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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
is this where to ask if anyone has experience with their rats tail coming off? I went to say good morning to my babies and one of the boys was chewing (ironically named chew-chew) on Flames' tail! It didn't seem to be bothering flames at all but it freaked me out! I removed flames and isolated him from the others. Anyway. he has lost about an inch and a half off of his tail. I am probably more worried about it than he is! He just drags his stump around like all is well! I am not sure how aggressive to be about cleaning it or to just let him and nature handle it. I still don't know why Chew-chew chewed his tail in the first place! Is something missing from their diet that would cause this behavior? None of my rats have ever done anything like this before and these particular boys have lived together for two plus years. Can anyone help? thank you
 

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Its very possible that the Tail boy had an injury and the other one was chewing off the tip for him. Rats do not normally mutilate each other.

Is there any bone sticking out of the end?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for your replies. No there is not any bone sticking out at present. Flames had a little scab on his tail where I think he scratched it or something when he was out and about. It seemed like it was healing fine until Chew-chew chewed it almost off. My husband said he thought that it was "grooming gone bad" rather than meaness. One chewed spot fell off first then the second area dried up and fell off. I just hope that it is done with and that and the remainder heals up. I have been making him cheesy scrambled egg so he can get extra protein. Also thanks for the rat guide link I'm sure it will be helpful. He didn't have a ring around his tail to start with. I'm curious though if the olive oil would help in this situation. Also, is it common to have a dehumidifier for the rats?
 

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It really helps when its dry out like in winter. Mine broke and until I get another I am running the shower and letting it steam up my apartment. Not the same but better than nothing. Others boil water on the stove.

This is a partial degloving...as you can see she is grooming her painful tail


Here you can see the tissue is dying and needs to be amputated along with the bone.


And here's after the surgery
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Your pictures look very similar to how his tail looked before the end fell off. Only Flames' injury is further up his tail. I let him out of his cage last night to get some free time and he came out from under the bed (one of his favorite haunts) with his tail bleeding. I guess he decided he didn't need the scab anymore! So, we sprang to action...I felt bad for him, as I had to use a gauze pad and applied pressure to the wound and made a paste of styptic powder. It stopped the bleeding, but he was NOT happy with me. I made him squeal, so I know it hurt. I loved on him and made him scrambled egg but he went to bed for a while and after an hour or so he ate his egg! (I hope that means he forgives me!) This am there is no sign of further bleeding. I am worried that this will continue to an end that I can't speak of. He turned 3 last July so I know his age is against him. We love this little guy so much and I want to do right by him as I would for one of my human children. The vet I spoke to told me that I would just have to keep it clean and hope for the best. He said he doesn't know that much about rats (rural vet...does horses,cows, dog cat etc.) He said the other guy has experience w/ possums and he is away "for awhile". I took that as a polite "sorry kid better luck next time". Another non rat person suggested I tie a twisty tie around his tail, but I don't like the sound of that either. what do you more experienced rat lovers think about this? Any suggestions?
 

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if the tail problem was caused by an injury then this should be fine. keeping it clean of infection and letting it heal. if it does seem to be getting infected then you will want to consider a partial amputation to remove the affected area. i once had rescued a that was missing part of her tail and at the stump was black, green, red and the bone could be seen but was very fuzzy. she has gangrene on the end of her tail. i'm very lucky that the poison had not spread to the rest of her body yet. after the amputation she never had any problems with it. she was only about 4 months old at the time and bounced back from the surgery with no problems. its a fairly simple procedure so they shouldn't have to be under for long. where he's significantly older then that he may take longer coming round but should still be ok i would think. hopefully you won't have to go that far. good luck, and keep us posted.
 

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Stypic powder stings badly, so no wonder he squealed.
Some rats will heal just fine as long as the bone isn't exposed. You might want to keep him caged for a couple of days until that scab forms properly.

Just keep an eye on it for any red streaks or cold bits (not enough blood/oxygen getting to the tissues).

No twist-ties :roll:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I feel terrible at the thought of hurting him, the bottle said it has benzocaine in it so I figured that would numb his tail. No wonder he was upset with me for a while. He has slept a lot the past couple of days, but that isn't uncommon for him to sneak in extra naps at his leisure! He is currently making himself beautiful on my husband's lap, so I guess all is well with him. Tonight is the first night he has been out for the last couple of days. I'm glad that he didn't seem to want to. Do you think a vet would be willing to put him under at his age? I'm worried that the anesthesia would be hard on him. I guess I have to wait until the "other guy" at the vet gets back from "wherever" to see if he will treat him. I am very hopeful that he will recover on his own, but I am also aware of how things can sometimes go. I really appreciate all the help y'all have given me so far. Thanks.
 
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