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I posted a topic about few days ago about hair loss and scratching. I got to really checking out my rats fur and found little bugs. I'm not sure what mites look like, I was told they aren't visible. So it's most likely that my little guys have lice? I did put revolution on them. What are possibilities on how they got em? Do I need to throw out their wood house? transmittable to humans? Powder treatment is safe? Thanks in advance for the info.
 

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Good luck, i've heard that it is really difficult to treat a rat with lice :S and lice is most likely what your rat has, they are not transmittable to you or to any other pets, but if your rat has other rat companions, chances are they're infected as well...You really have to try your best to get rid of them as soon as possible because like fleas lice can cause enemia and such... the safest method of treatment is lice and mite spray, used once every 2 or 3 weeks, i wouldn't necessarily get rid of all of your rats toys, but i would disinfect them using boiling water. and be sure to wash any types of fabric you may have in the cage, and you should probably clean the cage daily after treatment.
 

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Spray treatments can be very bad for your rats lungs. :(

Could Revolution or something similar work? Else perhaps just a bath with appropriate shampoo?
 

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does shampooing work though? as far as i knew there were only two methods of treatment the spray and some kind of medication taken orally but you had to be spot on with the amounts given, I never knew shampooing was even available.. a friend of mine had rats way back and they had gotten lice she had used the spray and nothing bad came of it, it worked really well actually, but she was never offered shampoo :s
 

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Well, I just know that mite sprays and the like can be very bad for them, but I suppose a knowledgeable vet would know which sprays would be safe.
 

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Please do not use sprays or OTC products to treat your mites!!! Rats have incredibly sensitive respiratory systems and any sprays will have too strong a smell. I have also heard of rats dying from OTC treatments or they just didn't work.

The 2 accepted treatments for ecto-parasites are Revolution (from your vet, usually puppy/kitten strength). You put a tiny amount on the back of their neck and they are protected for 30 days which is longer than the life cycle of the bug. Then there's Ivermectin paste. Its a horse de-wormer paste. You remove a lot from the tube, mix it up really well since a horse gets the full dose and it may not be mixed well in that case. Then feed your rat a piece the size of an uncooked grain of rice. Then you get to scrub the cage, let it sit with a bleach solution on it, then wash again, vacuum the area around the cage, throw out any wooden objects, clean any plastic items, wash cloth in very hot water, and freeze any bedding for 48 hours. You will have to repeat this a total of 3 times, once per week.

Btw compared to mites "lice are nice".
 

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hjkaga said:
Why can't you use an OTC treatment that is put on them just like the revolution?
Because Revolution has been tested since its a prescribed med. Even Advantage and Frontline aren't supposed to be used as they have a high toxicity to rats.
And for some OTC product to be used topically like Revolution? It most likely would need a prescription if it was strong enough to actually work.

Read this as just one example of why not to use OTC....

http://www.goosemoose.com/component/option,com_smf/Itemid,118/forum,rat/topic,4008382.0
 

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Even drop-on treatments like Revolution can be bad for your rats. They were made for cats and dogs, and can be very strong. Oral medications that contain ivermectin are far safer and work better on rats with fewer complications.

You will also need to change their bedding and wash all their things in hot water and bleach. If your rats haven't come into contact with any other animals that could have infected them, the odds that they got it from whatever substrate your use is pretty high. Freeze it overnight before you use it again to take care of that.

If your rats symptoms don't clear up after 2 weeks, they will need to be taken to the vet though.
 

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Ivermectin and Revolution were developed for larger animals than rats. Ivermectin was created to treat parasites in large farm animals [cattle, horses, etc..] and Revolution for the common pet dog and cat. Ivermectin, being made for such a large animal, is of a higher toxicity than Revolution. The paste/liquid is made for animals weighing in the 1,000lb area who can withstand and need a much higher dosage of the medication than your pet rat. It is *very* easy to overdose your rat with Ivermectin, and great care needs to be taken with the amount given [uncooked grain of rice] and the mixing of the paste in case of separation in the tube. Revolution, on the other hand, was designed to be less toxic than the common flea treatments currently available. It can be dosed up to triple it's recommended amount before becoming highly toxic to the animal. This makes it entirely more forgiving when you have a squirmy rat and a very small tube of medication.

