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My rats have these sand colored bugs on them. They have spread from one of my rats to all of them. We tried regular bathing them, and pulling them off. We have isolated the rats that have the bugs outside, and cleaned cages and bathed our other animals (the cats and piggy and rats). This just started about 36 hours ago. The one rat who initially had them died he was very weak and nothing we did helped him. We aren't sure what the rats have, if its lice mites or fleas. It made the rat weak like mites, but they look like lice, but there is dander like fleas. What is it? And is there an over the counter "revolution" dip (if thats what I need) that would work? (I'm a bit poor to be spending a lot). I just need any and all information I can get.
 

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It does sound like lice (mites are invisible). Revolution is not a dip, it's a spot-on treatment. It's available from a vet, or perhaps online (canadavet.com?) The other choice is invermectin.
 

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If you want fast and easy get Revolution (takes care of all the buggies although it sounds like you have lice). If you want cheap and will work hard for 3 weeks then get Ivermectin.

Once you have made your choice we can tell you how to treat your bug problem.

Have you brought in any new rats? Have you recently bought new bedding? (aspen, carefresh, etc?)
Lice can hitch a ride on these things. A lot of people freeze the bedding for 48 hours and this will kill any ride-alongs. :)
 

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Id say have a vet lined up(if you dont have one yet, look now) just incase anyone else becomes weak. And get revelution from the vet so itl be quicker.
If one has passed, you want to act on it asap.

and also, i am sorry for your loss. its hard when it happens so suddenly
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It is lice, most likely from the bedding. An over the counter spray (just for rodents, at a rodent dose) was advised by the vet, along with a bath with special shampoo, which has seemed to kill all the bugs. The rats have perked up so much and are doing so well. They are still being kept separate for a few more days of cage cleaning and spraying to be sure the problem is cured.


Thanks so much!
 

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oh please do not use a shampoo! It is basically a pesticide and putting it on a rat means they will eat it and you can't control how much they eat that way and the spray is horrible as well. talk with you vert about dosing with ivermectin or revolution Ivermectin can be used orally once a week for three weeks and revolution is a once and done thing. Change their entire cage and scrub it all down really well. Stop using that bedding and try a different brand or freeze all bedding for 24 hours before using it. The ivermectin you want to dose is a horse dewormer at 1.87% you squirt it all into a film canister or something smilar then mix it really really well then dose a grain of sand sized bit to each rat once a week for three weeks. This controls the amount of pesticide you are dosing your rat with. The revolution is harder to dose is you ask me since it is hard to judge the amount you need to give them. I am sure some one else can explain that or you can look it up online at www.ratfanclub.org
 

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Spray treatments are AWFUL for rats, their sensitive respiratory systems just don't handle them very well. :(
 
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