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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-26-2012, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
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hairless rat

I been looking to get a hairless rat ever since my last one passed on. and ib found a pet store near me that has only one. I never had a hairless rat before because I couldn't find them here bit I know rats are better with cage mates but I never had experience with introducing rats that I didn't get together so if I get him and another furry one.from the same store would it be difficult caging them together? And if anyone has advice on that or any of the special needs of the hairless I would appreciate it.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-26-2012, 01:06 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry for the typos I'm on my phone and its not behaving well with this forum siye
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-26-2012, 08:36 AM
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Welcome aboard!

And yay, what big decision you have ahead of you. Well, both yay, and as you're experiencing, a bit stressful.

If the two of them came from the same cage at the store initially, you shouldn't have many issues. You still may not have any issues even if they were housed separately at the store. Often the stress of a ride home can help them bond with each other in the car if they're sharing a cage. Also, a new cage at home that is neutral territory will help minimize conflict as well.

Just watch them. The rule is 'no blood no foul'. They can get quite vocal with each other as they work out dominance. Minor scratches are okay on a hairless...they tend to collect them anyway because furred rats don't think to curb their toe nail scratching for those with less fur. Interestingly hairless rats tend to be very gentle with their toenails, esp. if they've been raised with other hairless.

Rats of same genders will get along well with one another once they've gotten to know each other. We can provide all kinds of links to help learn to intro them properly if they just don't get along, and of course we'll be happy to mentor you all along to the best of our limited or not so limited experience.

The biggest risk of getting pet store rats are getting a female/females who are already pregnant. It's very common no matter what they say. Or even having them send you home with a young male and female they /insist/ is two of the same gender but ends up being a breeding couple. Ack! You also may find that because of the stress of coming from a bulk mill breeding situation they'll be more prone to respiratory illnesses. Not always true, but the poor things are definitely not raised in ideal settings to promote health and longevity.

Make sure they're healthy looking and acting, and with a calm gentle temperament before you bring them home. Don't bring them home if they're skittish or don't look or act healthy, even if it means passing up this hairless opportunity.

I'm speaking from personal experience. I love my two hairless, but I've spent literally hundreds of dollars keeping them healthy and so many headaches and money spent dealing with hormonal aggression issues because of their shoddy breeding.

I promise, you'll be happier looking for personality and health first and waiting for the rats who choose you.

Another option is looking on craiglist, freecycle, and petfinder etc.

As for hairless rat special needs. Lessee:

Their temperature runs a little naturally higher than a furred rat, so they need more food/calories per rat than their furry brothers.

Temperature control is even more important to them as well. They should have lots of snuggly hammocks, blankets such to stay warm. I'd even say aside from a rat's natural need for a companion to stay psychologically balanced, they need companions more then others so they can stay warm by snuggling with them.

As I said, they are more prone to scratches and nicks because they lack the hair to protect them. You'll want to keep those clean and be on the lookout for abscesses, which require a vet visit to drain and a round of vet prescribed antibiotics--we'll often call them AB's for short.

They tend to get nastier than furred rats, so I baby wipe mine and condition their skin by rubbing a drop of olive oil all over them every so often.

Health wise, depending on the line they belong to, they can be healthy, or very prone to respiratory or body infections. My personal opinion as a layman, and there are many who will disagree with me, is that hairless rats from pet stores will tend towards less strong immune systems because they're so popular (over bred) and no consideration is given to keeping them healthy.

Some private breeders know how to breed them healthy whether they are true hairless, our some double rex variation or other. If you're interested in the research you can learn the difference between them, but in a nutshell, double rex are more common, more are stronger health-wise, and more apt to be the ones you see in pet stores. They start out with hair as babies and lose their hair as they mature. They still keep some hair on their eyebrows and noses.


I may be missing something, but I'm sure we'll get to all of the answers before too long. LOL


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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-26-2012, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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I missed my chance to get the hairless but I got a dumb and one fancy
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-26-2012, 11:08 PM
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Dumbos are adorable. Of course they are all adorable. Though, fun rat factoid: All domesticated rats are 'fancy' rats, even those in the feeder bins. So really, you have two fancy rats, one of which happens to have dumbo ears. Pet stores just like to call only the more interesting looking ones 'fancy' so they have an excuse to charge more money.

What colors are they? Boys or girls? How are they settling in?


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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 12:29 AM Thread Starter
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Oh didn't know that. is there away to know the breeds of them? But they are both boys the dumb is white with really light grey patch on his head and the other has a black and light Brown head with the stripe down his back and everything else is white
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
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The Brown one had got of his box and got loose when i got home with them and wouldn't let me grab him and bit me.pretty good twice. I been bit by my other rats before but this one made my finger tip numb and its been numb. is that normal or could he just have bit down to the nerves?
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 07:02 AM
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First post:

Yeah, they're all fancy rats. And rats have not been separated into breeds as such. Their breed is 'rat'. There are different varieties of rats with different colors.

There's ear set:

Dumbo (low and to the side and more rounded)
Standard (the normal upright tulip shaped ears)

Their coat type:

Rex - Coarse curly coat with curly whiskers
Double Rex - Degrees of Hairless with face fuzz and curly whiskers
True Hairless- Bald all over
Satin - Feels soft and satiny to the touch.
And a few others not standardized yet.

