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Thread: Rat help....

  1. #1

    Lightbulb Rat help....

    Alright so as you guys know I have been volunteering at my animal shelter for a while now and a couple days ago a albino rat came in. Later on we named him Pino. Poor pino was bought at a pet shop to be shake food... But the shake would not eat him so a friend of the guy who bought pino for his snake tried to take care of him. Clearly that did not work so now he is at the animal shelter. So far he has nipped 3 people and only comes out of his hut for food or water.
    I took him into a quite room and started to hand feed him treats. He was really nice but I also noiced some other things.
    He was constantly grooming and making a grunting noise...
    I think he has a URI but that does not explain the grooming.
    I really feel bad for this little guy and I want him to not be scared to come out of his hut and say hello to the people but considering his past I don't blame him.

    So how can I help him get back to normal?
    And why is he grooming so much?

  2. #2
    Cavy Slave Kelsie's Avatar
    Feb 06, 2011
    Western Washington

    Re: Rat help....

    I have a rat who always grooms herself when she is nervous. I recently had a repairman at my house who really had an interest in my rats. He was standing there talking to them and Snowy, the groomer, was so nervous I was afraid she would lick off all her fur. Snowy is also my little clown. When she tries to play with her sisters, and they want to sleep instead , she starts grooming them.

    I would imagine that Pino doesn't see very well, hence the biting behavior. My heart always goes out to rats who were to be used as prospective feeders. That has to be the most frightening thing in the world to them. I've had rats as pets for years now and I just don't have any time for people who use them as feeders.

    You say that he is making a grunting sound. Does it sound like it is coming from his chest? Sadly, most pet rats carry the mycoplasma virus. It will come out during times of stress. Many rats live their whole lives with it and never have any problems. This is not transferrable to humans. My veterinarian always prescribes a dosage of Baytril. That usually seems to get them back on their feet quickly.

    One of the things you might try to feed him is yogurt. My rats just love strawberry yogurt. They also love cooked oatmeal. My rats always get a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast every day.

    Thank you so much for trying to help Pino. Rats are such delightful little creatures. I wish more people cared for them. I love my guinea pigs completely but my rats will always hold a special place in my heart.

  3. #3

    Re: Rat help....

    I agree with Kelsie, he is probably grooming so much because he is nervous. Rats groom themselves as a distraction when they are scared and nervous. I believe it helps come them down.

    Poor little guy is probably terrified of the world and thinks that everyone is out to get him. I feel so bad for him. I understand that snakes have to eat too, but I also think it would be better if we didn't keep snakes in captivity as well. Rats enjoy people, snakes merely co exist.

    That said, I definitely agree he is sick, whether it's an upper respiratory infection, or the mycoplastma virus, I do not know. He definitely needs to be seen by the shelter vet.

    As for socializing him, I agree with that Kelsie said as well. The way to win his trust is through food. Keep hand feeding him, and spend as much as time with him as possible. Try to get him to come closer and closer to you for food, to the point where the will sit by/on your hand to eat his treat. Slowly, try petting him with just one finger. Don't rush him though.

    Anything slightly sugary, like a fruit yogurt, would probably be huge hit. You could hold the spoon near you, and he'd have to stay there to lick it off.

    Good luck! Please keep us updated on him!

    Once he's healthy, you also might want to try to find him a friend at the shelter if they have any other rats. Like piggies, rats are very social as well. Be sure to research proper introductions of course though.

  4. #4

    Re: Rat help....

    Thanks guys.

    Once he's healthy, you also might want to try to find him a friend at the shelter if they have any other rats. Like piggies, rats are very social as well. Be sure to research proper introductions of course though.
    I would love for him to have some buddys but the animal shelter rarely gets rats in....

    I am also seeing if fostering would work out. I just need this URI to go away so my piggies don't get sick.

  5. #5

    Re: Rat help....

    Good news guys! Pino was adopted to some older teens.



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