Rats and Mice

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1. When comparing mice and rats, why are rats considered better companion animals than mice?
Both rats and mice are very popular animals for people to keep as pets. Rats are considered as being a better choice when it comes to pets due to their habits. Mice are more active but don't like to sit still for too long which becomes a problem for those who wish to handle their animal. Rats are more affectionate, intelligent and easily socialized as pups.

2. Why should cedar not be used as bedding?
Cedar shavings are harmful to the health of rats and mice due to the toxic phenols and acids that the shavings give off. This can lead to respiratory problems and if left untreated can lead to the death of the rodent. The acids destroy the cells that line the lungs and trachea.

3. Rodents that are stressed or ill often have red tears. What is the cause?
Rodent keepers that have noticed red tears coming from the eyes of their rodents believe it to be blood. This is not the case. The red that is seen is actually a red pigment called porphyrin that is released from the Harderian gland behind the eye. This is often a sign of illness or stress in rodents and may be accompanied by other symptoms such as sneezing and nasal discharge. Rats frequently sneeze even when in perfect health so it should not immediately be presumed that the rodent is ill.

4. How is sex determined in rats and mice?
Sexing rats and mice is a fairly easy process and can be done right from the day that they are born and the easiest way is by looking at the anogenital distance. In a doe, the distance between the anus and the genitals is shorter than that of the buck. As the rodents start maturing, the males' scrotal sacks are very easy to notice.

5. What are the different t...

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...mice are deprived of water, how do they obtain moisture?
Rats and mice are sociable animals. They should always have water freely available and all bottles should be frequently checked for leaks. If they are deprived of water, they have been known to cannibalize each other in order to obtain moisture.

10. What is the Whitten Effect?
The Whitten Effect is the name given when a female begins her cycle immediately after exposure to a male or it's urine. This happens whether the female is housed alone or in a group. If in a group, all females may cycle at the same time.

Works Cited

http://ratmadness.weebly.com/toxic-bedding.html http://www.hilltopanimalhospital.com/mice&rats.htm http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/nongame/nuis_exo/ferret/ferret_issues_table6.html http://www.research.psu.edu/arp/training/videos/mouse-restraint-techniques http://ratfanclub.org/tumors.html
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