Long story short, I’m rehabilitating a baby rat(pinky, younger than a week old). I’ve gotten help from vets and other people on Y!A, as well as other websites that give more information on the rehabilitation of baby rats.
I was looking through some rat developement pictures, and I noticed that my baby is considerably slimmer(not really ‘smaller’ just really skinny). I examined him more, and I can see his ribs. This scares me a lot. He’s definitely getting fatter, though 🙂 Anywho. I just want to make sure I’m doing everything absolutely right.
1: He has a heating rock, to which he cuddles against, but has the chance to move away if it gets too hot
2: He’s in a box that’s a little over a foot deep, with towels covering the bottom to make sure he’s warm
3: He gets fed a milk supplement every hour
4: About 10 minutes after feeding, I stimulate his bathroom process(not really sure what it’s called, but if you’re experienced, you probably know what I mean)
5: I also take a 1-tip, dip it in warm water, and gently run it over the baby’s body. I read that the mother does this to help stimulate growth(I also use q-tips dipped in warm water to stimulate him to use the bathroom – not the same q-tip, though XD)
6: I’m (slowly) introducing my dog to the baby, too. He’s very good at listening to me, and, while he seems interested in the baby, it’s more curiousity than preditory. I’m well aware that this can, and probably will, change as the baby gets older. I’m just hoping that allowing my dog to watch me when I feed the baby, allowing him to sniff the baby(the baby is in my hands and my dog can’t get his teeth around it AT ALL, for safety measures, obviously). Also, I sit cross-legged on my floor, allow my dog to rest his head in my lap, and I put the baby on his collar around his neck. He’s very good about keeping still when I do this. Sometimes I’ll put the baby on his shoulder(while he’s still laying down) or his side, and he stays very still while I pet him and tell him good boy.
I also have a question added to this, of course. Doing those things with my dog and the rat, is that okay? Like I said, he seems more curious than preditory. However, he has killed a wild rat in the past, and I think he may have gotten the baby’s mother. He also chases birds, but doesn’t bother with my dad’s bird. I was wondering, does anyone think that maybe he is able to distinguish between what is acceptable(anything outdoors that doesn’t smell like his family) and what isn’t(any animal indoors that smells like his family)? It seems that way to me, or maybe he’s just more trained than I thought?
Also, if you’re interested, I have a blog that tells updates on the baby:
JasmineL3;; Thanks, I already knew that lol XD And yeah, no worries. I have absolutely no desire to ever leave the rat and my dog alone together.