Found domestic rat, may be pregnant?

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Hello a few days ago I found a female domestic rat outside of my apartment complex, after about an hour of coaxing her with Peanut Butter I was finally able to grab her and get her into a small hamster cage. She is a very sweet rat and didnt even try biting me when I had to grab her multiple times, I have spoken to the humane society and have informed my apartment manager about a found pet but nobody has come forward to claim her, and after alot of thinking and consideration I have decided to keep her, I really felt like this was meant to be. Now I was hoping to get some advice about her because I can not find anything online lol. She has quite a head tilt going on and has been sneezing pretty frequently, I have scheduled a vet visit but the soonest I could get was next Thursday, on the 9th. Yesterday I noticed she is a little chunky and I am now worried she may be pregnant. I have been putting shredded paper in with her and she has built a nest but I am not sure if that is a sign of her being pregnant or if it's normal rat behavior. I have moved her into a dark room and have covered her cage to try to keep her stress free but I am not sure if I should do anything else, if anybody has any advice for me that would be greatly appreciated, thank you!

PS her name is Peanut Butter :)
 

Kye

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A picture of her stomach would really help people determine if she's pregnant or not
 
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Okay thank you! I just got a few pics of her now and a vid but they are low quality, she is sleeping most of the time and she rolls onto her side and once I saw her on her back which was pretty surprising so I'm not sure if those are signs as well, I found her on Thursday.
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Unfortunately I was not able to upload the videos but I got a few screenshots of it, her belly hangs pretty low
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Kye

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You can post the video on YouTube and link it here. As for her belly I'm not sure she's pregnant it might just be that she's gaining weight from having food available... The head tilt is probably an ear infection that will need proper treatment from an experienced vet. She may be suffering from a respiratory infection as well if she's been loose for a while. I did forget to mention that rats naturally nest so it might not be a sign of pregnancy but I've never dealt with a pregnant rat myself... I'm hoping someone with more experience and knowledge can come along and help..
 
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Alright thank you so much! I am definitely going to be getting her to the vet as soon as possible, but it doesn't seem like I will be able to till thursday, I'm just so worried about moving her around because I don't want to injure her or any possible baby beans that could be in her belly. I know she needs a cloth bath she is quite dirty near her lower back but I am not certain if I should risk giving her one. Also I borrowed a 10 gal tank from my sister and tried to move her into it last night(because it's much bigger than the hamster cage) but she freaked out and just wanted out so I moved her back into the little cage, I dont want to stress her out more than she already is but I dont know if I'm doing the right things for her. Thank you again, any advice is greatly appreciated here!
 

Kye

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Tanks are quite a bad idea for rats because they have very delicate repertory infections and tanks don't give good ventilation. You'll want to make sure that you're feeding her a proper diet like Oxbow adult rat food if possible. If she is pregnant it won't take too long to become obvious because rats are only pregnant for about two weeks and she'd need a small cage anyways. You should allow her to free range for at least an hour if she wants but let her back in the cage if she seems to want to go back. My rats always like jumping from me back to the cage and just going back and forth ! You can try to get her more comfortable with some treats like grapes, peas, or blueberries if you have any. It might make her feel safer around you and overall happier.
 
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Okay thank you so much for the advice! I had thought that about the tanks too but I figured it would be okay to keep her in it just for a few days, im glad I didnt do it tho! Yesterday i ordered a large midwest cage and it should be here by monday or Tuesday but do you think I should put her in it right away or wait a few weeks just in case she is pregnant? I also ordered the oxbow food along with some toys and hides for her so hopefully they will be here by wednesday:)
 

Kye

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You can always put her current cage on the floor after you get the new one ready and put that in front of her cage to see if she's interested in it.? She might move into it on her own.! If you want to keep her in the smaller cage make sure she is getting a decent amount of out time. I forgot to mention that with bedding to avoid shavings if possible. Pine and Cedar are toxic, Aspin can be quite high in dust and cause sneezing. I personally use Care Fresh and fleece(they love nesting with it.!) you'll want to avoid any cloth that could have strings as they can wrap around ratties and choke them/cut off blood flow to limbs. If she is pregnant you'll want to give her plenty of nesting material like paper towels she can shred to her liking. From the sounds of things you're doing a great job with her. Just the fact that you saved her and came here help tells a lot.!
 

