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Breanna LoCicero

New Member
Jul 14, 2018
Albuquerque New Mexico
Hello again! One of our rats, Joy, has bumblefoot in her back foot. She's about 2 1/2, if that has anything to do with it. She is a rat who lives in a cage with her brothers and sisters, and I read that has to do with it. We clean the cage regularly and we bring them out as well -- we feed them leftovers (pasta, chocolate, salad, fruits, anything really) as well as "regular" rat food. what can we do for her??? We have probiotics, antibiotics, etc. so whatever she needs we can provide.


Well-Known Member
Jun 16, 2018
Bumblefoot can be very hard to treat, and as already mentioned, a picture will tell at what stage or progression it has developed to. If it's just red and swollen, clean her cage daily and put down clean fleece regularly. Treat it with some antiseptic. No use dressing it since she'll most likely get it off if it takes her all her abilities. Now, if it is infected, oozing, cracked open, bleeding, peeling, scabbing, or otherwise ugly and painful looking, you will need to put her on an antibiotic, I forget which one is best, and treat at least 3 times a day with antiseptic and an antibiotic ointment, and dress it securely. She might be ok with the dressing, but not likely. You can form a sort of bootie that she cant get off, but then youll need to apply topical treatments without removing the bootie thing. I saw it made on TV, it's a sort of cast but made like a wicker basket,so it is open to the air and accessible. Unfortunately, I can't direct you to any websites but you can try Googling for it. If dressing it is not possible or practical, you basically want to keep applying antiseptic as often as you possibly can, up to about every 4 hours. The more the better. I used BlueKote once and applied it by spraying it into the cap and then soaking a Qtip in it to apply it. Do NOT spray her foot with BlueKote, or she will get exactly that...a very very blue coat of fur. Actually,cits more purple, and it NEVER comes off. Lol. So I was religiously cleaning her cage, oh, you might consider moving her to her own cage, or move her and her bff. Easier to keep the cage floor clean. If the floor is wire or bars, immediately cover it with cardboard or even newspaper, and then cover that with fleece. You want to maintain a very clean surface for her and make it padded and as soft as possible, to help alleviate the pain. Also, consider giving her daily Metacam, Bumblefoot is painful, although she won't show it. After maybe a week or so, she should hopefully start to mend a bit, which is when the peeling started with my worst case. It would build up dead skin and necrotic areas, which I carefully debrided, but I don't recommend you do this unless you are skilled with the removal of dead flesh. Anyway, it took months, but my boy kept getting his daily antiseptic treatments and occasional removal of built up dead skin,which was often just peeled off. Just as I was about to officially declare him healed enough to stop treatments and just keep an eye on it, he got a uri flare-up and had to be pts. He was 4½ years old, the longest living rat I've ever had. I got him at 3½ from my girlfriend, who didn't want to get him yet another cagemate when his latest one passed away, because he kept outliving every new friend she got him. I think he had 3 when I got him. He lived yet another year with me, almost the whole time with me treating his foot. Oh yeah, bumblefoot is very VERY hard to get rid of. You are much better off to not let them get it to begin with. It is mostly a result of husbandry issues, wire/bar floors, and weight problems. If you catch it early, before it opens up to infection and its still contained and not infected, you can treat it by moving her to a clean cage with 1 friend, and keep her flooring clean, with fleece put down. Hopefully you caught it early. Which, FYI, is why you want to do weekly check UPS on all you ratties. I inspect for mites, bumblefoot, tumors, injuries, porphyrin, eye bulges, orange teeth, URI symptoms, toenail issues, hind leg degeneration, etc, etc, every Sunday. Anyway, good luck.

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