I just got a very large pregnant rat that the pet store had nursing 5 baby rats that another had and they sold as snake food. Now she's been here for a week and is only getting bigger. I set up a box den for her and had to cut the hold bigger the other day as she is getting very big. When rubbing her sides I can feel the babies kicking. But she hasn't giving birth yet. The 5 babies are still nursing from her and their eyes just started to open yesterday. What can I do to help the mom Rat to give birth, she is getting very boney carrying and nursing. I've feed her two types of Rat/mouse food. She gets a bit of my cat food and some dog food (Arcana) She also gets chicken, vegetables, and berries. I give her tummy rubs 3 X a day (she loves them). I've done the paper towels for her to rip up. She does but only hides the 5 babies in her new nest.
I'm very worried about her and I got her from the pet store to save her and the babies, but I'm not sure it's working well. Any ideas or advice would be great. I've never had a pregnant rat before. So everything I'm doing I found on the web or think would be good for her (belly rubs).
Most likely she was impregnated on her post-partum heat (within 24 hours of birth), the implantation of the egg is delayed in these cases so that the gestation is more like 28 days (4 weeks) rather than 21-23 days.
IF the 5 babies are opening their eyes now, they are probably 14-17 days old (can you post pics?) and she should be in only her first week of gestation as such, where you should NOT be feeling babies. The babies move in the last few days and get really active within 12-18 hours before birth.
As for food, get some Ensure (strawberry or vanilla are usually very good bets), baby cereal, and mix them together and offer it to her. Give her more proteins like eggs or fish on top of the chicken. Very little fruit because this can upset her tum and a nursing mom with diarrhea will need to go on a special diet. Give her lots of veggies, corn, peas, kale, spinach, broccoli, carrots, etc.
My sister is sleeping in the room right now so I don't want to turn on the light. But I will get photo's and put them up in about an hour and a half?
The 5 aren't her babies, they had to females that were pregnant and after giving birth sold the one off as feed and put the babies with her. She is taken very good care of them.
She has a very big belly, it's bigger then both of my fist (thou I have small hands). The dog food I'm giving her is very high in portent 25% of her blow is a mix of this 50% is rat food and the other 25% are vegetables, chicken, and berries (blue berries and strawberries)
That'll be so many babies for her to feed!! If she has the usual dozen plus those 5 older ones, there's no way all the babies will make it. You might have to hand feed the 5 older ones and let her take care of her own babies?
I'm sure lilspaz can tell you more about this!
I think it's good to give her lots of protein right now, and nutritious veggies.
And if you don't plan on having lots of pet rats, you should start looking for new families for those babies 5+perhaps 12... that's a lot of homes!
I'm lucky to have a lot of Rat loving friends, so re-homing shouldn't be a problem for me. My one friend as already placed claim on 6 females if I have enough. Another friend wants a male. I'm planing to keep the mother and a few of her babies and really thinking of keeping the runt of the 5 she is fostering.
I'm about to get the photos and will post them once I load them onto the computer.
WOW! she's really huge!! those babies look adorable. That's great about your friends
I do hope lilspaz comes back and gives you the advice you need!
Looks like she's going to give birth soon because I can't see how she would get any bigger!! haha
Um, yeah, I'd say she's going to give birth very soon. Just make sure to get the food lilspaz mentioned above--lots of veggies, plus the cereals she told you about--and feed her those every day. She will need very good nutrition to help her nurse so many babies. Good luck, and keep us posted!
I just got a lot of food for them. I still do the dog food mix as she seems to really enjoy the dog food and commonly eats it before anything else. The fact of how big she is, is why I'm asking for help. I was able to pick her up gently with both hands when I got her. Now... I can and only move her for full cage cleaning. I hope she has them soon as I don't see how she can move. I will put more photo's up when I get them and keep you up to date on everything. Thanks for all the help. This is harder then cats... well more worrying then they are.
I honestly wouldn't feed too much of the dog food, as the 17% fat is way too high and should be more like 5%. I would look into a quality lab block...can you order online or are you only able to buy from the store?
She's beyond huge...ARE you positive you felt those babies move? When you touch her belly is it hard, and smooth? Is she able to eat and then poop easily?
When I saw her, I would've said she has a huge abdominal tumor not a belly-full of babies.
This was a giant abdominal tumour on a neutered boy from a terrible breeder
it got bigger but I cannot access the pics on PB at work...he was PTS on Feb 26 (6 days later)
Ok I'll cut out the dog food and keep to rat, rat/mice food, some meat, and vegetables.
Her belly is soft and if it isn't babies moving around in her... I would say it's an alien in her.
I just put up new photos. I held her and tried to get my mom to get a photo. She isn't good at it as you can see. Their on the same page. I'm about to call my vet and set up an appointment for her and the babies.
Please do make that appointment. I am very worried.
I have sent your site/pics to a lot of people in rescue and they say that either that girl has 25 babies inside of her, Zuckers, or a giant abdominal tumour.
Now just a word of advice. IF your vet does determine a tumor, tell them she is nursing and caring for those wee ones and they need her for a bit longer. She may need to be pts but ask if it can be in a couple of weeks if she's not in a lot of pain, to give those tiny lives a chance.
So they can't fit me in until Monday but will give me a call if anyone cancels... So fingers crossed she will be ok. If babies come I'll let everyone know. I hope she will be alright. I can say this is her last litter ever and thank you guys for the help.
Take out any holey fleece or fabrics with strings. No toilet paper for nesting as it sticks to newborns. I usually use quality white paper towel for the base or carefresh (frozen for 48 hours to kill off any stowaway lice or mites)...if you use a house make sure its light and even if mom bumps it into a baby it won't crush it.
When the babies are getting ready to come, you should see some frantic movement especially if they are packed in tight. Mom will likely stop eating a few hours prior. There will be some blood but there shouldn't be a lot. Babies should not be stuck halfway out, and its an average of 20 mins for each pup to arrive in the world.
this is a normal pregnancy (the girl was a baby herself and had 8 baby boys)...see where she's carrying her weight?
Ok so the set up for them is good. Paper towels I have to pull out the micro fiber cut up blanket however. But other then that bedding should be good. The house is a cardboard box and unless it's under it and the mother in over it shouldn't kill the pups...
When I got her she looked a bit bigger then the 18 hour photo. Well as you seen she is much bigger in a weeks time. Making me very worried.
Can you get baby cereal and Ensure? I would put it in a low dish and see if Mom will teach the wee ones how to eat...they will need to eat solids sooner than later and once they have things offered to them they will eat more and more and hopefully rely less on her.
Even thawed/warmed frozen corn and peas...they can grasp it and their jaws are strong enough to eat it, whereas with the harder foods they will have to work up to.