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View Full Version : Some advice I know on proper rat care..



newpiggiemama
07-09-07, 04:53 pm
Just what I know and do, I thought I would share.

I suggest carefresh bedding, I think its great stuff. I would advise you to stay away from Pine and Cedar bedding as it is very bad for the rats health, and can cause major respitoy infections.

As for food, I REALLY hate the petstore bagged food. It contains so much stuff, that rats really dont eat. EXPECIALLY ones with dryed corn. The corn can contain mold, which is very toxic to rats. I do however suggest Suebees mix for rat food. Its great and I have been feeding it to my rats for so long and they love it. Here is the website if anyone is interested:
ratsrule.com - suebee's rat diet (http://www.ratsrule.com/diet.html)

I also wanted to bring up quarentine. It is very imporant that if you do get a new rat, that you keep the rat in a diffrent air space, for about 3 weeks. This prevents SDA and other illnesses from spreading to your current rats.

And always make sure you rat has a buddy to live with :) They live better in pairs or more!

If anyone has any questions I would love to answer for you.

CavyLover94
07-30-07, 03:06 pm
What's SDA? My rat just had a tumor removed and can no longer control her bladder. She is 3 and a half years old. How much longer do you expect she'll live?

newpiggiemama
08-19-07, 01:23 am
Most rats live to be no older than 3 years old, but I have a rat who is about 4! There is no telling with how long she will live...Its how stong she is! I see you said she had a tumor removed. Did the surgery go well? Ushally when they are that old, vets normally wont remove a tumor. Im shocked yours did. My rats never control their bladder either! They go where ever, and when ever...LOL. Does she seem like she is in pain?

Here is a great Website all about SDA.
Rat & Mouse Gazette: SDA Virus - Sialodacryoadentitis Virus in Pet Rats (http://www.rmca.org/Articles/sda.htm)

It is definitally a deadly virus, and this is why quarentine is so important!

Ly&Pigs
08-19-07, 08:42 pm
I need to say that Suebee's mix cannot be fed alone. It needs to be fed with either a very high quality dog food or lab blocks (these blocks can be fed without Suebee's mix if they are of a good quality such as Harlan Teklad) . They also need fresh greens and veggies in their diet. ratsrule.com - rat care primer (http://ratsrule.com/ratcare.html#nutri)

One thing I don't recommend in a rat's diet is yogurt drops. Cheese also needs to be limited.

newpiggiemama
08-20-07, 05:33 am
Yeah, on the website I provided it does say they need lab blocks, or a good quality dog food ( low protine! ) I think yogurt drops are okay in moderation, some agree, and some disagree. I wish I disagreed, they look at me like mom! :confused: Where are our treats?!

Ly&Pigs
08-20-07, 01:43 pm
One of the best treats I've found is baby treats. They have these toddler treats at most grocery stores called Little Puffs. They come in different flavors. They are much better than the yogies and contain much less sugars. They have several fruit flavored ones. They could have several pieces per day and still not get the sugars and stuff they get from one single yogurt drop. Overall, they are more healthy too.

My girls are currently trying out the Cherry Puffs. They think they are wonderful.

newpiggiemama
08-20-07, 03:13 pm
oh yeah ly! We have them at my work! They arnt to expensive either! *runs over to work and buys some!*

Piggersrule
08-24-07, 08:46 am
For those of you who use a Suebee mix, what do you use to make it and how often do you feed? I am trying to come up with different foods to feed to me little ratties so that they have a good variety to eat.

Ly&Pigs
08-29-07, 05:01 pm
I use most of the ingredients on the list. ratsrule.com - suebee's rat diet (http://www.ratsrule.com/diet.html)

I don't put the muesli in because I can't find it.

I put in mine- Total cereal, rolled oats, quaker puffed wheat, puffed rice, cheerios, unsalted roasted soy nuts when I can find them, dried fruit (usually just a small amount of a tropical mix), dried pastas (the tomato, spinach and regular rotini and whole wheat penne and/or whole wheat elbow macaroni), and a small amount of sunflower seeds and roasted unsalted peanuts in the shells.

