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Pet Rats/My Rat keeps biting her arms


QUESTION: Hey there, I have 2 pet Rat's. Recently, actually for quite awhile now, one of my Rat's anmed Mercy has been biting at her leg constantly and bleeding all over herself. She doesn't look in pain or as if anything is bothering her at all, she just act's her goofy self. But i have no idea what is wrong with her, I'm only 16 and not really getting paid yet, and going to the vets over here in the UK costs alot with small animals so I'm unable to go. I've been bathing her and washing her just to keep her clean, (only with water incase of a bad reaction) But I'd love to know what's wrong and/or how to help her.

ANSWER: Hi Connor,
How old is Mercy? Where exactly is she bleeding from? Have you seen her biting herself, or are you just assuming she is? Can you send me pictures?

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Bitten area\'s
Bitten area's  
QUESTION: She will be 2 years old in september. I won't be able to get a photo, my phone is currently broke and she'd be too fussy infront of the webcam.
I sent one that marks the area's I'm sure she's biting. The blood leaks down her feet and down her stomach sometimes, but that's probably just from laying over her arms or something when she's sleeping it seems.
I've seen her doing it, My other Rat Lila has no part in it. She has no reaction towards it at all though, even when I'm cleaning her and washing the bitten area's it never seems like she is in any pain. I've never actually seen the cut but i do see her sitting nibbling at they area's.

Do you actually see fresh blood running, or do you just see it caked on?  Because rats have a red pigment in their tears called porphyrin, and this red discharge is a brownish red color and is frequently mistaken for blood. It can also get caked on their hands, and spread onto their fur and ears as they groom themselves.

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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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