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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
Newborn Pup
 
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Exclamation Hi Everyone~ Pregnant or sick?

Hey guys!
My name is Coco and I just got my first pet rat. I've always wanted one, but when I lived with the rents, they didn't want anything of the sort. So, upon moving out I adopted Chandler Clancy Houdean. Only, now I know Chandler is a female. Not only a female, but I've got a verrrry strong feeling she is pregnant.
I've done A LOT of research, and from what I've found, she shows all the behavior or being pregnant.
But, I'm kind of paranoid that maybe she's sick? How do I tell if she is pregnant or sick?


Thanks,
Pokemaster

P.S. If it'd be better if I showed you pictures, I can take a few and put them up on here.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pokemaster View Post
Hey guys!
My name is Coco and I just got my first pet rat. I've always wanted one, but when I lived with the rents, they didn't want anything of the sort. So, upon moving out I adopted Chandler Clancy Houdean. Only, now I know Chandler is a female. Not only a female, but I've got a verrrry strong feeling she is pregnant.
I've done A LOT of research, and from what I've found, she shows all the behavior or being pregnant.
But, I'm kind of paranoid that maybe she's sick? How do I tell if she is pregnant or sick?


Thanks,
Pokemaster

P.S. If it'd be better if I showed you pictures, I can take a few and put them up on here.
You have already separated her from the boys right?

How old are your little group?

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 04:27 PM
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What are her symptoms so far? Has she gained a lot of weight in a short period of time? Nesting more often? How old is she?


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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 11:29 PM
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Hi Poke,
I don't have any personal experience with possibly pregnant rats, but I did want to say as a side note that you will want to get your girl rat a companion eventually, as rats that are kept alone will become depressed. They are social animals and need company (grooming, sleeping, playing together, etc.)

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-20-2011, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
Newborn Pup
 
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I bought just her, she's the only one I have so far. She's been separated from everyone since I brought her home. And thanks, Vlad! I've been told that from many others, and I was just waiting until I could for sure tell what sex she was, as I thought she was a male until I figured she was a girl and pregnant, haha.

The symptoms she's shown are nesting, yes. But I put toilet paper in her cage and she hasn't touched it. But she's been hoarding food, as well and she's gained excess weight very quickly. She's probably doubled her tummy size, which is what makes me think she's pregnant.
The day I got her, she was the most social little thing ever. She would play with me, give me kisses and cuddle for hours. But now, even if I just stick my hand in the cage, she comes up to me, smells my fingers, sometimes nibbles lightly, but she won't let me pick her up. She'll run around frantically, even jump into her hammock and try to hide or something. Then I feel as though I'm invading her space so I leave her be.


Thank you all for the replies, by the way.

Last edited by Pokemaster; 01-20-2011 at 12:49 AM.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-20-2011, 01:15 AM
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Ah, I see! Great, well, once this current situation gets figured out with whether or not she is pregnant, you can eventually get her a girl roommate!

Usually when rats nibble on your fingers, it is nibble grooming and they do it to show affection. They think they are grooming you because they think of you as one of their pack. Not sure if this situation is different though, if it is something particular that pregnant rats do? I have no idea really! Anyone else here have some advice?

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-20-2011, 03:53 AM
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Its harder to tell if rats are pregnant than mice. Some like to nest and hoard fod. But sometimes if you stare enough you can see the babies moving inside her belly. It looks like beans jumping around or shifting. This is easier done when they are ready to pop and are lying down on tehir sides. They usually start to hide away when they are close to giving birth. If you are worried about nutrition you can give her some kitten food mixed with her reg food. This will be very beneficial for the babies. She would need a clean cage and new nesting material daily for sanitation reasons. Also if you happen to hear squeaking then there will be babies and it'b be best to try to leave her to rest in peace for at least a day or so then when she eats take her out of the cage to check on the babies. If you must interefere with them make sure you clean your hands and rub the bedding in your hands to get her scent on you before handling. This is only advised if it as a must. Espically if she is new to the hhousehold. Not all but some rodents will consume their babies if they are sick or in danger. This is normal for first time mothers as well. Its' a natural defense in the wild so the healthy babies have a stronger chance of survival. Butkitten food can help give them the nourishment for pregnancy through to nursing. If she is pregger you would need to sex the babies promptly when it is time as they reproduce very young. Also if you are trying to clean a cage and there's little pink hairless babies leave the cage and home alone. If there are babies and the cage needs to be cleaned wait a day or so but always leave old bvedding in the cage and keep it in the same condition you found it. When I bred mice i would clean the outside of the cage and leave the house alone. THe momma would take out the old bedding and stuff the clean bedding in the house then I'd remove the old stuff. If you need more adivce feel free to pm me


