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Discussion Starter #1
I picked up my new rat the other day, and she's a total sweetheart. But she has this weird looking tail that I just noticed...

It's like the little "scales" on her tail have been sort of puffed up a little, and they're brown. It's mottled, not all over her tail. I'm wondering if it's a bacteria, or something, or if it's just a normal part of aging. My girls still have sleek satiny baby tails as far as I can tell, but this girl is a little older than them. She also hasn't had optimal nutrition her whole life, whereas mine are fed a pretty good diet. So I'm wondering if it's just diet.

Either way, it's kind of gross, and I don't want it infecting my girls if it's contagious. They're still at a friends' house, where they've been the whole break, so I'm thinking it would be best to have the stay there until I get this sorted out.

I'll probably call and get a vet appointment for her soon, but I just wanted to rule out it being normal aging before I made a fool of myself, or that it wasn't something contagious before I bring Belgie and Sevilla back home.

Here's the best picture I have, sorry it's blurry.

You can see the brown parts and how they're kind of raised and random all over her tail.

Thanks for your help!
 

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ewwwie someone needs a tail washing


I found a Palmer's Brand lotion with Olive Oil & I have been using that on my rats but my one Boy DD, no matter what I do I can't get rid of his color bands that he came to me with & at times I've rubbed his tail until it was pink from scrubbing. He didn't much care for it & wouldn't have anything to do with me for a day or two after that. The lotion removed a bunch & then he moved into his new cage I had renovated for him. I'll be darned if I didn't forget to remove some over spray where I touched up a few places with paint as well as cover the zip ties with a spritz of paint so they didn't stand out & now his tail picked up color from that. <slaps head>
 

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:_: my girls have tail looking like that, They dont come out clean no matter what I do. They do come cleaner, but they still got spots here and there.
 

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if you keep the rats tail clean from a young age then the dirt bands don't stay when you wash them but sometimes the dirt will permanently stain the tail. also, some rats have natural color to their tail but the colored parts are not raised. but yeah, that tail is just dirty. i use the baby shampoo i use for the rest of them and scrub the tail gently with a soft bristled tooth brush. letting the tail soak in some warm soapy water before hand normally helps as well.
 

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Using baby wipes on their tails pretty often can also help with that, if they aren't game for a good bath.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, that makes me feel much better! Thank you so much!

I'll go give her a little scrub down then, maybe a couple, to make sure she's looking her spiffiest when she meets Belgie and Sevilla! (In a few days, though, following proper introduction of course!)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Just thought I'd update-

You all were right, it was just dirt! I noticed the pattern was almost solid on the bottom, which supports the theory of dragging her tail through muck... But most of it just seemed to wash right off. Poor girl, I kept chasing her around my shoulder with a wet paper towel trying to wipe off her tail, she was not overly appreciative. But she still just bruxed away whenever I let her alone for a little! What a dear.
 

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Nah... I'm sure she's happy to have a clean tail. :lol:
 
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