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Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



My rats got a lice infection.
I tried to find some ivermectin to buy but I couldn't find any in my country. The only proper thing I managed to find that I managed to find was Frontline (active chemical is Fipronil).

I've read a couple of scientific papers about curing lice infection in rats with Fipronil and all of them say that unless it's ingested then it doesn't cause any side effects with exception of short term skin irritation.

Lurking around different rat forums though I found lots of rat owners saying that Fipronil is deadly and that you shouldn't give it to rats no matter what.

Does anyone here has some ACTUAL experience using Frontline/Fipronil on your rats?
I'd like to know as much as possible to make sure I don't accidentally harm my boys.

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Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



I used Frontline aka Fipronil to treat my ratties from lice and it worked as well as it should.
I used the dosages that were used in the scientific study that I found (1.25 mg per rat). Technical document for Fipronil stated that minimum dose of Fipronil that causes poisoning in rats was 7.5mg. Total amount of Fipronil I used (since I have two rats) was 2.5mg, which is 1/3 of the dangerous dose for rats.
I also kept them separate from eachother during the first day, just in case.

None of my rats got any symptoms of Fipronil poisoning and after 7 days all the lice are already dead. Since one dose of Fipronil should work 4 to 8 weeks, when new lice hatch from their eggs, they should die pretty quickly as well, no need for any more treatment.

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



JGBeagle posted:

Man I should've gotten two different looking rats instead of the two brothers. Sure they get along (though they "fight" a lot), but it's so hard to call them by their right name. I keep calling Ratigan instead of Vincent Price (that probably doesn't help either) and vice versa.

Doesn't help that I also now call them "Poopers" when I first see them.

Do they look exactly the same or just very similar?
I have two brothers and they look very very similar but with time I learned to recognize them by their difference in looks and demeanor.

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



One of my boys isn't feeling well but I can't figure out what might be wrong with him.
A week ago he lost a lot of weight because he almost stopped eating. He also started avoiding me and his brother, and hiding in the corners. His back was almost always arched up, unless he was sleeping. Those are the only symptoms I managed to find.

Since then I've been feeding him baby food at regular intervals and he gained some weight back and also he started eating on his own. He also spends more time with his brother but he is still not as social as he used to be and he also has his back arched often. It also seems like he's tired all the time. He sleeps a lot and doesn't seem very active at all.

I tried to find any other symptoms that might give more insight but I didn't find any.
He poops and pees normally, so it's not kidneys, urinary or digestive tract.
He doesn't have his head tilted and he can walk normally, so it's not an inner ear infection or stroke.
He doesn't sneeze or has poryphin stains around his eyes or nose, and I compared his breathing to his brothers breathing like a million times, so it's not the respiratory system.
I didn't any weird lumps or growths on his body so it's not a tumor(probably, I guess there might be somewhere I can't feel it).
He's only a year old, so it can't be age degeneration.
He (and his brother) do have orangy color to their skin but as far as I know it's normal for boy rats. Testosterone making their skin more oily as usual.

I don't know what else to look for. I'm trying to make sure he eats well and gets plenty of rest and he shows slight signs of improvement but it's still noticeable that he's sick.
It's really difficult to get to a vet from where I live, is there anything more I can do for him before I can get him to a vet?

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



Jack Trades posted:

One of my boys isn't feeling well but I can't figure out what might be wrong with him.
A week ago he lost a lot of weight because he almost stopped eating. He also started avoiding me and his brother, and hiding in the corners. His back was almost always arched up, unless he was sleeping. Those are the only symptoms I managed to find.

Since then I've been feeding him baby food at regular intervals and he gained some weight back and also he started eating on his own. He also spends more time with his brother but he is still not as social as he used to be and he also has his back arched often. It also seems like he's tired all the time. He sleeps a lot and doesn't seem very active at all.

I tried to find any other symptoms that might give more insight but I didn't find any.
He poops and pees normally, so it's not kidneys, urinary or digestive tract.
He doesn't have his head tilted and he can walk normally, so it's not an inner ear infection or stroke.
He doesn't sneeze or has poryphin stains around his eyes or nose, and I compared his breathing to his brothers breathing like a million times, so it's not the respiratory system.
I didn't any weird lumps or growths on his body so it's not a tumor(probably, I guess there might be somewhere I can't feel it).
He's only a year old, so it can't be age degeneration.
He (and his brother) do have orangy color to their skin but as far as I know it's normal for boy rats. Testosterone making their skin more oily as usual.

