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I think one of my new rats is a boy. New owner would appreciate help.

Discussion in 'Rodents' started by DesertRats, May 9, 2010.


  1. DesertRats

    DesertRats PetForums Newbie

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    Two days ago we were given two female 5 week old rat babies. I am starting to think that one of my 'girls' is a boy. I have been reading as much as I can online about it. Would it be worth me posting pictures for someone to advise me?

    (I am brand new to this forum - not even sure how to post pictures)

    (Just very worried and not wanting a surprise or 8 in 3 weeks time)

    I am scrutinising pictures of rat genetalia online and it's not helping. I really wish there were someone in the know to help me out. The lady I got them from is happy for me to exchange f one is a boy, but she is out of the country for 3 days now.
     
  2. HNPAWS

    HNPAWS PetForums Junior

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    Hi, Pictures might help.
    Where abouts are you located? (if you are nearby I could check for you).
    I think the best thing for you to do is to seperate them both for now until you are sure of their sex.
     
  3. DesertRats

    DesertRats PetForums Newbie

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    That's a very kind offer, but I am in Dubai.

    Have separated them (but feeling a bit sad as they are only babies and love each other).

    The one I suspect of being a boy is bigger than the other - is this an indication?

    Am going to take pictures now.
     
  4. Argent

    Argent PetForums VIP

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    Boys tend to have pretty prominent nadgers. If you can't see anything obvious, then hold the suspected boy on their back and press gently either side of the urethra, if a pee-pee pops out, you've got a boy :p That's usually the best way to determine if the balls aren't sticking out much, he might be a late bloomer.

    edited for clarity
     
    #4 Argent, May 9, 2010
    Last edited: May 9, 2010
  5. DesertRats

    DesertRats PetForums Newbie

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    Is this a useful picture...?

    [​IMG]

    Hope that works.

    The other rattie is proving rather more resistant to havinbg her picture taken.
     
  6. Argent

    Argent PetForums VIP

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    Looks like a boy to me.
     
  7. DesertRats

    DesertRats PetForums Newbie

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    Oh dear.

    Now I am wondering what the chances are that we are already too late.

    Also, the lady who gave them to me suggests not exchanging the boy until Tuesday, but I am fairly sure that she has not separated the rest of the litter, so I could then be exchanging my 'girl' for another girl who is already pregnant from another male in the litter.

    Oh dear oh dear.
     
  8. Argent

    Argent PetForums VIP

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    Any chance you could find a vet who can give your girlie an emergency spay? That way she could live happily with her bro and you won't have to worry about any babies.
     
  9. DesertRats

    DesertRats PetForums Newbie

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    Can they be spayed this young?
     
  10. Argent

    Argent PetForums VIP

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    I think a vet would probably be happiest to do it at 8-10 weeks at the earliest...so I'm not too sure. I'll go do some research.
     
  11. simplysardonic

    simplysardonic Moderator
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    Hi & welcome, I lived in Dubai years ago:)
    Looks like a little boy rat to me, his testicles aren't as prominent as they will be. If they are 5 weeks now & have to wait another 3 weeks for a spay it can be possible for the girly to gestate & give birth in that time, I suggest separating them as she is far too young to carry a litter, then when the lady returns you can inform her:)
     
  12. thedogsmother

    thedogsmother PetForums VIP

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    Thats similar to what happened to me when I bought two rats (Itsy and Bitsy) I was told that although far from ideal even though Bitsy was absolutely tiny she would be able to carry and give birth to a litter as this would often happen in the wild, I seperated them as soon as I found out Bitsy was a boy and luckily Itsy never was pregnant. A spay is a very invasive operation and the danger posed by that is probably far greater than the pregnancy. I would check with a vet though to see what they reccomend. Hope this all works out for you and your girl isnt actually pregnant. The rat in the picture looks like a boy to me (but I am kinda famous for getting rodent sexes wrong:eek:) check for nipples as only girls have nipples.
     
  13. myzoo

    myzoo PetForums Senior

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    100% a boy it has balls uh!oh!:)
     
  14. DesertRats

    DesertRats PetForums Newbie

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    Oh goodness I am in such a muddle now.

    I really don't know what to do. I have so many questions.

    If we give the boy back to the lady, will his litter accept him back?

    If I get another rat to bring home with me will the new one bond with the one we already have?

    But that's a non starter anyway because I would be exchanging my boy for a girl who is six weeks old and has never been separated from her brothers or dad so highly likely to be pregnant. I'd have TWO possibly pregnant rats instead of one.

    I suppose I could give our girl back to the lady and take a boy in exchange. That solves all my problems but I feel horrid about this because my daughter has really bonded with our little girl. Also, I think rat lady has a python and I would hate Sparkle to become snake food. To be honest I want nothing more to do with rat lady.

    I don't really know why she hasn't separated them.

    Yesterday, based on the posts on here I decided that we would just keep the 2 we have, get one sterilised, and deal with a litter if there is one in 3 weeks time. But now I find out a litter for Sparkle would be dangerous because she is too young. And I have been reading about both male and female starilisation and they are big ops and really not terribly kind to the rats.

