the DCN, and she and her cage-mates were in the top. I honestly didn't think it was even possible for her to get preggo through the bars, but I've spoken to a few folks who have actually had this exact thing happen. She's a rescue and about 4-ish months old. Although, if it could be anything health vs pregnancy, I'm hoping for a pregnancy... I don't want her to have a major health issue like pyometra. :(

Cat Felidae Small to medium-sized cats Kitten Tail
 

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It is not possible for rats to get pregnant through bars. It is a myth. They just can not line up in the right way to mate.
People say it alot, and IMO they are either lying because they do not want people to think badly of them for letting their rat get pregnant. Or an accident happened. Most of the time rats slipped out of their own cage and either into the others cage or during playtime. Or a family member mixed them up. You would not believe how often that has happened.

But there has never been a crediable source proving that it is possible to mate through bars. And tons of people have both sexes and have never ever had it happen.

Infact I have a rat room, both sexes kept in the room in different cages. My girls favorite hobby is to sit on the boys cage like little skanks with their junk pressed against the cage...zero babies. I am very confident that it won't happen either :) It has come up in breeder groups and I can't think of one respected breeder who believes it possible. Rat groups even say myth on it.

She looks like she has a tummy in the pic but she could just be a bit chunky. It doesn't stand out as pregnant to me. Rats usually do not show much until close to the last week.

Are you the only person in your home or who has handled the rats? It is really common for children/friends/ spouses to play with the rats or mix them up and not to say anything.

If you are 100% positive she hasn't had contact with the boys then I would keep an eye on her. Maybe you could take some more pics? Does it seem like it could just be weight issue? You may want to take her to the vet just to be sure.
 

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Completely agree, its one of those things that needs a fair bit of lining up to work, if seen younger bucks who are keen but not exactly sure what they are doing try and miss (one even tried to mate with one poor does head!) so through the bars would be even more challenging (needs the female in lordosis position to get things lined up right)

She does look larger than normal, but if there's no way shes got in with the boys I would be more concerned about closed pyo or her just being fat. How does it feel, is it soft or firm like a balloon? do her bits smell at all?
 

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I'll add to the "there is no way that can happen through a cage" group.

My boys and girls play sometimes in the same room with just a cage separating. If it was possible I'd have a ton of babies by now. Though mine seem to be opposite of Moons. lol The girls tend to ignore the boys, but the boys stand on the girls cages just mesmerized by them.
 

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When I've had boys and girls in the same room if the boys get onto the girls cage (in order to stare lovingly at the girls) the girls attempt to remove there toes in a rather violent manner lol. Admittedly I tend to only have one perminant sex at any one time (or neutee's) so the bucks and does are round for a few weeks to make me babies and not so used to being around the other sex,
 

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When I've had boys and girls in the same room if the boys get onto the girls cage (in order to stare lovingly at the girls) the girls attempt to remove there toes in a rather violent manner lol. Admittedly I tend to only have one perminant sex at any one time (or neutee's) so the bucks and does are round for a few weeks to make me babies and not so used to being around the other sex,
Do you sell them off after? Is it like a stud service type thing? So you get them already older? Im confused on how that would work.

My girls are not nice to the boys if they go to their cage. Toes will be bitten. But when they go to the boys cage they are fine. Everyone is weird lol
 

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I'm a bit of a none traditional breeder in that I am primarily a pet home, and need to keep my numbers down to do this. So I work a lot with another friend and fellow breeder as well as have some very good pet homes I have a strong relationship with. I have one permanent group of girls who are my breeding does, retired breeding does and any rescues or pets that have joined the family (I have to be strict with myself though so they are mainly potential breeder does). Each time I have a litter I keep 2 does from it where possible (some sometimes go to my partner too), I then strategically home some of the bucks (I try and get at least 2 pairs with people I either see a lot or, or live locally, sometimes they go to my breeding partner too, as she has a small buck group). When its time to move from theoretical planning a litter to getting into the detail I make sure to get hands on with the potential boys and get a feel for the best potential suitor. At this point I have plenty of info to work with as we have a very strong relationship with our owners. They are also thrilled to be involved and are generally guaranteed to get a pair of bucks from the litter assuming it works out and they are ready for some. Once we get to the right time I go and pick up the group of boys (or in limited cases where I'm dealing with a fellow breeder who has boys from me I send the girls for a honeymoon!), they stay for about a week or two and I try the pair together every night until the girl is receptive and on heat then they spend the night together (away from the bucks cage mates). Because my girls don't live with boy smell normally the smell of bucks seems enough to send them wildly on heat lol, so its useually the first night. I keep hold of them for another 5-6 days (long enough that they should have been on heat again if they didn't take) then the buck group goes back to there owner, who promptly gets lots of updates on the babies.

Its a system that is working really well, but it does mean that theres a lot more work put in both at the start before people join our waiting list, and in keeping in touch and building relationships with our pet homes. We are very lucky though that we have most people sticking around for more babies from us, and have made some very good friends from it.