I don't know what else to look for. I'm trying to make sure he eats well and gets plenty of rest and he shows slight signs of improvement but it's still noticeable that he's sick.
It's really difficult to get to a vet from where I live, is there anything more I can do for him before I can get him to a vet?

I took my boy to a vet in a neighboring city to let her have a look at him.
She wasn't very familiar with rodents but she checked him as well as she could and besides a body temperature that was 2 degrees lower than normal, she didn't find anything.
She gave me some kind of mixture given to malnourished rodents, to try to give him some needed nutrition because he was eating poorly.

While I was feeding him from an oral syringe (huge pain in the rear end, he can't stand it) I noticed that his lower gum/lip (space between his lower teeth and lower lip) was quite dark.
I swabbed it with a cotton swab several times but the swab was completely clean. No blood or pus or anything. Tried smelling his mouth but it didn't smell bad either.
I didn't notice any teeth misalignment either.
I tried to compare his gums and teeth to his brothers (he's completely healthy) and they look quite similar but I'm not really sure what to look for.

How would I inspect his mouth to see if that's where the problem might lie?
I have no idea what might be wrong with my boy. Neither I nor the vet could find any non-generic symptoms and closest vet specialized in rodents is on the other side of the country.

I don't know what else I can do to help my sick boy.

Jack Trades fucked around with this message at 18:44 on Feb 5, 2014

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



Big Bug Hug posted:

I'm sorry, I'm not sure. Every time I've had a rat lose appetite and weight with hunched posture etc it's been respiratory. Rats do get a lower temp with pneumonia. Did she listen to his lungs? Perhaps try antibiotics?

Yes, she did listen to the lungs. I knew that respiratory issues are very common in rats so I asked her to double check that even and she didn't hear any abnormalities.
I also asked her if it could be an infection, since that is apparently a common cause for lethargy in rats, and she said that it's unlikely because he had low body temp and not high.

I can't get antibiotics for him unless a vet decides it's required and prescribes them to me.

I'm really at a loss here. His condition doesn't seem to get much worse but he is obviously still very sick. He's been sick longer than two weeks not and I still can't find out the cause for that.

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



Patchouli Patrol posted:

Are there any other vets you can try for a second opinion? Call around and ask specifically if they have rat experience.

I looked for a vet that would have experience with rats but the closest one I managed to find is across the country. I kind of live in the middle of nowhere.

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



Patchouli Patrol posted:

Not all vets post that expertise on their website. My best luck was calling around nearby vets and asking if they saw small animals, then asked about rats specifically. What country are you in, if I may ask?

Sweden.
Another problem is that I used 1/3 of my monthly budget on the last vet visit. I hate to admit it but I'm in a really lovely situation here...

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



I found a vet with rat experience who was willing to drive to my city every now and then and help my little boy almost for free.
Turns out he has Mycoplasma Pulmonis and it's gotten really bad, his breathing is irregular and he sneezes porphyrin every now and then. She put him on Baytril first but it didn't have any visible effect on him so now we switched antibiotics to something else.

He mostly sleeps in my bed all day long and I only wake him up to feed him baby food through a syringe and give him his medicine. He looks very weak and sick, we thought he might die at one point but he's a little better right now (by better I mean that he's not on the brink of death).

I don't have any experience with Mycoplasma Pulmonis, since this is my first pair of ratties but I tried to research as much as possible.

Do any of you people who had rats for a longer time have any advice on what else I can do for my little boy to aid his recovery?
Also he somehow broke 2 of his 4 long teeth while being sick (on opposite sides, they seemed to snap in half), is that something I have to worry about? It looks like they're growing back quite fast but like I said, I have no experience.

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



Chakattack! posted:

Give him really good quality, high protein food if he's weak and sickly (scrambled eggs are a favourite), and if he's really sneezy/wheezy I find a tiny bit of really good quality dark chocolate can have surprisingly instant effects. Seconding everything people have been saying about steam - take him in the room with you every time you're having a hot bath/shower. Also in my personal experience, keeping the cage extra clean can be good for wheezy rats because their respiratory systems are so sensitive, I think even a slight whiffy build up of urine/ammonia seems to make things worse.

I think most things you'd do to look after a sick/flu-y person but... rat sized.

Can't help you with the teeth issue, sorry! Hopefully someone more experienced will pop along.

Do you have any suggestions for a high protein food I can feed him through a syringe? He doesn't eat anything on his own. All that I managed to feed him is liquid baby food, mashed fruit and yoghurt.

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



My sick boy passed away last night. I was asleep so I don't know exactly what happened but the respiratory infection must have gotten him...

