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On this blog there is good up to date information on rats. Below to the right are the dates of when I posted stuff. Click on the side ways arowose to see the posts that I wrote for that month. If you would like to read a little about me click on "Me and My Blog." Please feel free to watch the You Tube videos about rats - except for the five random videos that keep coming up, they have nothing to do with rats. I don't know why, also please vote on the serveys and leave comments. Please come back every once in a while because I will be posting things very often, so stay in tune. Feel free to click on the adds, some of them you may find helpful because they will bring you to discount rat cages. Hope this blog is useful. Thanks for reading!

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Rats and Allergies

Believe it or not, rats can have allergies too. But how do you know? Well, as you may know, I have two rats, a dwarf rat named Chelsey, and a standard rat named LuLu. And I have been noticing some bald spots on LuLu's neck, and earlier I had seen Chelsey chewing on LuLu there. So I figured the minor bald spots were caused by chelsey's aggressive cleaning, they were. But then they started getting bigger and I noticed scabs on the spots too. So I went to PetCo and bought a separate cage for Chelsey, and I was going to separate them until LuLu's bald spots went away. I noticed that LuLu wasn't getting any better. So I did some research and found that a common problem for bald spots and scabs around the neck, shoulders, face chin, and forehead are from allergies. I also found out that common food allergies for rats are peanuts and dairy products. Such as the common rat treat called yogies. I had been giving my rats 2 yogies every day starting right before LuLu's bald spots worsened. So i stopped giving them yogies, and the results have been great. It is rare for a rat to be allergic to or sensitive to most litters though, beside pine or cedar shavings. It also possible for your rat to have eczema, which causes itching.
If you have been noticing bald and scabby spots on your rat, and you think it might be allergic to a treat or the food you are buying him or her, to help speed the process of healing, a topical ointment such as neosporin can help, just watch your rat while it soaks in so it doesn't ingest any of it. There is a chance that bald spots could be related to stress, but that would be for obvious reasons, such as the rat isn't in a healthy, quiet, air conditioned room. Most of my information was from http://www.ratfanclub.org/skin.html
*Take note that to help your rat if it has bald spots, you may need to trim his or her nails. I will be publishing a post about this as soon as I can.*

Friday, May 15, 2009

10 Easiest Ways to Keep Your Rat Safe

This may seem hard to believe, but not all rats are indestructible. Especially not domesticated rats like the one you have in a cage in the other room. This page will show you how to keep your rat safer.

1. Make sure to always close your rat's cage when you are done holding your rat. When buying a new cage always make sure that the lid to the cage closes securely. Also make sure that any food dishes that are attached to the cage (covering up a hole) are tightly attached to the cage. If either of these do not close tight enough, this could be a problem because rats can figure out how to get out if it's not tight enough.

2. Be cautious while your rat is running in its exercise ball. Often times it's easy to put your rat into its exercise ball and do nothing else and forget about him. That's why it's important to rat-proof a room before placing your rat in that room. For example, pick a room to let your rat run around in (in its ball), and then make sure there's no places he or she can get stuck and make sure all doors are shut. Also make sure no other animals are able to get in the room that could scare your rat, to avoid heart attacks. It's also important to put your rat back in its cage when guests are over.

3. Be careful to avoid contact with other animals while holding your rat. Some rats are scared to death of other animals - such as dogs. A lot of times when rats see other animals they are afraid of, they will jump from your lap, making the animal they were afraid of, startled, causing your rat to get stepped on. Although some rats will do the opposite and try to hide in your shirt, this should still be avoided though. Other rats, will get so scared, they may even have a heart attack. So as you can see, it's probably best to just keep your rat to yourself and other humans.

4. Always make sure your rat's water bottle is always working. Often times with the water bottles that have the straw hanging down with a marble that blocks the water from coming down can break. The most common way it breaks is the marble getting stuck so your rat cant get water. To make sure this doesn't happen, every time you refill your rat's water, check to make sure that when you push on the marble, water comes out. You should refill your rat's water every 2 - 3 days.

5. Remember to have clean hands when holding your rat. It's easy for rats to pick up germs off of your hands, especially because when rats see that we are dirty, they try and clean us by licking. Even if you think that your hands are clean, they're not. So it's important to always wash your hands before holding your rat. But it's not good to use hand sanitize because of the strong fumes and the alcohol and chemicals that your rat will inhale and lick up.

6. Dry food isn't the only food you should give your rat. In order for your rat to have a healthy diet, you shouldn't give your rat just dry food from the store. A rat's diet consists of a variety of fruits and vegetables. But you shouldn't only give your rat fruits and vegetables. You should also give your rat rat blocks (aka lab blocks). Rat blocks are food blocks that scientists give there rats that they are running tests on. Rat blocks are full of plenty of vitamins rats need. You can finds rat blocks at almost any pet store with small animals. For more information see Healthy Snacks. Also make sure to see Foods to Avoid! so you don't give your rat the wrong vegetables.

7. Always make sure your rat's cage is clean. A very easy thing to forget to do, is to clean your rat's cage. In a rat's urine, is ammonia gasses. Ammonia gasses aren't good for rats. One thing that also triggers Mycoplasmosis, is not cleaning your rat's cage as often as you should. This is because the rats inhale the gasses in their waste (ammonia) which is bad for the their respiratory system, and Mycoplasmosis is a respiratory disease. Also an unclean cage stinks! So you probably should clean your rat's cage. You should change your rat's bedding every one to one and a half weeks depending on how many rats you have and what kind of bedding you use.

8. Just like humans, rats can get too hot. Always be careful about where to put your rat's cage. If its cage is in the sun, they can over heat. Over heating can lead to heat stroke or even death.

9. Rats can get injuries without you knowing. A lot of the time when a rat gets injured, it's easy to not notice. Such as a small cut or a broken nail. So it is important to every day, check for broken nails, cuts, etc. It is also important to every week, thoroughly check your rat for more serious things. One thing is tumors. You should also check that your rat walks like he or she normally does. Such as if he limps slightly when he walks.

10. One of the most important things, is to be safe with your rat. You should always be safe when holding your rat. For example, when your rat is on your shoulder, don't run around, and, try not to slip. Or if your rat is climbing around on the couch, warn other people before they sit down. So, basically, use common sense while holding your rat.

If you don't think rats are necessarily the pet you are looking for, but want a pet similar to a rat, I would look into a chinchilla. This link is great for the history of chinchillas, and is really interesting.

Have any questions or comments? Email me at ratmanbv@gmail.com