Possibly Pregnant Young Rat, Help Please!

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Grub
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Possibly Pregnant Young Rat, Help Please!

Post by Grub » Sat Feb 13, 2016 4:05 pm

Hi, I need help. I introduced two baby male rats to my two adult males a few weeks ago. Everything went fabulously, and the four of them get on really well.
I'm starting to worry though. One of the young rats has grown a really pronounced belly. I don't know if my fears are completely unfounded, and that he's just a bit rounder than the others, but I want to be certain. I've done some research about sexing rats, and about rat pregnancies.
The two younger rats are approx 8-12 weeks old. I've been told that their testicles should have descended, and should be visible by now? Neither of them have any sign of them whatsoever, so I'm assuming that I've been sold females.

I know it's not much to go on, but does he/she look pregnant to any of you? I don't have the experience to make a proper judgement by myself, so I'd be grateful for any scrap of advice given.

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acapae_wolf
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Re: Possibly Pregnant Young Rat, Help Please!

Post by acapae_wolf » Sat Feb 13, 2016 4:14 pm

Oh so very pregnant :( Where were they from? If they're from a petshop I'd go to them with the photos and say they should give you suitable birthing (low, narrow bars) and splitting (bit bigger, narrow bars) cages for rearing the litter(s) since it's their fault you've ended up in this situation.

In any case, that one doe looks imminent so you need to split her into a small cage immediately otherwise things could go very wrong with the birth/ bonding. And also female rats are in heat immediately after birth, so she could very well get pregnant again. From what you've said it's highly likely that the other one will also be pregnant - but generally speaking they don't show the belly until the last week.

Also have a read of the articles in the breeding section:
viewforum.php?f=15
Last edited by acapae_wolf on Sat Feb 13, 2016 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Rhian33
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Re: Possibly Pregnant Young Rat, Help Please!

Post by Rhian33 » Sat Feb 13, 2016 4:15 pm

She does look rather round. You should definitely be able to see testicles. I would advise that you have a good look and if they are definitely girls I would advise separating them from the boys asap.

Where did they come from? If they're from a big chain pet shop they should provide you with appropriate caging if they have got it wrong.
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Re: Possibly Pregnant Young Rat, Help Please!

Post by daffee » Sat Feb 13, 2016 4:15 pm

I can see nipples in the pictures so I'm afraid you've got yourself at least one pregnant girl. You will need to get them separated asap and into a more appropriate cage for a litter. There's some useful info here - http://www.fancyratsforum.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=72

Where did you get them from? You should notify them that they sold you the wrong sex and ask them to provide you with at least one extra cage, bedding etc. Don't let them persuade you to give them the babies to sell as they don't sound like a knowledgeable seller and could easily make the sa!e mistake again.

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Re: Possibly Pregnant Young Rat, Help Please!

Post by Grub » Sat Feb 13, 2016 4:30 pm

thank you so much for the quick responses.
I'd been acting on the assumption that she was pregnant, just to be safe. Fortunately I already have a spare cage that should be suitable for the birth/raising the litter.
I separated both of the girls into the spare cage, and have removed the hammocks and have given them nest boxes and lots of safe bedding instead.

I've had another look, and I'm certain that they are both girls. is it safe to leave the female companion in with the pregnant doe?
they were from a big chain pet shop, and I'm so angry at myself for trusting the staff there. I'll never buy animals from them again. We went in to see if they had any rats in their adoption area. They didn't, but I saw these two babies for sale and fell for them. I should have known better.
There's no way to change what's already happened, but I'm going to do my best to care for my girls and any offspring they bear.

I'll be taking all the rats to the vet soon, to get them all checked over, and to ask about spaying/neutering. I'll be asking the pet shop if they'd like to help pay for that!

I can only hope that the second doe isn't pregnant too. I'll just have to wait and see. :( my poor ratties.

thank you so much for all of your help everyone. It's great to have somewhere I can talk about this and get some support!

Edit: Just to assure you all, I will NOT be giving the babies to this pet shop when they are born! When they're ready, I'll have to try and find them the most loving, responsible homes possible. I can't trust the pet shop to do that.

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Re: Possibly Pregnant Young Rat, Help Please!

Post by Rhian33 » Sat Feb 13, 2016 5:03 pm

I'm sure she will appreciate a friend there with her as they are so young. I would leave them together if it was me.

