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Pet Rats/hooded rat has cut on back from brother


My male hooded has a cut and missing hair on his back. I believe his brother cut him and I am worried about infection or other serious problem. I was wondering if this is something that a vet needs to treat or if I can just treat it. Thank you


Dear Meghan-

Thank you for your question.

In most situations, small cuts and bites do not require any further assistance from you, the owner. Rats are very clean animals, grooming themselves multiple times throughout their day. I would keep an eye on them for any signs of infection. If redness or swelling, it could be infected. If you notice any hard lump on the bite location, your rat has an abscess. An abscess is a small infection. Often these burst open on their own, leaving a hole in which the infection drains. If this should happen, let me know and I can advise you further.

Thanks! Hope that helped!  

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Shawna Laufer


Nutrition has always been an interest of mine as well as creating stimulating environments for rats. I conduct product reviews on my blog so I can take questions regarding products marketed or intended for rats. Other questions regarding basic husbandry, feeding, grooming, and other pet rat care will be accepted. I have very little breeding experience so I would not be able to answer much in the ways of breeding or genetics questions. I can help with some basic health care questions but am not a vet and always suggest contacting your vet for serious inquires.


I have over 13 years of experience with pet rats, having worked in several pet stores, as a veterinary tech assistant, and with my own pet rats. I run a highly regarded blog on the subject of pet rat ownership ( with a corresponding YouTube channel and Facebook page. I have been and always will be open to questions and comments.

A photograph of my lady rat's cage is being published in Worth Publishers' college textbook "How Children Develop, 4e" by Robert Siegler, Judy DeLoache and Nancy Eisenberg on the subject of how complex, stimulating environments and how they relate to the brains of rats.

I have some college experience, but not in the field of animals. I completed the majority of an at-home Veterinary Technician course which I was unable to complete due to financial reason. The majority of my knowledge on rats have come from personal experience, conducting my own research with the help of published medical studies and journal, the internet and through other knowledgeable 'rat people'.

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