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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
Very soon we are getting two female babies from a family who ended up with an accidental litter, (they got what they thought was 2 males...guess not.)
The litter is 6 total, 3 boys and 3 girls. There was a 7th but it disappeared.:(

Anyway, one of them is a runt and she is a girl. She is currently getting picked on a little by her brothers.
I have a big heart for runts, but I am wondering if rat runts are generally as healthy as the rest of their litters?
Do they continue to get picked on by their co-habitants?
With enough good nutrition do they eventually get as big as (& as healthy as) the others?

Do they live as long as un-runts?
My son is 5 and I don't really want to set him up to experience a pet death too soon.

We get the pick-o-the-litter next Thursday, so any info until then will help us in our choosing.

Thanks.
 

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Some runts do very well. Some runts do very poorly.

I suppose it all depends. Though, with only 6, hopefully the babe would still be able to eat well and not be getting shoved aside from the mother and such. :)
 

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if you are going to get two of the sisters why not just get all 3 sisters & take Mom as well. That way all the girls stay together & there isn't a solo rat & your friends don't have anymore oops litters?

As many rattie folks say: What's one more rat?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Forensic said:
Some runts do very well. Some runts do very poorly.

I suppose it all depends. Though, with only 6, hopefully the babe would still be able to eat well and not be getting shoved aside from the mother and such. :)
The runt is not only smaller, but her hair came in later. Here is a pic at exactly 3 weeks. She is the one on the far right.


Here is a close up.


I am a novice at this, but she looks really depleted.
 

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the runt looks to be a double rex which looks like it will go naked (without hair)

watch for the hair to start falling out at the back of the head & down the back first

they change so much in their 4th & 5th week

since this one is so much smaller than the others & at this age they should be nibbling on what Mom eats, maybe you can encourage your friend to give this little one a chance to eat alone by separating the others for a short time or maybe pick up a can of Esbilac formula & supplement her feedings. I'm sure with this size difference she is getting crowded out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
A1APassion said:
if you are going to get two of the sisters why not just get all 3 sisters & take Mom as well. That way all the girls stay together & there isn't a solo rat & your friends don't have anymore oops litters?

As many rattie folks say: What's one more rat?
I thought about that, but I think they are pretty attached to mama. Besides, my cage is big enough for 2, 3 max. I know that they are planning on getting a separate cage for the boys and I have reminded her that she needs to do that no later than 5 weeks.

I thought about taking all three girls, but that leaves mama alone. My guess is that although the woman who has the rats seems relatively responsible, she has not done anything extra for the runt to help boost it up. If I were a runt, I would want to stay with my mama. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A1APassion said:
the runt looks to be a double rex which looks like it will go naked (without hair)

watch for the hair to start falling out at the back of the head & down the back first

they change so much in their 4th & 5th week

since this one is so much smaller than the others & at this age they should be nibbling on what Mom eats, maybe you can encourage your friend to give this little one a chance to eat alone by separating the others for a short time or maybe pick up a can of Esbilac formula & supplement her feedings. I'm sure with this size difference she is getting crowded out.
cool, I will tell her that. I saw in one post about supplementing with goat milk and I told the owner about that.

Double Rex? Really? I will ask the owner if she is loosing or growing hair. When do they grow their hair back?
 

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ok, I don't like to talk about negative things but often the reality of things can be less than positive.

As it was stated earlier, sometimes runts don't do well. Regardless as to who keeps the runt, if she doesn't make it, there will be a female left alone.

This should be considered & why emotions set aside it would be very logical to keep the 4 girls together just in case the little one doesn't make it. Everyone needs to consider what is best for the rats & not be selfish about attachments.

Now forgive me but I have a little bit of an opinionated commentary to add. I will be as polite as possible. This couple bought what they thought were 2 males? I can't buy into that excuse because boys are VERY recognizable by the time they hit 3 weeks. (well you can tell before that but if there was any doubt, it will reveal itself by 3 weeks of age) If this Mommy got pregnant at a very young age she has already been through too much too soon & it would be very detrimental to her health if she were to endure yet another oops so soon after the first oops. It could literally kill her. Every precaution must be taken to ensure this little Momma doesn't get pregnant again.
 

