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Discussion Starter #1
I just brought home 2 rescue boys. They've been at their foster home for quite a while though. I noticed when they were sitting on me that they had little red bugs on them. They didn't jump, just crawled. I'm a little upset that I was given rats with a problem, but that is neither here nor there. Their coats are really really thin and I spotted them right away. They should have been spotted sooner (unless they were never really handled, which would make me even more upset) But my real question is does any one know what these are? If you know what they are do I need a special shampoo or do I need to get them to a vet for medication? I could try giving them a regular bath to see if it helps - but their fur is so thin that I don't want them getting sick from the cold. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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get some olive oil, no other kind, and gently rub it into both the rats, totally covering them. they will look like scarecrow rats but will be ok. leave it on for at least 24 hours. then you have the option of either leaving it on until it wears off (a couple of days or so) or washing them with mild baby shampoo.

the olive oil will drown the lice and smother the eggs. you will need to do this once a week for 3 weeks to make sure you have killed all the eggs and hatchlings.

also, give their home a total cleanout, including bedding, boxes, toys, everything. mites and lice dont last long away from their host, but they can survive a few minutes.
 

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Failing that, you can always get some Revolution (US) / Stronghold )UK) or Ivermectin from your vets. These are the two most reccommended treatment for lice/mites in our little buddies

It sounds like you have a lice problem - lice are reddy brown and cigar shaped. They crawl around the animals fur and are usually quite distinctive.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks I'm getting some revolution today. I'm also going to do the olive oil at the same time since their skin is very dry and their fur is rough.
 

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eclecticnoise said:
Thanks I'm getting some revolution today. I'm also going to do the olive oil at the same time since their skin is very dry and their fur is rough.
I would just stick with the revolution, their coat should clear up nicely once the lice are gone. :D You can give them a little olive oil on a crust of bread to help their coat and skin once a week though. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Their coat is really bad right now though. If it was just a little patchy then I'd do that - but they are almost completely bald. Skin showing through and what not. I know that they are kind of old and didn't come from the best home - but I was a little shocked at how bad their fur was.
 

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The Revolution should be sufficient - once the lice problem is dealt with then their fur will start coming back. Olive oil won't (I don't think) promote hair growth.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm sure it won't. I'm just trying to give what is left of their fur a little bit of moisture. Plus their skin seems so dry.
 

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no, olive oil doesnt promote hair growth... but if you dont like the idea of putting chemicals all over your little ratties, then its the best treatment for lice.
 

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I've heard about getting rid of anything that isn't washable from the cages after lice, like cardboard, is that true or do the eggs just get laid on the fur?
 

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I just found that one of my girls has what looks like tiny lice.
Should I start treating myself too?

luckily she has a follow up appointment with her vet tomorrow(post surgery)

she hasn't had that much contact with Adie because she's been in recovery..but should I go ahead and treat her?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'd find out about the risks of treating a rat that has just gone through surgery. But you don't have to treat yourself - they don't go from rats to humans (fortunately). The eggs and lice can live for a few minutes on your clothing or on blankets, so I'd check your other rat just to be sure and after you start the first treatment give everything a good wash.
 

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eclecticnoise said:
I'd find out about the risks of treating a rat that has just gone through surgery. But you don't have to treat yourself - they don't go from rats to humans (fortunately). The eggs and lice can live for a few minutes on your clothing or on blankets, so I'd check your other rat just to be sure and after you start the first treatment give everything a good wash.
well I got the revolution today from the vet and she told me to treat all 4 of my rats just in case.
They told me to put it behind the ear...they said to be careful because they like to clean. Should I be worried they'll poison themselves? Is there a safer place to put it lol?

Nikki >.<
 

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I part the fur beside their ears and put the Revolution there. It is right on the skin and gets absorbed faster. You try to distract them from cleaning themselves for a few minutes so that the Revolution can absorb, thats all. :)
 
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