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Pet Rats/Rat mites and revolution


QUESTION: My girl Pepper and I have been battling mites. I took her to the vet and we gave her 6 doses (one per week) of oral ivermectin. I know they are stubborn but my vet care mostly for cats, dogs, horses etc and pretty much told me they had no rat expert. There is not one near here. This morning I called to get more ivermectin and she said no. Told me to bring her in. I know it is mites. It stresses her out so badly when I take here there. They insist on sticking that huge thermometer in her and it makes her squeak and gives her nose bleeds. I did get them to give sell me a tube of revolution because they thought it was for my cat, but they only had the 45mg one for 5-15lb cats. I would like to treat her with the revolution and if that does not help then I will take her in. My question is if she weighs 15 oz how much do I put on her? .05 of a cc?Thank you for your help

ANSWER: That is too bad that you don't have a vet with experience with rats nearby.  Did your current vet actually diagnose mites?  If not, how are you certain that it is mites?  Because another cause of excessive itching and scratching in rats is a high protein diet which causes allergies in some rats.  Can you rule the diet out as a possible cause?  I just wonder why the ivermectin did not work which is why I am thinking it might be protein allergies.

If the problem is indeed mites, then one vial of cat or kitten strength revolution should be effective on your rat (fyi NEVER use dog strength revolution as it will overdose your rat).  Your rat weighs just shy of 1 pound so use the 1 pound dosage (.10 cc) based on the chart below:

1/2 lb. ( 8 oz.) rat will dose at:   0.03 cc
1 lb.(16 oz.) rat will dose at: 0.10 cc
2 lb. (32 oz.) rat will dose at: 0.15 cc

To use the revolution, you will need a syringe with a removable needle (they all are usually removable anyhow).  You will not inject the rat, but you will need the needle to be able to poke through the top of the vial and draw out the exact amoung of liquid needed to put on your rat.  Remove the needle before applying the liquid.   It should go right behind their head, between their shoulders.   Part the fur to expose the skin and push the plunger down, squirting out the small amount of revolution.  DO NOT let her wipe it off.  Depending on your rat, it might be difficult, but try to keep her busy for at least 15 minutes until the revolution dries (try feeding a really yummy treat like ice cream that will take time to lick).  Do not rub it in and allow it to dry on its own.     

You cannot save the liquid in the vial once it is open. You must dispose of any unused liquid within 12 hours after opening the vial.

I hope you are successful in treating your rat this way.  If it does not work, I wouldn't recommend going back to that same vet.  It would be worth trying to locate an exotic vet even if you have to travel a bit out of your area.  You never know when you may have an emergency with your rat and will urgently need a good exotic vet ready on hand.  If you need help finding an exotic vet, please reply with your city and state and I can locate one closest to you.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

My Pepper
My Pepper  
QUESTION: Thank you for your answer. To follow up on some things you asked me..1.The ivermectin worked for as long as I gave it to her, I have read where they need more doses some times as long as six weeks. She was good for about two weeks after her last dose 2.I did rule out the diet. She is on lab blocks and I give her fresh fruits and veggies for a treat. I freeze all of her bedding and anything else that goes in her cage for at least 4 hours before I put it in there and every time I treat her I clean her home with diluted bleach and hot water. No wood, no straw. I had the revolution and the syringe we were just waiting on your answer. THANK YOU a million times. I was reading everything from .03 cc to one drop and now I feel better

It certainly sounds like you are doing all the right things for your Pepper from diet to bedding, etc., and by the way, she is simply adorable!!  Good luck...hope the treatment works and please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with.

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Irene Murphy


I can answer a variety of questions regarding adoption and care of pet rats throughout their lifetimes, including questions about their health and well being, temperment, diet, bedding, cages, toys, etc. I will try to answer your questions to the best of my ability in a timely manner and I have an abundant amount of resources to help me to help you with your pet rats. I love rattie pictures, so include pics with your question if you can. You may ask me medical questions, but please be advised that I am not a vet. I may use my resources to answer some medical questions, however, I will need to refer you to your local vet with medical questions that I feel I am not qualified to address.


I have been a huge rat enthusiast for many years. Since becoming a rat owner, I have educated myself in all areas of pet rats from every resource I could find including the internet, books, conversations with local exotic vets, as well as several local rat breeders.

I have a college degree but not in the area of animals. I have obtained my extensive experience and knowlege of pet rats all on my own because in my eyes, pet rats are the most interesting and fascinating creatures you can ever imagine to have as pets. I also am saddened by how mislabeled and misunderstood these amazing and extremely smart animals are by the majority, and my mission in life has become to educate and change as many people's perceptions of rats as I possibly can.

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