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Question
I was giving my pet rats a flea bath and one of them tried to jump out of tub and later I discovered his mouth was swollen. After it went down I noticed one bottom tooth was missing and his other tooth is crocked. Will he be ok I am worried he seems to be eating but when he drinks from water bottle some of the water drips out of his mouth and I noticed where the crooked tooth is he has a hole in his lip. Do I need to do anything? Thank you for your response.

Answer
Oh my.  Your poor little guy!  You absolutely must take him to a vet...hopefully you have a vet or can find one that is experienced at treating rats.  Make sure you ask first if they are experienced specifically with teeth problems.

Are you certain that the bottom tooth completely fell out or perhaps a large portion chipped off and the root and part of the tooth is still there?  If the root and part of the tooth is still there and intact, it should grow, as rats' teeth grow throughout their lifetime and they naturally file themselves down as the rat eats and bruxes.

If the entire tooth and the root is gone, then it won't grow back.  If the root has been damaged, then he may have problems with the growth of the tooth.  This is why it's important to go to the vet and find out for sure and especially to have the vet straighten the crooked tooth if that is possible.  Hopefully the root of that one has not been damaged.  He may have to trim the crooked tooth because if left this way, there is a good chance that it will cause problems eating, pain, and punctures of his mouth, which in turn could cause abcesses or other infections, and I am sure you don't want that to happen.  The vet may prescribe antibiotics as there may already be infection due to the puncture of his mouth.

It is critical this be taken care of as soon as possible.  Worst case scenario, aside from infections, if the crooked tooth can't be repaired, it may have to be removed, and he's lost his other entire tooth, then he may have to be on a liquid or soft diet for the rest of his life.  I hope that this is not the case, but rats are extremely resilient and generally adjust well to changes.  For example, I know of a rat who had to have a leg amputated and within a few days, he was running and jumping with 3 legs almost as if it never happened.

Please let me know what happens.  I hope that the problem can be repaired and that your little guy will heal quickly.

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Irene Murphy

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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.

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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.

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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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