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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have googled and researched and asked my vet, but I thought I would get everyone’s input here:

Barry is my 10(ish) month old neutered male. He is a blue rex (though, badly mismarked and a genetic disaster – DON’T BREED!) and he has been having ongoing skin/coat issues.

The problem started at the age of 6(ish) months – he presented with dark scabs on his face, neck and sides, hair loss, and bad myco flare ups. Seems generally subdued.

I have done a skin scraping (neg.), fecal (neg.), revolution, countless antibiotic rounds for the myco and has been treated twice with steroids/antibiotics for the worst flare ups.

His diet is Nutro Max Lite Adult (I don’t like this and am switching to something with better ingredients) and Suebee’s, with veggies/pasta/olive oil every other day.

**edit** I would like to give him a lower protein diet, but he lives with my three girls, and I don't want to deprive them of the protein that they need... :?

His bedding is terry cloth and fleece with YN in the litter box. I use hypoallergenic medical detergent (b/c my dog is a genetic nightmare as well) and I keep the extra YN in our deep freeze in case it got infested with anything at the store. I know it is kind of extreme, but I am grasping for straws.

The scabs always seem to bother him, and he is so **** itchy… I feel so bad for the poor guy.

I am going to take a picture soon as well.

Any tips? I am looking for anything.
 

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Males and females have the same protein requirements so there shouldn't be any concern of depriving your females. The only instance where females need more is when they are pregnant or nursing. I've heard that blue rats tend to have more skin issues but it sounds like you've tried everything I could think of. You've ruled out mites... your protein levels food wise don't look too bad... Do you have the soy nuts/soybeans in the Suebee's? Might remove those if you do as that's another protein source. How are his nails? If they are long perhaps you could try giving those a trim and see if that's why he's getting scabs. Other than that I'm stumped =/ Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Darksong17 said:
Males and females have the same protein requirements so there shouldn't be any concern of depriving your females.
I read somewhere that males are typically more sensitive to protein than females. My females are varying ages, one of which is about 4 months old and was a nursing mother at the evil pet store that I am trying to close down. One of the options I thought of was removing the dog food, but I don't want her to have needs that aren't getting met.

Darksong17 said:
I've heard that blue rats tend to have more skin issues
I've heard that too... like I said, he is a genetic nightmare. He has been sick practically the whole time I've had him. He is my favorite... just don't tell the others. :wink:

Darksong17 said:
Do you have the soy nuts/soybeans in the Suebee's? Might remove those if you do as that's another protein source.
I did because I had the same thought. They didn't seem to like them anyway, so it didn't seem to help.

Darksong17 said:
How are his nails? If they are long perhaps you could try giving those a trim and see if that's why he's getting scabs.
Uh, you know... I haven't really looked. Not long enough to attract attention, but they might be sharp. I can check them!

Keep it coming!!! :p
 

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Male rats are more likely to have a sensitivity to too much protein, yes, and younger rats can do with higher protein levels as well. Rats reach adulthood at about six months of age at which point their growth significantly slows, at least based on what I've read. Recent studies have shown that a rat's protein requirements are much lower than originally thought. I don't know that removing the staple dog food from the mix would be a good idea since as far as I know it's an essential part of it. Also, if you do go with a better dog food to mix in you're likely going to end up with a higher protein content.

I did look into some of the higher end dog foods in an attempt to find which ones were most suitable in terms of protein and fat content and found that Natural Balance Reduced Calorie Formula and Wellness Weight Management Super5Mix were the best. Honestly none of the dog foods have protein levels appropriate for rats, they are all on the high side but you just have to try and go with the lowest you can find (without resorting to crappy brands of course, I didn't even bother checking crappier brands).

If you look under Suebee's mix/homemade diets on my diet page I list the best high quality dog foods for the mix (based on protein and fat contents), link to the pages for them, and provide the min and max protein and fat values in them: http://www.petinfopackets.com/rats/ratfeeding.html#homemade
 

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Okay so you treated for ecto-parasites with Revolution right? That takes away buggies.

Do the scabs stay the same or do they constantly get worse? How long has he had them? When did it start, was there any change in his/your life just before?

If you look beyond the scabs (hard to do) what does the skin look like around it?

I have seen/heard of different things, although rather extreme, be warned anyone with a weak stomach...do NOT click the links.
My girl had Pyoderma (staph infection of the skin common in dogs, uncommon in rats)..made her famous on Ratguide. :)
http://ratguide.com/health/figures/pyoderma_figure_4.php

A wonderful friend of mine had a lovely girl with a type of skin cancer...another famous rat albeit a very sad case.
http://ratguide.com/health/figures/lymphoma_figure_1.php

Another woman recently had a girl with severe allergies and she ended up looking a lot like Prin towards the end :(
With allergies you had to take everything down to the barest minimum, then add things in slowly to see if flares up, then you know your trigger.
Lots of work and if you are interested I'll do up a proper post for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
lilspaz68 said:
Okay so you treated for ecto-parasites with Revolution right? That takes away buggies.
Yes. :D

lilspaz68 said:
Do the scabs stay the same or do they constantly get worse?
They happen, heal, and go away. Nothing too persistant, just too frequent to be normal... but nothing like those links. 8O Oh, and I wanted to add that the hair is thinning, not total bald patches. He is rex-ish, though... I don't know if that matters.

lilspaz68 said:
How long has he had them?
Reletively consistant for the past four months... approx...

lilspaz68 said:
When did it start, was there any change in his/your life just before?
No change... I don't think... GASP! I think it was right about the time that I started using Suebee's and dog food... 8O :? 8O

lilspaz68 said:
If you look beyond the scabs (hard to do) what does the skin look like around it?
Normal, no discoloration, no swelling, doesn't seem painful...

lilspaz68 said:
Lots of work and if you are interested I'll do up a proper post for you.
Sure! I'll take any help I can get! You know how it is... I just hate that he is uncomfortable.
 

