Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Last night I got really scared and upset. I have four pet rats and they are really sweet, gentle and beautiful. As I was feeding them apple slices I noticed that the oldest one, Daisy, had scratches all over her. I was shocked. I took her out and to my horror she is covered with scratches, bloody and scabs only slightly forming. I'm like what they heck?? I immediately take her upstairs and clean her with hydrogen peroxide.

In the meantime, I'm like is she getting into fights? Is she scratching her self on some exposed wire? What's happening? All the rats are female and we even thought there was some dominance roles being played out or something. However, I was not satisfied with this as none of the other rats have any marks, etc. So, I looked up on the net about rat care, etc. Of course, they had all the worse case scenarios and something called rat bite fever (don't look it's terrible). I knew it couldn't be this. I kept reading and reading until I found out that ammonia can cause allergic reactions in rats. That's when I remembered I had used this inferior cage bedding. Basically, it's wood shavings and is not absorbent or good smelling after two days. I was horrified. It was my fault, really. Usually, I use this paper like bedding that is gray in color and much better. Apparently, Daisy is very allergic and is scratching to an obsessive level. I'm going to have to take her to the vet. If there is any antibiotic to ease her itching, I'll try to get that for her.

I feel badly because I have always used the good stuff but the store I buy it from hadn't restocked and had the cheap shavings instead. I should have gone to the pet store but I was feeling lazy and used the yellow stuff. I feel terrible.

Right now, I'm trying this supposedly cleaner litter made from little pill balls of some pulp stuff. I hope it's similar to the other gray litter. I was supposed to use clean white paper towels but I didn't read that until after I cleaned the cage in a panic at midnight. I think Daisy looks all right but I'm going to call our vet and see if they handle "pocket" pets. All the other rats are concerned and huddle around her. They also help lick her scratch marks, poor dear. I think she'll be okay but better to be safe than sorry. And I know it's not mites as none of my other rats/pets have scratching.


Bonny said...

Oh, Emily! It is very upsetting when our little friends are unable to help themselves. We love them almost as uch as we do our human family and friends, they are that much a oart of our lives.
I hope the vet can make her feel better. And you're back on track with the cage liner. Keep positive!

Andrea said...

Oh no! I am wishing her well. Don't beat yourself up over it!

Emily said...

Thanks so much Bonny and Big A! I cleaned her up some more but she is still scratching. We're going to the vets tomorrow...the vet thinks it's allergies too.

islandarts said...

sometimes if an animal has a weeping wound the other animals will pick at it and keep it raw and cause more irritation. You may want to separate the hurt one for awhile...
I just remember this from having Gerbils as a youngster...
Hope she gets better soon!


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