lilspaz68

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how small is the current cage? I usually use pretty small cages for maternity cages then once the babies are more mobile and able to climb better I move them into bigger cages. She will still need out time every day and rats aren't too delicate in the first stages of pregnancy so don't worry about hurting her but try to avoid squeezing her belly too hard.
As for determining pregnancy, the best thing is to get a digital food scale that weighs in 1 gram increments, and having a Tare option is best but not completely necessary. Weighing her daily at the same time each day will give you the pattern of weight gain. They gain the most in the last week of pregnancy of their 21-23 day gestation. You can also watch for her to go into heat every 4-5 days as well. Do you know the signs of heat?
 
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Sneeze wise, if she has a respiratory infection you can try a tiny (really tiny) amount of dark chocolate, the darker the better. At least 70% I would say. This can help them with respiratory infections.

When I first got my boys one came with an infection, and until I got him on antibiotics I gave him a tiny chunk when he was having a big sneezing fit and it seemed to help a little.
 
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You can always put her current cage on the floor after you get the new one ready and put that in front of her cage to see if she's interested in it.? She might move into it on her own.! If you want to keep her in the smaller cage make sure she is getting a decent amount of out time. I forgot to mention that with bedding to avoid shavings if possible. Pine and Cedar are toxic, Aspin can be quite high in dust and cause sneezing. I personally use Care Fresh and fleece(they love nesting with it.!) you'll want to avoid any cloth that could have strings as they can wrap around ratties and choke them/cut off blood flow to limbs. If she is pregnant you'll want to give her plenty of nesting material like paper towels she can shred to her liking. From the sounds of things you're doing a great job with her. Just the fact that you saved her and came here help tells a lot.!
Thank you I will give her the options then! And I believe I got her the kaytee clean and cozy and I will definitely add in some fleece for her. Yes I have gotten some weird faces from people when I tell this story but I am an animal lover and would do anything for my babies, I wasnt expecting to add another fuzzy friend into the family but she kind of just squeezed her way into our hearts and that is fine by me! And I am so glad I found this forum for rat lovers I rly couldn't do this without some support! Thank you again Kye u have been such a big help
 
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how small is the current cage? I usually use pretty small cages for maternity cages then once the babies are more mobile and able to climb better I move them into bigger cages. She will still need out time every day and rats aren't too delicate in the first stages of pregnancy so don't worry about hurting her but try to avoid squeezing her belly too hard.
As for determining pregnancy, the best thing is to get a digital food scale that weighs in 1 gram increments, and having a Tare option is best but not completely necessary. Weighing her daily at the same time each day will give you the pattern of weight gain. They gain the most in the last week of pregnancy of their 21-23 day gestation. You can also watch for her to go into heat every 4-5 days as well. Do you know the signs of heat?
It is a small cage that I believe is a hamster cage, probably 12 inch by 8 inch but I dont know if that is right. And that's good to know I thought I wasnt gonna be able to move her around at all lol, and I have a scale I use to weigh my bird every day so I will definitely start weighing PB every day now too. No I do not know the signs of heat what are they? She looked a bit bigger this morning but it may be because she eats a decent amount during the night I'm not for sure tho
 
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Sneeze wise, if she has a respiratory infection you can try a tiny (really tiny) amount of dark chocolate, the darker the better. At least 70% I would say. This can help them with respiratory infections.

When I first got my boys one came with an infection, and until I got him on antibiotics I gave him a tiny chunk when he was having a big sneezing fit and it seemed to help a little.
That's a great idea I will look more into that! She is sneezing more and more everyday and she has been getting into more sneezing fits so I think that may help her alot, I will try to pick some up after work today:) thank you!
 

lilspaz68

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Dark chocolate has theobromine in it which will.open up the airways temporarily but this only works during a respiratory attack. If you are dealing with more than New Home Sneezes (usually clear in a week) she may have a respiratory infection and will need pediatric friendly antibiotics like azithromycin or amoxicillin.
 
