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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I don't know if I'm being paranoid or not.. but I'm worried about my 6.5 week old (approx) Ben. Last night I noticed he was bruxing in his cage which I haven't seen him do before.. I don't think it was because he was happy because I took him out and he was still doing it... And they aren't that comfortable with me yet. This morning I noticed he did it again when I looked in the cage.. so I took him out really quick to give him a once over... everything looked normal.. his tail looked a little dirty.. lIke he had slept in urine or something.. and he was also a little calmer than usual (not sure if he is lethargic or just more calm). When I put him back in the cage he walked to the corner of the cage and pooped... I actually hadn't seen them poop so I don't know what it normally looks like when they do it... but he was kind of standing there and it started coming out... several connected to each other and soft... and he also sat down while he was still going.. so now I'm kind of worried..

Im used to seeing dogs and cats go poop..and it seems like it's a more active process... is it different for rats normally?
Do rats normally pass more than one segment if poop at a time? Or does this make it seem like he is backed up? I've noticed in the cage there are a lot of individual poop segments.. but then there are alot of little piles.. so don't know if Ben is doing the piles while the other rat has individual poops.
When I lifted his tail I noticed I could see a little poop that he hadnt passed yet..and then a few minutes later he pooped in the cage... is that normal for a rat..or does it sound like he might have a nerve issue...

I've attached a couple pictures so you can see his sI've. . And I THINK his coloration might be one of the ones that are susceptible to megacolon.. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
I forgot to mention that the vertical cage bars are about 5.5 inches .. justhe to have an idea of scale.

I'm also in the process of switching over from a bulk bin lab block to oxbow... and that might have something to do with the softer stool.
 

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The fact that he's passing stool is a good sign. With megacolon you'd either see diarrhea or no poop at all. I'm willing to bet he's just adjusted to the new food. The calmness might just be due to it being a different part of the day, having just woken up, etc. Keep an eye on him though and make sure he's eating and drinking. Sometimes coming to a new home can be quite a shock and they won't really have a set behavior pattern until they warm up to you and adjust to the environment.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for your response... I have a tendency to over analyze things. I've been giving them broccoli and other treats.. would it be better to stop that until the poops aren't soft anymore?
 

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Don't stop completely, but just cut down on the amount. Keep in mind that veggies are a major source of fiber and most rats (from pet stores) don't receive veggies; it can cause mild digestion changes at first so should be started slowly.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
GGreat, thanks for the help. Out of curiosity.. does he have the coloration that predisposes him for the disease? Curious about the white spot on his head
 

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Not necessarily. There are rats that could be considered high white coloration that have no risk of developing the disease and it all comes down to who carried what down the line. I'd keep an eye on him just in case since he is more or less considered high white. Once he's past the 8 week mark with no symptoms then he should be golden. I typically treat all of my rat pups like they could potentially develop some genetic disease (especially rescue litters) and do regular checks for normal poops, bloating, etc. Since pups tend to be a bit fuzzy, you can wipe them down with a wipey and that will help reveal bloating if there is any.
 
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