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I just noticed my two rats have been itching. They have some hair loss behind ears and some scabs all through out parts of their bodies. I was reading online that it could be mites or lice and found no indications of either. Their diet was another issue. Diet consists of fortified blocks with vitamins and minerals, and for treats or snacks I feed them granola cereal with raisins, dates and almonds in it, grain from the barn ( they seem to love it ) I also give them cheese. Thats what they normally get. I also give them carrots or sometimes give them noodles from dinner. Any ideas on what this scratching could be from? No fleas either. I read that to much protein can cause hair loss and itching.
 

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Too much protein can cause it, but scabs and itches smacks of mites to me. You won't be able to SEE mites, unlike fleas or lice. I'd suggest a treatment of Revolution.
 

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Forensic said:
Too much protein can cause it, but scabs and itches smacks of mites to me. You won't be able to SEE mites, unlike fleas or lice. I'd suggest a treatment of Revolution.
Are they able to get mites when they haven't been around any other rats for over a year and a half (since I got them)
 

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Yes they can. They do sell stuff called mite spray and it is for humans.
it is found in the pharmacy section of the store.

We use it for our snakes but you have to spary it on the bedding and the animal can not be around it for abut 30 minutes after-wards.
it takes a while for the scent to go away but it usually works the first time around. also, when you place the rats back in the cage it will kill the mites on the rats as well.
 

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JustAPeach18 said:
Forensic said:
Too much protein can cause it, but scabs and itches smacks of mites to me. You won't be able to SEE mites, unlike fleas or lice. I'd suggest a treatment of Revolution.
Are they able to get mites when they haven't been around any other rats for over a year and a half (since I got them)
Mites can come in bedding and other similar things, so the answer is yes, sadly. :(
 

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Please do not use sprays or OTC products to treat your mites!!! Rats have incredibly sensitive respiratory systems and any sprays will have too strong a smell. I have also heard of rats dying from OTC treatments or they just didn't work.

The 2 accepted treatments for ecto-parasites are Revolution (from your vet, usually puppy/kitten strength). You put a tiny amount on the back of their neck and they are protected for 30 days which is longer than the life cycle of the bug. Then there's Ivermectin paste. Its a horse de-wormer paste. You remove a lot from the tube, mix it up really well since a horse gets the full dose and it may not be mixed well in that case. Then feed your rat a piece the size of an uncooked grain of rice. Then you get to scrub the cage, let it sit with a bleach solution on it, then wash again, vacuum the area around the cage, throw out any wooden objects, clean any plastic items, wash cloth in very hot water, and freeze any bedding for 48 hours. You will have to repeat this a total of 3 times, once per week.

Protein sensitivities are fairly rare and sadly mites are not. :(
 

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lilspaz68 said:
Please do not use sprays or OTC products to treat your mites!!! Rats have incredibly sensitive respiratory systems and any sprays will have too strong a smell. I have also heard of rats dying from OTC treatments or they just didn't work.

The 2 accepted treatments for ecto-parasites are Revolution (from your vet, usually puppy/kitten strength). You put a tiny amount on the back of their neck and they are protected for 30 days which is longer than the life cycle of the bug. Then there's Ivermectin paste. Its a horse de-wormer paste. You remove a lot from the tube, mix it up really well since a horse gets the full dose and it may not be mixed well in that case. Then feed your rat a piece the size of an uncooked grain of rice. Then you get to scrub the cage, let it sit with a bleach solution on it, then wash again, vacuum the area around the cage, throw out any wooden objects, clean any plastic items, wash cloth in very hot water, and freeze any bedding for 48 hours. You will have to repeat this a total of 3 times, once per week.

Protein sensitivities are fairly rare and sadly mites are not. :(
Thanks for this advice. I haven't used any sprays yet. I'm reading around. But I don't want the poor guys to have to wait any much longer. I can easily get some revolution as I work at a cat clinic. One drop on them as we do our ferrets? Is this something the ferrets could get? I've owned several rats but never had to deal with this before. Ivermectin is gettable as well I live, work and manage a horse ranch. So i'm quite firmiliar with it all. Thanks so much for the info.
 

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Revolution is best to use with rats, but ivermectin horse paste is also widely used and recommended. NEVER use OTC sprays, like Shelagh said. They don't work, and they can harm your rats.

For dosing information, see this page. Depending on how many rats you have to treat and what concentration you get (it's the dog Revolution, by the way), it's either .01 or .05. VERY small amounts, and it dries extremely quickly!
 

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I have 6 rats and 1 older rat, who is alittle older than 2 years old, has thinning hair and filled with scabes. No one else has the same problem. Do you think it could be mites?
 

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1 rat of mine had this before. The vet diagnosed it as mites and gave him an injection to cure it. He was cured, but a little while after he developed pneumonia.. then at that point the vet told me "oh, yea that was a possible side effect of the injection." I spent tons of money and got him xrays, medication, etc. He started to get better but ended up passing away. I am so mad at that vet, I'm sure injection was not the only option and if I had known the facts, I would have never gone for it.
So be wary, and be sure to get all the facts.
You could not actually see mites or anything on my Spike.. the vet took a little skin scrape to diagnose it.
 

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yeah that vet was an idoit then. a skin scrapping often will come back with a false negative anyway and injections should never be used if there is another option just as oral or topical. even if the other option is more time consuming or a pain in the butt.

but to answer your question Nashoba, it could be a reaction to too much protein. what are you feeding? if he's eating more protein then the others or he could just be more sensitive then the others then hair loss and scabbing from itching can be a result. try lessening the protein and give him a bath then watch him for a week or two. if it doesn't clear up then take them all in to get oral ivermectin or topical revolution mixed by the vet. you can mix ivermectin at home from the horse paste type but for medications like that i always feel safer if the vet mixes it instead.

at the very least it gives you someone to yell at and boycott or sue if they kill your animal... j/k. :wink:
 
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