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Pet Rats/Malocclusion


Hi Irene, I asked you a question before about my rat, Mia, and her possible PT.  I'm convinced she does have a PT, but she's doing well on the Prednisolone.  This question is about what I think is a malocclusion that she has.  Her teeth don't meet in the middle and one of her bottom teeth juts out slightly and is a bit overgrown.  I had originally taken her to see the same vet we had gone to about the PT, but when I brought Mia to her, she was so bad (this was about 2 weeks ago and I was convinced she was going to die) from the PT that the vet didn't want to cut the tooth because she would have had to sedate her and that could have potential neurological effects.  Anyway, I took her home and ended up using tiny nail clippers to clip her tooth.  That worked pretty well and I've done this a few more times since it's still too big and hinders her chewing a little bit.  I've given her hard things to grind her teeth on, but that hasn't seemed to work too well.  I don't think I want to take her to another vet since this has been pretty expensive and I've been able to cut her tooth pretty well so far, but I was wondering if you could suggest any better tools I could use to cut it.  I bought a guillotine dog nail clipper but this made me too nervous so I didn't use it.  Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you for your help and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Hi Katie, I do remember you and helping your poor Mia with the possible PT.  I'm so happy to hear that she is doing better with the medication.  

I've personally never had to tackle the overgrown tooth problem in any of my rats, but from what I understand, an excellent tool to use is a pair of bird toenail scissors.  I'm including a link to a web page from The Rat Report where they explain exactly what to do:

You are very brave to attempt this yourself, or your Mia must be on the passive side.  My rats would never EVER hold still for me for a second LOL.  

Feel free to write me again if you need help with anything else.

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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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