>>2039700 More info, anon. What are your rats symptoms? What kind of bedding are they on? Have they been medicated?
URIs (upper respiratory infections) in rats is an issue that isn't going to just go away on its own. In fact, once a rat has one, that's it. They might be able to live a few more years as long as they are treated, but once they have it you can pretty much expect them to die from it. Give us more info on your rats' living conditions and symptoms, but at this point it's pretty much certain they'll need to go to the vet.
>>2039701 Three rats, all female, one is 3 and the others are 2. They've been on two courses of antibiotics. The symptoms always return though. Tomorrow I'm calling the vet.
They're sneezing and wheezing a lot. Still drinking water thank god.
They live in a pretty big wire cage, are on aspen bedding and have been for at least a year. I feed them various grains, nuts, fruit and veggies, sometimes meat. Basically whatever I'm eating. Occasionally they get dog biscuits.
>>2039752 I am not 100%, but I don't think diet would affect respiratory issues at all. I agree with feeding rats a varied diet, lots of fruits and veggies, but I always suggest people have them on a staple, high quality block as well. I know that is an arguable stance, though. I have Harlan Teklad for my boys along with various other foods throughout the day.
As far as your girls go, sounds like it's a pretty standard case of URIs. That's the way the infections in rats work, they ALWAYS end up coming back. The most you can do for them is keep them on meds until they either die or get so bad that you decide to put them down. With the 3 year old especially I would make sure she is still active and wants to eat treats and play, otherwise it may be time to let her go. Our boys have been on baytril and oxytetracyline twice daily for maybe a year now. One did okay on it for a while and then got so bad we put him down and the other two did great on it up until a few weeks ago. They've started to go downhill, so we'll see what happens.
>>2039803 Other wood chips (cedar, pine) have toxins in them. I have heard people say that although aspen has no toxins, the dust can irritate rats' breathing. I haven't really noticed any differences with me rats, but this anon is right, if you want to give it a try it can't hurt.
Paper bedding is just so damn expensive. A giant thing of aspen is like $7 at Tractor Supply.
>>2039700 They're just poorly bred rats, anon. There's not a whole lot that you can do about it. The antibiotic treatment and willingness to care for them to the highest standard is the best they could ask for, and you're a cool guy for doing it. A+ rat owner.
>>2041904 Good job, anon! You're officially a socially functioning adult. A+ reptile owner.
I really want to get back into showing this year, maybe stud Eggs Benedict out now that he's proven his health. Not keen on full-time breeding again, though I still really the experience of eepers again. Might see if I can get a female to board here.
>Pic related. My favourite little guys Eggy Ben and Gizmo.
My old man finally got his staples removed from his leg amputation. He's so much happier now. I guess that his leg must've been causing him a lot of pain. It's cute to see him try to scratch himself with his stump though. Poor guy.
>>2042334 >Sulfa-Trimethoprim Hmm... that's a combo drug, usually it's used if they're not sure what the infection is. I'd see if your vet will give you somthing better for URI? It's probably myco. And yeah, it's probably bad breeding. I'd still try a different drug though.
>>2042357 I'm feel bad for doubting your vet, but pneumonia is usually a secondary infection. Myco is very similar and has similar symptoms. You could switch to something that treats both, baytril in combonation with doxycycline or Clavamox. Try suggesting it to the vet.
>>2042775 Reptiles are my dream animals since I was 3 or something, but I can't keep them because I am living with my parents still and they don't want any insects/feeding mice in the house. So a mammal would be my only choice then.
>>2042795 Thought about them myself but I they may be a bit to skittish for my tastes. >>2042797 Ferrets sound really nice, and the more carnivorous the animal the better (not because I like seeing them kill but because predators seem to be more interesting than most herbivores).
Even though my rats'a inevitable deaths are still a far way away, what home methods of euthanasia are most humane? I was planning on giving them a large doses of quetiapine (a sedative) and putting them in the freezer when they were asleep. But Google tells me that that's a really bad way to go. Although I don't know if being knocked out might change that. I feel kinda shitty asking about how to eventually kill my pets but advice appreciated.
I own two chinchillas and they are jumpy, but not skiddish once they get used to you. When they get really happy they run and jump all over their cage, but they are nowhere near as lax to take care of as a rat
>>2042845 Get a professional to do it. Ring your local vets, a lot of them will carry out home euthanasia. One of my girls may need to be put down soon, but she gets so scared at the vets it would be horrible to have her put to sleep there. It costs more, but she'd be much more comfortable at home.
Don't try it yourself anon; you're not an expert and will likely cause a lot of suffering (I speak from experience here, had a terrible experience trying to euthanise a sick fish).
I think one of my rats might have head tilt. I can't tell if she has though, or if I'm imagining things. She's running and playing happily, still eating fine, but I can't shake the notion that she's leaning to one side slightly.
What other symptoms should I look out for, in case it is head tilt?
>>2043732 I've euthanized several pets using the co2 method, and clove oil for fishes :( it works, fast and haven't made any mistakes. >>2043735 Head tilt is a symptom, not an illness. Is she albino?
>>2043757 >In a study by Burn et al 2006, aspen chips, although inert compared with pine and other woods were associated with higher sneezing rates, worse interstitial pneumonia and higher weight gain in rats than a compressed paper bedding.
I use aspen, woops. I was already planning on switching after this bag though. Most lab care guides don't state what bedding is recommended, but it looks like it's usually either corn cob or paper based.
I personally use hay. The lowest dust hay I can find. I've had decent results with Kaytee timothy hay. If you have a large cage to fill, it might be more cost effective to buy from a farm supply store (I don't know anything about that--I just figure it would be cheaper. DYODD).
Timothy hay isn't absorbent, but it's easy for me to find it without a lot of dust, and I clean the cage enough that its lack of absorbency doesn't become an issue.
Chopping the hay into short (5" or so) pieces helps it behave more like regular bedding (as far as springiness, texture etc go).
>>2043811 the downside with hay would be mold. I live in the very damp PNW so I'm avoiding hay or corn cob.
I plan on switching to fabric as bedding as soon as I'm through the huge back of aspen chips I have. Fabric is easy, just shake it out and wash. No dust and I make my own laundry soap so I'm not worried about the harsh fragrances bugging their lil noses.
>>2043774 >Head tilt is a symptom, not an illness. Is she albino? Yes, she is.
Although she's healthy and active she's a bit scrawny and, well, a bit peculiar. So I'm worried she may have some funny genetics going on. She an absolute darling though, I don't want her to get seriously ill :(
>>2043925 Powder coated. I'll spray it off and use vinegar. What can I do to make it smell less generally outside of spraying it off all the time? The cage is fucking huge and it's a bitch to haul it outside.
I'm considering mice, but rats seem to be a much easier, and simpler alternative as far as getting cages for them.
Are they as acrobatic as mice? As in will they climb and explore as readily and as curiously as mice do? I was just going to hit a crafts store, pick up lots of non-toxic materials and build stuff for them. But finding an appropriate mouse enclosure is becoming difficult. I want to go with a terrarium, but there's the issue with ventilation.
I was about to move on a pair of rat brothers about two years ago, but I ended up adopting a kitten instead. Said kitten was eaten by an owl a few months ago and I've been debating either a ferret or rats. I live in a good sized RV btw. I lovr cats, but the last one shed too much in my trailer. Any suggestions?
