Raising Kobe, The Orphaned Rat

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Day 1 – Monday, August 28, 2017

I heard thunder and went out on the porch to put the cover on the grill. It was on the ground, so I shook it out. Something went running, and leaves went everywhere. I looked down and noticed the leaves were moving. There were 4 little babies, cold and wet, on our porch. So I did what any mother would do – I brought them inside. Once they were warm in a box on a heating pad, I fed them some Enfamil and Gatorade with a pregnancy test dropper. Then I put them back on the porch (still on the heating pad) hoping mom would come back for them.

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Day 2 – Tuesday, August 29, 2017

They were still on the porch this morning, so I brought them inside to feed, and then I put them back on the porch because some things I read online said mom won’t come back at night. General consensus on Facebook is squirrel or rat. When I got home form work, the babies were all still in the box, which was now filled with rain water. They were cold and shivering and I brought them inside, warmed them up, and fed them. Unfortunately, one passed away this evening.

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Day 3 – Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Sadly, two more passed away today. The one little guy that’s left seems to be doing great. We put him on the porch on a heating pad in hopes that mom would show up, but she didn’t. So, we brought him inside, determined to do everything possible to give him the best chance of survival. Also, I read online that you can feed orphaned rodents with a paintbrush, so we started doing that and it works much better than the dropper. We’re pretty sure he’s a boy, and that he’s a rat, but only time will tell.

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Day 4 – Thursday, August 31, 2017

We named our little guy Kobe. Our oldest son is really into basketball, and has been a huge help in feeding/caring for our little orphan, so he got to pick his name. He started doing this weird thing today where he opens his mouth really wide and just sits there. At first we thought he was choking, but after some googling, it turns out it’s his way of getting ready to “power suck.” He has a tiny bit of fuzz today, but no real hair yet.

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Day 5 – Friday, September 1, 2017

I slacked on pictures today. But, he has hair! It’s crazy how yesterday he had a few little fuzzy hairs and today he is covered in short little hairs. We also noticed a little infection/necrotic area at the end of his tail, and we started treating it with Triple Antibiotic Ointment.

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Day 6 – Saturday, September 2, 2017

I slacked on pictures again. But, he has even more hair today. And he now has a little critter carrier cage, too. It’s pretty small and doesn’t have much ventilation, so I may be buying him something bigger and nicer. It seems he may be staying.

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Day 7 – Sunday, September 3, 2017

We got a bed and a cute little bowl (which is going to serve as a bathtub until he’s old enough to drink from it). He has much more hair today, but his ears and eyes are still closed. He’s walking around more, and we sometimes find him next to his bed instead of on it. He likes to tuck his face under things, and he’s pretty cute to watch.

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Day 8 – Monday, September 4, 21017

I couldn’t stand keeping him in a little box, so today we bough him a hamster starter cage. It’s definitely not anywhere near big enough to be his permanent home, but it more than enough space for him right now. We read that rats like stuffed animals and will carry them around and even sleep with them, so we bought a stuffed duck for Kobe. It was the smallest one we could find, but is still HUGE next to him. He seems to like it, though. And he had a bath today because he’s become quite the messy eater.

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Day 9 – September 5, 2017

One of our dogs, Sophie, is absolutely fascinated by Kobe. Our other dog, Sadie, could care less. The little guy keeps getting more hair, and his whiskers have grown in and gotten sooo long. His ears and eyes are still closed. I keep reading pages online about how to determine the age of an orphaned rat, but I can’t figure it out. Maybe when his eyes open, we’ll just call that 2 weeks?

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Day 10 – September 6, 2017

Today, we noticed Kobe’s teeth broke through. He’s got even more hair, but his eyes and ears are still closed. He crawls around more, but isn’t very coordinated and flips over quite a bit.

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Day 11 – September 7, 2017

Today we have had Kobe for 11 days, and his ears and eyes are still closed, though his ears stick out a little instead of being stuck back against his head. I’m starting to think he was younger than we thought when we found him – maybe even born that day. He wanders a lot, and this morning, he climbed the wire bars on the side of his cage. He continues to eat well and you can see changes in his coat and some of his features. I can’t wait until he opens his eyes!

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