Posted by: gcolema2rats | September 8, 2009

Getting to know Anastasia

I received my rat, who I named Anastasia, on August 26, 2009. She is known as a Sprague Dawley rat which were originally produced at farms in Madison, Wisconsin. This species of rat is an albino rat, meaning they lack pigment in their eyes called melanin. This gives the rat a red eye color which indicates that the rat’s underlying retinal blood vessels are showing through because there is not enough pigment to cover them.

Sprague Dawley rats are used a lot in medical research. They are known for being calm and easy to handle. However, these rats due tend to be more susceptible to some genetic abnormalities. Most of these pertain to the rat’s eyes, such as strabismus (”cross eyed”) or having constant rapid eye movement. These cannot be cured, but there occurence can be helped by not exposing the rat to bright lights.

Besides researching Anastasia’s history this week, I have also played with her for about an hour each day. I give Anastasia roughly 14.6 grams of food everyday (that is 6 little food pellets). I also change her water bottle everyday to make sure there is enough in it and that no food particles lodge themselves in the bottle. So far, she seems to be a calm rat, but she does have her moments of chaos. Since I will be spending at least an hour everyday with her for the next few months, I will be able to know more about her behavior soon.

Wikipedia. 2009. Labratory Rat. August 31, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laboratory_rat

Ace Animal Inc. Sprague Dawley. 2006, from http://www.aceanimals.com/SpragueDawley.htm

Find Health Articles. Rats, Sprague Dawley. 2008, from http://www.find-health-articles.com/msh-rats-sprague-dawley.htm#moreinfo

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