I didn't personally have mice, so maybe I'm wrong, but I think rats ar far more interactive than mice. They really bond with you and are happy to be around you. rats are also curious, just make sure you move around things in their cage every now and then, to keep things new. As you already worry yourself, terrariums are not a good idea because of insulation. Also putting things in there will be harder. Rats love hammocks, but they need something to hang from, and wire cages are very suitable for that. Just make sure you don't have wire bottoms/platform, as those are bad for their feet.
>>2044539 There's a reason a group of rats is called a mischief. Rats are curious, playful and love to investigate everything. Females are a lot more active then males, and when you take them out to play they'll love bounding around and climbing over you. Males are still playful, but are happy to sit on your lap and snuggle. My girls only do that when they're ready for a nap.
It also depends on their personalities. One of my rats has the magical ability to teleport to places that should be impossible to reach when my back is turned, the others don't even bother.
One of my rats is very old (2 years 6 months), and can't really climb anymore. She'll climb to the top of the cage, try and twist round to get into the hammock, but slip and fall all the way to the bottom. I've put ledges and tubes up so she can just walk straight to the hammock, but she still insists on trying to climb, despite the fact every time she falls down. I'm having to leap up and grab her whenever I hear her climbing.
Any suggestions to get her to use the ramps provided instead of climbing? She's really going to hurt herself at some point.
>>2046117 Make her follow with a treat so she can get used to the trail Block the spots she uses for climbing with something ? Add more levels? A ladder type thing to help her climb in the path she uses? Other than that... Bionic legs?
>>2046122 She knows which route to take, she's lived in that cage all her life, she just can't get it into her head that she can't climb as much anymore. I even installed some more ledges so that when she does climb she can use them to make it easier, but nope. She insists on going up the hardest way possible.
She's going to badly hurt herself and I can't get her to stop ;_;
>>2044393 lots of enzymatic cleaners, vinegar being the easiest but there's plenty of others that might work better. hit the walls and carpets with it too. the kind of bedding you use could be part of it.
you can also try getting an aromatherapy humidifier.. the humidity is good for their lungs and it smells great. just be careful you don't use oils that are gonna aggravate their lungs.
>>2044583 antibiotics take a while to work, so yes it's normal.
>>2046117 how many rats do you have? if it wouldn't be too crowded the only thing you can do is close off the top half of the cage with chicken wire or something. they won't like it, but at least she can't hurt herself.
>>2042845 Don't be a coward anon. The only way to properly kill your rats is by snapping their neck or cutting their head clean off, which is hard to do to your own pet, so you will probably need someone to do it for you. Or you take it to the vet. Sedating, gassing and freezing can easily go wrong and your pet's last moments will be filled with panic.
>>2044129 Head tilt can mean many things. Could be an ear infection, but could also be a pituitary tumor - which is deadly. I would take her to the vet to get it checked out.
>>2044147 You can just use regular ripped up newspaper as bedding, just make sure the ink isn't toxic, which is super rare nowadays.
>>2044539 Rats are naturally very curious. Some are master jumpers and climbers, better than mice in my experience. Which is why they are so annoying pests if you get your house infested. If they really want to go somewhere, they'll eventually find a way.
Thanks guys. I'm still partial to mice at the moment, due to size constraints, and other difficulties. I have the space for a 50 gallon terrarium, but I can't let rats out to play since the only place for them is in my workshop. Too much audio/video and electronics equipment around. Mice can go play in the tub while I clean their cage, and I can get around ventilation issues with some 120mm computer fans.
Scientists have found a way to increase a mouse's lifespan by 30% through non-invasive gene therapy. It's not at all unlikely that in a decade or so, we'll have rodents bred to live much longer than they do now.
>>2046329 You can play with them in the bathroom, on the table, on your bed, wherever. You can also do some creative things for their cage. Easier to do if you're handy. Dressers make great rat cages. Or just get one that's more tall than it is wide. But yeah, I've owned both mice and rats, and mice don't really interact with you at all. They're like fuzzy fish.
What do you do with a shy and scared rat? I got two rats two month ago and one of them is really energetic, he love exploring the house and playing with me. On the other hand, the second rat is very shy and seem to be still very scared of me, he doesn't like going out of the cage, he never come out on his own, I always have to pick him up and he hate that. I don't know if I should persit and try to have him enjoy the world or if I should just leave him alone. I don't want to be a shit owner.
>>2046796 you can build trust very slowly with snacks and stuff or you can have him on your lap/hands for about 20-40 min daily. he will freak out a bit but soon realize it's not bad at all, specially if you give him treats (he might reject them at first, just do it everyday) and be nice in general I've had 50+ rats in my life and I just don't have the patience for the first method anymore. I've seen some people talking shit about it but idk, it might not be for every rat, specially ones who have been abused and stuff but it always worked great with me, never got bit or anything http://www.joinrats.com/EarnTrust/ForcedSocialization/
>>2046188 I cleaned the cage out with vinegar two days ago and it smells like shit again. I put in fresh bedding, accessories, and felt and washed literally everything off. I don't know what I'm fucking up, but this is getting annoying. Here's my cage, if it helps anyone figure out why the fuck my cage smells so bad.
>>2046951 I'll give you a basic list of important shit. -Cage size and type. Only wire, and http://www.rattycorner.com/odds/calc.shtml to check if a cage is big enough. I would recommend Martins cages and those big grey critter nation ferret cages. Also, you will have to cover all wire levels with felt. -Must be housed in pairs. Virtually no exceptions. A lone rat will be miserable and likely have behavioral issues. -Food. The only acceptable commercially available food is Oxbow. It's pricey, about $4.00/lb. Diet should be supplemented with fresh fruits, veggies, and treats. There's also Harlan teklad and Mazuri, but you'll have to order these online. -Must be let out regularly. I wouldn't go more than a few days without letting your rats out to play, especially if you don't have a big cage. -Bedding. http://ratguide.com/care/environment/cage_bedding_litter.php
That's all I can think of right now. You should also be prepared to deal with sickness, specifically tumors, abscesses and mycoplasma. Most of this is easily googlable information, and most medication is easy to get. Also, rats do smell. Not a lot, as long as you clean their cage regularly, but especially towards the end of the week or around cleaning time you're gonna catch a few whiffs of piss. Also, keep in mind rats have very sensitive lungs. Don't use anything smelly on their cage or around them. Dusty stuff is also harmful.
>>2047239 They aren't all that high maintenance. Finding a good cage is hard, but not all that expensive. They need at least two cubic feet. I wouldn't recommend just one hamster cage or a tank. You can do what I'm going to do and connect two hamster cages together via tubes, though. You should also make sure the wheel you get is at least 7". Anything smaller hurts their spines. They need to be housed in pairs, but make sure they're female; males don't get along too well. Healthy food is hard to find, but you should give them fresh fruits and veggies to supplement whatever staple diet you choose. They do smell like shit, but they're pretty cool and busy all the time. That's the reason I got them, and they've fulfilled their purpose. Unlike rats, they're busy all the time without you having to be involved. Pic related, Jennifer, who is absolutely a bro. I scan my snake friend's feeder nice regularly for friendly ones, and she was this weeks survivor.
My plans are to go with a 50 gallon terrarium for 2-4 mice with ventilation.
