Skinnies different from furry rats?

Weaselsue

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We just adopted three new skinnie rat babies. I thought it would be simple to integrate them into our already existing colony, since our first sets of girls got along together immediatly. But the new girls are more different than I expected!


Any tips on hairless rats?


What I have noticed in how they are different from our current girls: (although not sure if it is all because they are a different breed, or its different personalities, or different backgrounds, or what)

They smell different. It could be from diet.

They have a faster metabolism, more food, more poop (makes the different smell extra noticable).

They are about half the size.

They are much shyer with us.

While our other rats were immediate friends, one of our original girls seems interested and wants to hang out and play with them, while another original girl seems afraid of them. She puffs up like a cat when it is afraid. They have interacted only through the wires of a cage. not directly, but it did seem like some nipping was going on. I thought at first it was the old girls nipping them, but it seems to be the new little girls nipping the original ones. This might be complicated by one of each having sight problems?

I read that they need more grooming attention, and we hope to give them their first bath tonight. I'm planning on just using warm water with touch of rose water, and a touch of coconut oil for moisturizer. Since it is all food safe, I thought it would be a good place to start. I read that baby shampoo was the best thing to use. Could I just use my liquid soap on them? I am careful to use gentle stuff because my skin is picky. And if they work by scent, I was hoping a shared scent would help them ease into interacting with us calmer.

Any tips are welcome! I thought I knew what I was doing with rats enough, but these girls are just a bit different and I want to keep them happy and healthy too.
 

lilspaz68

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How old are your new nakies? I prefer to call them nakies because they *could* be genetic hairless but more likely to be double rex instead. Nakies is a good catchall term.

As for differences, special care...nakies definitely have a higher metabolism,they have to generate more heat than furred rats. They can be prone to skin and eye issues. For the skin, just watch for dryness, but a lot of nakies won't have this issue. Get used to seeing a lot of scary scratches on that unprotected skin. They don't need baths as this can actually make things worse.
You need to watch eyes carefully for squinting, dull eyes, excess porphyrin, or a fullness of the lid area. This is possibly because debris has collected under the eyelids. Once you figure out you have a nakie with eye issues you may need to put lubricating eye drops in their eyes daily to help prevent issues. If it gets bad you will need to have your vet lightly gas down your rat, remove the debris and flush out the eye.
For bedding...no wood shavings ever. You can try a soft paper based bedding unless you see eye issues on it then you will have to switch to fleece asap. I had a crew of rats born (elsewhere) on boxo paper bedding and came to me absolutely packed with it in their eyes as older babies. They had infections, one baby's eyes ruptured and he had to have his eye removed surgically (an enucleation) because the bedding rubbed his eye so much it ruptured.

Of course your nakies may have no issues at all but its good to be watchful.
 

Weaselsue

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Oct 20, 2020
Messages
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Columbus, Ohio
Thank you for the info! I read it in my email but didn't have a chance to log in here again for a while. I know they are under a year old, but nothing more specific. They do have whiskers, so I suspect they are the double rex, if what I read online is accurate.

I did see a couple dry patches on the skin of one girl, and I did a gentle rinse with warm water, rosewater, and coconut oil on all three. They aren't comfortable being handled yet but other than that they seemed ok with it, and I haven't seen any new dryness since. Everything I used is food safe so I figured it would not be a risk that way.

One girl came to us with only one eye, and the other eye looks cloudy, but there is no irritation from what I can tell? But I'll have to get some eyedrops to keep on hand! The other two look bright eyed.
We have them on Care fresh paper bedding for the litter portion, but fleece for the living areas, not that they know that's how I've decided they should use it, lol. Here's hoping for no issues!
 

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