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Seems like you answered yourself. :) There's something in the Suebee's that does not agree with his sensitive constitution. My suggestion is to stop feeding Suebee's and order Harlan Tekland lab blocks from Kim's Ark. I would advise the 2018, They sell them for a $1 per pound plus shipping and rats generally love them.

Harlan Teklad Lab Blocks #2018
Complete and balanced lab block made of high quality ingredients. One of the best lab blocks! The #2018 formula contains 18% protein and 5% fat. Contains no animal protein, fish meal, or alfalfa (indigestible to rats.) Kim's Ark uses and recommends this lab block (we mix it with a high quality dog food like Wellness Senior or Innova Senior.) Made of all natural ingredients and uses soybean oil as a natural preservative. Lower quality blocks sell for more money at pet stores! Click HERE to find out more information on this formula.
$1.00 per pound
full 33 pound bag - $25.00

http://www.kimsarkrescue.org/content/view/35

I would supplement with fresh veggies and see how things go. I used to feed Suebee's myself but I found my rats started getting a bit chubby and when you have over 20 rats it gets rather expensive. In your case, I think that it would be the best thing to try at this point. :) Once I got past the "Where's our Suebee's???". They now snatch their 2018 and 2014 from my fingers :D
 

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If it's a protein issue wouldn't you want to go for the 2014?
 

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Forensic said:
If it's a protein issue wouldn't you want to go for the 2014?
The 2014 only comes in 33 lb bags as a special order. Sparker only has 4 rats I believe and a 33 lb bag would be a waste. Also 2018 has no animal proteins which could be the problem rather than protein percentage.

ngredients—Ground wheat, ground corn, wheat middlings, soybean meal, corn gluten meal, soybean oil, calcium carbonate, dried brewers yeast, dicalcium phosphate, iodized salt, L-lysine, DL-methionine, choline chloride, niacin, vitamin A acetate, biotin, pyridoxine hydrochloride,thiamine mononitrate, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, calcium pantothenate, ferrous sulfate, magnesium oxide, manganous oxide, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, cobalt carbonate, chromium potassium sulfate.
 

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The Crafty Rat sells 2014 in 5 lb bags. And 2014 doesn't have any animal protein or fish meal, according to the HT website?
 

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Didn't know about Crafty Rat. Good to know :)

Ingredients—Wheat middlings, ground wheat, ground corn, corn gluten meal, calcium carbonate, soybean oil, dicalcium phosphate, iodized salt, L-lysine, DL-methionine, choline chloride, niacin, vitamin A acetate, biotin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, calcium pantothenate, ferrous sulfate, magnesium oxide, manganous oxide, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, cobalt carbonate, chromium potassium sulfate.

I feed 2014 and 2018, but I also got thru a bag in less than a month :)
 

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Harlan Teklad is new to me being I live in Canada, I used to feed Mazuri 6F (16% protein). Then someone started HT shipments with a bunch of others. I think that the new HT policies are going to force me back to the Mazuri though :(
 

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lilspaz68 said:
Harlan Teklad is new to me being I live in Canada, I used to feed Mazuri 6F (16% protein). Then someone started HT shipments with a bunch of others. I think that the new HT policies are going to force me back to the Mazuri though :(

That's a shame, Harlan Teklad is definitely better quality than Mazuri. Personally, I'd never recommend Mazuri to anyone just based on it's ingredients. Not that Harlan Teklad's ingredients are that great either but they are definitely above Mazuri in my opinion. You wouldn't be able to order the 2014 formula?
 

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Supposedly Harlan Teklad has now put into effect a minimum shipping order of $500, when it used to be $100.00 and something else about not shipping to anyone other than labs? I hear they want to concentrate away from the pet market. A woman arranged it to be picked up at a warehouse nearby (I live in Toronto), but not sure what's going on now. I'll be upset since the price, the quantity and how much my rats adore the 2014 and 2018, is absolutely perfect . :) I'll be disappointed if I have to go back to my 50 lb bags of Mazuri 6F. :(
 

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lilspaz68 said:
Supposedly Harlan Teklad has now put into effect a minimum shipping order of $500, when it used to be $100.00 and something else about not shipping to anyone other than labs? I hear they want to concentrate away from the pet market. A woman arranged it to be picked up at a warehouse nearby (I live in Toronto), but not sure what's going on now. I'll be upset since the price, the quantity and how much my rats adore the 2014 and 2018, is absolutely perfect . :) I'll be disappointed if I have to go back to my 50 lb bags of Mazuri 6F. :(
Oh no! I had no idea. That's really unfortunate if it's true. That would leave just Regal Rat or Suebee's mix as options I'm comfortable with. I really hope that isn't the case, I don't understand why they would find it a bad thing that pet owners use their blocks as well. :(
 
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