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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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New Rat mommie~!

Hello~!

i'm new to this board. i kept coming across it though as i was looking for information on my rats, so i decided to Join.

I went through a lot of **** toget my first two rats 3 weeks ago. Queequeg and DiNozzo. Unfortunately 2 days before their first vet visit (and 2 days after i got them) DiNozzo, a white hooded rat was having some trouble pooping,and his butt was covered in feces, i didn't know them very long and they were brand new so i didn't really know their personalities very well but he started acting a little sluggish. He was always a cuddler while Queequeg was adventurous so i didn't think much of it until i noticed the poop. i talked to my roommate and he agreed that we should move the vet appointment to the next day (it was like 2 in the morning when we agreed on it). When i woke up the next day DiNozzo was lying there dead, the poop was gone from his butt though and we didn't know what happened.

We estimated they were about four months but weren't completely sure. We rushed Q to the vet and he has a clean bill of health, so that's good. We are guessing he had megacolon but we can't figure it out as he had only been on our house for 48 hours before passing. The lady who rescued them was shocked as well that he passed away. I'm afraid now that he's passed she's going to think we did something horrible to them, but we didn't! i'm also uber paranoid of Queequeg getting sick anyway, does anyone have any ideas on what happened to him? or any suggestions on how to assure the lady who let us adopt him that we are good owners? we're new at this so we want to make a good impression.

the story goes on but i'll leave you with the first half and if you can please let me know what you think thus far we would really appreciate it.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 09:30 PM
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I am so sorry about your rat!
You of course did not do anything wrong as you had just gotten your ratties and did not even have the time to see what the vet said about him before he passed away so it happened fast. It could definitely have been megacolon. Sometimes things happen very fast with rats and they go downhill at lightning speed. (Believe me, both of our rats got respiratory disease and both got sick sooo fast that nothing we could do with the vets could save them, and my husband and I always took great pride in being the best rat parents possible when it came to clean housing, nutrition, health care, love and everything else.)

One thing I would highly recommend is to get a new buddy for your remaining ratty. Rats can get very depressed and lonely when kept alone as they are very social. I hope you can find a new friend for your remaining boy?

Good luck to you and hope to see you on the forum again soon. Let us know how it goes.

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-22-2010, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
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thank you so much for your support~! i honestly had heard about how quick it could be but i had no idea it would be that quick i thought at least we could make it to the first vet appointment. >.< i'm just really hopeful that Q remains healthy.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-22-2010, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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this is becoming the Queequeg thread i can smell it...

So we have been showering Queequeg with massive amounts of attention and he has been growing by leaps and bounds!
We found someone within the week of DiNozzo's passing who was willing to give us some baby ratties. She just bought a rat from a pet store and when she got it home she found out it was pregnant. The momma rat had quite a large litter with 9 males alone and she was willing to meet with me the Sunday after D passed, so i could pick one out to be Quee's new buddy. We went to visit and although all her other rats are very healthy and well socialized and have free roam of her house, but the new babies had never been handled... at all. they were born in August. Their mother was very friendly and very healthy looking for a rat that she only had since late July/early August i was impressed with how social it was. I took that as a good sign. So i spent an hour with the boys trying to lure them out and be friendly but it wasn't really working, they were really really skittish. I ended up taking the two who were least afraid of me home to meet Quee. But not before some socializing and at least 2 weeks of quarantine.

Immediately we named one D'artagnan because he is the new escape artist. When we first got Queequeg and DiNozzo, DiNozzo was the escape artist who wanted to follow us to the next room. The other one we still haven't named yet and its been two weeks. D'artagnan is warming up to people but the other one (who i've been calling Sh*t machine cause he throws poo, or sonic, or speed because its almost impossible to get him out of the cage on cleaning day, i'm not sure if any of those names will last though so don't worry) is not making any progress. I need some advice. the first thing i heard was that you should put your hand in their cage and pet them and give them exclusive attention for about an hour and let them sniff your hand. i tried that for the first week and they wouldn't come out of their home when the door was open. Then my friend who had ratties and is giving me her toys said get them out of the cage and lock them in the bathroom with you for an hour everyday until they get over it. I tried that last week, D'artagnan is the only one who i can catch. Poo machine isn't biting but he is having a horrible time when i get to close to him, so after 2 days i gave up on forcing him out once a day. Right now i'm trying baby food on a spoon with my hand right next to the spoon itself. Once again D'artagnan come almost immediately but the other one doesn't still. What should i do? any other techniques i should try?

i'm going to have even more questions after this too~!
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-22-2010, 10:51 AM
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put on a big sweater that you don't mind being chewed and put him in your sweater without giving him any attention, maybe sit on the couch in front of TV? he will get used to your smell and not associate it with anything bad. You have to persevere I think.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-22-2010, 04:22 PM
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Yes, Dustette is right, it will just take patience and gentleness with your skittish boy. The baby food on the spoon is a great technique, and as Breyer mentioned before on another new ratty mom thread, try wearing the same piece of clothing when you do your socializing so your baby can get used to the same smell and he will eventually realize he is safe with you. If he is afraid to be picked up or taken out of his house right now, then don't force him as it will just keep scaring him. He will eventually warm up and take the clues from his brother that you are a safe person for him. Don't give up!

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-23-2010, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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put on a big sweater that you don't mind being chewed and put him in your sweater without giving him any attention, maybe sit on the couch in front of TV? he will get used to your smell and not associate it with anything bad. You have to persevere I think.

We he won't even come out of his hiding spot for the baby food, he just sticks his head out, if i try to lure him out by slowly pulling away he won't move and after about ten minutes goes back to hiding until i put it closer. i feel like its one step forward and two steps back with him.

