Common health problems for female rats?

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hmkiernan
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Common health problems for female rats?

Post by hmkiernan » Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:32 pm

I've always had boy rats, and have experienced respitory illness, stroke, HLD, and bumblefoot but I'd like to know what other illnesses are common in rats, especially female rats and what I can do to prevent them. My girls are about 12-13 months old now so I need to start preparing, I intend to start giving them joint supplements to help keep their joints healthy, does anyone have any other recommendations? I',m now on the Rat Warehouse website and intend to buy some stuff. Thanks :girly:
- Helen x

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Re: Common health problems for female rats?

Post by RattyRenton » Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:08 am

I have girls but I'm more experienced with boys too. I only know that girls are more prone to tumours than boys, and surgery can get expensive when lumps need removing.
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Re: Common health problems for female rats?

Post by DollyDumbo » Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:50 am

I have owned only girl rats and my first one I lost to a mammary tumour, which even after the first op it returned in the same place, and not nice to see. Worked out at around £100+ for that, then my most recent girl died at 24 months after a long battle with mycoplasma. Obviously you can get this in males too but this is what I have experienced with my girls. No other ailments as of yet, but I have reecently bought them Beaphar malt paste and they love it... I'm wondering if you can overdose them on it actually???
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Re: Common health problems for female rats?

Post by BasilTheRat » Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:34 am

Lump are by far the most common ailment, and with a large group of girls, the vet bills for lump removals can be quite high! I have also had a few cases of pyometra, which is a horrible condition. The only cure for that is surgery (spaying).

I have actually gone down the route of routine spaying for all of my girls, which although costly in vet bills, should hopefully reduce the chances of lumps later on in life. And it will also remove the worry of them getting prometra as well.
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Re: Common health problems for female rats?

Post by NickyE » Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:43 am

BasilTheRat wrote:
I have actually gone down the route of routine spaying for all of my girls, which although costly in vet bills, should hopefully reduce the chances of lumps later on in life. And it will also remove the worry of them getting prometra as well.
I do this too.

I've had 3 girls get to around 3 years old, 2 get way past 2 years old and my dear old rescue lady Brenna must have gone past 3 years old, but I didn't know how old she was when I got her. Other than that I've lost girls to chest problems.
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Re: Common health problems for female rats?

Post by hmkiernan » Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:34 pm

Thanks guys I'd heard of girls getting mammory lumps, didn't realise it could be this common. Could be worth getting them spayed? Three of my girls are about 13months old and one is about 6 months old, are there any risks with spaying? Is it a simple procedure or can it be a bit complicated and make them ill for a while?
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Re: Common health problems for female rats?

Post by BasilTheRat » Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:49 pm

The 'perfect' age for spaying girls is around the 6-month mark, that is the age where the spaying will have the most health benefits in the future. Older does can, and will benefit from spaying as well, but not so much as younger does.

It is quite a complex procedure, and there are risks associated with it (as with any surgery). Its an invasive procedure as well, with a long recovery time for the doe. It also depends on where your rats are from. I wouldn't expect breeder does to have as many cases of lumps and pyo, compared to rescue/petshop does.

Ultimately pre-emptive spaying of does should be done on a rat by rat basis, looking at the types of rats you have (breeder/rescue/petshop), and what health problems you have seen in the past. With myself, all my rats are rescues, and I have had several lumps and several pyo's with rescue rats in the past. This swayed me into the camp of getting all my girls spayed while they are young, to hopefully prevent problems in the future.

Other people may have had hardly any problems in the past, in which case they might not consider pre-emptive spaying the thing to do. I am of the opinion it is something worth while doing, especially with the younger rescue girls. However, you would need a skilled vet to perform the procedure, since it is quite an involved piece of surgery, as well as understanding the risks that any surgery poses.

Sorry, that was a bit of a waffle.....
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Re: Common health problems for female rats?

Post by Ratgirl@RatRitz » Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:17 am

DollyDumbo wrote:No other ailments as of yet, but I have reecently bought them Beaphar malt paste and they love it... I'm wondering if you can overdose them on it actually???
Yes, because it contains vitamins and you can OD some of those.
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Re: Common health problems for female rats?

Post by Ratgirl@RatRitz » Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:21 am

BasilTheRat wrote:Older does can, and will benefit from spaying as well, but not so much as younger does.
My experiences with spaying girls at the same time as first lumpectomy haven't actually shown any differences here. The results have always been the same (no more mammary tumours), even in girls as old as 21 months when spayed.
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Re: Common health problems for female rats?

Post by lamb » Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:54 am

I am worried now. Does everyone spay their girls to avoid lumps and other problems? I don't want them to get sick, but I don't want them to have an op if the is a chance I could loose them. Is it best to avoid soya as its in my mix?

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Re: Common health problems for female rats?

Post by BasilTheRat » Sun Mar 06, 2011 10:17 am

lamb wrote:I am worried now. Does everyone spay their girls to avoid lumps and other problems? I don't want them to get sick, but I don't want them to have an op if the is a chance I could loose them. Is it best to avoid soya as its in my mix?
Most people don't spay their does routinely. I have only just taken this approach with my girls (last year) to try and prevent lumps and pyo in the future, since I have had quite a bit of experience with both of these things before, and it usually happens when rats are older.

My view is that if I can have them spayed with they are young and healthy (under a year old), then it might help to prevent them needing surgery when they are older. Its a calculated risk, since all surgery carries risks, whether its the anesthetic, or the post-op care, or the procedure itself.

In my own case, my vet was unwilling to routinely spay until she had looked into it and researched it thoroughly. She then came to the conclusion that there are definitely benefits to be had from it, and it is something which owners of young rats should look into doing. Though like I said in the previous post, rescue/petshop rats are probably more likely to get illnesses like lumps and pyo. I would suspect breeder rats to be healthier, and more immune to these conditions.

Its a personal choice, there are arguements on either side. I know that with all rescue girls in the future I will preemptively spay, because I consider there to be benefits with this. But other people would never have their girls spayed. How much you trust your vet is also a big factor. I wouldn't let "any old vet" spay my rats...
Andy and the ratties: Seven, Kes, Luna, Ada, Orion, Bandit
:rainbow: Janeway, Shandy, Deanna, Izzy, Kira
And the youngest of the family is moving with authority,
Building castles by the sea, he dares the tardy tide to wash them all aside...

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