Is it a good idea to get two young rat boys when I have a big older boy? I've read that rats get depressed very easily when alone and I don't want that for the boy I still have.

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



My boy recently started scratching a lot behind his ears. There are no sores yet but it seems like they can appear if he keeps scratching. He only scratching behind his both ears and the skin looks normal.

Any idea on what it might be?

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



I don't really know what to do here.
Ever since one of my boys passed away, his brother spends all his time in his cage, mostly sitting in a corner and chewing toys.
He doesn't go out on his own (I never lock the cage, they can roam free around the room) but he doesn't seem to mind my company.

I've read that rats get depressed when they're alone. If that's true, is there anything I can do for him?
I want to take another pair of boys but I won't be able to do it this month.

nunsexmonkrock posted:

Maybe mites? Do you freeze your rats bedding before putting it in the cage? I can't tell by the small amount of information given, but the Ivermectin treatment in the OP worked perfectly to cure my infestation.

Okay, I'll check him for mites. What are some other symptoms of mite infection?

JGBeagle posted:

One of my rats seems to have what looks like blood staining his coat. I thought it was blueberries at first but not it's gotten that dry blood-like color. I've checked him for scratches but haven't seen some kind of source for it.

It's porphyrin. That might be a symptom of respiratory infection or just stress.
Here's some information regarding that: http://ratballs.com/RatTails/Tails081.html

Jack Trades fucked around with this message at 17:39 on Feb 24, 2014

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



nunsexmonkrock posted:

I have had rats die from depression before when they lost cagemates (stops eating and drinking). I would strongly suggest getting him 2 friends.

Thanks for the info.
He still eats and drinks like normal, so I suppose that's not an issue.

I was planning on getting two young boys. That way, hopefully, nobody will have to be alone in 1-2 years.

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



nunsexmonkrock posted:

Black flecks, red flecks or white flecks that move...Some can be microscopic though. Constant scratching and scabs are also a common sign. Scabs usually appear around the face or stomach area from my experience. Sometimes they can have them for years without notice and only show signs when it's a really bad infestation or when they are ill.

The thing is that I treated him for lice, about 6 weeks ago, and I'm 100% certain he doesn't have lice, because I know for sure how they look,

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



My boy has been acting weird lately.
Since his brother passed away he's been spending most of his time in a corner of his cage, chewing his toys, and he seems to be afraid of me for some reason.
Before he was comfortable with me, no problems, but now he squeeks when I try to pick him up and he shivers and hides under my shirt when I sit him on my lap.

Usually I would think that it's a sign of lethargy and that he's sick but he seems healthy and he eats and drinks normally.

Jack Trades fucked around with this message at 11:13 on Feb 25, 2014

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



Big Bug Hug posted:

Some rats are much more confident with other rats around. Maybe he's a bit shaken up since he lost his buddy. Often there is a lot of adjustment in the heirarchy of a group when one dies and they have squabbles and such. Is he alone in the cage?

Yes, he's alone for the moment. I only had a pair of brothers.
I am going to try to find another pair of boys, so that nobody has to be alone, now or a couple of years later, but it might take time because I live in the middle of nowhere.

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



My ratty boy has been way warmer than usual, past couple of days. It's not really hot inside but at the same time he doesn't seem to be sick. He's eating, drinking, playing normally. I spray some cold water on him every now and then. He doesn't seem to mind and it cools him down a bit.
I don't have a pet thermometer so I can't really check his exact temperature.

Should I be worried?

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



Patchouli Patrol posted:

Rats pee. It's a thing they do.

I managed to fall asleep while playing with my ratties in my bed. Needless to say, when I woke up there was rat poop and big yellow spots all over the sheets...or rather the parts that weren't completely chewed through. :rats:

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



Took some pictures of my fat little boy.




Also, comedy picture: http://i.imgur.com/Cu9epaV.jpg "Bring me solo and the wookie."

From certain angles, rat eyes look creepy and the first time I saw my rattie boggling his eyes while bruxing I instantly scrambled off to Google to make sure it's normal.

Jack Trades fucked around with this message at 02:40 on Mar 21, 2014

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



Sorry for the image dump but I really wanted to share cute pictures of my fatty boy:


That's just too adorable.

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



My boy loves it when i massage his fat rolls. He always looks so cozy and comfortable.