I may be able to do that sweater trick with Dar, but i'm afraid to take a step back with him...

the thing is when we are walking around the house they are becoming more curious, they are not running and hiding just because we are in the room. D is even letting us stroke him through the cage, but as soon as we get close SM runs and hides. And as soon as we open the door D hides as well...


actually yesterday instead of coming immediately for baby food he just stared at me. i was worried something was wrong so i just sat still eventually he came around but i was horrified that i had done something wrong.... maybe he was mad because i cleaned the cage? they don't seem to be bother by the sound of the vacuum cleaner just by us. >.<
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-23-2010, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dustette View Post
put on a big sweater that you don't mind being chewed and put him in your sweater without giving him any attention, maybe sit on the couch in front of TV? he will get used to your smell and not associate it with anything bad. You have to persevere I think.

can you be more specific about the sweater trick? like wrap him in it so he can't escape like a little bundle? i'm confused and i want to be sure before i try it.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-23-2010, 11:41 AM
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I think your little guy has just gotten a serious case of freak out from being handled too much too soon maybe? I think if you just try letting him observe how his brother interacts with you and let him be for a few days so he won't be constantly scared of being taken out of his safe house that he will calm down and start to relax a bit. There really is no time frame or deadline for rats becoming used to you and socialized...with a few extreme exceptions that I have seen on the forum, most all rats eventually cozy up to their people and become very loving. He just needs some time and space to start relaxing. He will watch his brother interacting with you and take his cues from him. Keep us posted!

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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-23-2010, 11:43 AM
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P.S. on my last post...my suggestions are of course only my own opinion and there may be others on the forum who have different opinions on this! I can only tell you what I have learned from personal experience with new rat boys and from what others have said on the forum about bonding with their new kids.

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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-23-2010, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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P.S. on my last post...my suggestions are of course only my own opinion and there may be others on the forum who have different opinions on this! I can only tell you what I have learned from personal experience with new rat boys and from what others have said on the forum about bonding with their new kids.
thanks for the help, and i appreciate it, no doubt! i'm just sad and i don't want them to be scared. there's almost always someone home so they get to watch alot of house goings on. All of the housemates have become attached to them and want them to come out and play so that Quee can have some buddies and they can get proper exercise. i'm worried about them becoming overweight because they don't want to come out of the cage. I usually spend about 1 hour a day reading to them and i read to Queequeg during his rat time too. I just moved them to the dining room so that they can see Queequeg now that they have passed quarantine. Now they watch us a lot.


but patience is a virtue... I WANT IT NOW~!

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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-23-2010, 12:49 PM
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Heh heh, I know, it can be hard to be patient!! It is good that they are in a part of the house where they can watch people..rats enjoy being able to observe their people and see what is going on. Good stuff.

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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-24-2010, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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So now i have a new question, Queequeg is mad hyper, all of the time, when he wakes up he's constantly running around i finally rat proofed my room so he can run free a little in there, but he doesn't seem to be much into cuddling, he only wants to sit still for about 5 minutes at a time, he usually gets an hour and a half of outside cage time per day but he's getting bold with trying to escape and jumping from place to place and making me a little nervous. should i be worried? i worry that he doesn't like that much... he does chitter sometimes and occasionally licks before he runs off to look at something shiny, i'm really nervouse and paranoid

Quee computer.jpg
the mighty explorer takes a break on my keyboard to bathe

oh yeah progress was made with the twins~! lured one out of his hiding spot and the other is starting to sniff. they also don't jump and run when we get close to the cage anymore however no petting and no picking up still >.<

thunder, Thunder, THUNDERRATS HOOOOOO~!

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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 07:43 PM
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Sounds like he's got a personality more like a little girl ratty; A silly explorer. As long as the exploration area is safe as you've done, he's fine. One of my boys prefers exploring to loving.

As for your shy boy, continue spending time with him, talking, coaxing and bribing him, and just being near him. Let him come to you on his own terms. Let him tell you when he's ready. You'll know when to try something new because he'll be completely relaxed with whatever stage he's at now. Tiny steps at a time.

My black boys came from a litter with sweet temperaments and were handled from birth. They were all a little shyer than some rats I've seen. The breeder was in fact 3 generations into a project of crossing her people friendly Russian blues with her shy yet pretty chocolate line to try to make friendlier chocolates. My bravest boy didn't become completely relaxed with me until he was almost five months old. My shyest wasn't comfortable until 7 months. But they all get there, and once they do, you forget you ever had issues.

Think of it as a journey, not a destination.


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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-30-2010, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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So they day after i was whining about Queequeg being antisocial he starts jumping up. like he's trying to jump from the floor to the windowsill, the window is head height for me, he managed to get knee lap height from the chair was sitting on and jump for it... he didn't make it. BUT i caught him before he hit the floor or hurt himself, it was a fairly epic catch, matrix style out of the chair.

so after i caught him, i let him go on the floor and he immediately climbed up my leg onto my hands preceded to groom me sit on my chest and let me pet him for 10 mins...

cuddling for 10 to 20 mins at a time has become part of our daily routine SOOOOOOO HAPPY!!!!

and in the course of 5 days (wearing the same stinky baby food covered hoodie) both rats now come to us, they even let us take them out to clean their cage this weekend!

So hear are my next two questions from you my awesome mentors... How do i get Q to stop trying to scale the walls and pay with his toys? and i still can't seem to enough of a feel of D'artagnan's brother to give him a name. i was going to name him Skaven but my friends misheard me and said scaben which just turned it into a dirty joke. bummer i really liked that name.

i think i should stick with the literary theme, however i can't think of any shy classic book characters for him, any help?

thunder, Thunder, THUNDERRATS HOOOOOO~!

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