Pudgy Pets - Stillborn rat pup

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01-26-2014, 08:43 PM
Last Sunday hubby and I brought home a young female Dumbo rat (the dumbos have bigger, rounder, lower-set ears, so they look more like a cartoon mouse or teddy bear than a standard rat).

Turns out she was pregnant, and had a single pup some time this morning, but the pup was stillborn or died shortly after birth. It's probably for the best, as Princess is still only a little girl rat herself (about equivalent to a 9-11 year old human) and has lots of growing to do, and raising pups can be difficult and even risky for rats so young.

It's still a little sad though (but not as sad as trying to find homes for up to 20 baby rats).

01-26-2014, 08:52 PM
I'm so sorry. I love baby animals. (Who doesn't?) we hatch baby chicks every year.

01-26-2014, 09:01 PM
Aw, I'm sorry kaplods. *pats little rattie*

01-26-2014, 10:05 PM
The good news is that Princess is already acting more like a normal, happy little rattie girl.

When we brought her home, I noticed right away that she wasn't as curious, as active, or as friendly as the other three rats I've owned, and the only rat that ever truly bit me (I've gotten a few love nips and accidental bites, but nothing that broke skin before). Princess has already drawn blood four times, one was a pretty vicious deep bite. The biting was my first indication that she "might" be pregnant (the day after we brought her home).

She's also the youngest rat I've ever brought home, so at first I thought her age might explain her fear and shyness and the biting.

I also was afraid she might just have a grumpy and aggressive personality, but the change I've already seen in her seems to indicate otherwise. She wasn't being mean, just overprotective of her unborn pup. Can't fault her for that.

01-26-2014, 11:27 PM

I work for a vet, but we don't see a lot of rats.

Just our area.

Hope things go well!

I can understand why she might have been a bit cranky!

01-27-2014, 01:19 AM

I work for a vet, but we don't see a lot of rats.

Just our area.

Hope things go well!

I can understand why she might have been a bit cranky!

Sometimes even where rats and other pocket pets are popular, vets don't see many, mainly because rodents are sold so cheaply, they're often seen as being virtually disposable. Even dedicated rodent owners often self-train for most medical needs, simply because most vets don't have much experience.

When I took my Gussy to be euthanized, the vet actually praised me for bringing her in rather than trying to do it myself without training. I told him I had actually had to learn in college (in theory) how to quickly break a rodents neck in case emergency euthanasia was necessary. He then asked me why I had brought her in rather than do it myself, and I told him I was afraid of botching it as I'd never actually had to do it. He assured me he would use an overdose of sedative so she wouldn't feel it, and I could hold her while he did it, and I could have the body if I wanted. I couldn't bear to do either, so he gave her the injection in another room, and disposed of her body for me.

That's the worst part about having ratties, their short lifespans and vulnerability to cancers (so their passing can be rather difficult).

They have all the intelligence, temperament, trainability, and social bonding (lovieness) equivalent to canines (but some of the independence, acrobatics, and grooming habits of felines), so they're like itsy, bitsy, teenie, weenie catdogs.... that unfortunately live on average, only two years.

02-05-2014, 03:13 PM
Oh my gosh. That's so sad, but I'm glad Princess is ok.

=( I had boy ratties in college and 2 of them were Dumbos. Cutest little critters you've ever seen. Alas, they have all passed, all in different ways too. It's awful how susceptible they are to certain illness. But I loved them like children even for that short period of time.

I've heard females are very playful. My boys were big ol' couch potatoes. Haha.

02-05-2014, 04:07 PM
I was starting to think Princess was going to be a couch potato, but I think she was just recovering from her pregnancy and learning to trust me.

I've taught her to come to the cage door when called, and am now working on teaching her to crawl out the cage door into my hand.

I think she would learn tricks very easily, so I might teach her a few.