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



I think my boy had a seizure yesterday.
I heard some loud shuffling in his game so I got there to see what he's doing and when I get there I see him roll off the second floor in his game down to the bottom (20-30cm maybe, not that far) and after that he just sat there.
I picked him up and put on my bed to see if he's hurt or anything. He didn't seem to be hurt but he looked confused for a while, trying to fight or groom the air infront of him with his paws.
About 5 minutes later he returned to normal and I haven't noticed anything weird since.

Should I take him to the vet? If it's a seizure what might be the cause for that?
I heard that old rats are very prone to strokes and seizures because of age. My boy is 15 months old, I didn't think it was that old for a rat.

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



Big Bug Hug posted:

There's also pituitary tumors, i seem to remember something about the front paws getting confused with pituitary tumors... I'll look it up

It only happened once though, 2 days ago, since then he's been totally fine from what I can see. He doesn't fall off things, he eats, drinks and grooms himself like usual. I don't see anything off.
I hope that it's nothing serious. I would take him to a vet but all vets in my area don't know much about rats. Previously I had to come to them knowing what's going on and just get a prescription or they won't be able to diagnose anything rat-specific.

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



Big Bug Hug posted:

Maybe he was having a dream and fell off his shelf?

He's a big chubby so I think that maybe he tried to groom his butt and accidentally fell off. Either way it kind of like just an accident so I hope it won't happen again.

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



Now that my boy got somewhat old he's gotten lazier and I was quite careless about feeding him tasty treats so he's gotten really fat. I want to put him on a diet but I don't really know what to feed him.

I tried looking around on the internet but everyone just says "labrat blocks/pellets" with a link to an american manufacturer that doesn't deliver to EU, so that's not an option for me.

Anyone have any advice on a good rat diet?

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



Thank you for information, I think I have a decent idea about how make a good diet for him on my budget.

I have some more (mostly) dumb questions though.
* The "grain" is supposed to be cooked, right?
* What should I do if he starts cherry-picking food, refusing to eat everything?
* I'm getting 2 ratty babies soon (about a month old, I think), should I do something special about their diet?
* If so, is there anything I need to take into account when trying to have a good diet for my old boy and the babies?

One more thing unrelated to food. What should I be doing when introducing two new rat babies to my old boy?
I never had rats from two different "families" at the same time before.

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



I finally got two new rat babies to be company for my 1.5years old rat who's been alone for 2-3 months now, ever since his brother died.

I introduced them to each other and it seems like they're getting along fine except that my older boy seems to be afraid or unwilling to stay in the cage now, that babies are there too, and he wants me to put him on my bed like we used to do sometimes.

I just can't persuade him to stay in the cage but I don't want to force him since I see that he's uncomfortable. Is there anything I can do about that?

EDIT: drat, it even goes so far that my old boy starts chewing cage bars. He never did that before.

Xeras posted:

So I got two rats from the pet store (no breeders here and the closest shelter with rats is a ways away, too) on the 23rd of May. They are both doing great, however one of them has been sneezing some since he came and has some slight poryphrin discharge. Should I take him to the vet now or assume it's just acclimating to a new environment?

Are you using cage bedding made of some kind of tree byproduct? If so, throw it the gently caress away as soon as possible.

Jack Trades fucked around with this message at 19:43 on Jun 11, 2014

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



Can 6 weeks old babies eat too much?
I'm used to having food out for my ratties all the time so they can eat whenever they feel like it but my new babies just keep eating and trying to steal my food as well. Obviously they don't eat all the food or they'd explode but I'd still like to know if I should be concerned or not.

EDIT: Also one more thing. Is buck grease dangerous in any way?
One of my ratties is obese and he can't clean himself properly. I put him on a proper rat diet but he isn't losing weight very fast.
I wondering if it's important that I bathe him or not because he is incredibly afraid of water.

Jack Trades fucked around with this message at 21:39 on Jun 15, 2014

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



Big Bug Hug posted:


Jack, There is nothing harmful about buck grease if I ever bathed my rats (boys), I would come out covered in scratches.

And I've had babies that ate and ate and ate too. I think it was because they liked the food I was giving them more than what they had before. I was giving them veggies and grains and different little things to try and they were very excited at the variety. Babies are pretty active, I wouldn't worry.
Thanks for the info.
I never had babies this young before and I was really surprised at how restless they are.

My babies are running circles around the room for hours and are literally crawling up the walls just to sniff the clothes on the top shelf. It's insane.

Big Bug Hug posted:

Jack, You might be more successful getting the fat boy to slim down if he gets more exercise. Does he get out of the cage much?
I don't close the cage. My ratties are free to roam their rat-safe room.
My boy just doesn't like to be active and really just prefers to sleep, eat and cuddle all day. I don't really know what I can do to engage him and make him lose some weight.