I say we because the other element of this is how closely I work with my fellow breeder at Lovecraft rats, our lines are the same thing essentially (I call my side a strand of the line, but they are closely related), there's a high interchange of rats depending on which strand we are working on so we act closely together. Its another reason we can both keep relatively less rats than we would were we breeding alone. Whilst she has a few groups we are both a bit odd compared to your mainstream breeders lol. I am going to be at 7-8 full time residents shortly, and my friend is usually under 20, meanwhile there is a good sized pool of boys out there who we can borrow back as needed. We don't borrow girls back, but have and will lend girls between us in the future as both our groups are used to the other person and rat room as part of the norm and its not particularly disruptive for them. We also are both well aware of the risks, we couldn't put a pet home through the prospect of loosing a girl to pregnancy, as much as it would devastate either of us its a reality we acknowledge every time we mate up a doe.
 

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That is a really cool set up. It would definitely help keep costs down lol and space!

All of mine are also beloved pets., actually the majority of my rats currently are not even used in breeding. As I grow my lines that will change. But it does have me sitting at 17 rats with 3-5 more lined up in the next couple months. And yeah I know some breeders with like 40-60 rats lol but for being small time that is quite a bit for me lol.

I am lucky that I am in a spot with great breeders nearish but still a bit far for a situation like that often I think. Even most of my babies go a couple hours away from me.
You are so lucky!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It is not possible for rats to get pregnant through bars. It is a myth. They just can not line up in the right way to mate.
People say it alot, and IMO they are either lying because they do not want people to think badly of them for letting their rat get pregnant. Or an accident happened. Most of the time rats slipped out of their own cage and either into the others cage or during playtime. Or a family member mixed them up. You would not believe how often that has happened.

But there has never been a crediable source proving that it is possible to mate through bars. And tons of people have both sexes and have never ever had it happen.

Infact I have a rat room, both sexes kept in the room in different cages. My girls favorite hobby is to sit on the boys cage like little skanks with their junk pressed against the cage...zero babies. I am very confident that it won't happen either :) It has come up in breeder groups and I can't think of one respected breeder who believes it possible. Rat groups even say myth on it.

She looks like she has a tummy in the pic but she could just be a bit chunky. It doesn't stand out as pregnant to me. Rats usually do not show much until close to the last week.

Are you the only person in your home or who has handled the rats? It is really common for children/friends/ spouses to play with the rats or mix them up and not to say anything.

If you are 100% positive she hasn't had contact with the boys then I would keep an eye on her. Maybe you could take some more pics? Does it seem like it could just be weight issue? You may want to take her to the vet just to be sure.
Thank you for the input... (bolded above by me) This was my thought too! The info I received from the FB group was mostly a group of people who rescue, and don't intentionally breed. I consider myself new to owning rats still - so I've been religious about where the boys and girls are at all times. When the girls are out, all boys cages are locked and boys accounted for. I don't let my girls free roam even right now (i've had most of them less than a month, the others about a month) as we're still learning each other. I live alone so there's no chance that family members could have mixed them up... And the only friend who handles them does so under my supervision.

Completely agree, its one of those things that needs a fair bit of lining up to work, if seen younger bucks who are keen but not exactly sure what they are doing try and miss (one even tried to mate with one poor does head!) so through the bars would be even more challenging (needs the female in lordosis position to get things lined up right)

She does look larger than normal, but if there's no way shes got in with the boys I would be more concerned about closed pyo or her just being fat. How does it feel, is it soft or firm like a balloon? do her bits smell at all?
She's squishy, not firm at all, and I haven't noticed any smell, but I'm going to double check tonight. I have the other girls are antibiotics for ongoing sniffles (at first it was just new home sniffles, but it's been prolonged, so onto meds they went), and considering what you all are indicating I think I aught to put Evaleen on it too.
 

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In terms of antibiotics, I have heard that a course of doxy (3 weeks plus) may well be an effective method of terminanting pregnancy, though theres not loads of info on this. Cabergolin (or galastop) is reguarlyl used for this purpose in the UK but isn't an antbiotic, a possible option though. If you want pregnancy safe antibiotics then I would go for amoxicillin or septrin.

The fact her belly is soft infers its either fat or something else going on rather than babies, pregnant does tend to feel more solid and substantial than those who aren't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Good to know - thank you! My biggest concern/fear is pyo... Is pyo resolvable with antibiotics or does it always require a spay?
 

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If your lucky then a high end dose of antibiotics (I'd go baytril and septrin or amoxicillin ) can sometimes fix it, it depends on how walled off things are. Closed pyo (where it seals itself off) needs an emergency spay and is a high risk op but without it they are likely to get septecemia and die. Open pyo gives you a bit more time to act, but the antibiotics don't always work, so I tend to go straight to spay. Plus spaying prevents it happening again, and if its not pyo and is actually something like an ovarian tumour, cyst etc then it fixes that too (a surprising number of pyo like symptoms are actually some other womb / ovary anomaly).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, Evaleen was definitely not pregnant, and has shown no signs of sickness, she's actually the most outgoing girl I have (also the most stress inducing as she tries to leap across the room to something she wants to investigate). I do have her on meds anyway, since a few of her cagemates have some major sniffles going on. Thank you to all who have commented!
 
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