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Hi,

I've posted about one of my rats before (http://www.ratforum.com/showthread.php?247185-Red-dot-on-top-of-head&p=1743897#post1743897). This time it's my other rat that has scabs, my black dumbo Basil. He is about one year old, and lives together with his top-eared gray brother in a large cage.

My gray rat's scab visible in my old post disappeared after a while. However, the black Dumbo now has several such scabs, and they seem to coincide with some fur loss on his back. I don't know if the causes are related.

I have not noticed anything that looks like mites or anything that moves at all in his fur, but since the brothers are store-bought, they are not too tame and don't like being handled, so I don't touch them much and almost never hold them in my hands, so I might have missed it. I do spend a lot of time looking at them and interacting with them in other ways, though.

I have several questions related to this.

1. First of all, of course, if anyone recognizes Basil's appearance as the symptoms of any particular illness, please let me know.
2. What could be the causes of his (moderate) fur loss? I've read that it can be caused by allergies or exaggerated grooming. The grooming part leads me to the last question:
3. I often observe my rats grooming each other, which I suppose is natural. It usually goes like this: One of the rats lies down, and the other rat grooms him, primarily on the back and sides. I have suspicion that both the scabs and the fur loss could be because his brother simply bites him several times a day, by accident one would hope. I do observe that sometimes in the middle of grooming, the rat being groomed squeaks and shivers a little bit as if he is being bitten (but he usually doesn't run away).

Please try to make sense of my incoherent description, and ask if anything is unclear.

I attach a few pictures of Basil.
 

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