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Raisin' Rats Rattery

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General Medical Information

Veterinarians

When in doubt, contact a veterinarian.  Here are some places to search for a vet in your area:

Also check here and specify exotics:

Medicine Dosages

Drug Usage Chart for Rats

The Layman's Medication Guide

Preventative Care

Abscesses:  To help prevent abscesses, keep your rats and their cages clean and treat any wounds, no matter how small, immediately, keeping in mind that some rats just seem to abscess more than others.
 
Bumblefoot:  Some rats have a genetic predisposition to bumblefoot and some don't.  The best way to prevent bumblefoot in those that are predisposed to it is to always keep their cages clean.  Never let the bedding go unchanged when soiled and keep any solid shelves free of urine and debris.  Keeping your rats at a healthy weight will also help prevent bumblefoot.
 
Choking/Drooling:  To prevent choking, never give your rats extremely sticky foods such as straight peanut butter. 
 
Degloved Tail:  Never pick your rat up by the tail.  If it is absolutely necessary that you do so, only grasp the tail at the base (near the rat's bottom), never near the end of the tail.
 
Itching, scabs, bald spots, skin problems:  Feed your rat a diet that is low in protein, keep the humidity relatively high in their environment, keep their nails clipped, and always check new rats for parasites before allowing them contact with your existing rats.
 
Loose stools:  Give your rats a probiotic such as Benebac or yogurt with live active cultures during antibiotic treatment.  Avoid putting your rats in frightening situations.  Don't offer fresh fruits and vegetables as their sole diet.
 
Mycoplasma Pulmonis:  Use a bedding that has very little dust and never use one that contains cedar or pine.  Always keep their bedding clean.  Do not allow ammonia build-up.  Don't expose them to dramatic changes in temperature.  Do not house them in a cage that is too small.  Feed a well balanced diet and offer them plenty of mental stimulation.
 
Orange Skin:  If you have males with an excess of orange build-up on their backs, brush them on a regular basis and bathe them when they become especially oily.
 
Ringtail:  Keep the humidity in your rats' environment at about 40-55%.
 
SDA and Sendai:  ALWAYS quarantine new rats for at least one month before letting them have ANY contact with your existing rats.  Here is some info on successful quarantine:

Streptococcus Pneumoniae:  Do not have any contact with your rats during a strep infection.
 
Tumors:  The most effective way to prevent tumors in your females is to have them spayed.  However, this is major surgery so you would need to weight the pros and cons before doing so.  Other ways to try to prevent tumors are to feed your rats a healthy diet which includes soy, flax seed, broccoli and tomatoes and to treat with Tamoxifen should tumors become a problem to help prevent any new tumors from forming.  Also, palpatation of female rats over the age of 16 months is vital because early detection is the key to successful tamoxifen treatment.

Signs Of Illness

Non-specific signs of illness:
- lethargy
- loss of appetite
- not grooming, playing, active as usual
- roughened (puffy) coat
- hunched posture
- porphyrin staining around the eyes
- weight loss

Myco-specific:
- excessive sneezing
- porphyrin about eyes and/or nose
- wheezing
- laboured breathing
- coughing

Neurological:
- seizures
- balance problems
- paralysis
- inability to grip

Accident/Injury:
- blood loss
- open wounds
- squeaking when touched
- limping

GI system:
- not eliminating normally (feces and urine)
- blood in urine
- blood in feces
- straining to pass feces or urinate
- diarrhea, constipation
- bloating

Skin:
- excessive itching
- scabs, lesions
- lumps
- hair loss

Specific:
- tumours
- head tilt, walking in circles
- sunken, clouded or bulging eye
- blisters on feet
- overgrown or misaligned teeth
- hind leg paralysis
 
Compiled by Robyn Arthur

At Home Nursing Information

http://www.rmca.org/Articles/nurse.htm

http://www.geocities.com/nswfrmc/article8.html