I'm planning on using 120-140mm computer fans to circulate air. Their size allows them to move a significant amount of air without noise, and without creating gusts of air that would affect my little gals. Of course I'd still have to give it a very thorough cleaning every week, but I have a deep bath tub they can play in. I also have plenty of twigs, and leaves I can grab out of the yard to sterilize for them so they have some interesting things to play with during cleaning time.
Terrariums have many benefits that outweigh their negatives if you can overcome the ventilation issue. Prime among them being their impervious-ness to escape as well as to infiltration from wild mice! Many people forget that bars that would keep your buddies in, may not keep prospective suitors out! Wild house mice are smaller than their fancy brethren.
As far as a wheel is concerned, I'm going with a saucer. I do plan to build my own wheel-base, and craft my own home-made wheels for them as they age, because I adore these critters and I'm in for the long haul. I know a thing or two about woodwork, and crafts. I can build a rodent wheel from craft sticks, Elmer's Glue, a simple screw, nuts, and bolts.
As far as food, I'm going to initially buy them what the pet store I get them from uses, and transition from there. Same with the bedding. Mice are nervous by nature, and prone to shock. The last thing I want to do is provide them with any kind of sudden changes in environment.
And yes. That's why I'm going with them in favor of rats. I can't take them out to play with them, so I'll love them vicariously through craft projects made from non-toxic, safe wood crafts from Micheal's treated with water-based,non-toxic preservatives. Of course an over-sized enclosure. and some treats wont hurt!
Also; Jennifer's a pretty girl. She looks like a total sweetie.
>>2047455 Yes you can litter train them and they usually learn very fast. They will normally begin pooping in one corner of the cage themselves. If they poop when they're out, remove the poop to the spot and put them in the cage. Soon they will learn: Poop outside = going back to the cage. So they will stop doing it very fast. Never had problems with rats pooping where they shouldn't after litter training. .
Males leave droplets of piss where they walk though. You can't train them not to do it in my experience. It's not smelly or more than a few drops, but they will do it on your hands and clothes on purpose to mark you. They never fully pee outside of the cage.
>>2047214 It's probably the fleece anon, it just sucks up pee and amplifies the smell. I had the bright idea of using flannel as bedding and my cage stank until I tossed it out. You'll either need to wash/replace it weekly or get a cage with solid shelves.
Also, if that's a Divergent book on your shelf, you have fucking shit taste in literature. Good taste in pets though.
>>2047478 I've owned, bred, and rescued rats for years. And I was devoted to keeping my place smelling as nice as possible. Whoever decided fleece is a good bedding for rats is crazy. Even litter box trained rats will pee/mark everywhere, even the females. The fleece will reek within one day. Best things I've used (sometimes mixed), are carefresh ultra, yesterday's news, and blue buffalo's new walnut cat litter is amazing.
>>2047482 >>2047478 I bought it when I was like twelve, cut me some slack anon. Anyway, what can I do to mitigate the smell? Somebody suggested puppy pads but I don't think that'll be good for them. Are towels any better? I was thinking about cutting up some old towels and putting them underneath. I really don't want to get a new cage, this ones not even a year old and cost nearly three hundred dollars.
>>2047541 Switch bedding. Aspen isn't the best bedding, it also irritates their noses. If you're in the US I'd get http://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/so-phresh-odor-control-paper-pellet-cat-litter
plastic is porous and fabric can get kind of nasty, make sure you're washing that.
Why not try putting a few handfuls of hay in there? Timothy hay works well, but you could also use alfalfa (alfalfa isn't a true grass hay like Timothy--it's the stalks of a plant in the legume family. But it works just as well for rats).
It does a good job covering up the smell of animal waste. And they might even eat it, although I don't think a rat could actually get nutrition from it. Hay is more food for rabbits or guinea pigs. For a rat it's a good nesting material and it'll cover the smell.
What are you feeding them btw? Are you feeding them food with a lot of fish or meat?
>>2047657 >>2047657 Not that I know of. I'm giving them oxbow adult, but I do give them dried mealworms as treats occasionally. I don't really want to cover up the smell with more smell, though. I have a sensitive nose and I'm kind of a baby. I'm allergic to hay, too. I'll try it, but I'm unsure it its worth constant itchy sneezing. Also, as far as I know, rats cannot digest alfalfa and it's not safe for them to eat. They hardly spend any time at the bottom of their cage, so I don't think it's really that much of an issue. What's the cheapest safer bedding available? I have a lot of cages and I do not want to have to go back to buying two giant bags of carefresh every month.
Is there any other material I can cover the wire shelves with?
Rats probably can't digest alfalfa well, but I don't think there's evidence that it's at all harmful to them if they eat it. I think it just provides them with some fiber. Kind of like how humans can't digest oat grass (as opposed to the oat grains), but it wouldn't do anything bad to you if you ate it.
A lot of people recommend compressed alfalfa pellets (the kind used to feed rabbits) as litter on the cage's bottom, with regular alfalfa as nesting material. But if you're allergic to alfalfa it wouldn't work, obviously.
>>2047669 Check out the link I gave earlier. It's cheap, very low dust and the baking soda will help with the smell. As far as covering the shelves, I'd switch from synthetic fibers.
>>2047674 I had a bag of some kinda rodent feed with alfalfa pellets and mixed it in with their food. They didn't touch the alfalfa at all and they'll eat anything else. I just dump what they don't eat into the bedding. But yeah, I think most rats won't touch it, maybe if they're starving.
Alright so I stopped in at Petco, and something irked me about their mice and rats. I'm not sure what, or even if it was even a big deal. Like usual, all but one or two of them is inactive in each tank. But I saw something I didn't see at PetSmart and that was both the active mice, and rats did this thing with their heads. They would shake their heads at random. They would do something. Maybe move some bedding around, or peer up at me from behind the glass. Get on a wheel, or get some water. And at random intervals their heads would shake.
Also; the rats were sexually segregated, but the mice were not. They were listed as "male mice" in both tanks, but although they were all the same size, some had obvious male sex under their tails, while others didn't. There were a lot of mice, as well.
They were half the cost of PetSmart's, but they didn't look as healthy, or as well taken care of. I dunno, maybe I'm just imagining things, and someone more experienced on the subject can enlighten me.
IIRC, albino rodents sometimes make weird head movements to try to focus, because they can't see as well.
I don't remember where I read this, so take it with a grain of salt.
If the mice were housed in a mixed-sex tank and going for cheap, could it be that they were being sold as "feeders"? Unfortunately feeder animals usually aren't well cared-for before they're sold as snake food.
Nope. A scruffy brown mouse. The rat was a black and white spotted.
They did have quite a few albinos in both tanks.
They all got along well. Two male albino rats were grooming each other and being cuddly in a corner off by themselves.
The mice were all in little cliques, bundled up in one spot, or another. But there were far more mice than they had little 'huts' for them, so there were cuddle piles out in the open, which I imagine must be terrible for them.
>>2047831 The mice and rats you can buy in most pet stores are mainly bred as snake food, so a lot of them are often a little ill and haven't been treated that well. There are exceptions of course, but most stores don't care whether their feeder rodents are healthy or very comfortable. They're not made for living long.
Petsmart's mice and rats looked happy enough, and healthy. They have a female-only policy which I think helps. And they're not cheap. $7.99 for a fancy mouse vs $3.99 for Petco's overcrowded grabbag mess is a huge difference.
