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Pet Rats/Parents won't take rat to vet?


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QUESTION: I messaged sandra beasley a few weeks ago and she believed it to be burrowing mites but i gave my rat revoloution and her skin cleared up but not her tail i gave it like 2 weeks to heal and look forimprovement so then i started cleaning it everyday and putting vitamin e on it still nothing helped i was hoping someone on here vcould cause im really worried, its hard and black and red and idk how to describe it. Here is my original post
my guess is an infection which sandra said was a possibiliy any idea how to cure it or what i dont have the $$ for a vet and mom refuses to pay... if necessary i will take her just thought id get some opinions fist

ANSWER: Dear Grace,

I am glad the mites cleared up with the Revolution.

This is definitely something different. Unfortunately, you do have to go to the vet.

I asked around to a number of people well versed in rats, and this is the answer, condensed:

There are (at least) three possible problems.

1. It could be fungal, in which case your other rats could get it

2. It could be an infection, such as a staph infection, which needs treatment so it doesn't spread into the rat's body.

3. It could be (and looks most like) a cyst, which may be cancerous. It needs a biopsy or simple removal. I don't know if the vet can remove just the cyst, or would need to truncate the tail.

You need a very good rat vet.  You need someone trained and experienced in either "pocket pets" or "exotics." You should call around and ask not only if they are trained in the right field, but how many rats they see per month and whether they do surgery.

Best of luck and health to your ratty,



PS- I'm curious-- did you get the Revolution without a vet? I often suggest people ask the vet for a kitten supply which they may give without an appointment; and there is an Australian pharmacy which sells it prescription-free. How did you get yours?

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QUESTION: Hey again thanks so much, the situation has changed a bit...I checked it today and well...she chewed it off i know she cant feel pain in it but ive been putting vitamin E on it and for some reason she loves it and trys to lick it off my fingers and licks it off anywhere it touched its like catnip to her. But she chewed a good portion of it off and i was really concerned. I dont know if you can tell in the picture but its just crusty and scabby inside and sorta like yellowish idk how to desribe it. But i hydrogen peroxided it and it didn fiz there only a lil of the part where she chewed the skin a bit where it was bloody. I covered it in vitamin E again and lightly put a bit of gauze around it but i dont know how to get it to stay just kinda hoping it will for a bit. So if you could ask around again thatd be great.

And for the Revoloution yes i got it at the vet ive got 2 cats so my mom brought them in for their annual check up and asked for it while she wa there.

Dear Grace,

I spoke to about ten people who all said go to the vet. It could be something very serious that could kill your rat. There really is no other way. Some of these people felt it might be an emergency.

These are people who do not go to the vet for almost anything. Other than the one friend I have who does her own surgeries (Debbie, who is on vacation),  no one said they would deal with it at home. Even she can't diagnose cancer.

The three options I offered are each serious enough to have to be seen at the vet.

I can't give you a home remedy. I am sorry. I wish I could. I have also found out how expensive rats can be due to vet visits. I am in debt myself due to a rat's cancer surgeries and treatment :(.

I don't know how old you are... My suggestion is to ask your parents what you could do to trade. They take the rat to the vet, and you clean house for two weeks. Or paint a room. Or whatever it is they keep wanting you to do. Offer yourself for four hours once a week for a month or two. Most parents are pleased to have their kid act like an adult and want to earn something, rather than beg or fight about it.

I hope you can get the rat to a good rat vet quickly.



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Natasha Millikan


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I have had rats for 3-1/3 years and have researched them extensively. I am a mouse expert with 40 years' experience with mice. The two species are similar and yet also quite different.

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