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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-20-2011, 04:14 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mousey View Post
Its harder to tell if rats are pregnant than mice. Some like to nest and hoard fod...
Thanks so much! Your advice really helped me out. If she's pregnant, I'll most definitely keep all of that in mind.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-20-2011, 04:14 AM Thread Starter
Newborn Pup
 
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Location: WI
Age: 27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vladina View Post
Ah, I see! Great, well, once this current situation gets figured out with whether or not she is pregnant, you can eventually get her a girl roommate!

Usually when rats nibble on your fingers, it is nibble grooming and they do it to show affection...

Thanks so much for the advice you had, though! ^_^
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-20-2011, 04:44 AM
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Rat's gestation is 21-23 days on average. So you are on the 21 day watch since you got her.

Can you get a hold of a digital scale? One that weighs in gram increments like a postal or food scale? If so you want to weigh your new girl every day at the same time, and record her weights. I put mine in flat tupperware with fleece inside to make it less scary, and put it on the scale. You will see a very significant gain, depending on her age and size. It will increase most in the 7-10 days.


I did up a chart on 2 of my young rescue girls weight gain...Bronwen was my first and only 3-4 months old and still growing, so I needed to differentiate growth weight from baby weight.

Bronwen's Weight Gain (3-4 months old)
Aug. 11 - 267 g
Aug. 14 - 279 g (8 g gain)
Aug. 15 - 289 g (10 g gain)
Aug. 16 - 302 g (13 g gain)
Aug. 17 - 319 g (17 g gain)
Aug. 18 - 329 g (10 g gain)
Aug. 19 - 346 g (17 g gain)
Aug. 20 - 354 g (8 g gain)
Aug. 21 - 364 g (birth) (10 g gain)
Sept. 14 - 278 g

Lilith's weight gain (pregnant at 5-6 weeks old)

Aug 4 - 145 g
Aug 5 - 154 g (+9)
Aug 6 - n/a
Aug 7 - n/a
Aug 8 - 174 g (+ 20 over 3 days)
Aug 9 - 171 g (-3, there is often a stall or even dip)
Aug 10 - 189 g (+18)
Aug 11 - 212 g (+23, I thought she had hit maximum density)
Aug 12 - 217 g (+5)
Aug 13 - 231 g (+14), no she managed to keep packing it on)
Aug 14 - 241 g (+10)
Birth of 8 baby boys

total gain in 10 days was 96 grams

Other signs of pregnancy are prominent nipples from grooming off the hair around the nipple f(for pups ease of nursing), possible nippiness or biting, eating everything in sight, excessive sleeping and that typical pear shaped belly.

If you want to treat your girl (young I imagine) as pregnant it won't hurt her in the least. Add more proteins to her diet like fish, chicken, and eggs. Add lots of good healthy veggies. Make sure her staple diet is a good one (no seed mixes or crappy quality blocks). Handle her daily to get her used to you before the birth because a socialized and happy mom makes for happier, better babies right from the start.
When the birth is soon, make sure you have her in a cage where the wire part sits on the base, not rests into the base (tiny babies have been known to get stuck between the bars), and make sure the bar spacing is adequate for smaller rats. Remove any houses you were using (cardboard boxes are fine but they will smell badly in just a couple of days. I know breeders who prefer not to offer a house so that they can make sure the birth is progressing normally, and the pups are okay. I also like to just give them nesting material and no box or hide (some hides are heavy and can pin and kill a pup if mom bumps it onto them). I use carefresh or papertowels for the actual birth, tissue like facial or toilet paper can stick to wet pups and is very difficult to remove without tearing their tender skin.

Once the babies are born look for milk bellies (whitish, yellowish bands across their abdomen) showing that they are nursing properly. I also remove any soiled bedding at this time as I count the babies. I handle my rescue eepers from Day 1, every day, but just for a few minutes at first. Without any fur they cannot regulate their own temp, and will get cold away from the nest. Mom will still need to come out and run around, at this point I let her out a couple/few times a day for about 20 mins a time. This is when I handle the pups, sexing them and just getting them used to human touch. Rat mom's do not eat their offspring if you touch them, they aren't like a lot of other rodents.

This should get you started.

Can you post a pic of your girl so we can figure out how old she is and the likelihood of her being pregnant rather than just a chubby growing girl?

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