Petsmart had some rather -large- dumbos as well.
I did find a rattery in my state. It's sad that I may not get my mice, but some well-bred rats are a definite alternative for some cute rodent friends.
>>2047945 >I did find a rattery in my state That's nice. A breeder is your safest bet on getting a rat that doesn't have any health or behavioral issues. The one I used to go to has closed down sadly... Though two of my current boys are feeders, and they're as great as any expensive breeder rat I've had. I'm sure it all depends on how well they're treated in the store. The group of rats I picked them out from had some individuals suffering from obvious progressed respiratory disease though.
If they're more expensive and the store also has dumbos, they were bred for pet purposes, which I would feel fairly safe to buy.
>>2047541 I wasn't reading the whole thread. Why can't you just buy bedding/litter I listed here: >2047482?
I've tried puppy pads (rats will just tear them up and use as nesting material), newspaper (same). Every fabric I've used like fleece, old clothes, and towels they just chew up, burrow in, and of course mark, which stinks the cage up real bad.
>>2047706 >>2047674 Yeah, rats can't digest hay. Which is funny because most brands of rat/mouse/hamster pellet mixes have little compressed hay bits in it. And if you use these pellet mixes you'll notice they will eat everything but the hay. So not sure why they're in there. They love chewing on huts/hides made of hay though, and chewing on straw. Won't hurt them.
Someone I've been discussing this with is currently dating a former Petsmart employee, and she's told me that they do have very good policies involving their rodents.
One thing I did notice that was a very big difference between Petco and Petsmart was that there was never more rodents in the tank than they had places to hide in. If a rodent was curled up in a corner, it was likely because she was a shit the others didn't like, or wanted to be alone. Not because there's so fucking many of them in the tank that they needed to pile in a corner because they're no more space left in the little plastic huts they give them. Honestly that just disgusted me to see that. There's no way those mice weren't utterly miserable like that.
>>2047983 Mine never burrow or nest at all, really. I've given them newspaper, paper towels, hay, and fleece scraps, but so far they've really only taken the fluffy stuffing stuff out of their bed. But if they won't chew up puppy pads, are they safe? I can't find any that aren't scented. I didn't want to use that pellet stuff because it's scented, and again, as far as I know scented shit fucks with their lungs. "fresh clean scent" can't be any better than shaving smell. I'll look into non-scented paper based.
>>2047831 Not sure if this applies to the US, but in the UK all pet shops need a license to sell animals. If they're in breech of their license due to bad animal care, it can be revoked. They have regular inspections. If you think a pet shop is not keeping their animals well, report them to the local government, who will investigate.
I reported a pet shop recently and the council investigated, and got back to me about their findings. If you think the animals are suffering please do this anon!
My ratties just got tumors out of nowhere. I play with them daily and handle them a lot (pick them up, play fight etc..) but never noticed something strange. Then yesterday, out of the blue, they both had a tumor (one on her top right mamary, the other one on the bottom of her belly). Can't afford surgery for them both as it would be >200€ per rat.
I feel like dying today. They're the only living being that have given me happiness for the last 1.5 year and soon they will be gone. Jesus I'm heartbroken.
What are some good ways to bond with your rats? I have two young energetic boys, and when they have time outside of their cage they usually just run around exploring and wrestling. They like to climb on my shoulders and will take treats from me, but they don't really do a whole lot of interacting with me.
My ratty has a huge tumor and I can't afford to get it removed/don't have a way to get to a vet. It's been growing for months and my rat has still been acting the same (still very energetic, eats/drinks/sleeps normally) so I haven't been very worried up until the last month. It's so big he has to walk with one arm, groom with one arm (I don't think he can even groom everywhere anymore), eat with one hand.... It's killing me and if it gets any bigger he probably won't be able to do anything. Is it too big to even find a vet willing to remove it at this point? He is around 1 year old, so old age isn't a risk. I'm gonna try my hardest to come up with the money soon, I really don't want him to suffer :( how much would this cost me?
>>2048140 In my experience they rarely want to sit still with you when they're young. They're just too curious. As they get older they start loving the cuddling. You can try sitting with them in a chair or on a sofa where they can't run away from you, put them in your shirt, tickle them, play catch with your hands, stuff like that. Some love being scratched under the chin and behind the ears and will start grooming you in return.
>>2048148 Cost depends on the vet, but in general, surgery and tumor removal is not cheap. Sorry anon :(
Small pets are sometimes a lot more expensive to get treatment for than dogs and cats, because the vet needs to be an expert in rodents and performing surgery with anesthesia on such a small animal is difficult.
So sorry to hear it. Gerbils are wonderful animals.
If you want to get another gerbil, might I recommend adopting one from a shelter? A lot of pet stores buy gerbils from rodent mills and it's not a very good industry...I recently saw some exposes on it.
Man, I wish we had something like the RSPCA in the US.
Unfortunately, I don't want to make any claims unless I can say without a doubt that what I saw was evidence of poor animal care. I'm not sure our local animal authorities would give much care about some overcrowded mouse tanks at Petco... but if they were overcrowded, and the headshaking I saw in the mice and the rats were an indication of something wrong with them... well that would be a different story all together.
>>2047945 Yeah, my petsmart had a trio of female rats I petted today, they were in the same display area as the bazillion hamsters, so they were definitely pet material, not feeders. They wanted 13 dollars for one rat, and they all seemed healthy and very friendly. If I liked the tan hooded pattern more, I would have been quite tempted to buy them.
I have two dumbo mice and I think I just killed one of them by holding my finger on it's throat. It's now limp and reactionless. The reason I was holding my finger on it's throat was to try and remove it's need for dominating the other as it was starting to bully the other mouse (chasing it around the cage) by inserting stress whenever it started to attempt to dominate the other mouse. I feel pretty damn bad. I didn't want to hurt it, let alone kill the damn little mouse. I'm hoping that I merely made it pass out, seeing as I immediately let go of it's throat as soon as it fell limp and it did give a small spasm when I let it down. Still feel bad. Here's to you Algernon Two, you fucking sperg mean mouse.
>>2048815 An odd thing is that right as the mouse gave his little spasm, the other mouse came up the tube to the 2nd floor where the mouse that spasmed lay and started checking him out, as if he sensed it.
Holy shit, dude. You separate them if you want them to chill out. The loss of contact hurts them more than anything else. Put them both in the same cage with the bullied mice in a smaller cage. They're still 'together' but they can't hurt each other. Or keep them in completely separate confinement.
Nice job, though, you stupid fuck. Holding your finger to the throat of a tiny, fragile creature because he was misbehaving. Of all the fucking solutions to this problem, you thought you could use dog training on them. Cruel dog training at that.
>>2048819 You act as if they aren't my mice. I own them. They are wild animals and either act how I want them to or they will succumb to my will. I am not training them. The life of a mouse who feels the need to completely make the other one miserable while having all of it's necessities met is nothing you should shame over, although it does hurt my heart and I feel guilty for killing an ignorant animal. I'm not trying to be humane nor do I want to be. I want to give them a nice life and see how they react to experiences. In some way, he fulfilled his role.
>>2048821 There never was blood. It was two males (that is something that shouldn't have happened and honestly was my fault and was caused by a lack of knowledge.) It's just been a problem that's been going on for months and it was getting to where the one would chase the other one around for 10+ seconds and I got tired of it being so trash to the other mouse. I had tried keeping them spaced apart in the same cage like the other anon told me to do and it just results in literally the mouse freaking out and trying to escape for hours.
