Baths, Swimming?

Discussion in 'Health & General Care' started by Virus'n'Plague, Nov 4, 2018.

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  1. Nov 4, 2018 #1

    Virus'n'Plague

    Virus'n'Plague

    Virus'n'Plague

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    Does anyone have rats that like swimming?
    Or should they find themselves in need of a bath, does anyone have a technique?
    Usually I can just manage with an unscented, hypoallergenic baby wipe if needed, but I've read that some might enjoy swimming and wanted to know if anyone had a water baby or has seen rats enjoying this?
     
  2. Nov 5, 2018 #2

    SQ

    SQ

    SQ

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    Most rats do not enjoy swimming .... and rats are not normally bathed because, like cats they groom themselves and bathing disrupts the balance of oils in their skin.
    Some people bath unneutered males every few months because of buck grease.
    Sometimes elderly, or ill eats need help with grooming and when they do, people use unscented baby wipes like you are doing or support their body with one arm/hand and place them in warm water in the sink while gently massaging them with the other hand.
    Being placed into water can be extremely stressful for rats and stress causes illness in rats.

    Many people, particularly in the summer, put frozen peas in a dish or pan of luke warm water and let their rats go fishing for peas as a way of having fun and cooling off in the hot summer
     
  3. Nov 5, 2018 #3

    Virus'n'Plague

    Virus'n'Plague

    Virus'n'Plague

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    I had always assumed from the barrels and rain catchers used at my great grandmothers farm that rats werent designed for swimming - I realize they can but figured it wasnt natural for their hand-like paws and no webbing. I was really surprised when I had read it.
    Thanks for the advice on the bobbing for peas! I'll keep that in mind!
    Just curious, why is it unneutered males getting tended to for the buck grease?
    It's only been a handful of times I've even bothered with the wipes - once including a rat treat we tried from the store that poor Jeckyll had a reaction to. A liquidy reaction that left my poor PEW Joker enjoying the help with the clean up lmao. (We dont touch those treats anymore lol)
    Thank you though :)
     
  4. Nov 9, 2018 #4

    SQ

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    I do not have much experience with unneutered male rats as I normally get all my rats spayed and neutered.
    Buck grease is a hormonal secretion and some boys have a lot more buck grease then others.

    Some people on here have posted that they feel the need to occasionally clean the buck grease off their boys
    - I assume that their boys produce a lot of buck grease or just do not do a very good job at grooming themselves
    Quote from the rat guide: "Some intact males can get an excessive build up of yellow/orange oils on their backs (a product of testosterone related sebaceous gland secretions)."

    Other people never feel the need to wipe the buck grease off their boys
     
  5. Nov 9, 2018 #5

    Virus'n'Plague

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    Thank you. I appreciate the clarification.
    Older rats would be more prone perhaps? Mine are only 3 and 4 months between the four of them and aside from Hyde who is just always softer and shinier, the others seem pretty normal to me. They always feel and smell normal to me but I dont think I've seen a Male with excessively greasy hair. They're pretty awesome champs at keeping themselves purdy haha. I was mostly curious if others had any info on the playtime in the water. Where read it from, the woman would fill the tub with shallow water with a platform (milk crate) and ramp to the ledge in there. One of her rats would willing go for swims by choice and seemed to really enjoy it. The water was just to say a little cooler than Luke warm apparently. I never tried it or anything - I know Hyde and Riddler are pretty shy for something like that and wasnt sure if it was healthy.
    Same with some breeds of dogs who people tend to over bath and strip their oils (like labs) or Rottis (who are prone to dry skin). So I wondered if rats were like that. So this cleared it up a lot better for me. Thank you!
     
  6. Nov 10, 2018 #6

    SQ

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    You could always try putting a container of water in their play area that they can easily get in and out of to see if they want to go swimming ...... personally I would think that the tub would be stressful since they can not choose to enter or leave and because it is a strange place.

    Maybe others have more experience on this and have more useful info to share with you
     
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  7. Nov 10, 2018 #7

    Virus'n'Plague

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    The woman who had it roughed used a blanket in the tub as a play area for the rats at one point (I forget why). They kept going back. She had ramps and such. It wasnt a bad set up really. Just .... a lot of work for something that I'm finding to sound a little over the top? But hey man, her one rat really did seem to love it haha. The rest didnt seem to. She seemed pretty good and aware of them.

    Someone else had mentioned peas in a dish to bob for. I might try the shallow dish in their play area with some peas or something to try a game, but overall I dont think I will be bothering with anything deeper or more than that lol. The more I find, the more it sounds like its intrusive to their own balance and my boys seem to like the games we do have (they LOVE the blanket fort, and love hide and seek with treats lol. They also have the cats they play with (the cats are well behaved and take off when the rats try to wrestle lol and always supervised) and use the dog as a jungle gym lol.
     
  8. Nov 10, 2018 #8

    SQ

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    You should be aware that it is not safe to mix rats with other species ..... rats are either predators or prey.
    Cats and dogs have instincts and it only takes a second for something to go wrong, or for a cat to instinctively bat at a rat. Please do not let rats interact with other species.
     

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