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Old 03-14-2012, 02:37 PM   #1 
jaela
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My family is now two rats richer!

My boyfriend and I went by our LPS last week to pick up some plants for a tank I'm cycling. While we were looking around, something caught our eyes -- two rats being kept together with a little note taped to the front of their cage. It said they had both been born blind and had bonded very strongly to each other, so it would be ideal for them to be kept together and go to a home willing to give them a little extra care.
We have a close friend who keeps rats and we LOVE them. We'd been talking about getting a couple of our own for a while. So after some deliberation, we returned on Monday and brought them home!
Their names are Bran (the black-capped one, a boy) and Sansa (the tan/ginger-y one, a girl.)



You'd hardly be able to tell that they're blind, because they get around with their nose, ears, and whiskers so well!
They are super-sweet and affectionate. They love us and each other. I'm still learning how to give them the best care possible, but I couldn't be happier that we decided to make them a part of our family! =']
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:55 PM   #2 
MollyJean
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Aww they're so cute!

I haven't had a rat in YEARS, but I do remember.. they are baby machines. >.< Wonder if you can get a rat fixed now....
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:03 PM   #3 
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Aw :) congrats! I have seen a blind rat and while it can get around fine, it's eyes were white washed. I wonder if the store might have fooled you?
Either way they're cute!! In order to keep them together you will HAVE to have the male neutered. I know most vets will do the operation, providing the vet knows small animals. I know rats cannot vomit so any vet who reccommends you fast him before surgery is a red-flag.. RUN! Fasting is only for dogs and cats and maybe ferrets...
Rats are wonderful pets, I never owned any but my sister has them and all my info comes from her!
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:27 PM   #4 
jaela
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Oh, sorry to scare you guys, I should have mentioned -- the male is already neutered! This particular LPS doesn't sell males before they're neutered, which I think is very responsible of them. =] The female is not spayed, but we have a very good vet in the area who can do that for us to cut down on the risk of mammary tumours and such.

As for their eyes, I know they look healthy, but they definitely are blind. This shop wouldn't fool us, they're great. =] In this case the blindness is a congenital mutation rather than an injury or illness, which is why the eyes look healthy but don't function properly. These guys definitely don't respond to any visual stimuli at all. They don't follow movement with their eyes, respond to light, or anything like that and they don't notice people there unless they get a sound cue. The girl, Sansa, is also very clingy and doesn't like being moved -- she kind of hangs on for dear life because she doesn't know where she's being taken, poor dear. <3

We'll be sure to watch out for the fasting thing when we have Sansa spayed, thanks for the tip.
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:45 PM   #5 
MollyJean
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Pre-neutered? I am so jealous that you have a petshop that does that!!! In this case, congrats again!
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:54 PM   #6 
betta fish crazy
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Oh! They look exactly like my rats! Except mine are both females. The tan one looks like mine and the black and white one looks like my other one right down to her markings. That's kind of scary...
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:00 PM   #7 
Bombalurina
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I was going to say...that male doesn't look like he's still, um, whole. :p

It's great that you have a responsible vet as well as a responsible petshop!

They are absolute cuties. :) I have 5 of my own so I well understand how much joy these little critters can bring to your life. I absolutely adore my boys - lovesofmylife. Please post millions of pictures!

As far as disabilities in rats go, blindness is a relatively good one to have (not that any disability is good, of course). Rats rely so little on their eyesight in the first place that losing it entirely isn't much of a burden for them. My pink-eyed boys can't see worth a damn, despite technically still being sighted, and it doesn't seem to hamper them at all. :)
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Old 03-14-2012, 09:10 PM   #8 
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Oh That's awesome they're sold neutered!! Lucky! Now to get pet shops here to neuter bunnies before selling them -_-"
It's good their eyes aren't milky. That kind of freaks me out a bit, I mean, I wouldn't love them less it's just weird to see.
Hooray! I'm so happy for you! and your babies!
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:54 PM   #9 
jaela
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Thanks for all the sweet words, guys! =']

Yeah, the shop is really awesome to pre-neuter their guys. They really are on top of their game, and I'm buying pet stuff pretty much exclusively from them now.

betta fish crazy -- That's crazy and awesome! Do you have pictures of your girls?

Bombalurina - Thank you! Yes, they are a joy. A friend of mine has rats and totally converted me, haha.
They do seem to do just great, sight or no. They just behave a little differently from sighted rats.
Five sounds like so much fun! Are they all housed together?

Laki - Ah, I wish all pet shops would at least offer and encourage pre-neutered animals! It's a really good policy. And yeah, these two are actually the first blind rats I've seen who didn't have the milky eyes. I guess because blindness in rats is usually due to illness or injury rather than a birth condition.
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:11 PM   #10 
Bombalurina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaela View Post
Bombalurina - Thank you! Yes, they are a joy. A friend of mine has rats and totally converted me, haha.
They do seem to do just great, sight or no. They just behave a little differently from sighted rats.
Five sounds like so much fun! Are they all housed together?
My boys were all housed together until very recently. Jekyll and Hyde are pretty old now (27 months), and Jekyll has developed a URI he can't seem to shake, despite being on doxy and bronchodilator. Richelieu has wanted to be the alpha for ages, so when Jekyll (the previous alpha) gets sick, Squish bothers him like crazy. I didn't want all that stress for Jekyll-belly, so I put him and Hyde in the bottom half of my cage (it's a Ferplast Furet Tower) and the three younger boys in the top. It seems to be a good arrangment for now, and they all get cuddled and free-ranged together at night. :)
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