Hi everyone, this is more of a sad update, but you all deserve to be aware. One of Neo's babies ended up with megacolon, which is a condition that keeps the babies from being able to pass their feces. This causes extreme discomfort and pain, and unfortunately, there is no cure. He could be placed on a very sensitive diet, but even then, that would only prolong the inevitable. MC causes slow, painful deaths, so he has been humanely put to sleep.
It breaks my heart that this had to happen. I've never experienced it in my years of breeding, but the DWS gene is linked with the ailment. He was the only one with this, and signs would have already shown if others had the condition. There is a chance that elderly DWS rats can experience late megacolon, but it is not seen often. The rats I got to breed did not have any history of it with their siblings or their ancestors. Hoping the same continues on with these ratties.
On the topic of megacolon, I was just informed by another reputable breeder, who has more experience with the DWS (high white gene), that early onset megacolon can show up as late as 12 weeks. From what I had read, it seemed that it showed once they started eating solids, but that is not the case. Due to this, any DWS rats will not be available for adoption until they are 12 weeks old so they are fully cleared from having any health issues early on.
I know this news is going to put a damper on nearly everyone waiting for babies, seeing as Priestess's litter is the only on that doesn't have any DWS babies. This does push the wait an additional 4 weeks, but I hope everyone is fully understanding with this. I could not even imagine adopting out a baby that ends up having this condition. It would be such a hard experience for the families that take them home as well as the babies it happens to, if any at all. I would much rather hold them a little longer to ensure none of this happens to anyone than to adopt out at 8 weeks and hope for the best.