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Discussion Starter #1
So today someone mentioned that Vincent and Templeton (the brothers) might be high white and to look out for megacolon. I've read the articles from the sticky on here, but from what I can see, there is nothing that you can do for the rat once they start showing symptoms besides make them comfortable while you wait for them to die (obviously euthanize if they are in pain). Is this true?

So far neither show any signs, so this might be an overreaction, but I'm used to diseases where if something is wrong I can go to the vet and fix it. It makes me feel really helpless that these awesome little guys could die and there is nothing I can do to stop it.

For reference, here are pics of Templeton (blazed) and Vincent (black berk with collar). They are 6 weeks old.





 

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How old are they? If they were to have Megacolon, they would have started showing signs at about 1/5-2 weeks of age when they started eating solid foods. They look much more than old enough now for you to breathe a little sigh of relief about that, but they still have a higher risk than other rats to get late-set megacolon. Just keep an eye on them, look at their butts to see if there is any poop stuck, feel their tummies to see if they're mostly empty which is normal, or filling with firm poops which is not normal. If possible, try to notice if each rat is pooping ok. If you see one of them pooping on their own, you don't have to worry too much, but just make sure they're still able to poop and their poops look normal. And just be sure to NEVER EVER breed them or they may have babies that have megacolon too or carry the genes if they are indeed high whites (they look like they are, but I'm not an expert).

I have 2 megacolon babies who turned 1 year old last July! They've made it so far to 1 year and 3 months old, I'm so proud of them! They started showing signs when they were about 1.5 weeks old and I started treating them differently from the rest and they've been responding well so far. If you ever need advice or have any questions, please send me a message and I'll try to help out as much as I can! I can also give you my email in a private message which would be a faster way to reach me if something suddenly comes up. I have a lot of great websites I can share that I learned from when reasearching how to care for my babies, and I can give you advice from my own experiences.

Also, ohmygosh they are so cute!!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Oh, I have no intention of breeding, ever. I think there are plenty of homeless rats without me adding to the problem. We make sure the boys are never out of the cage at the same time as the girls, and play time happens far away from the cages.

They are six weeks old, and I know that they can all poop because they have all pooped on me multiple times, lol. That's the great joys of baby rats, they can't seem to stop pooping on you. I didn't know that they could be high white when I got them. I guess in my head it was only the rats that were all white. I probably read a post wrong several months ago. Plus, when I got Vincent he had no hair and was pink, lol.

I saw pics in the articles and I know what to look for. I'll keep an eye out for late set megacolon. You can bet that as soon as I see what I think is a problem, I will be on here with caps lock and excessive exclamation marks to let the whole world know it's a problem. I tend to be a panicky rat mommy.
 

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I wouldn't worry about it too much because they appear to be happy and healthy, but as the article on here states, there ARE strains of megacolon that don't appear until 4-5 MONTHS of age. It's always a good idea to keep an eye out for these type of things. You never know with high white.

I'm not saying it's 100% be on guard all the time forever, but you should know the signs and symptoms and keep an eye out for them for a few months. Late onset megacolons (I believe) are much rarer than early onset ones, but there's nothing to say they can't happen.
 
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