Man you guys get mad when someone kills a worthless animal. I bet you get real mad at all those worthful human lives we all live day to day, as if you could comprehend the meaning of life any more than I can. You're the only thing that gives it value. I know I made error. You are just cementing your own personal feelings.
Last post before I go, because giving you guys something decetly interesting to talk about (as if that's ever happened on /an/) clearly wasn't a productive idea, I bet if I didn't post with so much of those big bad words, you wouldn't nearly be half as hostile as you are. Consider why that would be rip algernon two I killed you I'm sorry
Came back to post >>2048844 >weeb funny man >advocating censorship over something he/she doesn't like Makes less sense than killing a small animal >>2048846 >literal criminal >thinks anything he says matters to anyone You could sink into the sea and the world would not change at all.
Much different, friend! Your rats will hate tiny plastic bin confinement in aspen bedding filled with their own poop. So give them a big cage, with appropriately spaced bars so they can have lots of ventilation, and clean it often! You may find that your ratties may not enjoy a steady diet of dog food, so you should buy them food suited to their species! Maybe Oxbow? Since you may not want to breed your rats, it would probably be best not to put them in a ratio of 1 male to 1-2 females. 2 males, or 2 females is better, though the latter is best for your first time loving your critters!
I hope this helps, and that you can love your pets "fory" long time!
>>2049132 You want pet rats. They are social animals that need the company of their own species to do well. Same gender pairs or groups is best since you don't want a bunch of babies, either males or females can get along.
It amazes me that male rats can get along while male mice will murder the shit out of each other, then eat the corpse(s) of the fallen. You could have two males one day, and come home from work one day to find one of them has completely disappeared.
When do you know when it's time to have your rat put to sleep?
One of my rescue rats developed a tumour when she was 2, and we decided not to operate as due to her age she was unlikely to survive surgery (plus her sister died shortly after their 2nd birthday, so we figured they were pet shop bought so didn't have long left anyway). We gave her turkey tail supplements daily though to manage the growth.
At 2 years 6 months though she's still trucking, but she looks just so old and tired. She rarely comes out to play, just sits quietly all the time, and although she can move about the tumour is making it difficult. She's still eating but is all skin and bones.
I was hoping she'd pass away naturally, but as she's still going she's starting to approach the point where her quality of life is declining. But how can I tell when the line is crossed? I don't want to put her down because she's old and tired, but I don't want her suffering to get too bad.
>>2049739 She's definitely suffering. I was in the same predicament once. I wanted to put my rat down a month prior because she was looking bad and I couldn't do it(she had a benign tumor that was growing large in size). I ended up doing it the following month. I regretted it since and she suffered for it. Also, is she completely alone in her cage? If so, she is most definitely depressed on top of having that tumor.
>>2050026 No, when her sister died I adopted two younger rats to keep her company, and the change in her was amazing. They're now 9 months old and they're a bit too active for her. I think she's happy for the peace and quiet when they're out of the cage.
When they get fresh food in the morning I feed her separately, as one of the young ones is now huge and has made herself the alpha rat, so has got into the habit of stealing treats from her. She's eating fine when I feed her, but I still worry if she's getting enough to eat with how skinny she is.
One of my rats is extremely old, and it looks like she's not eating solid food anymore. She won't even touch the rind on cucumbers, just eats the soft flesh in the middle. She's losing weight, so I'm worried she's not getting enough to eat. I'm currently giving her natural yoghurt, soft food like banana and some ground up cereal, but is there anything else I can give? Will pick up a pot of baby food later today.
My older boy had healed up beautifully after he had his leg removed and then out of nowhere he gets cancer and it's necrotic and awful. He had breathing issues so there was no way he would survive going under anasthesia again. We had to put him down. I'm glad that the remaining old man is getting along with our spayed girls at least. Still hurts waking up in the morning and wanting to get his medicine ready for him and he's not there.
>>2052549 No. I've seen the alpha rat steal food from her since she can't fight back, so I've started to feed her separately several times a day to ensure she gets a good amount of food. I've been mixing ground up cereal with their pellets so she has something to graze on too.
>>2052559 She's eaten the rind before, so her starting to leave it is a bit unusual. I'm planning on some cooked pasta, but is rice safe for them to eat? I'm always wary about giving rice to small animals due to how much it can expand. I don't want them choking or getting bloated.
I've rescued some rats and they're getting better but they still have some issues. They won't bite down hard on your fingers anymore and they'll even groom them but if you accidentally get any part of your body near the cage bars they'll lunge and just bite the shit out of you. Is there any way to prevent this? I'd really rather not be afraid of getting a body part near my rats cage by accident.
>>2052831 Yeah don't worry about 'rice expanding' it's a myth. Rice does not expand more after consumption than most other foods small animals eat. Even uncooked it poses no danger to either birds or rats.
I want to adopt this whole adorable, amazing dumbo litter /an/, any experience raising 13 little angels? Cage wise, would two huge ones suffice? Food wise? Any tips at all? Seeing them curled up in a corner just felt like a punch to my stomach and if I can I fucking will take all of them in.
>>2053781 Here's a cage calculator you can put your dimensions into and see how many rats it can hold: http://www.rattycorner.com/odds/calc.shtml
Food-wise, lab blocks are best. Those weird grain mixes you see at the store aren't very good and to add to that, the rats will pick out only their favorite bits. You'll need to order lab blocks online probably, about the only acceptable food you'll see in a pet store is the Oxbow brand. Teklad and Mazuri are my preferred brands.
>>2052984 > How to feed a timid rat Take some yogurt, baby food or mashed up lab blocks wetted with some broth. Put it in a spoon. Hold the spoon around mid-way on the spoon and put the spoon in the cage. Wait for the rat to come eat. They WILL be shy at first but eventually come enjoy the tasty treat. Once the rat has eaten it's treat, feed the normal food.
Once the rat comes to your spoon quickly and isn't scared of it, move your hand down the spoon a little. Repeat every day until your hand is almost down to the spoon's bowl. Keep your hand there for a few days.
Lay the spoon with food in it on top of your flat hand. Let the rat eat from the spoon resting in your hand. Once the rat has adjusted, remove the spoon.
> Cautions If the rat is stomping it's feet and chattering, remove the spoon! Try again later and keep your hand further back on the spoon. Also NEVER hold food between your fingers: flat hand only. Rats can't see very well, especially if they're older.
>>2053781 First, separate them by SEX. They are old enough that if not separated right away you probably are going to have way too many rats. Some might already be preggers.
Be prepared for the fact that you may have to kill some chirping babies. I know you don't want to do that (nobody does), but if your litter of angels is half female and each rat has a litter of ten, that's 70 new rats and that's 70 too many. Killing the babies is sadly easy: simply put them in a plastic box in the fridge and they'll get cold, fall asleep, and die swiftly.
From there socialize them adult rats with the spoon trick and NEVER let the males play with the females. PERIOD. It only takes "a second" for there to suddenly be another litter on the way.
