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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm in touch with a lady who runs a small animal shelter and she recently told me about a girl who had come in under unusual circumstances. She was left on her porch in a cardboard carrier with no food or water in the middle of the night. Luckily it wasn't a cold night, and also lucky she didn't escape from the cardboard! (I'll refrain from saying what i think of the person/'s who did this) - Anyway she's very friendly, and calm and very licky. She's a Black Dumbo Berkshire. I have 2 girls currently so i had the space to take on another girl, I collected her over the weekend. She's settled in quite well despite her sad start and is enjoying lots of food and a nice warm hammock. She looks a lot like my newish girl Brandy, who is also a Black dumbo Berkshire! So i hope in time they can be friends.

Now, this is where I come to the reason for this topic, she's grown a belly. A few years ago i took on two champagne sisters and a dad who were from a very sad background and they too had the same tell tale belly which ended up in a 13 babies! (5 and 8 - all lived - all went off to lovely homes, with me keeping 7 of them!

I thought I'd come to you guys as you're used to seeing these kinds of pictures more often than i do, but her behavior and belly are giving me some idea that she may be having some pink sausages soon.

I'm going to set up our bin cage with fleece and nest material and get her settled in there soon so that if she gives birth she doesn't give birth in a cage with bars. - Luckily i kept it under the stairs!

I hope I'm wrong but i do remember that swollen tummy from before...

777.jpg unnamed.jpg oooooooooo.jpg

She's currently happily sitting in a pile of bedding that she's been moving around and is eating egg ;D

Thanks in advance to anyone who posts. :)
 

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Oh she does have quite the tummy on her! I had a mouse once that had a belly, than didn't, than did again and never had any babies.
 

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She does indeed look pregnant. Start her on a high protein diet, Oxbow young rat and mouse food, wet dog or cat food high in protein, the occasional egg etc. etc.

Paper litter is good, I used an off brand of white carefresh as litter because I could tell when she went into labor and if there were any complications. I do not recommend toilet paper. Loose fleece works well too.

Once the pups are born only handle them in the first 24 hours to remove the dead and check for milk bands and move any stray bubs back to the next.
After the 24 hours you can start to handle them as much as mummy will let you but in the first week don't hold them for more than five minutes. Remember to let mum out to stretch her legs but in that first week don't have her out for more than 15-20 minutes as the pups can't regulate their temp yet and you don't want them to catch a chill.
Once they start getting their fur you can handle them longer and mummy can be out for a longer stretch too.

If mum is hostile towards you you'll have to lure her out with a spoon full or yogurt or something equally yummy so you can check on everyone. And remember, if mummy has complications she needs a vet ASAP. Quick thinking and a speedy vet trip could save the lives of her and her pups.

I wish you the best and keep us updated!
 

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Whats with blank dumbo berks and babies? Good luck with her! And at least you've had some experience before xD
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you so much for the comments so far. It's been about 3/4 years since I last went through this, so i'm really grateful for the advice.

I weighed her last night and at the same time today and she's gained 11 grams, she is still continuing nesting behaviour, but is quite relaxed and friendly around people.

I'll definitely be keeping you all updated. It's nice to have the support!
 

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Sounds like she's pretty close to popping then! How exciting :D I'm such a sucker for mama rats, I'm glad to hear that she's relaxed and friendly, makes the whole process a lot easier for everyone involved!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I just hope it goes okay, my last two who came to me preggo were only a few days from popping and they had no problems, i've got a good vet on standby if something should go wrong, but fingers crossed it won't :(

I'm trying to keep the handling down, and being super careful around her bump area, it's so hard though when all she wants to do is play!
 

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You can still handle her and play with her, just do it lightly! When my Lilly was preggers she had free range every day up till the day before she went into labor. You'll want to handle her to build trust, it makes checking on and handling the pups easier if mummy trusts you.
 

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Yes! Do keep playing with her! Just take care with her climbing so that she doesn't fall. This is especially important since she's new to your home, you have so little time to build a relationship before she gives birth. This could be the difference between her being extremely protective of her pups or being okay with you having your hands in her cage. There's nothing worse than an angry mommy rat bite >.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Oh good! - I read somewhere that you was supposed to not handle them too much during pregnancy but she'll be super pleased now i can get her out a bit more than i was doing! - It's like she's lived here for a long time, she is really comfortable and calm.

