Author Topic: How much does a healthy rat weigh?  (Read 10470 times)

Offline Hattie

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How much does a healthy rat weigh?
« on: January 31, 2005, 04:35:18 AM »
Winston, who is aged between 2-3 (we don't know exactly because we found him), weighs 500g. He is doing very well for an older rat but seems smaller than pictures of rats I have seen on the web. Is this an okay weight for a male rat of his age?
Thank you for your help  :)

~Hattie
Owned by: 1 dog (Charlie), 2 cats (Roxy & Jake), 2 rats (Winston & Sherman) 2 horses (Jethro & Jakey), 1 cow (Maddie) & 20 sheep :)

Offline Kendra

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Re: How much does a healthy rat weigh?
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2005, 05:14:57 AM »
It all depends on the rat.  Some are naturally hefty, while others are smaller.  Does he look proportional?  When you run your hand down his back, do you feel the protrusions of his hips/spine?  If so, you might want to try to put a little more weight on him.  How is his coat?  Most rats do lose weight as they get older.  Nutrical is a great supplement for weight gain.
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Offline WS

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Re: How much does a healthy rat weigh?
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2005, 05:23:02 AM »
Kendra is exactly right... some rats are smaller than others naturally (my healthy little adult male Elwood fits in the cups of my two hands and is the size of an immature male or petite female) --   

Obesity shows itself as a wide midsection and "rolls" or squishiness whereas a rat that is slightly underweight will feel frail and the bones of the spine, shoulders and hips may be felt through the fur.    A healthy body conformation for an adult rat is one that is compact and solid being neither bony or rolly polly.

Averages for adult rats are approximately:  200-500g for a female and 450-800g for a male but this depends on body size, muscle mass, health, etc.
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Offline Suebee

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Re: How much does a healthy rat weigh?
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2005, 08:38:06 AM »
It also seems to vary with what part of the world you're in. I noticed from your profile that you're in New Zealand. It could be that the NZ lines are a bit smaller than US or UK lines in general.
 
I've also noticed a difference in general size between the East and West coasts of the US... California rats seem to be leaner, while New England rats seem to have a little more... insulation. ;)

Offline Sunilata

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Re: How much does a healthy rat weigh?
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2005, 10:02:49 AM »
California rats seem to be leaner, while New England rats seem to have a little more... insulation. ;)

 Lol - my vet puts it as "very very well nourished" when she sees my fat girl.
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Offline angelratgirl

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Re: How much does a healthy rat weigh?
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2005, 03:29:00 PM »
there are one hander rats, two hander rats, two hands and a basket sized rats, also pocket sized rats (big pocket), and various sizes in between. most of them are "just right" for their genetics. you should not be able to see the skeletal structure (that rat would be too skinny). they should also not be able to lose a piece of food in the folds of their fur when they bend over (from being too fat). you can always ask a vet if they think your rat is not healthy enough, too healthy or just right.

also keep a mental note on their size. you will usually beable to tell if they are losing or gaining weight if you handle them enough just by the feel of thier body.

Offline Siana

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Re: How much does a healthy rat weigh?
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2005, 04:58:43 PM »
It also seems to vary with what part of the world you're in. I noticed from your profile that you're in New Zealand. It could be that the NZ lines are a bit smaller than US or UK lines in general.


I think NZ lines are a bit smaller than the ones in the US or UK.  Most boys I've seen seem small compared to a lot of the boys people post pictures of on this forum. 

I do have one big boy, Zoltan, but I think he's the exception, not the rule.  People that have met him, who have boy rats, are always surprised by his size.

Offline Hattie

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Re: How much does a healthy rat weigh?
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2005, 03:01:19 AM »
Quote
Averages for adult rats are approximately:  200-500g for a female and 450-800g

Well Winston falls into the lower end of this category, which is fine because I checked to see if I could feel any protruding bones and I couldn't, and as Siana mentioned, it seems NZ rats are indeed smaller than their US cousins :)

Thanks again for the help,
~Hattie
Owned by: 1 dog (Charlie), 2 cats (Roxy & Jake), 2 rats (Winston & Sherman) 2 horses (Jethro & Jakey), 1 cow (Maddie) & 20 sheep :)

Offline Suebee

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Re: How much does a healthy rat weigh?
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2005, 08:30:26 AM »
Hey, we Americans are generally overweight, anyway. LOL!

Offline Yresim

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Re: How much does a healthy rat weigh?
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2005, 08:54:39 PM »
I generally find that the best way to know the "healthy weight" of an individual rat is to weigh them regularly while they are healthy.  My rats get weighed weekly (sometimes more often), healthy or not.  I usually notice drops or increases in weight via the scale before I can see/feel them.  If I see a change of more than about 15mg, I start trying to determine why (if it is 10-15mg, I start weighing them daily to see if the trend continues).  In some cases, it is the first sign of an illness or other physical issue.  In other cases, it is the first sign of my house mate sneaking them too many yogies.  I've also had it be a sign of depression, or of old age.  I find it is particularly useful with older rats, as it lets me know when to start giving them Nutrical.

For weight to be an effective way to monitor your rat's health, you need to make sure your rat is healthy when you start taking these measurements.  You should make sure that the rat is not showing any signs of being sick (wheezing, lethargy, etc), obese (rolls of fat), or underweight (spine obvious when petting).

Of course, it is difficult to effectively use weight to monitor health while a rat is growing.  For this reason, I only look for decreases in weight or outer physical signs on my younger rats.  I usually see a sudden weight increase in my female rats at around 5-6 months.  After that, they seem to stabilize (barring any "issues"). 

My current girls weigh between 280 grams and 405 grams.  The smallest healthy female rat I've ever had weighed about 250 grams, and the heaviest healthy* female I've ever had was 480 grams. 

I know how you feel, though, worrying about your rat being too small.  The biggest female I've owned was actually my first rat, and all of the other female rats I had at that time (which were all related to her) weighed about the same.  I stopped owning female rats for a while after her last daughter died.  So imagine my suprise when my next females (at ~350 grams each) were referred to as "big for female rats" by my new vet.

* - Note that the heaviest female rat I've ever had was almost 600 grams, but she was very much obese.  She was a "food hog" (probably from living in an overly-food-competitive environment).  I had been hoping that the minor changes I was making, and the realization that she was in a less competitive environment, would curb her weight gain.  However, finally, a vet-supervised change in diet and mandatory excercise (which she hated) were necessary to bring her back down to a healthy 460 grams.

Offline brandy

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Re: How much does a healthy rat weigh?
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2005, 11:07:31 PM »
When I took Valrhona to the vet last week, she weighed only 260 grams!  The vet commented on how small she is - I always seem to get the itty bitty girls.  But he said she seemed to be the right weight for her size, even though it's a small weight and size.
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Offline angelratgirl

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Re: How much does a healthy rat weigh?
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2005, 02:36:12 PM »
i only keep girls and my biggest girl reached over 540 grams. she was perfect for that weight until her final week when she bloated up due to internal damage from a tumor. my smallest girl is currently 232 grams. she is also perfect for her weight being the runt of the litter and still manages to look thick and muscular in her smallness.