>>2053781 I had 11 rats at one point, I enjoyed all their different personalities and the cuddle piles are very cute. I fed Mazuri rodent blocks, ordering a large bag online is pretty economical. I also supplemented with fresh foods. Health problems are the real money sink with that many rats, several (or more!) animals may need medicine or surgery all at once. Also their care will take more time. More animals equals more cleaning, and you will have to make sure everyone gets adequate time out of the cage. But if you have the time and the money I would recommend it, it's a lot of fun to watch them all interact. My final warning is that if they are all from the same litter they may end up dying one after the other, which can be tough.
>Be prepared for the fact that you may have to kill some chirping babies. I know you don't want to do that (nobody does), but if your litter of angels is half female and each rat has a litter of ten, that's 70 new rats and that's 70 too many. Killing the babies is sadly easy: simply put them in a plastic box in the fridge and they'll get cold, fall asleep, and die swiftly.
These animals are unwilling captives. Rats are intelligent and introspective, self-aware (whatever that means--it's a debatable concept) animals...they're basically people.
Freezing animals to death is NOT humane.
>Hypothermia is neither short nor painless. Some time ago on the rats list, Brian Lee detailed an experience in which he almost died from exposure. He went through it step by step for us so we could all understand how inhumane this method truly is. Yes, in the end, a person or animal who has died from exposure appears to have died peacefully, but the steps leading up to that death, as described by Brian, are horrendously painful.
Apparently this anon has a lot of money and free time. I can't imagine why you'd advise him to kill healthy animals for the sake of convenience.
>>2053998 >I can't imagine why you'd advise him to kill healthy animals for the sake of convenience. Because owning 100 rats is too many for a brand new rat keeper (even with money) not to be overwhelmed. You can buy them stuff but caring for them all takes time and effort. They're so new they don't even know what they need. 100 rats would be a disaster. Rehoming 100 rats isn't going to be easy, either. The best answer is to kill unwanted accidental offspring then prevent any new ones.
If they want to pay a vet money to kill off the pinkies (which aren't even really ware of much of anything at that age) to be more "humane" they can, but popping them in the fridge sure beats other ways people have suggested like feeding them live to snakes and it's better than having the rats be in bad conditions due to an overburdened newbie owner.
>>2053957 Thank you, I will use that. Much appreciated. >>2053980 Obviously will seperate. But thank you for the input. >>2053996 I already own two rats with my so, (see: Kush and Bagel) and have come to terms that, as short as their lifespan is to us, it is still a full life in their perspective and granting them companionship and love (plus a caring home and the munchies) and getting it back is more than I ask for. It obviously is painful to lose a friend, and a child of sorts, but their bruxing and grooming, their personality and playing, makes me know in my heart how meaningful that short time is. Thank you anon for sharing your experience.
To all those debating the best way to murder a litter... That will not happen, your input is appreciated but death by freezing just strikes me as horrifying. If an accidental litter occurs before they are old enough for spaying/neuturing I will care for them and put them up for adoption if necessary.
As for my horrible blogposting, consider pic related as apology.
>>2054753 Seconding this. Culling litters is a natural process in rats. They can smell if something is "wrong" and will push away some of their young to let them get cold and die. Most litters of ten survivors started with a lot more than ten rats. Rat litters are huge.
Also want to chime in that, as cute as they are, rats aren't popular pets in the western world because people wrongly see them as "dirty", "Nasty-tempered" and "diseased". This makes finding good homes for young ones hard. Most pet shop rats end up as snake food or being carelessly bred in bad condition to create snake food.
Sometimes a short life ended before suffering is better than a long one with suffering.
>Also want to chime in that, as cute as they are, rats aren't popular pets in the western world because people wrongly see them as "dirty", "Nasty-tempered" and "diseased". This makes finding good homes for young ones hard. Most pet shop rats end up as snake food or being carelessly bred in bad condition to create snake food.
I gotta second this. Of all the rodents, rats probably only beat out mice in popularity as pets due to their wild brethren being vermin. Finding willing adopters will be difficult. You may get a handful taken care of, but if one or more of your babies drops a full litter of inbred pups, it's going to be near impossible to get rid of them all.
Shelter or culling will be your only answer. Unless you plan on taking care of a horde of rats. In which case I suggest you learn the rat language, and become one of them. Then lead your ratty army to victory against your foes.
Can rats infected with rat bite fever be cured? I know someone with infected rats. They were in a group, separated and one group tested positive so they had to be euthanized but she kept quiet about the other group of three. She's afraid to handle them so she does jack shit with them but then again even if they weren't infected I still don't think she's give them more attention. I mentioned a vet and she said they would just euthanize them, so I told her she should just have them euthanized anyway. Even if they could be cured, I doubt she would even find a good home for them because she's one of those people who 'rescues' animals but is actually a hoarder.
I offered to get them euthanized at the vet for her if she pays for it because she doesn't have the heart to take them but she's being a huge bleeding heart faggot. I don't give a shit about her at all but I feel bad for the rats. But yeah is there anyway it can be cured in rats? Antibiotics? I could get those from a vet and at least try to help her find new homes for them but it seems they are just doomed to live in their small cage forever. I'm afraid she will try to find homes for them while they are infected too. I did handle them carefully(I 'check' all her pets when i see her to tell her if I see something wrong, tell her anything shes doing wrong, etc. She listens 90% of the time) and while they are somewhat skittish, they aren't aggressive.
>>2055063 Yes, rat bite fever can be cured in rats, people, and cats alike. You just need to go get some antibiotic. depending on the strain (have the vets check) the treatment is with penicillin, tetracycline or doxycycline. The chances of her transmitting it to a cat is pretty slim anyhow and she shouldn't let the rats around the cat anyway as that's just a bad idea all around.
By the way, if your friend actually did things with their rats (like keeping their claws trimmed or giving them sanded walkways) and kept them in cleaner conditions rat bite fever wouldn't be as likely. That illness is bacterial and comes from poor conditions more often than not. If you can take them home, cure them and give them a better life they should not relapse. Be sure to toss out all their old toys, bedding and anything else they may have had contact with to eliminate risk of re-infection.
>>2055782 Well if its treatable I'll hound her more. Their cage does get cleaned, fresh water and everything but treats them as if they're radioactive. They had it before she got them, from a house that had like 50+ rats for snake food. It got so bad that the ASCPA stepped in shortly after she took some.
Is there a scenario were they would have no choice to be put down instead of a vet treating them? When the other group was taken to the vet, she talked about it as if the vet gave her no choice and didn't want to take these girls because she said the vet would just euthanize them. Not sure if she was BSing me but financially, this isn't a problem with her at her and she will go out of her way to bring something to the vet so I'm not sure why she would lie to me if she is.
>>2055853 >she talked about it as if the vet gave her no choice and didn't want to take these girls because she said the vet would just euthanize them That's probably because they came from a horrible hoarder situation. If the vet continues to insist this easily treatable illness isn't worth treating get a new vet. It will help if she mentions she has money to afford treatment and testing. The testing will cost more than the treatment.
Either way all the rats old stuff will need to be disinfected (if glass) or thrown away (if not).
>>2055888 Street rats can carry illnesses, may be pregnant if female, and aren't socialized so they won't be so nice or friendly.
You are better off with a safer, cleaner domesticated pet rat. Many people are willing to practically gift them if they know they are going to a loving home! Remember to make sure you get a same-sex couple so they can have company.
>>2055876 The only problem is that it might be a different strain of bacteria so it might not be a cure-all. You might even strengthen the old bacteria if they survive the wrong treatment making it harder to treat the rats. The treatment method is correct, though.
