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Discussion Starter #1
I think Rose has been chewing the fur off her front legs- I noticed recently that her little arms are oddly bald.

What causes barbering? My first thought was mites possibly, but I know what a mite infestation looks like- and wouldn’t all the girls be affected? Plus they were all examined by a vet not very long ago. So maybe it’s a mental thing, like a nervous disorder? Rose is a friendly, seemingly happy rat.

Any insight would be appreciated!
 

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Boredom, stress, and nervousness can cause it as well, I think...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hmm, she doesn’t seem stressed or nervous. She’s been her usual self, she is the most laid back of all my girls, though since I posted this on Wednesday the bald patches have gotten larger.

Maybe it’s boredom? Since I’ve been home more the girls have been getting 2-3 hours outside their cage each day. I’m working on getting a wheel for their cage and I guess I’ll get them some new toys too (they have quite a few already, spoiled ratties!) and see if that helps any.
 

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I'm pretty big on treating with revolution at any question on mites just in case. If you don't see any improvement after the first treatment you can then rule out mites.

Also try moving around the stuff in the cage more, giving longer out times, making things more interesting for the rat. You might want to look into rescue remedy if barbering persists. I always like to rule out the medical before going onto behavioral reasons if possible. Small changes in behavior like this could be an early sign of illness, and catching it ahead of time can save you tons of money and lengthen your rats lifespan.
 

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I agree with poppyseed, if her behaviour doesnt change after the treatments try taking her to the vet just to make sure there is no underlying problem
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, I'll ask the vet about some Revolution. Like I said, they all saw the vet recently, and I'm doubtful that it's mites- but I suppose a precautionary treatment can hurt anything.

Thanks for the replies! :)
 

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I have yet to experience barbering (amazingly!), but I do believe it's often a behavior issue. I agree with changing things in the cage, more out time if you can swing it (though 2-3 hours isn't awful), maybe give her a bit of "special" attention, more toys and things to do in the cage..

Also, I do know that rats can barber each other. Are you sure it's her that's doing it? I'm sure she probably is, given the location that's being barbered, but it was a thought I had.
 
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