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Occasionally, there will be a tiny runt who can’t compete with his siblings for the nipples, especially in a large litter. In babies 1-7 days old you’ll be able to see if each baby has nursed by the "milk band" - that is the white band of milk in their stomach which is visible through the thin skin on their left side. The best solution is to temporarily separate some of the other babies into another container lined with paper towels to give the runt a chance at the nipples. Leave about 4-5 babies with the runt to stimulate the mom to suckle them. If the runt is all by himself, the mom may not pay attention to him. As long as the other babies are kept warm, there is no harm in them being away from their mom for up to 4 hours. You can put their container on a heating pad set on the lowest setting. Don't put the container directly on the heating pad because it will still be too warm and can kill the babies. Instead place a towel on top of the heating pad and then place the container on top of the towel. Don't put the babies in yet though. Wait about 15 minutes to give the heat time to travel to the top to the container. Then, place your hand flat down on the inside of the container. If it feels too warm place another layer of towel on top of the heating pad and then return the container to the towel. Wait another 15 minutes and place your hand flat down in the container again. Once the temperature is gently warm you can put the babies and mama in. Rotating the groups of babies with the mom every 2-4 hours will give the runt the best chance.

Tiny Toes Rat Rescue

of New Mexico, Inc.


a 501(c)(3) non-profit animal rescue


Just because they're tiny doesn't mean they're disposable

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