These two treatments are also the *only* parasite medications that have been tested on rats for effective dosages and use, as well as toxicity levels for small animals. The common OTC parasite treatment has not had these studies done, and in many cases the owners using OTC medications have inadvertently killed their rat. The topical treatments not sold by vets are not regulated in the same way as prescribed medications. This means there is a higher risk of a toxic levels of chemicals for anything but the listed animal the medication is sold for. Even something as small a difference as a 20lb dog vs. a 40lb dog can cause serious side effects with products like Hartz, Zodiac, and Top Spot. There have even been numerous reactions when these products are used on the listed animals. Here is an article about the toxicity of some of those treatments on dogs/cats : http://www.wildlifeprotection.net/everything/eduFleas.html
 

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The (sometimes) problem with Revolution is that it is misused. The tubes meant for larger breeds are too strong for rats, plus there is the added issue of ingestion of any topical medication. Also, there have been incidences of skin issues with revolution, as rats have far more fragile skin then either cats or dogs. Some vets won't prescribe it for home use, and prefer to dose in office with either drug, so that the medication is more controlled.

Also, as you mentioned, the amount of Ivermec paste needed is very small, but the Revolution amount for rats is only .05 ml/lb from the 120 mg/ml tubes and the dose CANNOT be tripled with rats. Unless the measurements are precise, there is a good chance of overdose as well.

Yes Revolution has been tested on rats, but there can be problems, as with any medication, Ivermec included.

My personal preference has been for Ivermecton, because it's more cost effective, and, baring the user error of overdose, there is less of a propensity for problems.
 

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IceLore said:
The (sometimes) problem with Revolution is that it is misused. The tubes meant for larger breeds are too strong for rats, plus there is the added issue of ingestion of any topical medication. Also, there have been incidences of skin issues with revolution, as rats have far more fragile skin then either cats or dogs. Some vets won't prescribe it for home use, and prefer to dose in office with either drug, so that the medication is more controlled.

Also, as you mentioned, the amount of Ivermec paste needed is very small, but the Revolution amount for rats is only .05 ml/lb from the 120 mg/ml tubes and the dose CANNOT be tripled with rats. Unless the measurements are precise, there is a good chance of overdose as well.

Yes Revolution has been tested on rats, but there can be problems, as with any medication, Ivermec included.

My personal preference has been for Ivermecton, because it's more cost effective, and, baring the user error of overdose, there is less of a propensity for problems.
We will have to agree to disagree on this matter then :wink:

When I treat my rats or rescues coming in the door I used 6-8 mg/kg of the puppy/kitten strength (60 mg/ml) but have used dog as well (120 mg/ml) which is the same but you use half the dose you would for your rats.

Here is the ratguide for dosages
http://ratguide.com/meds/antiinfectives/selamectin_revolution.php
 

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well im glad my rat doesn't have lice or mites because i would have used the spray since i was always told it was the best method. now i know better :)
 

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i haven't used revolution myself but i have used vet prescribed and mixed oral ivermection. this cleared up the problem beautifully and was very easy to adminster as the dosage was very small. i was told to dose once then wait 10 days then dose again. cleaning the heck out of the cage before putting the rats back in each time.

but for me that's easy anyway. i don't use woodbased products in my cage save for the one chew toy i was given when i was given a cage. and all the fabrics can be easily run through the washer. then i throw the cage in the back seat of the car with all the plastic toys and parrot rope perch-y things and blast the crud out of it at the do it yourself carwash for 5-10 mintues. this method has never failed me before.

though to make it easier now i just medicate the new rats in their small cage before putting them with the others in the big cage. and though i'm sure it will happen sometime, so far i've never had a problem with mites or lice with the yesterdays news litter. i've had a heck of a time with wood chip bedding though, terrbile stuff for mites or lice... ugh!
 
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