~1 week old rescue rat, need advice

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babyratfangirl

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Oct 26, 2019
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hello all!
i am on day three of caring for a baby wild rat. i rescued him from my cat but he has no major injuries. his eyes/ears are not open but he has fur; from comparing him to photos online i would say he's about a week old.
the first day i fed him soy milk. the second day i got him soy-based infant formula but by the third feeding i started to worry. his belly was looking really wrinkled, which i think means dehydration? i fed him straight water and switched back to soy milk. i tried the formula again today but he was resistant to eating it and when i tried soy milk again he ate happily.
should i keep trying to formula or stick with what he's willing to eat?

thanks for your advice! i know it's a long shot that he'll make it but i love him so much.
 

SQ

Senior Member - Vegan for the animals
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soy milk will not provide him with the nutrition her needs,

Please feed organic or non-GMO soy infant formula.
Baby needs to be fed every 3 hours - this includes all night
You need to stimulate the baby's genital area with a warm damp cotton ball after feeding to stimulate baby to toilet.
Are you feeding with a new, clean tiny paint brush? as syringes are not good to use for this

The best thing you can do is to find a nursing mama and carefully add the baby to the litter (do not give baby to a store or feeder breeder)
Babies this young rarely survive more then 5 days without a foster mama, because formulas are not good enough

Please see the info on orphans etc on the Reference Thread https://www.ratshackforum.com/threads/reference-thread-read-only.35894/
and info I posted here: https://www.ratshackforum.com/threads/infant-rat-uri-clicking.35697/#post-496055
 

babyratfangirl

New Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2019
Messages
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Hawaii
thanks for the response. i live off the grid in the jungle so unfortunately finding a foster mother is highly unlikely. i did post on craigslist seeing if anyone could take him in but didn't get any replies. i believe in this little baby and pray he can make it past the five day mark!
i did get him to switch over to the formula and he's been eating a good bit more. i'm using a dropper to feed him, being careful to keep air bubbles out. he has adjusted to it by now (day 3) and is able to suckle the dropper.
i've been stimulating him to toilet and he goes most times after feeding, but also seems to go on his own every so often. i'm not sure what to make of that - i thought that came later on in development. maybe you can shed some light?
thanks for your expertise!
 

SQ

Senior Member - Vegan for the animals
Joined
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Messages
17,029
Location
central New Brunswick Canada
Please do not use a dropper because of the danger of formula going into his lungs.
Use a tiny new clean paint brush or a bit of clean cloth he can suck on.
(Check with lilspaz68 and Jorats to see if that is ok)

Check out the links - there is also a thread about an orphaned wild baby that was hand raised
Hope he opens his eyes soon, because once his eyes open he will be able to start trying soft foods such as rat blocks soaked in water to make mush, his formula thickened with a bit of baby cereal, But he should still be getting the formula for a couple of months

also extra things like baby food, cooked vegs, cooked grains

He can never be released as he has no mama to teach him how to survive, no large family group necessary for survival, and no territory so he would be killed as an intruder

Hope you keep us updated
and hope your sweet baby makes it
 

babyratfangirl

New Member
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Oct 26, 2019
Messages
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Location
Hawaii
baby opened his eyes yesterday. i thought he couldn't get any cuter but he did!!
i switched to the paintbrush feeding method and it's working well. however i worry that he doesn't seem to be gaining any weight. he's developing at the expected rate but his body isn't any bigger than when i found him (6 days ago) and he's pretty scrawny.
when can i start feeding him solid food? i've seen varying opinions on this. now that he opened his eyes can i start adding baby cereal to his formula? also should i move him into a bigger box? (he's in a sunglasses box currently.) when will he be able to regulate his own body temperature?
thanks!
 

SQ

Senior Member - Vegan for the animals
Joined
Jul 21, 2007
Messages
17,029
Location
central New Brunswick Canada
Continue to feed the formula but you can start to offer some thickened with a bit of baby cereal in a shallow dish or off your finger several times a day. You can also start offering his rat blocks made into much by soaking them in cool water,
Check out the threads on babies and orphans in the Reference Thread.
He should be able to regulate his temperature but does need to live in a room that is at a comfortable temperature.
As he gets older also offer a shallow dish of water (older babies often look like they are drinking out of water bottles but their tongues are not strong enough to move the ball bearing so they can not get any water)
 
Last edited:

maddiescoobs

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Jan 24, 2019
Messages
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Location
NH
I’m so glad he’s doing well so far! I don’t have any advice to add but I’d love to see pics of the little guy!
 

jorats

Loving rats since 2002.
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Wow... good for you for helping him. He should continue with formula for at least 2 more weeks. When eyes open, that's around 2 weeks of age.
 

babyratfangirl

New Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2019
Messages
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Location
Hawaii
his eyes seem to have resealed, is that possible? is it because he is in the dark (inside his box) nearly all the time?
i tried offering him baby cereal a number of times but he does not seem interested. i am going to buy him rat blocks today and try with those.
i think i need to give him a bath but i don't know how. his body is just so tiny i don't know how i would get him completely washed and dried. everything i see online is for bigger rats. (his body is still only ~2 inches long.) any tips?
thank you!
 
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