>>2055874 >>2055876 Thanks, I'll look into this. Now I'm a little paranoid I have it because I've developed an itchy rash with red dots and a very sore throat. I'm not someone with sensitive skin or allergic to anything except penicillin as far as I know and only get sick once a year or two. I mean I scrubbed down like crazy and was wearing long sleeves but fuck me I guess.
>>2056465 I'm thinking it was something else, since the soreness went down, the rashes, red dots and itchyness went away. It had been two days, and last night I was in her room for about an hour when I started getting a rash and felt like glass was in my throat so I left. I had a scratch or two on my hands from the sugar gliders so unless they have it then I'll probably be fine unless this is something I should go get antibiotics for just in case.
This is an odd question, but can rats get dementia?
My ancient rat seems to be having a personality change. When she's out she wanders about aimlessly, and today she managed to fall off the top of her cage by trying to climb down the bars, which she's never tried once in her life. Her behaviour is also a bit different.
What's going on? Is her mind starting to fail in her old age?
>>2057093 Great list, but intelligence always makes rats god-tier.
Guinea pigs are solid great though. Gotta love things that purr. But having a guinea pig pee on you is no laughing matter.
I'd put chinchillas up at great tier too. They're practically monkeys. They have human fingernails, and they can hold things with one hand, which other rodents can't do. I honestly question if they are actual rodents.
>>2057093 I know she's dying anon, I'm honestly surprised she's reached the age she has. But how she's been acting is making me wonder if there's some kind of ratty dementia.
I had a guinea pig when I was younger, I agree they're fantastic pets. But having owned both of them, I think if I had to make a genuine choice between one or the other, I'd go with rats. Guinea pigs are amazing and I have a lot of fun memories of dear old Samson, but I think I just personally prefer keeping rats more.
>>2057137 >I'd put chinchillas up at great tier too. They're practically monkeys. They have human fingernails, and they can hold things with one hand, which other rodents can't do. I honestly question if they are actual rodents. Yeah, I wasn't sure where to put Chinchillas since that's one of the few types I don't really have any experience in handling, so I left them out.
>>2057141 >And no, they aren't 'practically rodents anyway' Huh, you learn something new every day.
>A good day for mice is when they aren't trying to kill each other.
If you don't know how to socialize the mice properly, you're a shitty owner. You maybe also placed males together like the dumbass earlier in this thread that choked a mouse to death because it was doing what mice do naturally.
They're not as smart as rats, but they're still far more intelligent than the rest of the rodents. They can learn all the same tricks rats can learn, but not as quickly. They cannot learn their own names, their fellow rats names, or you and your families names like rats can.
Rat-lovers prefer rats because they like the personality rats have. Mice just have a different personality from rats, and it can be frustrating to people who want a pet they can touch and play with directly. You can walk your rat and play fetch with it like it's a dog. You give your mice fun stuff to play with, and watch them.
Hey guys I want to ask if there is such a thing as a rat breeder with a history of rats that have a long life expectancy? I would love to own a rat again, but when my previous (and only) one passed away I was devastated. I was also thinking of a guinea pig, but I'm not sure how loud they are.
I have an old male unrelated to them who is over 6 years old now. (white one in pic). He's still a super-soft rex, still really horny, still lives bouncing around the room like a tiny deer. He's never even sneezed. Seems like a lot of the pups he's produced died of myco really young, though. but his litters were always huge, so maybe some were just bound to have weaker immune systems.
My friend adopted one of the pups and she's super healthy, too. She's over 2 years now, she's a dumbo rex like her dad, but she has really velveteen fur. She eats like a champ, has never been sneezy, very energetic.
I really wanted to be a breeder, to breed this old healthy rat dude for long-lived, friendly rats. But there isn't a huge demand for them here, and most people get their rats from this gigantic, disgusting slob who mass-breeds dozens of different animals. They buy from him because he supplies the only pet store around here that has rats.
>>2058281 All rats have different personalities, but males generally like to cuddle and sit on shoulders, especially when they're older. I have 3 at the moment, two of them are mostly into exploring, they jump and run around/crawl all over me, but they rarely sit still. The last one loves the cuddles, wants nothing BUT the cuddles. He falls asleep on my shoulder, sits in my shirt and boggles his eyes, seeks out my hand to groom it and be scratched, just loves human contact. .
>>2057551 Yeah they're nowhere near as smart as a rat, but they aren't completely braindead either and they love cuddling. Mine always came running when I called his name and followed me around like a dog. I taught him to spin around for a piece of cucumber.
>>2058713 You could get one of these for the coldest part of winter. It's a ceramic heat emitter for reptiles, and it emits a lot of heat with no light. They're a little pricy, but they last a long time. You'd probably also want to go with a lower wattage for a warm-blooded animal though.
In my experience this is completely untrue. It's probably the best bedding you can buy. It clumps together easily, absorbs a shitload of liquid, and absorbs smells like nothing else. I don't even have to rinse out my rats' cage tray after I dump out the old shit. I just put fresh Carefresh in there. No fuss no muss.
So I've been considering buying a rat again soon. It just bothers me that they only live a few years tops. Is there a particular breed I should look for that may live longer than most? I've had two blue dumbos and two black-hooded fancies. If they all live the same length, is there a place I could buy juvenile rats from? The only ones I can find in my area are adults.
>>2059521 >feeding a snake live rats You're endangering your snek's life just to be slightly edgier? Rats can fucking fight. I have a black rat snake and when I feed it I take the feeder rats, put them in a bag, hold them by the tail, and then give it two or three quick, firm smacks on a hard surface. Much quicker for the rat than constriction, much safer for the snake than fighting for every meal.
What, you think anyone here is offended? Like half of us have had carnivorous pets in the past. Go be 14 on >>>/b/
>>2057752 Why is this such a stopping point for people? How have you not learned to accept death as something perfectly normal and natural? Are you seriously going to pass the opportunity for a wonderful pet because your heart might shatter when it goes?
Are rat owners becoming the new delusional cat lady?
>>2059837 Because 2-4 years is a pretty short time to have with an animal you're emotionally attached to. It's hard to spend hours every day with another living thing and then that time comes to close before you know it.
>>2059878 This. It'd be fine if I could keep a rat healthy and happy and then suddenly it passes all old and stuff, but that doesn't happen. You get a healthy, lively rat for 2-3 years, and then nearly a full year after it's rapidly deteriorating and nothing you do can help. It's expensive and emotionally draining to be completely powerless to at the very least provide proper comfort for your friend before it dies of tumors or respiratory infections.
>>2060257 Not only is it hard emotionally like anon said, it really is pretty draining of your wallet. I spent around $2,000 on my rats the past two years and they still passed due to infection, tumors or just straight up cancer.
>>2060502 Have you ever tested that out? I know a girl that keeps her rats with no bedding (just fleece liners), except for yesterday's news in the litter box, and two of her rats still had respiratory problems.
>>2060579 Mine usually only go on a flat surface. I've never had a rat pee on my shoulder, but they have pooped if I don't let them down for long periods.
It's no big deal, honestly. Just one or two spots of rat urine doesn't smell (especially if it's only trail-marking drops rather than a proper emptying-of-blatter) and the poop will just bounce off your clothes onto the floor. Doesn't smell either unless they've got some kinda gnarly runs.
