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Aggressive mouth grooming? (yes, MY mouth!)

5007 Views 10 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Sweetcondensedrats
So here's a strange phenomenon...

Senna, the more affectionate of my two rats, enjoys being petted and grooming me in return by licking my hands and nibbling off bits of dead skin here and there. Recently, however, she's started doing something a little more alarming (and painful). When she's feeling like grooming me, she'll climb up my chest, grab my lower lip (either with her very sharp little claws or in her teeth---she's definitely not attacking me, she just doesn't seem to understand that this HURTS) and start to pry it open. For a few days I stopped her at this point, mostly due to pain, but one day I decided to let her continue and see what she was trying to do. She managed to get my mouth open and then---she bit my tooth!

What?! I don't understand what she was trying to do. Do rats groom each other's teeth? Did I have something particularly delicious-smelling on my breath, and she thought my tooth was food? My other rat, Plumcot, likes to occasionally lick and nibble on my lip and chin, but she's never done anything like this.

Does anybody else have experience with an aggressively mouth-grooming rat? I love her to death and I love it when she grooms me back (it's a very bonded feeling) but this is going a little too far!
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Many people seem to have rats that do this. "Rodentistry". I personally wouldn't allow a rat to do this... I think it's pretty disgusting lol.

A couple of my boy like to clean mine and the boy's teeth/mouth, but they've never been as agressive about it as your Senna. The only time they ever bit while cleaning was when they were really young and didn't seem to know any better. What we'd do is take them away from our mouths and sit them down for a moment. I guess they figured out that if they got too rough they were made to stop. Now the only time they get bitey when grooming us is with my fingernails, I've had them chew parts of my fingernails off before.

I guess you could try what we did and see if that helps or I've heard of people making loud squeaking noises when a rat grooms too rough, but with a rat in your mouth I don't know how well that would work.
"Rodentistry," ha! Oh, I know people who kiss their dogs, and in my estimation, a rat's mouth (and the rest of a rat's body) is MUCH cleaner. According to an article I read recently, the human mouth is actually about the dirtiest most disgusting thing around, so really it's worse for the rat. :p

But yeah, definitely not going to let it continue---it hurts! I like the idea of making loud squeaking sounds (which I pretty much do anyway when something hurts me). Sometimes Senna and Plum get into a scuffle in their hammock and I hear loud squeaking from the one that got overly roughed-up, and the squeak usually ends it.
My rats have been trying to "improve my oral hygiene".
I decided to let them and see what they'd do.
Cow tried to actually climb into my mouth.. :S
She was about halfway in when I pulled her out..
Pinky constantly nips at my lips.. which kind of hurts, and I pull her away whenever she does it.
Crystals has only tried once but got bored right away. xD
My girls get grabby with my lip and it's not that they're actually being rough, it's just the thin skin of lips and those tiny little nails don't mix at all haha. Yeah, it hurts. I just don't let them. If you turn your head away they'll lay off. Mine did at least.
Yeah we see some of this with ours, especially the girl Cassie. Haven't quite decided what to make of it, but rattie kisses are always nice.
i don't think i'd like my mouth being groomed mouthwise
thank goodness my 2 don't do that.. but i had one rat that use to pull my mouth open with her foot and stick her head in there
, do you work with psyk patients?? and why isn't there a stellasene on your list?? :)
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