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Oh okay I see, so I should only give her a tiny piece if she is sneezing constantly? Usually when I wake her up she just starts sneezing like crazy. And what are new home sneezes? I have a feeling it may be an infection because she does have quite a head tilt and I believe she has an ear infection but I probably wont know until Thursday when I get her into the vet. I just got the chocolate for her now, should I get her those antibiotics before I see the vet or just hold off to see if the vet will prescribe anything?
 

SQ

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Flad ypu found her and she is safe :)
She really needs to see a vet now for antibiotics for both her breathing and her ear infection - and other meds as well …. rats get ill and die fast without medical treatment. Call a good vet with the knowledge and experience to treat rats and tell them it is an emergency.

New home sneezes mean environmental causes awhen adjusting to a new environment and go away within a few days …. make sure there is nothing dusty or odors, air fresheners, oils, etc that could be irritating her nasal passages

She may also have an inner ear infection and need antibiotics asap as well as an anti-inflammatory to try to prevent permanent damage. You will likely need a prescription from the vet to get her the antibiotics etc she needs.

You may need to syringe feed her nonGMO soy infant formula thickened with baby cereal, soak rat blocks in water to make mush, and feed soft foods as she may not be able to eat or drink independently, depending on how bad her ear infection is

You may also find helpful info in our Reference Thread REFERENCE Thread - Read Only
 
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She really needs to see a vet now for antibiotics for both her breathing and her ear infection - and other meds as well …. rats get ill and die fast without medical treatment. Call a good vet with the knowledge and experience to treat rats and tell them it is an emergency.

New home sneezes mean environmental causes awhen adjusting to a new environment and go away within a few days …. make sure there is nothing dusty or odors, air fresheners, oils, etc that could be irritating her nasal passages

She may also have an inner ear infection and need antibiotics asap as well as an anti-inflammatory to try to prevent permanent damage. You will likely need a prescription from the vet to get her the antibiotics etc she needs.

You may need to syringe feed her nonGMO soy infant formula thickened with baby cereal, soak rat blocks in water to make mush, and feed soft foods as she may not be able to eat or drink independently, depending on how bad her ear infection is

Yes I scheduled a vet visit right when I found her, the vet does specifically see rats, the soonest I could get was Thursday like I mentioned earlier in the thread, I have not found another vet that specializes in rodent/small mammal care. I found her with the head tilt and the sneezing so I have no clue what factors I could add in, I do not use any harmful things in the air, I have a parrot so I am very careful about that stuff lol, Hopefully the vet will figure out what is wrong with her and we can get her on some antibiotics fast. She is such a sweet rat I would love for her to get better as soon as possible. And I never thought about that the baby food I will definitely try that, along with the softened rat blocks. She has been eating but not as frequently as I thought she would so I will try to find more ways to entice her to eat. But her belly is quite chunky that's why I'm a bit confused lol maybe I am just not realizing how much she is actually eating. I plan on starting her weight chart tomorrow morning and weighing her every morning after that to see if she may be pregnant. Here are a few photos of her earlier today! She has not been wanting to leave the cage and I havent pushed it at all so she has been in there the majority of the time except when I switch our her bedding.
 

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That's a great idea I will look more into that! She is sneezing more and more everyday and she has been getting into more sneezing fits so I think that may help her alot, I will try to pick some up after work today:) thank you!
No problem! It's such a panic when they're ill and it feels like there's so little you can do. But it sounds like she's struck very lucky bumping into you!
 
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No problem! It's such a panic when they're ill and it feels like there's so little you can do. But it sounds like she's struck very lucky bumping into you!
Aw thank you! I hope I can give her all that she needs and she will live a healthy long life, I'm so happy I caught that little glimpse of her when she was outside! It ended up taking me about an hour to get her haha. I could tell she is not sneezing nearly as much and she doesn't have an obvious head tilt anymore, so hopefully it is clearing up but I wont know for sure till Thursday!
 

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