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Hiccup\'s Foot
Hiccup's Foot  
QUESTION: I woke up this morning to find that my rat, Hiccup, had a very swollen foot. After a quick google search, I believe that it is Bumblefoot, and I have set up a vet appointment to get the antibiotics accordingly. However, I am not able to get him in until Friday (this is being sent on Tuesday). Do I need to worry about the infection advancing significantly during the next 4 days? Am I putting him at a serious health risk by not pushing to get in sooner? If not, I realize that he is in significant discomfort right now. I have given him 1/4 a tablet of baby aspirin crushed into honey. How often should I give him this in order to not kill him but also make sure he is in the least pain as possible? Is it something my other rat can catch?(I don't feel like it would be, but I figure I should ask, just in case.) Even if not, should I separate them so my other rat won't bother Hiccup and cause him further stress, or should I keep them together so they won't get lonely?

Both me and Hiccup really appreciate your time, and I hope to hear back from you soon. Meanwhile, have a wonderful day.


P.S. I've attached the best picture of his foot that I could get. I just feel like it might be useful.

ANSWER: Hi Torey,
I'm very glad you attached the picture because this is not bumblefoot, this a foot swollen from, probably, an injury. You probably don't need to take him to the vet for this. You want to give him ibuprofen, which is a more effective anti-inflammatory than aspirin. The dose you want to give is 60 mg/lb twice a day. See my website at and look down toward the bottom for the section called Giving Ibuprofen. One dose may be enough to bring down the swelling.  You don't need to separate him from his roommate.

To see pictures of bumblefoot go to

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Hiccup and Freckle
Hiccup and Freckle  
QUESTION: Mostly, this email is just a thank you for helping me help my rat, Hiccup, with his injured leg, and to tell you that he is doing much better. He is still limping and there is still some swelling, but he is moving around a lot more and seems happier than he did before.

I do have a couple questions, though. The internet, I've found, has the tendency to contradict itself and other people, so I thought I'd put my mind at ease by asking a person. I've had a small problem with mites, though I'm not 100% sure as I clean my babies' cage every week, but regardless I have some puppy and kitten revolution for them. The vet said that I could use a whole dose of this revolution for my rats, but I've read several places on the internet that one drop is all I need. When I used it, I compromised and put half a tube on each of my rats. In the future, what do you think I should do? Should I listen to the vet or the internet?

Hi Torey,
I'm glad to hear Hiccup's leg is better!  The recommended dose for Revolution for rats is 4-6 mg per lb. This can be measured accurately with an insulin syringe with the top broken off. However, many vets just recommend using one drop. I don't know how much Revolution is in a puppy or kitten tube. You'd have to read on the tube to see, but that seems like it would be too much.

With all due humility, I can recommend the information on my website at and in my Rat Health Care booklet.

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Debbie Ducommun


I can answer any questions about pet rats, but you will probably be able find answers to simple questions more quickly on my website at If you have a life-threatening emergency you can try calling me at 530-899-0605. I am not usually on the computer on the weekend.


I have been "The Rat Lady" since 1985 and am recognized as one of the world's experts on pet rats. I have 3 published books and already answer lots of questions about rats daily.

President of Rat Assistance & Teaching Society

I am a monthly columnist for Pet Business magazine, and my writing has appeared in other magazines. I have 3 published books.

BA in Animal Behavior

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