    And I'm stressed about the effects of keeping our rats separated and alone when they are so young. Are they lonely? Will they re-bond if we reintroduce them?

    Plus my cleaner put them both in together for a few hours anyway this morning and I didn't know. They are together now because my daughter s playing with them. Is that okay?

    I'm so anguished. I just want to do what is best for the ratties. I have been in tears about this.

    What is the right thing to do?

    Gosh, I thought I had done so much research and was completely prepared. We have been planning on getting rats for months.

    I do appreciate everyone who has taken the time to post. You are a lifeline to me right now.
     
  15. thedogsmother

    thedogsmother PetForums VIP

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    Firstly dont panic she is young and may not be pregnant, they should stay seperately for now as they mate very quickly and if she isnt pregnant letting them play together could be giving you problems that you dont need. If she is pregnant there isnt a lot you can do about it now but hopefully she will be ok. Is there any way you can get another cage and get a boy and a girl from a more responsible breeder so that your rats have little buddies? If you get another boy and girl of the same age roughly you should have no trouble getting them to accept each other, when they are older its a little trickier but they can usually be introduced if you do it properly. If you do have the boy steralised you would still need to keep him seperate until the sperm dies which I think is about 4 weeks,you would only need to get one steralised and the boy would be a less dangerous option but it is still not the ideal situation as if your vet isnt experienced in rat neutering it is very risky. Please dont blame yourself as you have been let down by the breeder but also please stress on your cleaner not to allow them to be together again.
     
  16. DesertRats

    DesertRats PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you thedogsmother.

    So. I need a plan.

    Step 1 - have made an appointment with a vet apparently experienced in dealing with rats for 1st thing Wednesday morning.

    Step 2 - Keep Pinkie and Sparkle separate :(

    Step 3 - Do I rule out sterilisation and assume that Pinkie and Sparkle will never live happily together? In which case I need to get another male littermate for Pinkie from Rat Lady. Get another cage for Sparkle and if she is pregnant I then separate the litter into boys and girls and have 2 cages of rats. Or of she isn't pregnant I see about finding her a friend in 3 weeks time? This will be very difficult.

    Or I decide to have one or other of them sterilised, assume that Sparkle isn't preggers, and keep Pinkie and Sparkle together once sterilisation is complete. If it turns out she is... we're back to the 2 cages of rats aren't we?

    How soon will I know if she is pregnant?
     
  17. myzoo

    myzoo PetForums Senior

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    :)iam not an expert but here are my views experiences
    how soon do you know if they are pregnant well im not 100% sure but mine only really started to show about 7-10 days before the babies arrived that she was obviously pregnant but sombody else will be able to give you more advice.
    as for getting cage mates for them i deffinatly would not go to the same person i would search the internet for sombody who has good references and make sure they give you the correct sex and not a girl who has been with boys.
    about if she is pregnant you can keep girls and boys together up till 6 weeks then they would need to be seperated so prevent any more pregnant girlies

    if i was in your situation i would buy another cage and split them up then get another boy and another girlie it would be a lot kinder and safer than the neaturing option as it is a big opperation for such a small animal and it would be pretty easy to introduce new rats whilst they are still young good luck and please let us know what you decide to do:)
     
  18. DesertRats

    DesertRats PetForums Newbie

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    Thank Myzoo.

    The trouble is, here in Dubai keeping pet rats is definitely NOT the norm. Rats are occasionally available in petsops, but you can bearly imagine the horror of these places, and the rats are really only sold as reptile food. I have been putting out notices in the hope of finding someone with pet rats which either needed rehoming, or had had an accidental litter. When Rat Lady contacted me I was delighted, but perhaps I was a little too eager and now I stop to think about it I suspect she keeps them to breed reptile food and was just happy to get rid of a couple of extras.

    If the way forward is to have one cage of girls and one of boys, I am in the strange position of hoping that Sparkle IS pregnant so that her litter can become buddies to her and her brother (/their father).

    All this hinges on the supposition that my boy will bond happily with his male children in a few weeks time.

    And if she is NOT pregnant I am struggling to think where I will come up with another female to be her buddy.
     
  19. myzoo

    myzoo PetForums Senior

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    :)it would be great if she was pregnant and the dad should bond with his kiddie ratties mine is about 3-4 months old and my babies are just getting ready to be seperated so i have been intoducng my male to the babies he is not their dad but he is fine with them .rats usually have about 12 babies so you could keep some girls and some boys and rehome the rest:)do you have any photos of the girl so i could have a look also do you have any idea how far gone could she be also if you do need to get more rats of this lady make sure she gives you the right sex the males should have pretty obvious balls from around 5 weeks old so if you compare 2 the males back end under the tail sticks out like a little ball females are more flat you could also google pictures of male female rats or how to sex a rat if she has babies i want pictures of the ickle bundles
     
  20. spoiled_rat

    spoiled_rat PetForums Senior

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    This is incorrect, sorry, 6 weeks is too late to split the sexes. They should be split around 4.5 to 5 weeks old to be certain to prevent pregnancies.
     
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