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Discussion Starter #1
so i just adopted a pair of ratties, uku and lele i was told they are
about +/-2 months old, i was just curious of if scratching is normal.
they are my first pair of rats so im a rookie at this. they scratch
a few times but i was wondering if it could maybe be external
parasites they came from a home of a wonderful lady that sheltered
animals and unfortunately there was a dog with fleas in the house.
what are some other symptoms of external parasite. or maybe im just
paraniod.
 

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Are they itching A LOT?? I have 3 rats and they do itch some... they clean themselves that way too. What color are your babies? If it's fleas you should be able to see them running around on the rats.
 

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Rats do scratch quite a bit, particularly when they've just woken up. Like linz said, they can also look like they are scratching when they are cleaning themselves.

If you have only just got them, maybe they just need time to settle down and get used to their new environment. If it were me, I would leave them a couple of days to see how they got on - unless they are scratching constantly, then you should really get them looked at.

Try to check them to see if you can see any sign of fleas. Also, look in the cage to see if there are any irritants - anything that smells strongly, might have a strong laundry detergent smell etc. What kind of bedding are you using?

Try not to worry too much. I remember all too well what it was like being a new rattie owner! :)
 

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It could also be mites which you can't see. If they are scratching a ton best to take them to a vet for a mite scraping and they would be able to treat that with medicine if found.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
no, no hay. i guess ill give them a few days to get acclimated to their new home and if they continue to scratch accessively i'll get them looked at
 

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Here's a tip on the age-old question of "how much is too much scratching". When a rat is grooming, he will scratch with his hind foot then clean the toes/nails. This is grooming. When they are itchy its more frantic and more constant.

I thought fleas were species specific so I doubt your rat has dog fleas. They could have lice or mites tho if they are scratchign a lot. Mites are invisible but leave scabs and hair loss on the neck, shoulders, face etc. I do not advise a skin scraping since you often get a false negative on these. Its better just to treat just in case you are worried. Lice are visible and really like to hang out on the back towards the tail...the rat has trouble scratching/grooming there.

You can treat all ector-parasites with Revolution from your vet (one drop and its gone) or Ivermectin (horse de-worming paste) that you get at a farm supply store or tack store. Ivermectin has to be taken out of the tube mixed thorough and a small uncooked grain of rice-sized piece given to each rat once a week for 3 weeks. Each time you need to scrub down the cage, the toys, throw out wooden/paper objects and finally use a diluted bleach solution on the cage at the end as well. So 3 weeks of this with Ivermectin. I looove Revolution personally. :roll:
 
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