Piggersrule
08-29-07, 08:14 pm
Thanks LY. So far the Suebee mix I have been making up contains dry flavored pasta, wheaties, cherrios, bran flakes, puffed rice, lima beans, peas, green&yellow beans, broccoli, zuccini, green bell peppers, carrots and hard boiled eggs. This was tonights mix, I change it around a bit every night for variety. I haven't been able to find oats and soy nuts. Every time I go to the store the bins are empty. Last night I gave them some chicken and they loved it. Can I give them a meat every night or just a couple times a week? I give them their Harlan blocks in the morning and by evening they are usually gone but not always. They all seem to like what I am giving them but I am still playing around with different foods.

newpiggiemama
08-29-07, 08:32 pm
Thanks LY. So far the Suebee mix I have been making up contains dry flavored pasta, wheaties, cherrios, bran flakes, puffed rice, lima beans, peas, green&yellow beans, broccoli, zuccini, green bell peppers, carrots and hard boiled eggs. This was tonights mix, I change it around a bit every night for variety. I haven't been able to find oats and soy nuts. Every time I go to the store the bins are empty. Last night I gave them some chicken and they loved it. Can I give them a meat every night or just a couple times a week? I give them their Harlan blocks in the morning and by evening they are usually gone but not always. They all seem to like what I am giving them but I am still playing around with different foods.

To many veggies isnt a good thing. Veggies should be limited to 2-3 times a week max. Chicken is fine, but to much protine will cause them to get scabs. So I would also limit that as well. In my suebees, I use

Total
Regular Cherrios, and Multi bran ( I think its called ) and a put VERY FEW fruity cherrios in there
Total
Malt o meal cereal- puffed wheat, and rice
Rolled oats
who wheat pasta, and tri colored
roasted, no salt soy beans
no salt sunflower seeds
and dryed bananas with no sugar added

and of course, harlan teklad lab blocks :)

newpiggiemama
08-29-07, 08:36 pm
Thought this would be helpful:

Never give: Why not?
blue cheese: contains toxic mold
licorice: contains a suspected neurotoxin
raw dry beans or peanuts: contain antinutrients, cause red blood cell clumping (note: the peanuts that you buy in stores are almost always roasted so are okay.... frozen beans from veggie mixes are okay because they've been pre-cooked)
raw sweet potato: contains cyanide-forming compounds
raw red cabbage and brussel sprouts: contain an antinutrient that destroys thiamin
raw artichokes: inhibit protein digestion
green bananas: inhibit starch digestion
green potato skin and eyes: contain solanine (toxin)
wild insects: could carry parasites
rhubarb: high levels of oxalates which bind up calcium
raw bulk tofu: can contain bacteria (packaged tofu is safe)
orange juice: contains d-limonene which can cause kidney cancer in male rats
raw onion: can lead to anemia and an upset stomach

Foods that should be fed with caution: Why?
carbonated drinks: rats can't burp!
chocolate: It contains stimulants that can lead to heart failure or neurological poisoning in high quantities. A bit of chocolate is okay and can actually temporarily alleviate respiratory distress
Peanut Butter: This can cause choking in rats. If you want to give your rats some, mix it with jam or something liquid to make it less sticky.
Avocados: These are high in fat and are a good treat to feed rats that are in need of "beefing up" (make sure the fruit is ripe). However, the pit, rind, skin and leaves of avocados are toxic. The part of the fruit in contact with the pit has a higher concentration of toxins.
dried corn: It can have high levels of fungal contaminates which can lead to liver cancer. A little fresh corn is fine.

Reference: Rat Health Care, 7th ed. by Debbie Ducommun. 2001.


Household Plants: The following plants are all dangerous to some degree. Some, like oleander and Dieffenbachia (dumb cane) can cause death almost instantly. Others may cause only a mild reaction, but it is still best to remove them from any areas where they would be in contact with your pet.

This is not a complete list, so if you are in any doubt about the safety of plants that you have, please contact your veterinarian or the poison control center. The ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center hotline numbers are as follows:

1-900-443-0000 ($55.00 per case). The charge is billed directly to the caller's phone.

1-888-4ANI-HELP or 1-888-426-4435 ($55.00 per case). The charge is billed to caller's credit card only.


