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#1 Old 08-09-2005, 07:27 AM
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Just want to share...yesterday I bought two baby (7-ish weeks) rats. They are the cutest things since my cat! They seem to be bonding with me already, and my sister really loves them even though she didn't like the idea of rats at first. I have photos!



The black one is called Petra, the brown/agouti one is called Rosalind, aka Rosie (Rosalind is a bit of a mouthful). They are named after characters from 'The Chrysalids' by John Wyndam.
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#2 Old 08-09-2005, 07:30 AM
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awwww Congrats on your new babies. How's the cat taking it? Is this your first time having rats?
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#3 Old 08-09-2005, 07:55 AM
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Cuteness! I <3 rat childrens!
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#4 Old 08-09-2005, 08:06 AM
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It is my first time having rats, yes. The cat isn't allowed in the room with them, really. I had her in for a few minutes, supervised. They ignored her and she can't reach them, but I'm a bit worried if I don't supervise she might knock the cage off it's shelf.
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#5 Old 08-09-2005, 08:20 AM
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http://www.rmca.org/Resources/rmcafaq.htm has some good information on first time rat keeping, as well as a list of good vets by state, etc. Congrats on your first ratties, I've still got one of my first two, and I'm totally in love.
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#6 Old 08-09-2005, 08:27 AM
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I have a great book on keeping rats, and lots of advice and contact with the breeder (*cringes* I know a lot of people on this board don't approve of buying from breeders), but thanks very much belovedtree. It seems very easy to love rats
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#7 Old 08-09-2005, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isowish View Post

I have a great book on keeping rats, and lots of advice and contact with the breeder (*cringes* I know a lot of people on this board don't approve of buying from breeders), but thanks very much belovedtree. It seems very easy to love rats



A breeder is way better than pet store rats, really I don't have a problem with responsible rat breeders (though a rescue is always better). Most rat breeders have a few rescues too, which is nice. Its wonderful that you're researching this, I know a lot of people just listen to the nice high school kid working at the local pet store for all their pet advice, and then are amazed when their rats don't make it to 2 months.
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#8 Old 08-09-2005, 08:59 AM
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A breeder is way better than pet store rats, really I don't have a problem with responsible rat breeders (though a rescue is always better). Most rat breeders have a few rescues too, which is nice. Its wonderful that you're researching this, I know a lot of people just listen to the nice high school kid working at the local pet store for all their pet advice, and then are amazed when their rats don't make it to 2 months.

That's how I figured it. I really wanted rats, and there is nowhere I could get a rescue from. The breeder I got them from has a few, but they have problems and need experienced people. I figure, at least this way I am supporting someone else who is looking after rescues
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#9 Old 08-09-2005, 09:38 AM
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http://www.martinscages.com/products/cages/rat/ Has some really n ice rat cages. I had the Rat Skyscraper for my four rats and I didn't have to worry about it falling over, even when one of hte cats would jump on top of it.
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#10 Old 08-09-2005, 10:31 AM
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They are adorable!!! Are they both dumbos or just Rosie? (at least she looks like one in the picture). I've had 8 rats over several years, they're all gone now and I miss them. Last week my sister and I saw an ad for some babies posted in a store. We probable would have called, but the phone numbers were all gone. There lots of good web sites about them, including the rat fan club. If you can find a vet to do it, get them spayed. Like dogs and cats, they are less likely to get tumors if they are fixed.
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#11 Old 08-09-2005, 11:19 AM
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If you can find a vet to do it, get them spayed. Like dogs and cats, they are less likely to get tumors if they are fixed.



I second this, all three of my girls have had some sort of problem that might have been prevented by a spay. I had talked to the vet about it, and since the spay surgery is more invasive than a tumor removal and is not 100% effective we decided against it. But then Norbert had two tumors removed before she was 1 1/2 years old, and then died from tumors spreading to her internal organs. Sherman had an ovarian cyst that caused her entire reproductive tract to swell and had to get a hysterectomy, and she still has blood in her urine because from the cervix down is engorged, and there isn't anything we can do about it. Herbert has two tumors right now, that I have to decide if we're taking off this Friday, it would have been much easier to get her spayed young when she was less of a surgical risk. Also, one of the best drugs to slow the growth of bigne tumors can cause infections of the womb, so my vet won't use it in unspayed rats (it hadn't become well known yet when we decided not to spay).



Even with all of that, I still wouldn't spay if I didn't have a wonderful vet, who is very knowledgeable about treating rats. Hes done about a million rabbit spays, which are pretty much the exact same thing as a rat spay, except bigger so he knows what hes doing. Make sure to ask about heating during the surgery, and for post op pain relievers (my vet gives a shot of antibiotics and heavy duty pain drugs right after the surgery, and is on call 24 hours if you need additional pain relievers). Sorry thats so long, but its definitely something thats been on my mind lately.



ETA: I forgot to mention how much less expensive it would have been for me to just spay, a tumor removal is between 200 and 300 here, while a spay is only 115. For sherman's ovarian cyst, I had to pay for several hundred dollars in diagnostic work (urine tests, x-rays, blood work, etc.) because her only symptome was blood in the urine.
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#12 Old 08-10-2005, 05:03 AM
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cheekywhiskers: yes, both of them are dumbos. So cute. Not that topears aren't, of course



thebelovedtree: hmm, I hadn't thought about getting them spayed (I didn't know spaying could prevent health problems). I will look into that.
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#13 Old 08-10-2005, 06:10 AM
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As far as the spaying, I've read conflicting reports for a number of years. There have been plenty of rats that have had tumors with or without being spayed. In the end, I just decided to not get my four girls spayed. Anesthesia is such a hard thing on such a small body. Of the four females that I had, two of them didn't get tumors.
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#14 Old 08-10-2005, 06:24 AM
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thebelovedtree: hmm, I hadn't thought about getting them spayed (I didn't know spaying could prevent health problems). I will look into that.



You could probably talk to your breeder about it and find out if tumors run in your lines (I forgot you have a breeder :jealous: ) There isn't a guarantee either way, but its another factor to put in the "do I spay" equation.
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#15 Old 08-10-2005, 09:50 AM
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I've read a little bit about spaying now. At the moment, I'm definately leaning towards not having them spayed - they're so little to be under anaesthetic - but I'm going to email my breeder, ask for her opinions and such.
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#16 Old 08-10-2005, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
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I've read a little bit about spaying now. At the moment, I'm definately leaning towards not having them spayed - they're so little to be under anaesthetic - but I'm going to email my breeder, ask for her opinions and such.





The problem is that they develop tumors when they're older and it's even more dangerous to put them under anesthesia. If your breeder tells you that her rats don't often sprout tumors then I would probably just forget it. If she tells you otherwise, I'd look at what kind of vet would be doing the surgery and how many successful rat spays he/she has done, etc. before deciding.
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#17 Old 08-10-2005, 11:20 AM
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#18 Old 08-10-2005, 11:37 AM
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Congrats on your new ratties! Don't forget next time to call around to local shelters to make sure there's no ratties who need homes! I don't want to be preachy in your happy thread, but the thought of ratties getting put to sleep cause they have no homes is very sad! I bought my first rats from a pet store, but my last ones I adopted.



Quote:
Originally Posted by jenna View Post

http://www.martinscages.com/products/cages/rat/ Has some really n ice rat cages. I had the Rat Skyscraper for my four rats and I didn't have to worry about it falling over, even when one of hte cats would jump on top of it.

Whoa! They have some nice cheap cages! I wish I would have known about that years ago...
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