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Discussion Starter #1
i'm starting a new topic for this as the other one was quite ,ong and mostly off topic. in the topic this one is based from the question was "They want to know if a shower is safe for your rats as long as the waters a nice temp and you don't step on them. Will the water give them a possible ear infection?"

many different opinions arose. some said that the shower would cause ear infections, myco flare-ups and aspiration pnumonia. others said it was no more dangerous then giving your rats a bath and still others brought into question the benifits of steam and perhaps its dangers. we could not agree on which was right as all we had was theroies and personal stories. so i promised to do further research on it.

the first thing i did was check the Rat and Mouse Gazette: Medical Corner (http://www.rmca.org/) as this site is often referred to by many rat owners and forums when a health issue arises. i found no pertitent articles and so emailed them. the following is that correspondance, posted with permission.

--- "Raven Wilson" <[email protected]> wrote:
>>> on a forum i frequent there has recently been a post saying that
showering with your rat can and will cause ear infections, myco
flareups and apiration pneumonia. <snip> and if they were an issue
would they not be the same with bathing rats? are ear infections with
rats the same as with humans. some humans are more suspectable and so
get them anytime their ears go under water while other humans have no
problems? <snip> if the splash from the shower or the accidental
dousing of the head in either a bath or shower can cause this
wouldn't the mositure from inhaling steam cause the same problems?
<snip> i'd like to know as my rats seem to enjoy the shower and i
find it far easier to clean them after they've relaxed in the shower
with me for a bit <<<


Hi Raven,

I've got to say that I haven't really heard of these problems in
combination with showering, either. So I think it's a matter of yes,
they CAN occur, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that they
they "can and will". If your rats don't get water into their ears (or
only very little) and don't inhale any water, I wouldn't worry about
ear infections or aspiration pneumonia. (These ARE things that people
who bathe rats are warned to watch out for, btw. So yes, there's this
risk with bathing, too.)

Yes, some rats are probably more prone to (ear) infections than
others are. This is the case with everything, I think... respiratory
infections, tumours, etc.

You've got quite remarkable little ratties, btw. I know there are
ratties who like pea-fishing etc in water, but there aren't many that
like swimming in bathtubs (mine FLEW out of it the one time I tried
it, LOL) or playing under a running shower, I think. Cute. :)

As for the myco flare-ups, I dunno how they could be caused by a
shower. Indirectly, through stress, perhaps?

Re. the steam. Inhaling steam isn't the same as inhaling water. For
one, there's less water in steam than there is in water (if that
makes sense). Secondly, if the air temperature stays the same, the
water stays in the steam, I think. At least partly. Perhaps one of
the other volunteers at Ratinfo can explain this more clearly.

I hope this answers your questions.

Greetz.
Cyzahhe

please keep in mind that is only one source so far and that i will be continuing my research. i will post all articles i find, for or against showering with rats so we may be able to make an educated decision on this issue.
 

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Interesting reading - thanks for doing the research :)

There's not a chance I could shower with either of our rats without getting torn limb from limb :lol: Maybe I'll try the younger one, one day, but the older one has made it most clear that she doesn't like bath tubs with even the slightest bit of water in them.
 

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"If your rats don't get water into their ears (or only very little) and don't inhale any water, I wouldn't worry about ear infections or aspiration pneumonia."

The thing is, you can't monitor that kind of thing when you're IN the shower with them. Along with that, if you're actually showering with them, there's soap in the water that can get in their eyes if you keep them by your feet.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
then don't keep them by your feet. i agree you have to be careful. i wouldn't dance in the shower with them there or not watch where they are when cleaning myself. but, at least in my shower, there's plenty of room for them get away from the water if they want to and plenty of room for me to keep an eye on them. i also don't bring in more then i can watch. in fact, so far i've only ever brought in one at a time and i'm doubtful i would bring in any more then that per shower. and i would think you'd be better be able to monitor them if you were right in with them. there would also be less chance of them getting a mouthful or earful of water when playing when there is no real pool of water for them to accidentally dunk themselves in. my shower is also low pressure as its from a well and by the time the water gets to bottom its no stronger streamed then a gentle rain. but this is purely my own story and will not be the same for all other showers. which is why i will continue my research.
 

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I can understand all that, but now what concerns me is the whole... using soap to clean yourself. I mean, I don't know about your hair, but mine's around 5-6 inches past my shoulder, and when I rinse out shampoo/conditioner, it goes all over the place.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
my hair is actually fairly short so i don't use that much and there isn't any splatter. in fact if there was splatter that normally means you're using too much soap to begin with. this is what my mother, who used to be a hairdresser and barber, taught me. also, like i said, the water pressure isn't great either so the rinsed soap just runs down off my body.
 

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My big concern would be the rats getting soap or shampoo on their fur and not having it rinsed off properly. They could end up ingesting it through grooming, and we all know that you shouldn't eat soap/shampoo.

-Caty
 

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Just an idea, but what about baby body wash/shampoo?
 

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Just because it's baby body wash or shampoo doesn't mean it's safe to be ingested. A lot soaps and shampoos have alcohols and sulfates, even shampoos geared toward babies. Not safe to eat.

-Caty
 

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nerdchick said:
Just because it's baby body wash or shampoo doesn't mean it's safe to be ingested. A lot soaps and shampoos have alcohols and sulfates, even shampoos geared toward babies. Not safe to eat.

-Caty
See the part where I said "just an idea..." :roll:

My thinking was that if you didn't use much, and you made sure to rinse your rattie well after you were done, then it might be alright.
 

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I'm sorry if you perceived what I said as rude. You proposed and idea, and I gave you my opinion, simple as that. I didn't mean for it to be taken as snotty or uncalled for.

-Caty
 

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Discussion Starter #12
nerdchick are you talking about accidentally gettiing soap on them or washing them on purpose? if you are washing them on purpose then i use a mild baby shampoo like johnsons and make sure they're rinsed off well. if you mean about accidentally getting my own shampoo or soaps on them, well that's just a matter of making sure you're watching them and what your doing around them. which you would do whether they're in a bath on their own or int he shower with you. there is a chance that the rat could get your own shampoo acciedentally rinsed on them as they ARE sharing that space but the chances are minor as you are watching them and what you are doing. if shampoo water rinses on them then your watching them and can make sure that they get rinsed right back off again before ingestion can occur.
 

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I meant accidentally. I would never shower with my rats as there is always a chance for an accident. I don't use soap when I bathe my rats either, I take a warm wet washcloth and wipe them down but that's only if they have a little buck grease or peed on each other too much. Anyways, to reiterate, I just think that chance for accident is too great.

-Caty
 

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I agree with Caty. I'm not so frustrated with this issue anymore, and I guess if you had a huge shower stall it'd be less likely for the rats to encounter issues. Personally, though, I'd never shower with an animal.
 
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