Air plant
Amanita
Amaryllis
American yew
Andromeda
Arum lily
Autumn crocus
Australian flame tree
Avocado
Azalea
Balsam pear
Baneberry
Bird of paradise
Bishop's weed
Black laurel
Black locust
Bloodroot
Bluebonnet
Blue-green algae
Boxwood
Bracken fern
Broad beans
Broomcorn grass
Buckeye
Buckthorn
Bulb flowers
Burdock
Buttercup
Cacao
Caladium
Calla lily
Camel bush
Candelabra tree
Cardinal
Castor Bean
Chalice vine
Cherry tree
Chinaberry tree
Christmas candle
Clematis
Cocklebur
Coffee
Coffee bean
Coral plant
Coriander
Corncockle
Cotton bush
Cowslip
Coyotillo
Crown of thorns
Cutleaf
Daffodil
Daphne
Datura
Deadly amanita
Death camus
Delphinium
Devil's ivy
Dieffenbachia
Dutchman's breeches
Eggplant
Elderberry
Elephant's ear
English ivy
English yew
Ergot
Eucalyptus
Euonymus
False hellebore
False henbane
Flame tree
Felt plant
Firethorn
Four o'clock
Foxglove
Ghostweed
Glottidium
Golden chain
Ground cherry
Johnson grass
Heliotrope
Hemlock
Henbane
Holly
Honeysuckle
Horse bean
Horse chestnut
Horsetail
Hyacinth
Hydrangea
Indian licorice
Indian turnip
Inkberry
Iris
Jack-in-the-pulpit
Java bean
Lima bean
Jasmine
Jerusalem cherry
Jimsonweed
Juniper
Kentucky coffee tree
Lantana
Larkspur
Laurel
Leucotho
Lily-of-the-valley
Lima bean
Lobelia
Locoweed
Lords and ladies
Lupine
Malanga
Mandrake
Marijuana
Maternity plant
Mayapple
Meadow saffron
Mescal bean
Mexican breadfruit
Mexican poppy
Milk vetch
Milkweed
Mistletoe
Mock orange
Monkshood
Moonseed
Morning glory
Mountain laurel
Mushrooms
Narcissus
Navy bean
Nettles
Nightshades
Oak (acorns included!)
Oleander
Panda plant
Parsley
Peires
Pencil tree
Periwinkle
Philodendrons
Pigweed
Pikeweed
Poinciana
Poinsettia
Poison ivy
Poison oak
Pokeweed
Potato
Precatory
Privet
Pyracantha
Rain tree
Ranunculus
Rape
Rattlebox
Rattlebush
Red maple
Rhubarb
Rhododendrons
Rosary peas
Sandbox tree
Scarlet runner
Skunk cabbage
Snowdrop
Snow on the mountain
Sorghum grass
Sorrel
Spindle tree
Spurges
Sudan grass
Sweet pea
Tansy ragwort
Tobacco
Thornapple
Vetch
Virginia bower
Virginia creeper
Wattle
White cedar
Wisteria
Yam bean
Yews
Yellow jasmine

(Reference: Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc.)

Piggersrule
08-31-07, 07:16 am
This is where I am getting confused. Some people say veggies everyday is good and others say it's not. Samething with the Suebee mix. If the Suebee mix and veggies are to be fed only 2-3 times a week than what do you feed in between those days, just Harlan blocks?

Thank you all for all the information that you are providing me with, it is really helping me.

newpiggiemama
08-31-07, 11:54 am
Suebees should be fed daily, along with lab blocks.

Piggersrule
09-01-07, 12:10 pm
Suebees should be fed daily, along with lab blocks.

I can feed them the Suebee mix everyday and than mix veggies into the suebee 2-3 times a week, would that be alright to do? Or should I feed the veggies separately from the suebee mix?

LuvPiggie
09-01-07, 11:18 pm
Thank you newpiggiemama! The person I got my rats from feeds them dried corn now I will tell her it could hurt her rats (she breeds them for snake food for a friend but she has about 5 of them that she keeps as pets) Thank you for the "never give" list. I didn't know about the avacados having toxins near the pit and in the skin. And I should try that Suebee mix... sounds like my ratters would enjoy it.

newpiggiemama
09-01-07, 11:37 pm
I can feed them the Suebee mix everyday and than mix veggies into the suebee 2-3 times a week, would that be alright to do? Or should I feed the veggies separately from the suebee mix?

Veggies should be fed seperatly from the Suebees. If they dont eat all their veggies that you give them you have to remove them from their cage. I make suebees avalible at all times. I fill their food bowl once a day and it lasts; ushally.