>>2060579 Never. Basically if they are used to their cage and you give them a chance to do their business there it will never happen. Just put them down every hour, and if they have to go they will. Might want to wait a bit after giving them a treat as well.
My elderly rat had a stroke on Wednesday. She was fine when I fed her by hand (she can only eat soft food now) and afterwards fell asleep on my lap under a blanket. When I went to put her back in her cage she was floppy and lethargic. Absolutely terrifying, I thought that she was dying. After a tearful call to the vets we made her as comfy as possible and waited for her to pass.
She didn't though, and has recovered slightly, but it's very obvious it was a stroke. She's not paralysed, but she's lost a lot of motor control on her right side. She flops and rolls instead of walking and struggles to grip food with her right paw. Weirdly she still seems happy though- when I'm feeding her she'll chunter and boggle, which she rarely does because she's always been a grumpy rat.
I'm worried about her being dehydrated though, since I don't think she can get to the water bottle. I've tried giving her water in a dish/spoon, but she's not interested. Tried using a syringe and she fought as well as she could. What can I do? Is the moisture in her soft food going to be enough? I don't want her to die of something as stupid as dehydration.
>>2039752 I've had problems with my bedding having mites in it before, when I used Carefresh. I have a sick rat atm and I've stopped using Aspen because I fear there could be mites. I've read that mites can be killed if you freeze the bedding first, if you want to give that a go.
I hear if you gently pinch the skin around her shoulder area and let it down, if it "tents" and stays that way for a second or two rather than immediately going down as soon as you release, it means she's dehydrated.
Sometimes sick animals efuse water. If I were you I'd try offering her some watered-down unflavored Pedialyte (half Pedialyte, half water) in addition to her regular water. If your water is fluoridated or heavily chlorinated you might do well to give her spring water instead of using water from the tap.
Cucumber is a good source of water but I don't know if it can give rats diarrhea. Do some research on cucumbers and rats.
>>2060892 When i'm worried about my rats getting dehydrated I give them warm sugary milky tea. My boys love tea, and it's just an easier way of getting liquid in them than water. Cucumber (like >>2060975 said) might be good, if her teeth are bad, try blending the veg with some fruit to make a smoothie for her to have some of. Last time I did this with cooked carrot and banana and it worked well.
I know this is rat general, but I figure it's a good place to ask mouse questions. I'm interested in getting a pair or trio of female mice, but I can't seem to find a suitable cage. Everything is either a tank with bad ventilation, a plastic hamster bullshit cage, then the wire cages are either too small or the bars are too far apart and would let mice escape.
>>2060579 Rats very rarely poop outside of their cage, and I've never had one accidentally piss on me. You don't even have to house train them, they don't like doing it in other places but the designated 'toilet corner' of the cage. Male leave small droplets of pee on your hands/random stuff they want to mark, but it's not smelly or more than a few drops.
Their poops are usually quite hard and don't smell unless they have the runs or the poops are 'fright poops'.
Aquariums are fine for mice and quite possibly the best possible way to house them. I recommend using a bedding of hay instead of wood shavings.
The smell of wood shavings (even aspen) can get overwhelming in a tank. But the hay doesn't smell overwhelming at all to me. Wood dust is a known carcinogen...I don't think hay dust is (but you want the least dusty hay you can get, obviously--read the reviews on the brands before buying the hay).
Some people say hay runs the risk of poking a mouse in the eye, but I've never, ever had this happen. I'm not saying it conceivably couldn't happen but in my experience it hasn't.
Anyway, there is no "ideal" way to house a mouse...if you get down to it, the "ideal" would be a cabin or mud hut in Pakistan or India or China, where mice came from. Keeping them in captivity inherently entails some compromises.
There are basically no wire cages on the market with proper bar spacing for mice. I've seen the "Habitrail Mini" on Australia sites and it looks ALMOST okay but I'd still worry a mouse could get its head caught between the bars and hang itself. If I HAD to pick a commercial wire cage for mice it'd be the Habitrail Mini. That's not saying much, because it still looks risky, and it's small, and it's overpriced.
The official position of the American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association is that wire cages aren't suitable for mice and the best cage is a tank. I'm not a huge fan of the rat and mouse "fancy" as it were, but on this matter I guess I agree.
I honestly would recommend just getting a 10 gallon aquarium with a mesh lid and calling it a day. This will cost you $20-$30 total.
You won't find anything much better or more escape-resistant. Ventilation is a little worse with tanks than cages, true, but you can help this by just changing the bedding more often and making sure their room doesn't get too hot, and using a proper mesh lid that will allow air to come in.
>>2061307 Thanks for the info, I just heard that mice have a lot of respiratory issues and assumed aquariums are bad for that. It's good to hear before I bought anything since I have a 20 gallon long aquarium already in the basement. I also like the idea of hay since I have to buy it for my gf's guinea pigs anyway, using a little extra for mouse bedding makes sense to me.
>>2060975 I've tried doing the tent test, but it's difficult to tell because she's a massive ball of fluff.
Cucumber is one of her fav foods, but she's lost interest in it. She's still dotty over bananas though, so I've been feeding her a slice of that for breakfast. I gave her a satsuma slice last night for the water content, and that went down well (I know citrus fruits aren't great for rats, but she's so old I doubt it's going to make a difference).
>>2061018 That's a good idea anon, when I had a guinea pig I used to give him medicine mixed in with tea. Never thought of that, will give it a try.
Remember: Mice are not rats. Floorspace is more important than height. Having climbing space helps, but not as much as it would for rats. But don't neglect their need to climb.
More space is always better, but not so much space that your mice start breaking off into cliques and making territorial claims because you put 4-5 in a tank suited for 12+ mice. Forcing them to co-mingle helps to get along better. But having somewhere that they can go be alone for a while is always best. Like having a second hutch, hut, or hammock for them to chill out in. Just in case they have a spat and want some alone time.
Don't just give them hay, either. Give them something to make nesting material with. A toilet paper roll with some sheets left on it is best. Make sure it's unscented, and freeze it before giving it to them. Shredded newspaper with soy-based ink will also work very well. As with the TP, freeze it before you give it to them. Fancy mice have fuck-all for an immune system, and there's millions of things out there that can kill them, but are seemingly harmless to you, or I.
It just helps a lot to give them something that -isn't- their regular bedding/substrate to crawl around in. It keeps them from being bored with their surroundings and going stir crazy.
anybody know of any rat breeders in/close to North Dakota? I'm down to 1 rat because of the others passing due to old age and am having trouble finding my lone dumbo a buddy. Even the Petsmart near me isn't carrying rats anymore and I'm getting kinda desperate
I would second this. A reputable rescue organization is more than likely to be staffed by people who care about, and love animals and know what they're doing. It'll be more costly than buying a feeder, or a pet store rat, but it's worth the cost. They'll be healthy, and happy when you get them, because they'll be socialized and given their shots and various treatments.
>>2060892 Update on my rat who had a stroke. She's improving, but still not great. She's still flopping about, but when she sits still she can hold herself up and eat without falling everywhere. She's managing to move herself around the cage, although she did manage to get stuck under the wheel. Good thing we were there to help her, poor dear was terrified.
Still having trouble giving her fluids. Soy milk porridge has gone down well, as has cereal soaked in it, but weirdly she won't drink it unless there's food in it. Tea didn't work either. But she's still eating, so that's a good sign.
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