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Discussion Starter #1
Background: After Milosh was euthanized (I still owe him a heartfelt goodbye post), I decided to try my hand at lady-rats for once since Cato is neutered. I know somebody who breeds to feed his snakes and he said if I wanted, I could take one from him. I asked to see the ones who weren't pregnant... :mad:

I took a timid but curious and gentle 8 month old rat and after only a week and a half she adored me. A few days ago, I asked my boyfriend if I'm feeding her too much because she looked a bit rotund. The next day, I asked if he thought she looked pregnant. Yesterday, I was so uncertain that we decided to separate her from Cato and put her in a smaller cage.... now we have babies. It's been 22 days since I got her... I swear she must have conceived the minute before I picked her up.

I never intended to raise baby rats, I'm nowhere near educated enough on the topic of genetics, nor do I have any purpose to strive for or even the time to hobby breed... and honestly, with the number of rescue rats out there, it's not something for me anyway.

Ramble... ramble...


ANYWAY: My point.... I'm entirely ignorant about helping a mama rat raise her babes. I read some of the posts on here, but I'm hoping for some re-homing advice for when they're old enough.

Also, what do I need to supplement into Myra's diet while she's nursing? I know she needs more protein and hydration.. can I supplement kitten formula or something similar? Any advice is appreciated. I can't get her to come out of her hut so I was going to leave her alone for a bit before checking on them. I want to make sure they all survived and have gotten to nurse.... and I really want to count them!!

I'm pretty excited, considering how nervous I am.


ALSO>>>>>>>> She was treated with kitten revolution and she was on azythromycin for the first 10 days that I had her... any chance this has harmed the babes? I'm mostly worried about the revolution.... :(
 

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You can supplement with kitten formula, human soy formula, eggs, etc. You can try to lure her out with a treat so that you can check the pups; just make sure you take her completely out before handling them and leave them alone in the nest for several minutes before putting her back in. I typically try to handle them all and then I'll cover them with a bit of soiled bedding that way they all smell the same when mom goes back to them. From what I've read about azithromycin, it shouldn't have affected her pregnancy; I'm unsure about the revolution though. I would think that since it's a topical treatment it wouldn't have any effect, but it might be a good idea to give mom a good scrub in warm water and a tad of dish soap to remove any residual chemicals that might be on her skin and could be ingested by the pups when they nurse. Again, I don't really know much about revolution, I'm just speculating.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So she had one... but I can still feel more moving inside of her. She seems okay, but it's been at least 5 hours. Is this normal??? Do I need to take her to a vet???? The only vet open right now is the local emergency vet and they don't do rats...
 

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That's not good. Did she actually have the first one 5 hours ago? A pup might be lodged in a bad position. I would urge you to call the evet and see if they can do anything. In the meantime, massage her stomach downwards with two fingers; this might help to push the pup into the right position. You could lose the entire litter and mom if something doesn't happen soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
She had the first one no later than 5pm. That's when I got home from work. It's now nearly 11. She's acting 100% fine. I can still feel them moving. She's eating, drinking, grooming and nursing. There's nothing obviously lodged in the birth canal. I called the e-vet and was told they have nobody there who can help. They did say they have a person who does exotics, but she only works certain nights of the week. I asked if there was any way they could call her in and they said no. I seriously have zero options except to wait it out... I'm freaking out right now. It's slightly relieving that she's acting normal and they're still wriggling around, but I don't understand why it's taking so long.... There's not much blood in there at all so I'm not worried about hemorrhage. But everything I've read says labor should only last 1-2 hours.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
She and the single pup are still okay this morning. I'll be taking them to the vet today. I'm calling as soon as they open. In case anyone is interested, I'll post an update. I swear her stomach looks even bigger today than it did yesterday. Can't feel anything moving this morning though.....
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Just got her home. Still only one pup alive. Doc did an emergency spay/c-section. He said three were nearly twice the size of this one (we have the runt) and on the other side of the uterus were another 3 severely deformed babies. He said one was missing a spine (was lodged in the birth canal all twisted up) and the three of them had deep depressions in their faces. He didn't try to resuscitate the deformed babies because they probably wouldn't have been able to eat.,.. and obviously the one missing the spine wouldn't have been viable at all.

He's guessing the deformities probably had to do with us medicating her right around gestation. The three big pups gasped for air and they tried for about half an hour to get them breathing, but they kept getting a single gasp then nothing. They did not make it.

Myra is so freaked out right now. She's ignoring the baby entirely at the moment, but we did just get home from an hour long car ride after a long, stressful day. I'm giving her dark and quiet for an hour or so before I check for the milk band. So far, she's leaving her incision alone. She's just eating a drinking a LOT.
 

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Wow, I'm so sorry to hear about the pups, but glad Myra is doing fine. I will definitely make a mental note of that medication (and probably revolution too) in case the info is needed somewhere else down the line.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
We took another rat from the guy we got Myra from. She's nursing and only has one pup... she's adopted our little guy instantly. Myra wants nothing to do with him after surgery. I tried the tiny paintbrush and soy formula feeding method and it's not working out for me. I don't have the schedule to feed him every 2 hours either.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Me too. I was trying to find a foster through a facebook rat network, but nobody around me had any nursing moms (or they didn't see my post in time). Thanks for responding to my plea for help. I truly appreciate it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
We found a foster and she kept moving the baby to a cold corner and ignoring him. Thankfully, the guy we gave it to has several nursing mamas together with bunches of babies... he slipped our little guy in there and now he has a visible milk band. I'm worried he has something wrong with him since he's half the size of the other new pinkies. Hopefully, he'll grow up healthy. Keeping my fingers crossed.
 

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Any news?
 

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Yes!!!

CAM00216.jpg

This is from yesterday. He's nearly three times as big -healthy appetite! I have a home lined up for him. I want to get him back as soon as he's weaned and spend some time with him. After everything Myra went through and emotions and stuff... I want a couple of weeks with him. He's become special. :)
 

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He is such a little hero! Thanks for the update. :)
 
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