Body Type:

Dwarf
Manx (tailless)

Colors: (about 30 to choose from at a guess)

Coat types:

Siamese
Pink Eyed White
Black Eyed White
Dalmatian/Variegated
Husky
Hooded
Bareback
Capped, blazed, etc, etc.

You can see most of them here:

http://www.afrma.org/fancyrm.htm

Your dumbo is likely an American blue (most common in pet stores in the US) dalmatian.

Your brown is a hooded, and as for exactly what 'official' type of brown as there are so many, it could be fawn or beige, mink, agouti etc. When your post count is high enough, we can see your photos to maybe figure out which.


Second post:

He was probably terrified, poor thing. The down side to getting rats at a pet store is that they are never handled and are often traumatized. This means you will have to spend days, weeks, or months taming and trust training them. What you can do first towards that, is put them in their cage in a high traffic area in your house where they can see people all the time, or at least you all the time. Then for the first 24 hours leave them alone to let them settle into their new environment.

If you'd like some tips and links on hand taming them (which will be a slow process) let us know and we'll help you. If your rat ends up having biting issues beyond this one time terrified boy in a strange new house being chased by a 'big monster', we'll be happy to hook you up to the best of our ability there too.

What kind of cage do you have for them? They're pretty specific in their needs. We can help you there too if you need it and would like it.

As for the bite itself. Yes, he probably hit some nerves. You're fortunate there. Rats are capable of slicing through fingers or even bone quite easily. Which is understandable considering they have a bite strength that can grind through cinder blocks. But they're usually good about curbing their bites even if they are fear biting.

Most rats, unless poorly handled and poorly bred for temperament avoid biting. My seven rats have never bitten me.

Of course I consider a bite something to break the skin. They've 'tested me' with their mouths...checking to see if my finger was food or even just to be cheeky and see if I'd freak out when they held my finger in their teeth and applied 'juuuuuust' enough pressure for me to feel it. They've also nibble groomed me as part of their rat pack.


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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah I tortured it was because he was scared but he is little older not sure of how old cause the store couldn't tell me but he's better now. but sadly I had to take back the dumb because I was having allergic reactions to him. not the normal itchies from there claws but in hives and swollen puffy eyes I really wanted to keep him but I couldn't take the burning in my eyes. nights store let me exchange him for 2 younger rats. I know some of you will have harsh words for giving him back but he is there with some more dumbos. and the other rat took right to the other rats too probably that he's still shaken up from all the stress of the move but they are cuddling together in their hammock and play together in their cereal box full of tissues
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 12:19 AM Thread Starter
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Oh no my phone auto corrected "" thought that"" into tortured. I do not torture or harm my rats in anyway so don't think that . I should probably fix my laptop to get on here
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
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And i guess I got a ways to go on post count but that'll give them some more time for them to settle in and give me a chance for some better pictures
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 07:15 AM
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I'm actually more concerned for you that you're having allergic reactions to them at all. That can get serious because it tends to be progressive. Rats are like cats in that they are responsible to a large number of animal allergies. Probably because both lick themselves so much and spread saliva proteins into their fur and claws. And while one particular rat may have more proteins on and in their fur, perhaps because they groom more frequently, all rats will trigger you, so the more you have, the stronger the reaction. I'm worried for you that you are already having such issues and I certainly wouldn't get any more than you already have for the sake of your health.

The welts followed by the hives are the initial stage. Followed by the eyes and sneezing, then into more serious breathing issues where your lungs or throat close up.

The breeder I work with developed an allergy to her rats and her doctor said she'd have to cut down on her population drastically or she'd end up hospitalized or worse. She kept an immaculate rattery. She had 40 and cut it down to 10. That's actually where I got five of my rats. It was an effort to help her get her health back under control.

I don't get welts, itches, or hives at all when I handle mine. My husband does though. He doesn't handle them at all and I keep the cages as clean as possible. If he tried to clean the cage himself, he'd have to wear a mask and he'd still have breathing issues when it was done. If it did get worse where my babies were causing respiratory issues in general--you can literally get to where you can't breathe--I'd have to see about rehoming them.

I'm glad you took him back to the store and they were willing to take him. There's one girl I know who let her rats go in the woods...which since they're domesticated is a sure cruel death sentence. I hope that particular girl never has another animal in her care or is allowed to have another animal in her care. So, thank you for being willing to do the right thing by them there.

It's always nicer to keep them and care for them, but in your case where you are having health problems, that's just not realistic.

As for the babies you have, just continue to let them settle in for now and don't handle them much for about 24 hours so they can relax in their new home. After that you can begin trust training, which we'll be happy to help you with.


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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I've always had pet rats but never dunno rats so I didn't know if it was just him or.something else but I cleaned their cage and new bedding and food and I haven't had any issues after that but in not going to get any more cause after my last one passed I got rid of the big cage and my wife wasn't going.to let me.get anymore. but they all.had lived longer than 2and half year and I actually had one live closer to 3 but the cage I have now is big enough.for only.two and I don't plan on expanding anytime.soon
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Ugh big enough for three not two. I'm sorry I.hope all can handle all these typo until I get my laptop fixed
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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And they aren't really banked just alotbyounger than the oth
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