General live span 2-3 years. Some live shorter and some longer.
Tumours (cancer), Micro/chest infection/ HDS, Abscess, blindness, respiratory infection, mites
Some signs that may indicate ill health for rats are: sneezing, wheezing, rattling, thin condition, ruffled stand-up coat, hunched posture, listlessness, red discharge from eyes or nose, diarrhoea, bloated belly and cuts or open wounds. If you notice any of these signs, visite your veterinarian immediately.
Fat rats, specially females, are more likey to develop tumours, so try not to let them get too fat.
A good variet and balanced diet. Make sure they have food and fresh water.
Keep them cool in the summer: good air circulation (if it’s too hot), ice cubes in the water bottle, a bowl with water and peas in for fishing.
Need to be handled and given daily attention, around a minimum of an hour. They enjoy being handled, exploring, spending time on shoulders and laps. Do not pick them up by their tails (the base of the tail is very sensitive).
When you give the rats free roam time, make sure that the windows are closed, no PCs are open or other electrical equipment (printer, scanner). Also, rats love to gnaw on everything, so be aware of that and make sure that they don't chew on the cables!
Rats are highly social creatures and MUST have the company of other rats (same sex) or they will get depressed. We have found a mischief (group) of 3 or more rats is good, as it allows rats lone time at the same time as allowing their cage-mates social cuddle time with each other.
Wash your hands before and after handling your pets, in fact the oil on your hands will always be dirtier than a rats fur and they constantly groom themselves – usually every 15 minutes.
You have to change their bedding/toilettes. We have to clean our cages daily, latest every second day. Rats are more sensitive than we humans. So when we smell the pee & poo, they have smelled it long ago, in addition, their lungs are very sensitive to the ammonia in pee.
You should get a bedding that is dust-free, as mentioned, rats have very sensitive lungs, that’s why one cages with bars are used, never glass tanks, the idea is to promote good airflow.
Gnowing blocks, wooden sticks and chewing mats are good to stop their teeths from overgrowing and to keeping their nails short.
To cut your rats nails/claws, you should use Small Animal Claw Scissors, and we recomend watching a short video on it, take your time, and get them used to them before attempting to cut.
Wash your rats when they are very dirty, o rhave used a digging plant box, and/or they can't clean them selfs propperly, use a gentle small mammal rat shampoo.
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