Kksrats - Oft, tell me about it, my finger was on the receiving end of an annoyed mumma rat when i went to change a food bowl from the other litter i took in. :eek: - It does seem about 10 times stronger than a normal Rat bite. lol!
 

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Yeah, I've received a couple of fairly nasty ones; one all the way to the bone. I knew they were my fault though. I've had a couple of older males lunge at me, but they just barely break the skin. There's definitely more determination behind a mama rat's bite!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Oh the one i had was entirely my fault too.. She was only protecting the nest and i think she was a bit surprised to find my hand reaching in there as she'd been asleep.

Zinsa still hasn't popped, her nipples are showing at the bottom of her belly now, and her weight has increased another 8g from yesterday.. She's now in the Bin cage... will keep you posted!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
No babies yet, she's sleeping a lot today, and she's up another 8g ... Time will telll I suppose! :)
 

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Hey Nic, I've only seen all these now. Wow she really is growing quickly. When I had my preggies girl, she was also already pregnant when I got her but I would handle her too. I wish I had some more support then. I didn't belong to any sites then or have my own computer! She only had 7 babies, I wasn't with her when she had them but must have just walked in at the right time. Two of the babies had somehow fallen through the bars. They were still warm and I immediately put them with her. All babies were fine as was mom. I moved her to her own cage as we had two other rats in that one. Kept her in my room, also gave extra protein as I had at least been told that by someone I knew. She was so young though because the stupid pet store hadn't separated the rats. Her babies all grew well, my daughter and I handled them everyday and she was quite fine with us handling them she just got a bit panicky if we had them out for too long in her opinion. We found homes for all her babies, but my poor momma rat didn't last as long as any of her children did. She had a weak heart :( :( Do you or anyone else here now if that's because she fell pregnant too young?

I've also experienced momma rat bites...but not from my girl. Also my own fault, I stupidly put my hand in at a pet store that were breeding. Had to get a tetanus shot!!

Getting distracted here now. Hope all goes well and will be checking for updates.
 

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Hey Nic, I've only seen all these now. Wow she really is growing quickly. When I had my preggies girl, she was also already pregnant when I got her but I would handle her too. I wish I had some more support then. I didn't belong to any sites then or have my own computer! She only had 7 babies, I wasn't with her when she had them but must have just walked in at the right time. Two of the babies had somehow fallen through the bars. They were still warm and I immediately put them with her. All babies were fine as was mom. I moved her to her own cage as we had two other rats in that one. Kept her in my room, also gave extra protein as I had at least been told that by someone I knew. She was so young though because the stupid pet store hadn't separated the rats. Her babies all grew well, my daughter and I handled them everyday and she was quite fine with us handling them she just got a bit panicky if we had them out for too long in her opinion. We found homes for all her babies, but my poor momma rat didn't last as long as any of her children did. She had a weak heart :( :( Do you or anyone else here now if that's because she fell pregnant too young?

I've also experienced momma rat bites...but not from my girl. Also my own fault, I stupidly put my hand in at a pet store that were breeding. Had to get a tetanus shot!!

Getting distracted here now. Hope all goes well and will be checking for updates.
I had never actually considered that, but I'm sure stress for them is similar to stress for humans and can essentially cause cardiac problems. I've attached a couple of articles if you're into reading the science-y stuff. I'm very sorry that your girl passed unexpectedly like that :(

http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/12135146
http://ajp.amjpathol.org/article/S0002-9440(10)64454-9/abstract
 

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Thanks kksrats, I will read them. I'm very much into researching and learning. It was quite a few years ago now and she was only my 3rd rattie. She was just such a gentle little soul, like I said she was preggars when I got her. One of those... I ' accidentally on purpose ' saw this baby and had to rescue her. We had the two big girls who turned out to be great aunts! But little pepper never grew any bigger. About 5 or 6 months ( could be more or less ) after we homed her beautiful fawn hooded babies. I took her to the vet to check her out and the vet said that she had such a faint heartbeat she could hardly hear it and that's probably why she hadn't grown at all. I was absolutely shattered because it was the first time I had to have one of my babies PTS. Just writing this now I'm feeling like I want to cry again.
 

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That's terrible :( I worry about my girl Isis. She had a litter of 17 pups that stressed her to the point of a myco flare up which led to a secondary infection and since then her extremities have been on the cool side, so I fear that her heart may have been damaged and she's just not pumping blood the way she should be. She has slowed down quite a lot, so I can tell that she's just not the same as she used to be.
 
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