I took my 9 month old female rat out of her cage yesterday morning for her pre-breakfast snuggle and
it looked like she chewed off all the hair on her front legs. She's still eating & drinking, and still very energetic. It was winter in Iowa when I brought her home and she went EVERYWHERE with me, but during the summer it was too hot, so she's been spending more time in her cage than she's use to. I'm wondering if this was the result of boredom, or if something is going wrong?? THANK YOU!
It may be boredom but it could be a diet issue.
If she is scratching a lot & appears to have any other areas of hair loss with flakey skin I would get it looked at & read up on diets for rats.
If you disinfect her cage when you clean it out, make sure you use pet safe disinfectant or no other harsh chemicals, as rats are very sensitive in this respect.
I hope she gets well soon! (she's gorgeous!) X
One other thing... Have you by chance changed her bedding material? May a new bag? There may be something in it to cause her to have a reaction.
Rats are the best!!! Have 3 here at home.
* Reaction to a bedding or dietary change
* Mites or another external parasite that's causing itching and loss of hair.
IMHO the most likely cause are rat mites. These are too small for the human eye to see and very irritating to the skin. All rats have them and they sometime build up enough to cause itching and even scabbing of the skin.
She doesn't seem to be scratching more than usual, and there are no scabs that I see, yet. I don't disinfect her cage, and I haven't changed her bedding. I HOPE SHE IS NOT STRESSED, but I did pick up some rat blocks from a different place this time, and I thought they looked different (color) from what she's been eating since I got her, maybe that's the cause. I will go back to her regular blocks TODAY and see if that helps. How long should it take her hair to grow back? Also, if it is mites, what do I do for that? THANK YOU ALL!
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