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Discussion Starter #1
My rats just came back from the vet. Vet suggested that along with the medicine I have for them I should ad a heating pad to the cage. They both have respiratory infections. I got a reptile cage heater and applied it to the bottom of the tank. They have a 3-level tank/wire home.

The questions I have-

1. Is their bedding enough to prevent too much heat and possible burns? The heater is under their little house in the bottom of the tank.

2. Can I continue to use this thing after they are better? The one in particular likes to sleep on his back on it (its SOOOOO cute).

3. What room temp is best for rats? Obviously I should not use the heating pad in the summer time, but what temp in the house do they need to be at?

Thanks for your advice in advance. Its so great to have them back, the vet was giving them their medicine for the past 6 days...I finally maned up to doing it myself and brought them home. They seem so much better...but still sneezing :?
 

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Hello
to be honest i've never had a heating pad for my rats, i do have one for my snakes though (rats not food btw). I've burned myself on it a few times :|, I wouldn't think bedding would be enough. What I would try is putting an old t-shirt or towl over it. Big enough to were they wont expose the heated area to to much and that should keep it from burning them. This is just an idea i'm not sure it will work. I just do that when i have to move it and it's still hot, I left the shirt over the heating pad while i clean the tanks and all that stuff (took about 2 1/3 hours, i have a lot of snakes) i could pick up the heating pad no problem the shirt was just warm. So i'm assuming that it would help.
Now i'm not saying the bedding isn't fine, i just know mine shove theirs all around and that the pads get superhot... so they could be burned but like i said i've never done the heating pad for my rats before.
 

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They were both laying on it this morning and it has been plugged in all night. I'm not sure what to do with it. Inside the little house the smaller one has cleaned off the floor and just has the glass to lay on. Anyone else have any comment on this?
 

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Is there anyway you can put it under there without it being on the glass, so that they still get the heat, just not enough to burn them? The only other idea is to have something in the cage to separate them from the heat pad, but it would need to be something they couldn't move...

I'm sorry not to be of more help. Heat pads aren't something I've used with rats before.

Maybe a heat lamp instead of a heat pad? But you would need to place it such as they couldn't touch it, obviously.
 

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Donnak has a good idea, maybe you can prop up a corner of the cage and have the heat pad laying under near it?? OH! maybe you can put a shirt or towel under the tank and over the heatpad. Then you don't have to worry about them moving it.
 

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Do you guys think something like a piece of cardboard cut out to fit over it would be good? I mean, its been on all day and they haven't burned themselves on it, so I dunno. The instructions mention burning for reptiles, maybe the rats are smart enough to lot lay on it when its too hot...lol Awww...they are cuddling up on the second level. Anyway, I can't remove it from the glass now or I will break the heating element.
 

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To be honest, that would've been my first reaction - that the rats should be smart enough to move if they start to get too hot - but I'd be stabbing in the dark the same as you are.

If they haven't hurt themselves yet, then I would just keep covering that area with bedding and keep an eye on them. Is there anything they particularly like to sleep in/on? If so, could you place that over the heated area so they wouldn't be so inclined to move it?
 

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I would put an old t-shirt folded up in that spot. Maybe even tape it down to insure that there is at least one layer between then and the heating element. Preferably white or some light color as black would defeat the purpose.
 
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