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Hello,I am new to this forum but need advice desperately.

We have a rat called Ralph and he is a much loved member of the family,he is nearly two years old.

We have ongoing problems with mites despite changing the type and brand of bedding more times then i care to remember.

We were hoping to get another rat to keep Ralph company but he has been off colour for some time with itching and we have been backwards and forwards to the vets but we no sooner get the problem resolved then it comes back again.

This latest health scare started about two weeks ago,when Ralph started to lose weight quite rapidly.The vet said Ralph had respiratory problems and that it was a common problem with rats and to put him on a high calorie diet.

We did this and he did gain a little weight but it is an ongoing battle.?we have been feeding him on Rice pudding,pasta,cheese on toast and stopped his dry foods although he still has cucumber and carrot.
Does anyone know a food that is super fattening and that rats love?

Then he started itching again and again we went the vets.He is on ( Baytrill)twice daily orally and cream (Fuciderm) twice daily.
He has a large raw place on his back and is obviously depressed.

The vet said that he has run out of options and if this latest medication doesn't work we will have to think of putting him down!
He is such a dear little boy and can anyone offer any advice as to what we could try?
Kind Regards
Lisa
 

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Ok i'm no expert of rats but if you think about it mabey some meat would get him to gain weight. Chicken with the bone or some beef. He should love it for ive read rats love meat. But mabey you should get some other answers. Just trying to help


P.S. meat fattens us up so it should work on rats :twisted:
 

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Try bread soaked in milk, my rats enjoy that. He is quite old being 2 years so it may be old age taking its toll on him. I hope you can fatten him up nicely!
 

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If the mites are on him, then changing the type of bedding won't do any good, because he will carry them from one type to another if they aren't being killed COMPLETELY. How did your vet treat him for mites?

I can give you instructions on how to treat him quite easily and effectively for less than $20 with things you don't need a prescription for. Frontline works too, but you have to watch not to overdose them. I like using ivermectin, because I also have guinea pigs, and so I treat everyone at once, and put the left over ivermectin in a spray bottle with some water and spritz the carpet. Plus I can get it cheap enough to treat them once a week for two more weeks, since killing any eggs that are still hatching is essential.

If your vet didn't bother to have you treat the mites with a medicine that kills them specifically, then you need a new vet. Treating the symptoms and not the cause is stupid.
 

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Mites are always a horrid thing to rid your rats of. When you treat your rats, make sure you change the bedding and clean their living area COMPLETELY!! Its useless to give them mite medicine, and then put them right back with the mites :)

The itching could be an allergic reaction to dairy (yogie drops, etc) or protein (chicken bones, nuts, etc), so keep an eye on his intake of those items and maybe try find out which one is causing it by stopping the one while continuing with the other, then swapping (effects might take around two weeks to show).

Other extras like avo are ok as they contain good fats in them for rats - just not the darker part by the skin, nor the part near the stone/pip/seed :)

If nothing gets better, you might want to start thinking about saying goodbye. Its never easy, and we'll all be here for you, but I'm sure you'll do whats best for your rat *hugs*
 

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Well, it sounds like Ralph is pretty old. Most rats don't live past two anyway and he seems to be having a rough time. I would take him to the vet again and at least try to get his mites cured, whatever it takes. Once those are all killed, be kind to him. Feed him his favorite foods, play with him or let him sleep depending on how he feels. Spend a whooooole lot of time with him so he doesn't get lonely. In a few weeks, or a couple of months he will probably pass away naturally. If you really really think it's the right thing to do, than euthanize him, but I suggest just letting him live out his last days happily in comfort. On the weight thing, thats just probably a sign that he is declining. Theres not a whole lot you can do about it, just keep him comfy. Good luck to Ralph!
 

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*rereads message* Wait! Resptory problems? You really need a new vet. There is medicine availalable for that and your vet should have given that to you at first signs of illness.
 

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amelia, if the rats are bred and cared for properly, most will live to around 2 and a half, almost 3yrs.
 

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sounds to me like Ralph could do with some company to help him with his will to live. A lonely rat is not a lively rat.

My solution

Take two new rat baby boys in to your home as soon as possible. They should be in a separate cage to Ralph, not only because of the mites but to give him time to get used to the idea of company.

You should see an immediate difference in his behaviour. He'll know his new friends are there & he'll perk up start eating more and be more able to cope with the mites and myco if he's got that too.

Honestly i have experience of this working. I know you've been putting off getting new rats till the mites are gone but i recomend getting them a.s.a.p! Don't forget to get at least two so they will have each other after Ralp passes on.

In my experience rats love sweetcorn you could try giving him that to stimulate his appetite. (Watch out in large ammounts sweetcorn is NOT good for rats)

If he's weak he maybe can't be bothered to drink form his drinker so you might like to give him a small ramakin of water, he'll find it easier to drink from this so keep better hydrated.

Good Luck with Ralph
 
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