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Sleepy, skinny pet rat

Magus`Magus` Registered User regular
edited April 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
I got a (new) pet rat a few months ago. She's very young and fairly energetic.. at times. Problem is, she's incredibly thin. I've given her everything I can think of to make her gain weight (and she eats it quite readily). So far, it hasn't made a difference.

Also, she's either very energetic or sleeping. She sleeps a LOT. Like I'll put her on my bed and she'll run around for 5 minutes, then just lay.. anywhere, and fall asleep. Doesn't matter what the time of day is.

Is she sick? She doesn't SEEM sick. No sneezing or nose discharge. Her heartbeat and breathing seem regular. If she wasn't so skinny I wouldn't worry.

Any tips would be helpful.

Magus` on

Posts

  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against the Irish) Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Are you sure you're feeding her enough? If she's always seem hungry or eager for food, she might not be getting enough. When I kept rats, I gave them food pellets twice a day, and kept a bowl full of small animal feed (seeds) filled for them to eat of as they wanted. Finally, she just might be skinny. Female pet rats can vary from 250-450 grams (about 1/2 - 1 pound).

    Gabriel_Pitt on
  • Magus`Magus` Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    There is always uneaten food in the cage. I've been giving her extra stuff like bread and cheese and other fattening foods. She's the only skinny one.

    Magus` on
  • RhinoRhino Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    off topic: pics or it didn't happen. (sorry, just curious about pet rats.. you have any pics of her?)

    Rhino on
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  • Magus`Magus` Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    No, though I could try and get some via the camera on a cell phone.

    Not sure how well it'll turn out, though.

    Magus` on
  • KurnDerakKurnDerak Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Magus` wrote: »
    She's very young and fairly energetic.. at times.
    \

    It might just be me, but that might be it there. It depends on how young very young is. Its my understanding that young animals just get so energetic sometimes they tire themselves out quickly.

    It might also have to deal with her adjusting to her new surroundings. In short, I don't think you need to worry unless this sort of behavior doesn't go away.

    KurnDerak on
  • Evil GummyEvil Gummy Registered User
    edited April 2007
    I owned pet rats for a few years, so I think I can help.


    For one, she could easily be sick, and as any animal you should take her to a vet. Try to find a good small animal vet, it is VERY hard, but try. You can tell if they are good by the way they handle the rat (you know, if they grab their tail to hold them they are clearly moronic with rats.)

    What are you feeding her? Because if you do a little research, you will find almost every rat aimed pet food is BAD for rats. Does it contain corn? That shit is useless. Seeds? Very bad, though because you want her to gain weight seeds aren't too bad for her.

    A cheap mixture to make yourself, get a box of puffed rice, box of total, box of multi colored dry pasta, and throw in some dried cranberries too, give her fresh cooked veggies as well (broccoli is awesome.)


    Here is a good way to help her gain some weight, though my first assumption is she is a feeder rat you got from a pet store, and seeing as they are bred for food she is most likely full of bad genes and may never be big.

    Boiled eggs, oatmeal mixed with olive oil, even a good mixture of rice and chicken will make her bulk up. She might be sleepy, because honestly rats are nocturnal and even though my boys were active a bit in the day when they were young, they slow down quick and like to sleep.

    She might also be depressed, rats are pack animals and need constant attention and friends, get her a new girl friend to play with, make sure your cage is big enough though (if you have her in a little tank, get her a god damn big cage, rats need SPACE.)

    Also quarantine your new girl for at least 2 weeks before introducing, rats can make other rats very sick.

    My other thought is, what do you have for bedding? If it is pine or cedar, or sawdust, that will make her sick, even if you can't see it. Newspaper is better, just shred it up so she can dig around in it for fun and stay warm.

    That is off the top of my head, rat care is pretty tough if you want healthy happy pets, google RatsRule for a really good site and community for info. :)

    I miss my boys, I had seven. :(

    Evil Gummy on
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  • Magus`Magus` Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    She had some sniffles when I first got her and we took her to the vet. After getting some antibiotics, it went away and hasn't come back.

    I've been feeding her seeds, bread, sometimes some lean meat, and so on. Nothing junky like candy or sweets, but not always what is considered 'normal' food for them. She was a feeder rat and I've had her for several months now. She's not gotten any bigger as far as bone structure goes and is fairly small compared to rats I've had in the past.

    She has a friend and I hold her a *lot* so I don't think she's lonely. When she isn't being very lethargic, she jumps on the side of the cage and will follow my hand if she's on the bed or whatnot. She's really, really friendly.

    She is thin enough that I can actually feel her internal organs (not to mention bones) without trying. I didn't give it to much thought originally (as she might just be skinny) but for the past couple of months I've been watching her very carefully. She eats what she is given and doesn't seem to have any ill effects, she just doesn't put on weight.

    Also, a weird thing is when I pick her up she goes semi-limp for a little while. If I hold her long enough, she starts to struggle but it's fairly weak and ineffective. When I put her down she doesn't seem scared or anything, but I thought it was odd, nonetheless.

    If I forgot anything, lemme know.

    Magus` on
  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    She may just have a genetic anomaly that makes her different from other rats that you've owned. Especially if this is your first feeder rat. It's a fact that lab-bred species are often selected out for various traits that makes them desirable for their intended purpose. As a feeder rat, they may be prone to be energetic with a high metabolism. Similarly, she may also be sensitive to touch (lots of lab species will go limp when you pick them up, it's intentionally bred into many small mammals to make them easier to handle).

    Think about it -- if she's supposed to be food, you want food that is very active but, when captured, doesn't really struggle or fight. If she seems otherwise healthy, I don't really know if it's that much of a problem. But I'm not a vet.

    EggyToast on
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  • Evil GummyEvil Gummy Registered User
    edited April 2007
    You say she has a friend, they share a cage? Could there be a chance your other rat, who I assume is not skinny, is eating most of the food and the other is not getting enough? How much do you actually feed, and how often? How much do you SEE your skinny rat eat (oh, what're their names, I love rat names :D ).

    I had to set up two bowls of food in my boys cage, because one of them was the bottom of the totem and would always have his food stolen, and never get enough. Once I put in two bowls at opposite ends that solved that, but I didn't know why he was getting so thin for a while.

    Evil Gummy on
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  • Magus`Magus` Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I'll try and contact you on AIM. It's probably faster.

    Magus` on
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