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



DerVerrater posted:

Im having some trouble with my little darlings just now, Ive tried to tempt them into interacting with me but they just take the food and run off into a corner of the cage. Recently also when removing their litter tray thing one of them bit me out of nowhere which came as quite a shock and i must admit has made me somewhat more nervous around him.

Any advice on how to deal with this.

That's how I started with my first pair of rats too. Give them treats and let them run off if they feel like it. Let them get used to a giant hairless ape living next to them. Every now and then you might want to give them yoghurt as a treat. Rats love yoghurt and you can dip your finger in it which will "force" them to stay close to you for longer periods of time.
Also I know it's tempting but you want to avoid forcefully picking them out of the cage until they're comfortable with you. It'll make them feel better if they have a safe place where they think you can't "get them". Patience is important.

Are you sure that the ratty bit you out of fear? 99% of the times rats bite you because your finger looks like something edible.
If they keep doing that constantly you can try making a loud squeek (I'm serious) every time they do, which rats understand as "don't do that". You should have to do that though, they should figure it out on their own.

I only ever had two pair of rats though, so that might not be the best advice but it worked for me in the same situation.

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



Is it safe to pick up rats by their tails?
I don't usually have the need to do that but my new 6 weeks-old babies are incredibly hyperactive and it's impossible to catch them otherwise, when they try to get on my table or start digging through the trashcan.

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



Fraction posted:

god rats are so dirty and smelly and nasty and gross







Adorable.

It's too bad that most people don't know that rats groom themselves as much as cats, if not more.
Rats do smell quite a bit though, especially boys, but that's true for any pet.

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



repiv posted:

Look how wobbly they are when they shake

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCvuIaxeLKE#t=90s

Adorable.

I wonder what my pudgy boy would look like in slow-mo.


Bonus comedy picture:http://i.imgur.com/Cu9epaV.jpg "Bring me Solo and the Wookie."

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



I have a situation here, maybe someone more experienced can give some advice.

I have 3 boys right now. One of them is 1.5 years old and other two are 2 month old brothers.
When I was bringing them food today I noticed that my older boy had a small wound on the top of his head. It was already closed and it was more of a small patch of caked blood.
I have no idea how he might have gotten it but I don't think there's anything in the cage that he might have hurt himself on so I suspect that maybe he had a fight with one of the other boys except that when I found the wound all of them were sleeping together and they were never aggressive towards him.
Small boys wrestle with each other and they often steal food from my big boy, since he's slow and lazy, but they never seemed to be aggressive towards each other.

Is this normal part of male rat group dynamic? Should I be worried?

Jack Trades fucked around with this message at 10:15 on Jul 1, 2014

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



Do you guys have any tips on how to keep my ratties cool during hot days? I live in the northern part of the world but last couple of days have been pure hell.

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



Patchouli Patrol posted:

The rats have hand-knitted hammocks, a giant igloo and a Silent Spinner in their Critter Nation... but all seven rats choose to be in a half-destroyed cake box.



It's not half-destroyed. It's artistically deconstructed, rat-style.

That's one adorable rat pile you've got there.

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



A squeak is rat way of saying "stop that", what ever the reason might be. If he was in pain or scared he'd at least try to run away from you but if he squeaks when you touch him without trying to get away from you then he probably just doesn't want to be touched.
My pudgy boy doesn't like it when I touch his fatty rolls but I just can't help myself.

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



Invalid Octopus posted:

Squeaks don't always mean "stop that". I've had rats squeak loudly while pinning down another rat and winning a rat tussle.

Hmm, Interesting. I have two rat babies that play-fight with a lot of squeaking but I don't think I've ever heard the "winning" rat squeak.
Though I'm probably just deaf since it's not really easy to hear which crazy supersonic furball is making the noise.

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Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



I have a problem and I thought I'd ask for help here.
I have 3 rat boys. One 2 years-old boy who's been the "alpha male" before his brother passed away and two 6 months old boys, one of them seems to have aspirations to be the "alpha".
The big guy and the little guy has been fighting a lot lately and I suspect it's about the group dominance, so to speak, but I have never had a situation like that before so I don't really know what I'm supposed to do.
It's very clear that they're not playing, big guy doesn't like playing much, and I did find a small healed wound on one of them. I'm afraid that it'll escalate but I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do.

Any advice on how to deal with that and what I should be watching out for? Keeping them apart forever doesn't seem like a solution.

Jack Trades fucked around with this message at 16:17 on Aug 31, 2014

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