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Discussion Starter #1
We have two rat girls (1 and 1.5 years) and we wanted to get a third so that when one of them passes, nobody is alone. I've been keeping my eye on local rescues, shelters, and craigslist but haven't seen anyone needing rescuing so we've made the decision to go back to the breeder we got our first two from. And they are lovely girls so no complaints there.
I read the sticky on intros. I'm worried about doing the quarantine, because it says if possible to quarantine the rats in seperate air spaces and I don't have that option at all. The rats are bedroom-only because my housemate's cat is a murderer. We have a basement, but it's way too cold down there now that it's winter. So I'm not sure how to go about quarantines.
The good news is that like I said, all rats are coming originally from the same breeder. Neither of my existing rats have shown so much as a sneeze in the 1.5 years I've had them. I have prepared a carrier cage with everything clean, a clean water bottle and fresh bedding. I'm planning on keeping the new rat in her quarantine cage in our walk-in closet for at least a week. Is there a better option? Ideas welcome.
 

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First off I would have a chat with the breeder, if they quarantine as a matter of course and haven't had contact with other rats for 2-3 weeks (and you trust them) then your fine to leave the quarantine. I wouldn't expect my pet homes to need to quarantine rats from me or myself from other breeders unless I told them it was needed (so if I took on some rescues from an unknown or high risk source a week before homing kittens I would inform my future pet homes, or more realistically I would quarantine the rescues away from the kits myself). This tends to be the way things are done with most UK mainstream breeders at least, in the US you also get closed ratterys and these would generally be safe too.

The next option is to look into whether a friend will help you out and rat sit for a couple of weeks, this is a good option for quarantining and one I've used before with rat friendly members of the family.

The final option is to do the best you can with what you've got, whilst in the same room means you wont be able to protect them from airbourne infections you can still protect from contact transmission (things like parasites) and some of the fecal - oral transmitted bacterial. Something is better than nothing. Bot you do need to accept the risk of passing something viral in particular across.

Just an aside, id really recommend getting 2 babies from your breeder rather than the one. Babies do a lot better with same aged company, they also introduce better too (less likely to annoy the adults with there babyish play), plus then you have the set up of a nice rolling group of 4 (add a pair every time your down to 2) which is a good long term way of keeping rats happy with company and a mixed aged group.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the reply! I've visited your website so I trust your opinion entirely. Ideally I wasn't going to be getting a baby, we got my first girl Miso at 6 months and my second Udon at 4 weeks, the rats are always pretty well socialized and I was thinking if I got another 6monther I wouldn't need to worry about getting a pair, both my girls are still so rambunctious and active. But I'll give it some more thought.
I feel silly for not just calling my breeder and asking them to quarantine, they did it for our second girl Udon and it worked out great. Thank you again for the great info.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I wish I had friends lol but I'm an introvert to the extreme and a homebody by definition.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I did a stupid thing. I went in to look at the pregnant girl they had and talk about saving a baby or two. And then I made the mistake of seeing someone all alone in the feeder bin...curse my fragile heart. Currently treating a rather skittish girl for lice in her quarantine cage and probably never ever going back to that breeder.
 

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If you want a rat person to chat to feel free to add me on facebook, I'm pretty good at answering messages on there, real name Jemma Fettes
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I don't have Facebook but thank you very much. She's improving steadily in both health and behavior, obviously only been a day. She reacts with MUCH more interest to me when I smell like my rats. I assume this is because she's only unsocial towards people. But we're slowly working on it. She accepts food from my rat-hand and made it through the night bug-free. Revolution from the vet or ivermectin from the internet are both options, but I'm going to cross my fingers that since it was one rat, one infestation site natural remedies will nip the lice in the bud. But we'll see.
 

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What nautral remedies are you using? A lot are outright dangerous for rats and most ineffective. Its very easy to get hold of ivermetcin. I use some ivermetcin sold for pigeons, its 0.35% solution and nice and easy to dose. The 1% stuff is more widely available but harder to dose for small rats. I keep a bottle in as it keeps for a while and it only takes a drop for your typical 500g rat.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just an olive oil bath, and changing the bedding often, washing all clothes after the new girl is handled. I know ivermectin is easy to get, I already have it on hand from when my rats had fleas (the 1% you mention), but I never actually needed to use it, and I'm nervous about chemicals and dosing. I hope you understand that.
I never did see any eggs, that silvery stuff. Just brown insects, and I never saw any of those after the initial bath. Still waiting for the next egg cycle to hatch, I suppose.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Normally when it comes to pests I jump on the chemicals, I must live in an area where bugs are common or something but I lost my patience a long time ago when it comes to being infested with ****. However I am terrified of using any chemical on or near my animals especially the rats.
 

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The issue with olive oil (and actually any oil) is that too much is a laxative, and they do groom it off so its hard to control how much they have. I do give mine a fair bit of oil added to wet foods etc but I'm talking a few drops per rat rather than a soaking. Be very cautious.

How big is your girl, I can probably work out the safe ivemetcin dose for you for the future. If you get a 1ml syringe (often sold as diabetic syringes) then its easily done. I would tend to stick to revolution under 3 months though, as ivermetcin isn't as safe as selametcin.

The thing with chemicals and animals is that even naturally occurring things are technically chemicals, if anything the medications and such have been tested more extensively (the down and up sides of rats being used in labs), as long as your careful and follow proper dosing they are reasonably safe.

Its tough but I personally find reading some of the scientific studies are very helpful. Ultimately most things are actually toxic at some level to rats (or humans), its just a matter of understanding it. For example good old garlic, we all know its great for the immune system and some garlic in the diet can also help prevent parasites from taking hold. However its also a member of the bulb family, which are toxic to varying degree's (some are edible raw, others are toxic even cooked!) . In reality a small amount (like a clove) of raw garlic per rat is fine and beneficial, I wouldn't be giving them a whole bulb though (not that most rats would eat much raw as its a bit nippy).
 

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Ivermectin with the brand name "Beaphar Spot On" in small animal doses is available from Amazon. Revolution is available on Ebay, but only in the three tube size. If using ivermectin, I would prefer to use that specifically made for small animals. One benefit to either of these is they also get rid of internal parasites.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks again Isamurat. I was pretty careful with the oil and while she was indignant her poo was normal (it's been 3 days now). Still haven't seen any more signs of insects, which doesn't mean much but keeps me hopeful.
She grows less timid by the day which really makes me happy. I've always been so bad with ages, and of my resident rats, my older rat Miso is so petite and her much younger sister Udon is huge. So that's another reason why I was nervous about chemicals as I really can't tell her age. If I had to guess I would guess 3-4 months. From ears to nose, her head is maybe 1 and 1/4 inches, maybe 1" at the smallest.
 

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if oyu post a picture I can probably give you a good idea, rats shape and proportion change a lot as they mature, and whilst they age at different rates its a better guide than weight or size alone
 
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