Raising a wild baby rat (advice appreciated!)

FaithB99

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I’d never thought I’d end up with a rat before, but my mom’s boyfriend found an abandoned baby rat outside so naturally my mom and I took him in. He’s about a week or so old based on pictures I’ve seen of baby rats. So far is doing well on diluted human baby formula, fed via a syringe. He has a heating pad under his little plastic box to keep him warm.
I was hoping for some tips on raising him and what to do with him when he gets a bit older. There seems to be differing opinions about whether to release or keep a hand raised wild rat, especially one without siblings. If releasing him isn’t a good option for him, I may try to find another home for him once he’s weaned since I already have a cat and two leopard geckos. Any advice y’all could offer would be appreciated! Pics of the baby below
 

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FaithB99

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Update: we found another baby, same age, another male. They were clearly from the same litter, and both wandered onto our porch, over 24 hours apart. Something must’ve happened to their mama, and they were leaving the nest in search of food. They’ve been snuggled up together since baby number two was found
 

lilspaz68

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Those babies likely will bond with you and may not be able to be released into the wild
I do advise a lot of gentle handling before their eyes open. Gently stroke them all over, gently pull paws and tails and even ears. Depending on them they may become more spooky once their eyes open but it really depends.
 

FaithB99

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Those babies likely will bond with you and may not be able to be released into the wild
I do advise a lot of gentle handling before their eyes open. Gently stroke them all over, gently pull paws and tails and even ears. Depending on them they may become more spooky once their eyes open but it really depends.
Thanks for the tips!

Unfortunately, we lost one of the babies earlier this afternoon. He’d seemed pretty active and robust but suddenly this afternoon was really lethargic and wouldn’t eat. We suspect pneumonia, as he was making a clicking noise periodically when I picked him up to feed him this afternoon. He passed very soon afterwards. The remaining baby seems quite healthy though, very active, and we’ve started him on amoxicillin just in case, using the method recommended by this article: the Rat Report (I fortunately had a tablet left over from getting my wisdom teeth out). We also disinfected all his stuff and changed out his bedding so he won’t be exposed to any more pathogens. I’ll continue to post updates here as he continues to grow, he seems very strong and healthy so hopefully he’ll grow into a healthy adult.
 

FaithB99

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Another update: unfortunately late last night we lost the remaining baby. He, much like his brother, seemed active and healthy, was eating well, and excreting waste properly when stimulated. He hadn’t been showing any symptoms of illness, and seemed very robust. He would get super excited at feeding time and try to climb out of the little container and wiggle all around looking for the feeding syringe when he was picked up. Then he suddenly got super lethargic and rapidly went downhill, seemingly out of nowhere, in the wee hours of the morning, passing away quickly afterwards.

I was pretty sad we lost him, since I’d gotten pretty attached to him while caring for him. It was a bit of a shock since he’d been doing fine just a few hours earlier, and all morning today I felt like something was missing since I’d gotten so used to feeding him first thing. I’ll miss you little guy, rest in peace.
 

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