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Discussion Starter #1
I'm not really worried about Squishy's litter anymore, the flaky skin has improved a lot. But the runt is still much smaller than the rest of them, and even worse, I usually find him off to one side, not in with the others. I worry that he gets cold and lonely. I've been supplementing his food by giving him to Waffle to nurse, which she does (she also cleans him) and by giving him formula. He's taking it well, but I worry about him.

Is there anything else I can do for this little guy? He's 11 days old now, but really tiny for his age.
 

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let him drink from the mother's more so than offering formula because formula can never provide what their milk can... since you have 2 nursing rats you should not need to use any soy at all

as for anything else... nature knows what's best even if it doesn't settle well with what we humans wish the outcome to be

simple facts, often runts don't make it

keep offering the Moms some extra goodies & you can start offering some of the Mother's foods crushed up. Don't expect them to attack it fully but they will start tasting it a bit at 12 days & by the time their eyes open they will seek it out because they know the smell.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
A1APassion said:
nature knows what's best even if it doesn't settle well with what we humans wish the outcome to be

simple facts, often runts don't make it
I know that runts sometimes don't make it, but if I can help him, I will. I cannot stand back and just let him die. You wouldn't expect me to do that if I had a rat with tumors, would you? No, you'd say take her to the vet, try to prolong her life. Well, I want to do this for this runt as well, because I love him already, and his little life is in my hands.

I also know that formula is inferior to mother's milk (I breastfed my children for over a year), but it's better than starvation. I have tried to have him nurse with his mother and Waffle, so he does get some of it, but not enough. He also licked some baby food (carrots) off my finger. If I can help it, he'll be a little fatty soon!
 

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I didn't say don't help... what I said is accept the fact that there may not be anything you can do or anything any of us can offer as advice

Last summer I nursed an entire litter that first, Mom wasn't lactating & then they stopped developing at about 4 weeks, failed to thrive & one by one they all died in my hands by the time they were 2 months... all were gone & 2 months after that I lost Mom... this obviously was poor genetics. Some things just cannot get better no matter what we do & just be prepared for the worst & then be joyous if all turns out well.
 

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Yeah, A1A is right, unfortunately. Sometimes things just happen that we can't do much about...Of course we all want you to do whatever you can to help the little one, but you definitely need to be prepared for nature to take it's course. Just be ready and willing to except the worst, and hope for the best!

Good luck, again!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Julia, sorry to hear about your loss of that whole litter plus mom. That must have been heartbreaking! I didn't know they could still decline at 2 months...I figured if Linus makes it to 4 weeks he'd be safe. But the circumstances are different for us, luckily. The mom is nursing the litter, only the runt was too weak to get his share. He's already much stronger and looks so much better.

Heartbreakingly, he looks to be a boy, and then I won't be able to keep him anyway. If I can't find a good home, he may end up as snakefood. After all my worries and feedings...

Bah. I haven't lost a rat yet, so I can't say I'm prepared for that. That's the downside of it, isn't it?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
eclecticnoise said:
Why can't you keep a boy? It sounds like you have a real connection with him.
You're absolutely right. Don't know who I was trying to fool there. I am keeping him, boy or not. :wink:
 

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dragonegg said:
eclecticnoise said:
Why can't you keep a boy? It sounds like you have a real connection with him.
You're absolutely right. Don't know who I was trying to fool there. I am keeping him, boy or not. :wink:

I saw that one coming a mile away. I'm sure that little one will have a wonderful life. =)

Keep us updated!
 
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