I would try and speak to the store manager if possible. They really need to know that they are selling incorrectly sexed rats.

Please keep us updated with their progress
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Re: Possibly Pregnant Young Rat, Help Please!

Post by Grub » Sat Feb 13, 2016 5:26 pm

great, I'd hate to separate them, as they get on so well.

I'll phone the pet shop tomorrow probably. They need to train their staff properly, I'd hate for this to happen to someone else. I'm lucky enough that I have the resources to care for a litter, but even for me it's so stressful and upsetting. I can't imagine what it would be like for someone who doesn't have the time/space/money to cope properly.

I will update you all, thank you. I'm sure I'll be asking for more advice as things progress!

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Re: Possibly Pregnant Young Rat, Help Please!

Post by Grub » Sun Feb 14, 2016 3:54 pm

ok, big news. LB gave birth this morning to 12 beautiful babies! I had a quick check on them when mum rat was out having a run around, and they all look good to me. I saw milk bands on most of them, but didn't want to touch them just yet, so I haven't checked every kitten.
LB is doing so well. She's her usual self; playful and inquisitive. But she's also been so attentive with the babies. She rarely leaves them, except to eat and drink, and say hi to her humans.
I had to move my second girl, Wirt, out of the cage though. Overnight, her little belly has grown a lot, and it's clear that she'll be giving birth soon too. she was getting nipped by LB when she got to close to the babies too, so I thought I'd separate her sooner rather than later, to reduce stress for both mums.

I've done a huge amount of research in the last two days, but I have no actual experience with this. does it sound like I'm doing the right things so far? Do the babies look healthy?

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I went to the pet shop and they were so helpful. they gave us two cages, (for when I need to separate the sexes) a huge bag of litter, and some igloos too. They said they're looking into their mistake, and it seems as though it was mainly the fault of the individual member of staff who sold them to me. I know this is a problem a lot of people have had, at various big brand pet shops, though. Hopefully, at least at my local shop, they'll be more careful in future.

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Re: Possibly Pregnant Young Rat, Help Please!

Post by cyber ratty » Sun Feb 14, 2016 4:36 pm

They look fine. (btw, I count 13 in that picture)

Once Wirt has given birth, you'll be able to give the girls some time together each day and can handle the babies then. If you want to, in around 3 weeks time, you could move the mums and babies into a bigger cage together as the mums will be less protective by then.

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Re: Possibly Pregnant Young Rat, Help Please!

Post by Grub » Sun Feb 14, 2016 4:48 pm

That's brilliant! They'll be so much happier if they can spend some time together, thanks so much for the tip!
Ah, I miscounted, woops!

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Re: Possibly Pregnant Young Rat, Help Please!

Post by Caza66 » Sun Feb 14, 2016 5:00 pm

Bubbas :hearts: how wonderful, traumatic and amazing. Hope things carry on going well.
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Re: Possibly Pregnant Young Rat, Help Please!

Post by Grub » Sun Feb 14, 2016 5:29 pm

you've summed this up perfectly. I love these things to pieces, so I can't help worrying, even though mumma rat is doing a great job!
thank you x

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Re: Possibly Pregnant Young Rat, Help Please!

Post by Mayamy » Sun Feb 14, 2016 6:01 pm

Eek, well congrats LB :hearts: Hope everything goes well for them and Wirt!

At least the pet store did help out, although I'm not convinced anything will change with how often this kind of thing seems to happen. I've seen someone praising my local one for being excellent with their in-store animal care around about the same time that I know they sold two "boys" to someone who were both pregnant before they left the store, and then one had a second litter from the buck they were introduced to at the owner's home before they realised :(

Whilst not what you were expecting with your new "boys", the one time I met tiny babies was amazing, so I hope the magic of kittens will make up for the extra stress worrying about them :lol:
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Re: Possibly Pregnant Young Rat, Help Please!

Post by izzerie » Sun Feb 14, 2016 7:44 pm

Whilst it's not the best way to experience it, enjoy raising the babies! They look well and you're doing everything right so far! And please, feel free to ask as many questions as you need; I recently raised some babies from 2.5wks old and I asked so many questions! People are always happy to help :)
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Re: Possibly Pregnant Young Rat, Help Please!

Post by Grub » Sun Feb 14, 2016 10:05 pm

Thank you everyone, you've all been an amazing help, I'm so grateful for the support. I'm sure I'll be back with more questions before too long. Xxx

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