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magickat said:
A1APassion said:
the runt looks to be a double rex which looks like it will go naked (without hair)

watch for the hair to start falling out at the back of the head & down the back first

they change so much in their 4th & 5th week

since this one is so much smaller than the others & at this age they should be nibbling on what Mom eats, maybe you can encourage your friend to give this little one a chance to eat alone by separating the others for a short time or maybe pick up a can of Esbilac formula & supplement her feedings. I'm sure with this size difference she is getting crowded out.
cool, I will tell her that. I saw in one post about supplementing with goat milk and I told the owner about that.

Double Rex? Really? I will ask the owner if she is loosing or growing hair. When do they grow their hair back?
first of all.... don't use goat milk

as for the hair growing back, it may not

the "hairless/double rex" rats have several varieties

some go naked
some stay patchy
some lose hair in some places & grow it back in other places
some keep a fair amount of fuzz
some have crazy, kinky hair

only two ways to know for sure... genetic testing or if you have a documented line (pedigree) of several generations

Take a look at my webshots link in my signature, that one has photos of my hairless babies when they were that age. They started off feeling like a brillo pad & then they went naked
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you A1A for your honesty. I appreciate a voice of reason. I am going to contact her about this. :? I will keep you all updated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
whoa, double rex's are fascinating! :eek:
Do they require extra care if they become hairless?
 

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No, not really. They get scratched a little bit more easily, but they're still rats.

She really does look wretched, doesn't she?

Well, you oughtn't take her until at the least 5 weeks (when the boys get taken away from the mom), perhaps she'll fill in by then. If she doesn't, look about for things like failure to thrive and megacolon (though hoodeds aren't high white...) and such.

If both parents seem normal I would wonder if she could even be double rex... rex is a dominant gene, double rex is two copies, one from each parent. :?
 

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A1APassion wrote:
Now forgive me but I have a little bit of an opinionated commentary to add. I will be as polite as possible. This couple bought what they thought were 2 males? I can't buy into that excuse because boys are VERY recognizable by the time they hit 3 weeks. (well you can tell before that but if there was any doubt, it will reveal itself by 3 weeks of age)
Seeing as we're all concerned and attentive enough rat people here to know this difference between male and female, this is an easy statement to make.

But it's happened. I thought I was getting two females the very first time I got rats, and guess what, one turned out to be a boy, and the other turned out to be pregnant. Now, I was in second grade at the time, so I had noooo idea about the um, male genetalia, and though I would have thought my mom would have figured it out, I guess we both just believed the pet store guy.

I have no idea HOW it happens, probably just a sheer lack of knowledge and/or observation, or just taking the word of the person who works at the pet shop (though they'd have the opportunity to figure it out, one would think), but it definately happens.
 

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Forensic said:
<snip>

If both parents seem normal I would wonder if she could even be double rex... rex is a dominant gene, double rex is two copies, one from each parent. :?
It may be a few questions away from being able to find out...

How long did the couple have the 2 rats before the litter showed up?

Nothing was said about how long they had the the pair before the babies came. If she had the babies shortly after they brought the pair home (less than the 21-23 gestation period) & they rats were housed in a mixed sex colony... the male they have now may not be the dad & it is possible to have more than one father of the litter.

That is when you have to look to the parents, the colony overall & such.

The large boy I have that I recently spoke of in another thread.. DD.. is a huge smooth coat-dumbo, however... I have met his Mother, Father, two sisters from the litter he was born to & a half sister from another litter & 2 litters from his sisters. His Father is a curly coated Rex, his Mother is a smooth coat. I didn't establish who was the hairless carrier (maybe both?) but it's in there because he has naked sisters. The nieces & nephews were mostly curly coated rexes. The 2 litters were born within 24 hours of each & the ones born from the haired sister were remarkably larger than the ones born from the naked sister.

Knowing this... hypothectically speaking... if I were to do a planned breeding of DD with a haired female that has a of a known background has the naked gene within it her I could realistically expect to see some nakeds pop up even though both parents are furred. Who's to say that this Momma in question with the baby that is taking on the look of a naked & whomever it was she coupled with weren't some hodge-podge combo with the rexing genes stirred into their pot luck stew of genealogy.... lol

But thats the curious thing about oops litters in mixed sex colonies... ya never know what your gonna get.
 

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If mom had the babies then she would HAVE to be rex for the double rex to show up in a litter.

Poor wee one. Supplement her if you can, she may just have failure to thrive but will make it through and catch up later on.
 

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A1APassion said:
But thats the curious thing about oops litters in mixed sex colonies... ya never know what your gonna get.
The thing with hairless is that there's two genes that cause it. 'Hairless' and 'double rex' aren't the same.

