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i have three rats, i have had more before and i have never had this problem.. my female rat, callista, i got when she was five weeks old. shell be two in july and shes allllllways been a sweetheart. shes always had a great personality and shes never bit anyone, EVER. she just had her second litter of babies about a week and a half ago and she has just gone mad.. she is acting all sorts of crazy and i cant figure her out. i walked up to her cage tonight to get one of the babies [cause she stopped nursing them, and stopped eating as well] to feed them and before i completely make it to her cage she jumped at the door and started whining. it freaked me out cause it sounded like my dog [a rat terrier] but he wasnt in my room.. i leaned down to her cage and she did it again.. as soon as i opened the door she jumped into my lap sniffed all around, jumped in the cage did it again, and she kept doin that til i put her back in.. before when i took her out shed crawl right into my hoodie pocket and sleep.. she is so boney from not eating, and her babies are becoming skinny too.. i didnt have this problem with the last litter, but it really scares me - i dont want something to be terribley wrong.. i mean can rats develop postpartum depression ?
 

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i've never heard of it before but i do know they can suffer depression so past-partum depression is a good possbility. it could be a sign of some other illness unrelated to the rittens though. cancer is always a possbility. i had a rat that went right nasty when she developed cancer. it was only breast cancer and other rats i had had didn't get nearly as nasty but she was a fairly fussy rat too. is it was a just bit off in temperature she'd get cranky.

my advice would be to get her to a vet ASAP to clear her for other illnesses and start on some research about postpartum. see what the exact symptoms are in humans and compare to your and see if you can find anything about it with rats in the internet as well. perhaps contact another breeder and see if there has ever been a similar problem with one of their does. http://www.lilratscal.com/index.html you can contact the owner of this rattery. she's been breeding for many years and may be able to help.

but i have to ask, why are you breeding a rat so late in life and why did you wait so long for her first litter? a 2 year old rat is equivalent to a 80 year old human and there's not many 80 year olds having babies without servere consequences. i know rats are a bit different reproductively but from the knowledge i gathered optimal breeding time for the mother's age is between 5-30 months on the very outside distances. perhaps the problem you are having is quite common for older mothers and if that is the case there should be a good deal of information on it though of course it will take some looking.

i wish you the best of luck and hope the babies and mother make it through.
 
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