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I've had a flea problem in my apartment on-and-off for about a month. I feel so foolish because all this time I thought it was only in my room (the rats stay in the hardwood front room). I kept combing them, watching for scratching, etc and never saw anything. But now I read how sometimes rats won't react to biting. I'm worried that I've completely overlooked the situation, esp. since I've read stories about fleas causing a seemingly "sudden" death in rats through undetected anaemia. One seems fine, the other seems a little more sluggish than usual.

I've read that flea products (baths, powders, etc) are actually harmful to rats, so what's the best course of action? Hot, soapy water (what kind of soap though)? I can't get them into a vet until Monday.. how dire is this situation?
 

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If they are fleas, it can cause anemia. Generally, Invermectin (oral treatment) or Revolution (spot-on treatment) for kittens or puppies is the recommended treatment.

You could give them a bath with puppy/kitten/baby shampoo for now, though.
 

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Feed cooked liver twice a day. Liver has been known to raise the red blood count. Actually, any red meat will work. Since rats aren't carnivores like ferrets dogs or cats, make sure to cook the meat thoroughly. Even if they aren't anemic, or don't have flea, it's a great precaution to take.

I posted this on another thread, and it's worth a shot:

Something worth trying is making a homemade parasite dip. If he is stable enough, try giving a bath.

1 cup warm water (lukewarm, judge temperature on your wrist...if you have a food thermometer, preferably 115 degree farenhiet)
3 tbs. Dawn dishwashing liquid
2 tsp. garlic
1 tsp. aloe gel


Mix everything really good, except the dawn.
Give Zat a normal bath with the Dawn, working from the tail up. Then pour the garlic water on Zat and massage. Let him sit for about 3 minutes, then rinse well. Washing from tail to head pushes the fleas or parasites towad the head, and the water mixture kills a repels. The garlic kills and repels, and the aloe soothes the skin.
 
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