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Pet Rats/White spots on tips of fur


I have two new 6 week old rats who came from a breeder, and I've noticed they have these tiny white specks on the very ends of their fur, mostly around the haunches. These specks do not come off at all, even when scraped with the edge of the finger nail. There are no other symptoms of lice or mite infection except that one rat seems to have fairly thin fur. No excessive scratching, no redness, inflammation, or sores, no lethargy, nothing. There don't seem to be any spots on the hairs closer to the skin either. I tried to take a picture but i don't have a good enough camera so they don't show up in the images.

Hi Rachel,
Lice eggs, called nits, look like silvery blogs on the fur, but they are usually down farther on the hair, not on the tips. But that would be the most likely thing. Rats can have small numbers of lice that can be difficult to see. I recommend you treat them for lice. My website at has an article called Skin Problems that will tell you how.

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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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