why dont responsible breeders breed for hairless?

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Athena
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why dont responsible breeders breed for hairless?

Post by Athena » Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:48 am

I know the basics but some solid information wouldreally help. I have directed someone intending to breed hairless here.
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Re: why dont responsible breeders breed for hairless?

Post by fuschia » Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:53 am

Hakuna Matata tried didn't they? There were too many health problems though if I remember rightly.
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Re: why dont responsible breeders breed for hairless?

Post by fvp101 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:09 am

The brief forays into it have yet to turn out a line that doesn't suffer from extreme health issues - and normally the heartbreak and associated guilt is too high.
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Re: why dont responsible breeders breed for hairless?

Post by Athena » Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:22 am

Hopefully she will come here, because if she has already done the mating then she will need help :(

Are double rex's effected similarly? I know my Hoggles sister dropped dead aged 6months for no apparent reason as did her sister aged about 7-8 months :-?
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Re: why dont responsible breeders breed for hairless?

Post by fvp101 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:10 am

No because double-rex is two copies of the standard rex gene, so they may be more prone to skin or cyst related issues but not the more sinister underlying health issues.

If I am remembering right, HKM's litter(s) I think there were only 2 - developed severe heart and tumour issues at too young an age for Jenna to feel it ethical to continue.

I myself have had 2 hairless kits pop out unexpectedly in my second and third litter - seen none since, and though they were relatively healthy, they were still the first to sadly pass on out of their own litters. It's something I hope I will be able to breed out without seeing again.
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Re: why dont responsible breeders breed for hairless?

Post by myzoo » Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:27 am

:love: HI iam not a breeder but from what i have read and experienced through having hairless.is that there life expectancy is a lot less than the average healthy rat mine died at around 5-6 month old for no apparent reason he was fine one day the ext turned skelital and before i could get him to a vet he sadly passed away.a similar thing happened to a freinds that ive took on it is very small ad needs vitamins and suppliments daily she is also respy and not as energetic as my other ratties especially at such a young age.i dont know the ins and outs but as far as i know its unethical to breed them becausethey dont have the good health and long life expectancys. i dont think a good breeder would breed them with the risks involved the bad outweighing the good.
people who do breed them mainly breed them for fashion/money not health.
it is sad and a shame they rarely have healthy lives and its soul destroying seeing them pass the way they do so young and so sudden.
hope this is of some help .and hope your freind comes here for some advice iam sure the good/ethical breeders will be able to answer any questions she may have :love:

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Re: why dont responsible breeders breed for hairless?

Post by Cyber Ratty » Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:42 am

As far as I am aware, there is no proof as yet that it is impossible for a hairless rat to be without any health issues - except perhaps the physical problem of dirt building up in their eyes due to not having eyelashes. Although there are some hairless genes that are known to cause problems regarding lactation (there are several types of hairless gene), and a high metabolic rate is going to make any hairless rat vulnerable to rapid weight loss if they become ill.

However, since the vast majority of existing hairless rats come from a background which doesn't select for health, finding good foundation rats is going to be virtually impossible, even if ethics are ignored. It's going to involve a gamble - picking a line with the maximum amount of information, and results which are acceptable to the new breeder, and I would think it best to include an outcross to an agouti from the healthiest most robust established line they can find. Not a task most new breeders would usually consider taking on.


ETA
fvp101 wrote:I myself have had 2 hairless kits pop out unexpectedly in my second and third litter - seen none since, and though they were relatively healthy, they were still the first to sadly pass on out of their own litters. It's something I hope I will be able to breed out without seeing again.
That's interesting (although sad), I had wondered about how the occasional 'surprise' hairless from good lines got on, is the same seen with the others do you know?
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Re: why dont responsible breeders breed for hairless?

Post by fvp101 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:59 am

Not sure Mary - my lines have a number of other recessives in too and I think that has impacted on overall health - as it's very rare my guys are making it to much past 23 months - at least with me. They seem to be doing better elsewhere, but still between 24-26 months.
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Re: why dont responsible breeders breed for hairless?

