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Pet Rats/Abscess Aftercare?


QUESTION: Hi there!

About five months ago I had to give my rat, Science, away. The other day she called saying he had a scratch. Turns out it was an abscess(not all he had, it was followed by a respiratory infection and thousands of lice). I took him to a vet, which I've never been put in the position to do with my animals, and they scammed the crap out of me. They wanted to drain the abscess, but by the time my appt came, the scab peeled off. I cleaned out what I could, but it seems there's some that I can't get to budge. I've soaked it and even applied some peroxide. It almost looks like it's covering something. Like a cut. But I can't get it to move, so how would I know. My dad says it's healing and that the yellow stuff is attached because that's a scab forming???
Is the attached yellow stuff apart of the healing process?

ANSWER: Can you please send a pic (close-up and clear) in a follow up question to me?  That would help a lot.  Also, please tell me when exactly the scab peeled off and what it looked like after that, day by day?  Has it been scabbing over again?  It may not have been an abscess but I need more information.  Thank you.

PS - I hope you won't be giving Science back to her...sounds like she wasn't taking good care of him at all!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: The vet said it was an abscess. And a lady there with rats confirmed it was, too. The scab came off on Saturday. I didn't know that would happen, and I freaked out, especially when I saw what was under. It looked like a giant crater filled with a thick layer of pus. I got most of it out in a bath. But he wouldn't let me touch it anymore. It's right on his neck, so he can't take care of it himself. The next few days, it still had that little attached pus-looking stuff and it kind of looked like there was a tiny hole in the back of it where the pus was coming from?? Yesterday there was more attached yellow stuff. Today there's even more, but it looks more like the pus from before. Now the edges are starting the look kind of weird. The picture is really difficult to see but it that yellow dot. And now that i see it compared to how it looked previously... it's much smaller.

And no, I sure as heck am not giving him back to her. He's stayin' with his mommy.

Hi Payton, I've consulted with a few of my fellow rat experts on this one, showing them your photo and the details you provided.  So far, everyone agrees it appears to be an abscess.  HOWEVER, because it has been "active" for an unusually long time, it is recommended that you take him to an exotic vet or at least a vet that has extensive experience with treating rats.  An exam should confirm the abscess and rule out anything serious such as cancer.  He may require antibiotics for this to heal properly.

If you don't know or can't find an exotic vet or one with experience treating rats, please send me a follow-up with the name of your city and state, or the largest nearby city.  I have access to a database of qualified exotic vets and will be happy to help you find one within a reasonable distance from you.

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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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