Hairless domestic rats (sphinxes) appeared at the beginning of the last century as a result of a mutation. Due to their non-standard appearance, they were preserved and the sign of hairlessness was fixed in generations by artificial breeding. However, keeping such a pet at home is not easy. Hairless rats are difficult to breed, have poor he alth and do not live long. Genetically, these rodents have three types of hairless genes in the genotype. Also, the lack of hair may be due to the duplication of the “rex” genes.
The whiskers of such domestic rodents are curly. The pet either should not have hair on the body at all, or it may be present in small quantities on the limbs, head, stomach, cheeks. Both individuals are allowed to participate in exhibitions. Skin may have wrinkles.
Features of care
Hairless rats are sensitive to the physical characteristics of their environment. They require relatively high indoor humidity and a temperature range of 20 to 28 oC. The cage should be equipped with houses, hammocks, warm bedding. It is better if the naked rat is not kept alone, but in the company of another(woolly). However, the latter must be non-aggressive in order to exclude fights and damage to the delicate skin of the Sphynx rat. For the same purpose, a cage for such an animal must be chosen very carefully, there should not be any sharp corners or bent rods. It is necessary to set up a room with an animal, as well as with woolly pets, avoiding drafts, places near air conditioners and batteries.
The metabolism of these pets is accelerated. They need high-calorie food with a high content of proteins and fats. A bald rat eats the same food (seeds, grains) as a “woolen” pet, but representatives of this breed are given more in quantity. The pet should always have plenty of water, he drinks a lot.
Diseases and longevity
Unfortunately, these charming creatures do not live long. Hairless rats suffer from diseases of the urinary system, heart, eyes, are prone to tumor diseases, allergies, and diabetes.
They are very sensitive to stressful situations. Rats that carry the rnu hairless gene lack the - thymus gland, making them prone toinfectious diseases. Hairless rats have many reproductive difficulties. - females are poor mothers, often rejecting litter or eating it. In addition, they often suffer from underdevelopment of the mammary glands, they have a disrupted lactation process. Nevertheless, these hairless small animals are very prolific, rat pups are born of normal size. Animals with hairless genes can live from 9 to 20 months. Most often, the cause of their death is severe kidney dysfunction or infectious diseases.