Post by aquajen9 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:51 pm

The hairless rats I had born here several of them suffered with fits, which seem to be relatively common with hairless rats. However this wasn't the issue. The issue was that the other problems they had, were due to being hairless, and therefore could not be bred out.
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Re: why dont responsible breeders breed for hairless?

Post by Cyber Ratty » Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:09 am

What were those problems, and do you know whether they are applicable to all hairless or just to the hairless gene that you were working with?
(I'm open minded when it comes to breeding hairless, because I haven't read any details of definitive problems that can't be explained as potentially purely line issues.)
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Re: why dont responsible breeders breed for hairless?

Post by spoiled_rat » Sat Jun 25, 2011 2:10 pm

It seems quite a lot of the issues that hairless rats have, are actually connected to the genes which cause them to be hairless... to correct these issues...you would probably have to breed out the hairless genes.

The hairless genes in the current UK pet fancy descend from lab rats, developed to be test models and are inherantly disabled in various ways to be a suitable benchmark for testing for consistent and easy results (not a great starting point for pet lines), its reckoned that they are possibly the below types.
Fuzzy (FZ) & Shorn (SHN) suffer from progressive kidney failure and Polycystic Kidney Disease which often affects them around the year mark.
Rowett Nudes (RNU) have not much of a working thymus, and are really prone to infections of the respiratory tract/eye/gentials.

All 3 genes can be bred with each other, and as nobody has any true idea what strain they have, its pretty impossible for breeders to try and target the issues with hairless rats, unless they were necropsied on death to check if they have a Thymus, kidney Cysts etc...a few hairless 'breeders' have done this, and it seems kidney issues and Thymus problems are consistently present in their hairless rats, but not their furred siblings.

There is also a physically visible side to their problems, ie eye problems, sensory issues through lack of whiskers etc, sensitivity to temperatures, thicker skin and more at risk of skin cancer and abnormal growths, abscessing and so on. As Jenna mentions, there does also seem to be an issue with fitting and epilepsy-type problems too.

I know a few semi-decent hairless lines around though, where quite a lot are making around 2, whether this is luck, or whatnot, who knows.
There is also another NFRS breeder who has started a hairless project recently too.
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Re: why dont responsible breeders breed for hairless?

Post by Cyber Ratty » Sat Jun 25, 2011 2:34 pm

spoiled_rat wrote:I know a few semi-decent hairless lines around though, where quite a lot are making around 2, whether this is luck, or whatnot, who knows.
This is the sort of question that I'd be interested in knowing the answer to.
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Re: why dont responsible breeders breed for hairless?

Post by spoiled_rat » Sat Jun 25, 2011 2:52 pm

Cyber Ratty wrote:
spoiled_rat wrote:I know a few semi-decent hairless lines around though, where quite a lot are making around 2, whether this is luck, or whatnot, who knows.
This is the sort of question that I'd be interested in knowing the answer to.
Me too. I think its often presumed that the general population of hairless breeders are automatically in it for the cash and are the embodiment of your typical BYB and do not give a toss, but there are a good few who are quite the opposite and seem to really care about the rats they are breeding and do try to do the best for them, but I am not sure all the good will and effort in the world could ever rid hairless of the issues they have.
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Re: why dont responsible breeders breed for hairless?

Post by BasilTheRat » Sat Jun 25, 2011 3:30 pm

There was a thread I started about a year ago which had some very interesting view points, in relation to this type of discussion:
http://www.fancy-rats.co.uk/community/v ... 5&t=123748
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Re: why dont responsible breeders breed for hairless?

Post by aquajen9 » Sat Jun 25, 2011 5:55 pm

As one example, ingrowing eyelashes - which I had two hairless from totally separate lines, who both lost their eyes because of this. I had several different strains of hairless here at the point when I got SDA. The hairless rats lost all their fat, and all developed what I can only describe as 'excema'. I had several rescues here who coped much better with the SDA, so cannot really argue that it was anything to do with poor breeding.

I have had hairless rats come of of my siamese line, the gene came from rats I imported from Denmark, but I've no intention of breeding on from these either as my initial point stands that hairless rats problems are to do with being hairless.
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