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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I got this new rat in September which is a Dumbo (my dream rat that I have been searching ages for!). She started off being sooooo cute. She still had her soft and round baby features and she would make these dove-like sounds so I named her Dove =)

And then she grew up. She now has sharp features, is lean, and has mutated turds. So now I call her Gremlin more often then I call her Dove. Those turds are causing major issues now. She had them when I first got her, but I thought they were like that because of what the pet store had been feeding her (could see seeds and stuff in her poo. Very gross). But it's been a while since then and they are still huge (about two times the size of my other rats turds). It's like the more surface area means the more stink. It is HORRIBLE. Is this some kind of weird medical issue or disorder? I've tried putting a little bit of vanilla in their water and I have gotten a hot surface thing that melts candle wax (my mom doesn't trust me with candles....) to try to help with the smell and it's still bad. I use Care Fresh bedding and it used to last a while, but now that I have Dove it doesn't even last a day. Are there any bedding alternatives that would happen to be cheaper and last longer against Dove's monster turds? Or is there a way to fix Dove's poo problem?

Also, my Dad got this pine bedding for my rats and I absolutely refuse to use it. I keep telling them that pine bedding is not good for them in the slightest and my Mom disagrees because it says it's ok for rats on the bag. I still don't trust it. And now my sister is going to use it for her rat. It's called Cozy 'N Fresh and it's made up of pellets. Is this pine bedding really ok for rats?

Got some pictures of the bedding bag and bedding pellets.
 

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What color/markings does dove have? Have you tried taking her to the vet? It definitely sounds like she's having some sort of intestinal distress. What do you feed your rats?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
She's grey and white. Her head is completely grey and then she has a grey stripe going down her back. I haven't taken her to the vet and I doubt I'll be allowed to =/ she isn't showing any symptoms other then the poo. She doesn't leak porphyrin, seem lethargic and she has been eating and drinking normally. I've been feeding them Wild Harvest Daily Blend. I think I put some pictures in this reply but I can't really tell.
 

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Rats are very good at hiding illness. Malformed, stinky poos are symptoms of digestive problems. Can you post pictures of dove? The way you describe her makes it sound like she might be malnourished. Wild harvest isn't one of the best commercial rat foods out there, it could be that dove is allergic to something in the mix. If you can't take her to the vet I would suggest switching over to a higher quality food like oxbow and also try feeding her some probiotic yogurt and see if that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'll get what I used to feed them today along with some better bedding. The Wild Harvest was a convenience replacement =/ and do you happen to have any recommendations on bedding? And I think I uploaded a picture into this reply. I can't get it to work if it didn't upload >_<
 

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Was her poo like this before the wild harvest? A change in diet can cause stomach upset. The pictures aren't working. I use fleece because it's not dusty but aspen and carefresh are also good for bedding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yea. Same size and stink except it had little undigested seeds and such in it. That's why I thought it was caused by the pet stores food. She didn't get to eat much of the stuff I originally got for them cause by the time I got her I was running out and switched to Wild Harvest. I think what I originally had for them was called Adult Rat Essentials or something like that. And she isn't skinny, but lean. She has a good thickness to her but she doesn't have a round belly if that makes any sense? My sisters rat got malnourished a little while ago and Dove looks nothing like my sisters did. I used to put fleece on their platforms and I think I'll start that again. So I need some yogurt, Aspen bedding (I use Care Fresh now and it isn't lasting very long), and different food! Is there a certain amount of yogurt I should give her?
 

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I haven't taken her to the vet and I doubt I'll be allowed to =/ .
This isn't meant to come across as rude or anything (so I am so sorry if it does! I'm not a mean person! Honest!) but if you are unable to take your rats to the vets when they may need it, then you shouldn't have them at all... This goes for all animals. Vet care is essential when owning any animal.

I would say its probably the food. Rats are better off on a pelleted diet where every single peice of food is the same.
Is it possible that Dove (I love this name!!) just picks out her favourite parts when eating? Leaving some specific types of food left over in the bowl? Rats will pick and choose when they have the option too. If she is picking her favourites, these will be the peices containing the most sugar and the peices that taste the nicest. Now, these peices are not neccisarily going to be the healthy parts! I would slowly introduce her to a better brand of food and maybe then her waste will improve.

If not? Vets. As Mrs.Brisby said, it could be something to do with her digestion. I noticed you said you got her from a petstore. These are not the best places to buy rats (I do have two from a petstore though) as they are not bred for health. Especially in big chain petstores. They are bred for one thing: profit. Many cases the rats are inbred which leads to genetic problems and health issues. This could be the reason why your rat isn't producing waste properly.

Good luck with her!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Not rude at all =) I know that. I'm not completely unable to take them to the vet, it's just that if I were to bring that up option to my mom without doing some more research and investigating, then I would have a very hard time convincing her to let me. Just saying that Dove's turds are stinky and huge isn't going to make her let me take Dove to the vet and cause a ridiculous bill. Now, if Dove was pooping blood and doing some other thing along those lines, then I would be rushing her to a vet without a word.

