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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all
I have two females, around 8 months old each. Since I got them theyve always been very rough n tumble and like to chase each other and play etc but I'm wondering when to draw the line... One is definitely more dominant than the other and generally is the one initiating the rough play. My concern is around minor bleeding.... let me explain
I have done some reading and found that when rats groom each other aggressively (on the neck/upper back) they sometimes pinch them because of the movement/grinding motion their teeth are making. And this causes the other rat to squeak/screech. My little girl, Mouse, is the runt and is often at the receiving end of this rough grooming. But lately I have noticed she has an overall discoloration around her neck which looks like it could be blood sometimes - I know it's possible this could be the poryphrin staining... maybe when the bigger girl grooms her, the staining from her nose rubs off? Because when I touch Mouse's neck and try to inspect it she's never in pain and never responds to my touch... but it's getting more visible as the days go on.
I have noticed my bigger girl, Stella, has 2 tiny little scabs on her back - I would assume this is also just from rough grooming..... but I'm wondering why a) the grooming looks so different for both the girls (one has tiny little scabs while the other has a pinkish/bloodied neckline?) and b) when should I be really concerned?
I've been told that ANY bleeding from rough play is a problem, but they get along so well otherwise and do not respond negatively when I touch them where they'yre marked and inspect them for issues.
Should I be separating my girls? I generally clap or yell each time it gets rough to temporarily "break up the fight" but if it really is just innocent play maybe I dont need to...

any help would be appreciated!!!
Thanks
Katie
 

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The neck scabs may be from mites, have they been scratching? And the neck staining is just polyphorin, blood turns brown.
 

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We almost always get mites with new rats... they are totally common. They are treated with revolution... if your rats are scratching, they are your most likely suspects.

As to how much roughhousing you allow; it's up to you, I draw the line when I see things start to turn nasty instead of playful. One look at my rats eyes does it for me, I know what a playful expression is and when a rat is getting serious and I know when a girl is being happily groomed and when she's acting afraid. I don't wait for bloodshed.
 

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Thanks all. As for the mites... again i'm not sure how to tell when scratching gets to be too much :-/ I think they just scratch a normal amount, and they bathe themselves lots. I guess I should keep my eyes open. Is that Revolution stuff something I can get at the pet store? or is it prescribed by a vet? Should I assume that if one has them, the other does? or will?
 

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You can get it online I'm told or you can get it from a vet that doesn't see rats. It's about $19.00 US a tube and there's enough to treat several rats in the tube. You otherwise can get it from a rat vet, but he'll almost definitely charge you for a visit.
 

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as said before the scabs could be from mites. it sounds to me like normal play my boys can really play rough and i know girls can be worse as they are more agile. one of my boys who is the bottom of the group gets power groomed alot and he squeaks alot with it also. the saying is if there is no blood let them get on with it.
 

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Thank you guys!! Any ides how to distinguish the possible 'bites' from rough play vs mites? They're very hard to see but I can feel the little scabs if I look hard. They just look like teeny tiny.. Scabs.. Haha not sure how to explain them. I don't want to buy the meds if they don't have mites :-/
 

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If you have a microscope, you can take a skin scraping or a sticky tape sample from their skin and examine the slide for mites or you can have a vet do it for you. Or you can spend about $19.00 on a tube of revolution treat all of your rats with a couple of drops on the back of their necks and wait about a week or so until the scabs go away. I actually have a microscope, but when I see scratching and or scabs, I apply a couple of drops of revolution and it stops. It usually happens when we adopt a new rat. Mites are cheaper and easier to cure than to diagnose. These things are microscopic, you can't see them so don't drive yourself nuts looking.

Lastly mite scabs are usually around the ears face, and neck area, scratches and bites are usually around the rump area. Rats aren't too likely to let themselves get bitten or scratched in the face even during rough play.

Best luck.
 
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