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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! My three boys definitely have lice (I suspect they came from a new hammock, and it's gotten bad pretty quickly. They have a vet appointment on Friday, but in the meantime I was wondering:

Usually, they play on our couch or bed. Will too many nits be dropped if they're still taken out and allowed to run around before their treatment begins? Leaving them in their cage is so sad.

How thoroughly will my home need to be cleaned? I hear nits hatch in 20 days, but some sources say that Ivermectin treatment should last 6-8 weeks? Then again, others say 2-3 weeks, which obviously would not give the nits enough time to hatch and die.

I'm very worried about anaemia and blood diseases. How severe must a case be to cause anaemia, and what are some symptoms of the blood diseases lice can carry? Is there anything I could do to prevent anaemia?

Will combing out their fur and cleaning their cage/bedding daily before treatment begins help to alleviate symptoms? How would I go about trimming their tiny little toenails?

In general, what are your experiences treating your rats for lice? Anything helps, because I really have no idea what to expect.

Thank you!
 

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i would say clean your home as thoroughly as you can, no expenses spared. i would not allow your rats to play around on the furniture until at least they've started medication, but if you can stand to leave them in their cage longer, it can't hurt (i know it will be sad, but you don't want them to get sick again). and yes, combing them and cleaning their cages daily will help to pull out any adult lice and help to remove some nits so that the medicine can work more effectively on those nits/lice that remain.

anemia can sort of be prevented by adding iron to their diet, also vitamins a, d, and e i think. you can get them most of these by providing them with dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and broccoli. symptoms of advanced anemia would be lethargy, lack of shine to their coat, etc, but they'd have to have pretty severe lice problems for anemia to get that bad.

trimming their nails can be done with standard human nail clippers - i let my rats groom my teeth while i clip their toenails, it's the only thing that will keep them still long enough. other people have other methods.

anywho, i just felt that i had some mildly useful information to share, so there you go. i'm sure that by the time i post this someone else will have come up with more specific information and some links for you to go to... ;D
 

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You van always get that rid spray for you're furniture if you let them play on it, just make sure the smell of the spray is gone before letting them play there again.
 

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Ivermectin oral paste is a once a week for 3 weeks treatment. It only kills the hatching lice and the 3 weeks covers their entire life cycle. I would think6-8 weeks might be dangerous as Ivermectin can easily be overdosed if you don't follow exact instructions. Can you not get a hold of Revolution? That is a one time topical treatment, and it is effective for a month.

Why do you think the lice came from the new hammock rather than new bedding, touching a lice infested rat and bringing them home on you, etc?
 

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Well, if it's lice that your rats have, they cement their nits to the hair follicle, so there's no danger to letting them play on the couch ;). Revolution is a reproductive inhibitor, larvacide and adulticide, so anything that isn't a nit will be killed. The nits hatch within 7-14 days of being laid, but the Revolution is active in their body for a month so you'll be covered ;).

Chances of anemia are slim to none, and are only seen in a severe infestation. Your rats won't get blood diseases from the lice, as the first bloodmeal they take upon hatching is from your rats. Unfortunately there's nothing you can do evironmentally to help your rats out as lice spend their entire lifecycle on the host.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you everyone! Their vet prescribed a weekly dusting with carbaryl (does this seem like a strange and kind of scary treatment to anyone else?).

Unfortunately they've spent the whole week in their cage. It's been miserable for all of us. I was worried about the hairs falling out and remaining, nit attached, in the bed but since they've begun treatment I think I'll just pop the bedspread into the freezer for a little while to kill the bugs.

To lilspaz-

I'd thought it could be the hammock because the woman who'd crocheted it had one very scabby looking rat (it was at a rat fair), but I'd thought that, because the other rats looked fine, it may have been due to a neurological condition or something. The vet thinks that perhaps the youngest rat, Baby Worf, had come into the cage with a very mild case of lice when we got him four months ago, and it's just taken a while to manifest. Who knows! I'm just relieved that they can come back out and play again.
 

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propithecus said:
Thank you everyone! Their vet prescribed a weekly dusting with carbaryl (does this seem like a strange and kind of scary treatment to anyone else?).
Yeah. :(
SEVEN HOUSEHOLD TOXINS

7. Orgaphosphate (OP) containing pesticides. Many common pesticides contain OPs. Examples of chemicals within this family include Carbaryl (Sevin), Malathion, Diazinon, Terbufos, and Dichlorvos, among others. Some over the counter flea and tick medications that you can purchase at your local pet store are in this category, so I always recommend you get your flea treatment from your veterinarian. OP toxicity is very common due to the large number of items that fall within this list.
Signs of organophosphate toxicity can include increased salivation or vomiting, diarrhea, tearing eyes, constricted pupils, decreased heart rate, tremors, seizures, and possibly death. If you get your pet treated early and know what he has ingested, it is very helpful. With supportive care in the hospital and early treatment your pet can make a complete recovery.


Any powders just on their own are terrible for their respiratory system. :(

I have heard of deaths from OTC products...its not regulated and it can be very dangerous.

If you ever run into buggies again I would use ivermectin or Revolution, they are the only treatments recommended.

I am glad to hear they are okay, and yeah it does sound like the scabby rat had lice. Neuro issues don't usually cause scabs. If you purchase at a rat fair make sure its properly packaged and if you see wood products or fabrics etc with people with scabby rats, do not buy ;)
 
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