Their food is pellet like. I don't like to get them those mixed up bags of foods because I'm paranoid about what's in them x.x and they like to hide their food so it doesn't stay in their bowl for long. Which worries me because what if they're hiding it where they leave most of their waste?!? x_x I got my other two rats from a pet store also and one of the two ended up with some health issues, but is now perfectly fine. Dove's poo is kind of healthier looking then when I first got her though. Like I said before, it had undigested seeds in it at first. She had some really goopy poop too. Now it looks like a regular turd other then the size and smell. It's like the poo is going through evolution or something... So it seems kind of certain that it's the food. And thanks for the name compliment =P she was the easiest to name lol

Thanks for the info everyone who replied! If this doesn't work then I will be taking her to the vet.
 

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Also, if you feed a lot of fruit/watery veggies that can also cause soft/stinky stool.
 

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Softer/extremely stinky poo can also be an indication of fear. We call it fear poop and experience it a lot when our boys go to the vet. Is there anything in her environment that could be making her frightened or on edge? I agree that her diet needs to be changed and that you should definitely not be using the pine bedding your parents are convinced is okay. Your sister should not be using it for her rat either. Pine and cedar has been shown to be bad for all small animals and since rats have such delicate respiratory illnesses to begin with, it is just looking for trouble. You can explain to your parents that bad bedding can lead to respiratory illnesses and myco flare ups which will eventually need antibiotics to fix. If they are looking for cheap bedding, aspen is a good alternative. Having rescued rats being kept on crappy bedding their entire lives, I can tell you that it isn't fun! For diet, I recommend Oxbow's Regal Rat - you can find it in most pet stores. If the rats are young, you will need to supplement with extra protein (such as scrambled or boiled egg, for example). Overall though, it is a decent commercial rat food because it is complete. Check how many veggies you are giving them too because that can cause looser stools than normal. I give my boys about a tablespoon of veggies or fruit a day but if she still has the problem on that much, reduce it until the soft stool subsides then slowly build up her tolerance. Another possibility (if the diet and environmental factors do not help the situation) is internal parasites. Normally, you would see diarrhea with these but if nothing is helping and you take the rat to a professional, have the vet test the stool. Good luck!
 

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Slightly OT, but I've used that bedding before. It is good stuff. BUT I use a thin layer under neath a layer of shredded aspen. It helps absorb moisture and my rats have shown no issues from this setup for over a year now.
 

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Not rude at all =) I know that. I'm not completely unable to take them to the vet, it's just that if I were to bring that up option to my mom without doing some more research and investigating, then I would have a very hard time convincing her to let me. Just saying that Dove's turds are stinky and huge isn't going to make her let me take Dove to the vet and cause a ridiculous bill. Now, if Dove was pooping blood and doing some other thing along those lines, then I would be rushing her to a vet without a word.

Their food is pellet like. I don't like to get them those mixed up bags of foods because I'm paranoid about what's in them x.x and they like to hide their food so it doesn't stay in their bowl for long. Which worries me because what if they're hiding it where they leave most of their waste?!? x_x I got my other two rats from a pet store also and one of the two ended up with some health issues, but is now perfectly fine. Dove's poo is kind of healthier looking then when I first got her though. Like I said before, it had undigested seeds in it at first. She had some really goopy poop too. Now it looks like a regular turd other then the size and smell. It's like the poo is going through evolution or something... So it seems kind of certain that it's the food. And thanks for the name compliment =P she was the easiest to name lol

Thanks for the info everyone who replied! If this doesn't work then I will be taking her to the vet.
If you have a regular vet for other pets, phone them and see if you can just run in a stool sample from Dove, for analysis.

She could have parasites, or yeast, or Cryptosporidia or other microorganism overgrowth.

Simply bettering her food and cutting out so many starches and sugars will help in general, but if she's got some sort of protozoal or other parasite, you're going to continue to see Dove not have optimum health, no matter how well you feed her.

Usually a fecal isn't super expensive, and if you discuss it with the vet and show your Mom you're being reasonable and responsible in your approach, she's probably more likely to approve of this plan.
 

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My girls just got off a round of antibiotics for stinky, misshapen, and wet stools. I took them to the vet because I knew this wasn't normal and it turned out they had an overgrowth of bacteria in their intestines that they'd gotten from before I had them. They didn't show any illness either and I DO feed my girls high quality food. They were originally on Oxbow and I've recently switched them to Harlan Teklad. So they've never been on the cheap food except for before they were with me.

Intestinal infections can ultimately lead to dehydration and malnutrition and you really don't want to go there. It's a simple vet visit, they look at the stool under the microscope, and it's a simple fix, a couple of weeks of antibiotics and probiotics to get their gut healthy again.

Rather than worrying so much about what to do about the smell (changing bedding, burning candles, etc) why not fix the problem by taking her to the vet and helping her to get well? Rat poo is not supposed to stink. Then get her on a high quality food and she will be fine and the cage won't stink anymore.
 
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