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Discussion Starter #1
I have two new rat girls, sisters that are a little over a month and a half old and growing every day.
I've only had them for a few weeks but I noticed that they have been rather itchy. I can't tell if this is "mites" or too much protien or what.
There does not appear to be any "yellow goo/fluid/liquid/whatever" that I've heard so much about with high-protien diets but I have cut back on protien snacks and usually feed them Mazuri blocks, fresh veggies/fruit, and a seed-mix for rats just in case.
If its mites I'm having trouble understanding where they came from. I got the girls a brand new cage, and live in a very clean, otherwise pet-free home. I did provide them with Soft-sorbent bedding after hearing reviews that allergines are low in this brand- could they have come in the bag? I have since removed the soft-sorbent bedding and replaced it with paper-towels to eliminate dust and what not and any mites that may be.

They scratch primarily on their sides and face- licking? their paws inbetween scrathing. They also tend to stick their paws IN their ears as if cleaning them out. I was nervous the first time I saw this, fearing they may hurt their inner-ear, but they seem to know what they're doing. Is there a way to tell if this is mites or not? There are no scabs.
 

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They scratch primarily on their sides and face- licking? their paws inbetween scrathing. They also tend to stick their paws IN their ears as if cleaning them out. I was nervous the first time I saw this, fearing they may hurt their inner-ear, but they seem to know what they're doing. Is there a way to tell if this is mites or not? There are no scabs
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it sounds like they are just grooming to me. my girls often pause to quickly scratch/groom themselves when they're out free ranging. i'd be concerned if they went through a bout of intense scratching every few minutes/scabs appeared, but if not, they're probably fine.
just keep an eye on them! :wink:

you can also check out this site:http://www.rmca.org/Articles/bugs.htm
 

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Don't be nervous about the itching, or the ear cleaning. Both things mean your rats are taking good care of themselves, which is good! However, as a rat owner you need to be very cautious of mites and lice. What I advice doing, is get each rats favorite treat, plunk them down in front of you, and check their fur (mostly around their backs and necks) for any weird spots or dots. Mites and lice are tiny things, and can easily go unspotted. If your rats are scratching a lot, just go ahead and check to be safe. If they have anything weird, just come back and tell us you need help with it.

Specifically, you should be looking for any sort of mark around their fur. If you see anything at all, make a note of it. Mites are usually black or brown, sometimes very light shade of brown.

The final note is, any sort of rat mite or lice can come from anywhere. I am in an area where there shouldn't even be lice, and my rats haven't interacted with other rats, nor received any strange gift or sat in any weird bedding, YET they got lice. So be aware that if it does come, it will most likely come without any reasoning as to where they came from.

Hope this helps. Report back with what you find!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys-
I guess I may just be being over protective of my new rats. :)
I checked them out and they didn't seem to have any weird discolorations/scabs/etc. I decided that they might just be kind of dry so I gave them some bread with olive oil on it so try and get some moisture in them- since then they haven't been quite as itchy.
Cutting back on some of the protien has also helped.
Thanks guys, if I ever encounter other problems I'll be sure to ask you all for your opinions- you're all so helpful!
 

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Chances are its just grooming unless its out of character for them.. they lick there sides feet hands bums other[aherm] intimate places and rub there ears with there hands all part of the normal grooming process,
I would watch for jumping or flinching prior to the scratching which could indicate mites.
The yellow ooze you mention is bucks grease and you only get it with the males..
 
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