Although I suppose it's also possible the mother was a very poor rex. :)
 

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I really put a huge effort in not using the word hairless when referring to the rats with little or no hair just because there are so many different varieties that visually look the same. (I also put a huge effort in not making "claims" that leave little or no room for debate or correction because I am not an expert, I'm simply someone who loves the rat & I read as much from the "experts" as I can. Another reason why I always offer links to back my comments.)

This seems to be somewhat true with the rexes also. There are simply way to many variations of this variation as well & so many terms have been used to describe some of these visible traits that are often the same thing but just a slightly different look. (keep in mind, the traits do not have to be visable in an animal that is a carrier)

That is why when I write I will keep it as general as possible or simply say naked because a rat that has little or no hair can only be properly identified by genetic testing... visual is not accurate because of the fact that there are several types in this particular variety. I also do this because I am no expert nor am I going to come out of pocket to run lab tests to prove my best guess to be one that is more accurate than anyone else's best guess

this seems to be a very good site on explaining a lot of what is being discussed, so here is a link

http://ratguide.com/health/figures/congenital_hereditary_alopecia_figure_2.php
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for all of the wonderful input. I am already addicted to this forum and I don't even have my ratties yet. :D

First let me just say that I believe that the current owner has done her best. I think that this litter was an honest mistake. She is being quite responsible about the litter and I feel confident that she cares about the outcome of all of the rats. Currently, she is separating the boys from mama to give the Midge (short for midget) some special time with her and is supplementing her diet. Also, Midge is indeed loosing her hair on her head and back.

After communicating with her, we have decided that I will take the 2 big girls and she will keep the runt with the mama. If the runt goes to The Bridge, then she will neuter the males and put them all back together. I have also extended an eternal offer to take the mama if ever there was a need.

I think she told me that she has had the pair for a couple of months now, but I could be mistaken. I will ask again. :?
 

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I am the person with the "runt' you have been talking about. Rest assured I am supplementing with baby formula. The boys are seperated from the girls so we don't have another "oops" litter. Oh, and I really did believe the guy at the pet store when he said Mom & Dad were both males. I know now how to tell the differnce but then I had no clue. The mom & dad were both very small when we got them maybe 4 -5 weeks are so. We got them in August. When they were old enough that I could tell the difference I seperated them right away...obvioulsy too late. I will keep the runt with her mom. If she doesn not make it I will have the dad neutered an put them back together. I hope this answers al of your questions and maybe next time you won't be so quick to make assumptions and accusations. I love all of my fur babies, rats or not and would never do anything to harm any of them.
 

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Can I first say, take a breath. Between the message you wrote me privately & the one you write here you are taking a defensive stance when there is no need to do so & yes, those of us who can answer your questions will be happy to do so. (you asked this in the PM)

No one has been talking about you per se, the discussion has been about the rats & the care of rats.

Yes I did make statement & I forewarned that it wasn't positive & I did write it as politely as I could. Nothing nasty was said about you, just that I didn't see how a mistake like that could be made, thats all. (believe me, mine was very nice compared to some of the things written on these boards) I said what I said because I see children as young as 5 years old who look into the rat cages at stores & can easily identify boys from girls. Those boy-bits are HUGE & really hard to miss. I guess it can happen but... ahhh, I'll just shut-up before I get someone else all bunched up.

For whatever reason it was, a mistake was made & the mistake is that a female rat that is far too young to have babies did get pregnant & now there is a small one that is not doing well.

This can't be turned into you. No one has attack you so there is no need to come to the boards with a defensive state of mind (no one is talking about you). This will not cause anything but drama & that is not going to benefit the rats nor the situation that is really being discussed.

Everyone here will help as best we can with answering your questions but this is about the rats.

(ok, now to what really needs to be discussed)

I'm glad to hear you are using formula & not goat's milk as your friend mentioned. May I ask what type of formula, how much & how often? You can also give the little one small pea size nibbles of a high calorie supplement sch as Nutrical. Is she eating the regular foods that are being fed & what is it that you are feeding them?

Its obvious that the advice the pet store gave you is very wrong since they sold you a mixed sex pair & told you they were the same sex. We really have to assume everything else they told you was not quite right as well & this could be cage size, food, bedding, etc.

Hopefully by reading the archives here & asking questions every thing can be set straight & you & all your ratty babies can get on track to the happy healthy life you wanted from the start.

I look forward to reading further updates on this wee little girl & the rest of the rats.
 
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