(Go to article entitled "Rat bathing")
(Go to article entitled "Claw clipping")
This site is for small animals:
This site is for birds, but applies to rats as well:
Animal Poison Hotline:
888-426-4435 - very helpful, nonprofit, but expensive.
ASPCA APCC's emergency hotline
(888) 4-ANI-HELP - also, very helpful and expensive.
ASPCA: Animal Poison Control Center
I have everything set up before I grab the first rat. I lay a dish towel on the counter next to the sink, get out my extra soft toothbrush that I use just for tail cleaning, fill a small dish with mild dish soap, get a small towel to dry tails, and have warm water running from the faucet.
Then I get the first rat. I bend over the sink, holding him against my front, massaging his back and smooching on his head while his tail is dangling under the running water. They usually don't even notice that I'm soaking their tails because I'm giving them a massage the whole time.
The next step is when I get my battle wounds. :-) Some of them just sit there and let me do whatever I want to their tails and others are constantly trying to claw their way up my arms to safely. I hold them very firmly with my left hand so that their tail is lying on the dishtowel. I wet the toothbrush, dip it in the dish soap and start brushing their tail from their bottom to the tip of their tail over and over again, rewetting and resoaping the brush occasionally.
When I've cleaned off the gunk (some of them never come completely clean), then I hold them to my chest again, massaging their back and kissing their little heads while their tail is draped under the running water. One firm swipe with the drying towel and lots of loving on the way back to the ratroom and it's on to the next rat.
Products to have available:
Here are some good products to have on hand at all times, just in case:
This would be used in place of hydrogen peroxide for wounds not requiring suturing. This is an excellent product that kills only the bad cells, unlike hydrogen peroxide.
It's very important to keep even very small wounds clean to prevent infection and abscesses.
This can also be used to clean wounds and is especially useful for abscesses. Sterile saline used for contact lens users comes in a handy squirt bottle. Just be sure to get STERILE SALINE and not a contact lens solution.
This is an ophthalmic ointment used to treat eye infections. It can also be used on irritations to the eye, during an SDA outbreak, and for dry eye problems.
Note: Any injury or signs of illness in the eye should be seen by a veterinarian. A fluoroscein stain should be done to determine if there is any corneal damage, which is very serious and often permanent.
*Artificial Tears Ointment:
This can be found in the contact lens section of your pharmacy. This can be used in place of terramycin in the case of eye afflictions when an antibiotic ointment is not needed. It will keep the eye lubricated to prevent degeneration.
This contains beneficial micro-organisms and helps promote the healthy flora in the gut during antibiotic treatment.
This is ibuprofen. It is a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory. The dose is 10mg to 30mg based on weight every 4 hours as needed.
This is a high calorie dietary supplement. It's good to have on hand for sick rats who may need some extra calories, vitamins, and minerals.
This would be used in place of styptic powder to control minor bleeding.