Dermatitis again?? Bumblefoot?

Discussion in 'Health & General Care' started by glitchiq, Sep 5, 2016.

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  1. Sep 5, 2016 #1

    glitchiq

    glitchiq

    glitchiq

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    Wow, it has been awhile since I've been back on the forum! Unfortunately, I'm back in need of some health advice.

    I thought my two rescue boys had dermatitis that they were healing from; that's what the rescue told me. See that thread for background here (http://www.ratshackforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=33833). I did the coconut oil that jorats and lilspaz advised for awhile, and once it seemed like everything was okay I stopped. However, I've noticed that their fur on their backs - particularly Mario's - is starting to thin again. I can see little scabs, and I'm worried that it's uncomfortable for them. I'm also wondering if it's even dermatitis, which is apparently rare in rats. However, I don't know if what's happening could be explained by mites/lice, especially since they seemed to improve for awhile. The only opportunity for mites to get into the house, aside from the boys, was when we got a couple of mice months ago (but they haven't shown any symptoms, are kept in a separate room, and I don't handle them back to back with the rats). Could it be chronic? Could it be a food allergy that's manifesting itself in their skin/coats?

    Alright, second health concern. I think my boys have bumblefoot, and I have no idea how. They live in a single CN with the standard plastic CN base pans. I do not line with fleece, instead I use blank newsprint/packing paper that I change every week, sometimes more. Ever since I noticed their poor feet, I've been using Clorox wipes to wipe down their base pans when I clean instead of organic baby wipes (which don't have as much cleaning power). I'm trying to keep everything germ-free. The only time they're on exposed wire is their litterbox. They would muck around in it and sleep in it before I put the little wire insert in. They did gain a little too much weight for my liking, so maybe there was extra pressure on their feet? I've been cutting down on treats and how much I put in their bowl, and it seems like it's been helping. Every time I think they're getting a little better, I check their cage and find little blots of blood from where someone's foot was acting up while they walked around. What can I do to actively help heal their feet? Is the surface I have them on too hard?

    Thank you so much! I just feel like everything's flaring up with my boys all at once, and I want to help them.
     
  2. Sep 5, 2016 #2

    Petunia

    Petunia

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    I'm not at all familiar with either health issue but here's a link with info on bumblefoot
    http://ratguide.com/health/integumentary_skin/ulcerative_pododermatitis.php

    Mites are actually on rats all the time, they are just normally able to control them. when sick or under stress, the mites can kind of take over and cause symptoms, so perhaps treat them for mites and see if the scabs clear up

    if it's mites, they clear up very quickly with treatment (revolution spot on treatment)

    I'm sure someone else will be along soon with more or better info.
     
  3. Sep 6, 2016 #3

    lilspaz68

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    Did you ever treat the initial problem with Revolution?

    As for bumblefoot, its more a genetic issue that can be aggravated by excessive weight/old age (the heel of the foot is pressing down flat rather than the rat being up on its toes when they are younger). You treat the bumblefoot with blu-kote (unless there's infection then you use antibiotics first), make sure the bedding is very soft and pad everything you can. Can you get us a pic of the possible bumblefoot? Sometimes its just pressure sores that never get any worse.
     
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  4. Sep 8, 2016 #4

    glitchiq

    glitchiq

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    Thank you for the link!

    And I didn't know that about mites at all; I just assumed dermatitis because that's the info that the rescue gave me. What's interesting is that the neutered brothers were being kept with their sisters before I adopted them, but only the four boys displayed any thinning fur on their backs or scabs. Could treating them with revolution do any harm if mites isn't the problem?

    No, I didn't treat it at all. The rescue told me that they were recovering from dermatitis and had been given the all-clear from the vet. So, basically they were done with treatment, and their fur was just growing back. When it wasn't clearing up as quickly as I would have liked, I took to the forum and was advised to try coconut oil. So I did that for awhile, and they were looking good. Only recently have I noticed thinning fur again.

    I'm glad I'm being more conservative with treats and food intake then! I'll order some blu-kote. Should I put them back on fleece? I put them on paper a couple of weeks after I brought them home because they made such an awful mess of fleece (and I could never completely wash the boy-smell out, no matter how many Rat Shack tips I used). Also, the paper allows me to change it out every other day to make sure that the floor is as clean as possible for them. I don't have enough fleece for that. Would lining the places they spend the most time (igloo, sputnik, etc.) with fleece be enough? And I suppose I'll cover their ramp too. Should I leave the grate on their litter box?

    I will try to get pictures! They aren't very happy with being handled (leaps and bounds since I brought them home, but it's still not their favorite), but I will try my hardest!
     
  5. Oct 6, 2016 #5

    Lilah

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    Hey, for the Revolution I don't know whether it's dangerous for them if it's not mites - I don't think so, but your vet you get it from will be able to tell you. Had to treat my kids once for it, they did have scabs and there's some hair loss.

    For bumblefoot, you can get a special cleaner and antibiotic ointment from your vet to apply twice per day. It's something you keep treating, it might not go away but it can be managed and improve. Do you have photos of the feet?

    For the bumblefoot, a soft surface like fleece is important. I keep it wrapped underneath the levels of the cage so they don't chew or pull it as much, and wash it often in hot water with biodegradable unscented detergent since scents can bother their respiratory systems. But I don't know how to wash if it's super hard to get the smell out. If they are young and healthy for surgery, getting neutered could help.

    Maybe it's something they're eating? All my boys and girls, neutered/spayed or not all smelled good (but I don't smell much) all on a plant based diet of just Harlan Teklad 2014 lab blocks and daily fruit/veg (no citrus or mango for boys, no avocado or onion or garlic) and sometimes grain bread or mushy red lentils for a treat/medication time. Kale is the most anti-inflammatory thing I know of, and their primary staple veg.

    Rats really love and emotionally benefit from cuddly soft stuff though. So if you can find a way to give them cuddly fleece it will make a big difference for them. Being on hard surfaces is no good for bumblefoot. Other loose beddings are not as sanitary (& avoid wood shavings, they can hurt ratty respiratory systems, pine and especially cedar).

    A trick I use to stop them from munching things I don't want them to too quickly (I settle on just slowing them down), is to put even more interesting things to chew on all over the place. already munched up fleece that they like to bury themselves in, plain cardboard boxes with holes to make houses, toilet paper rolls cut in interesting ways, and woods that are safe for them to chew like apple (properly dried, baked) and bamboo. Fleece can be eventually recycled into padding. Scraps can be made into toys or just for playing and sleeping in.

    Hope some of this helps!
     
  6. Oct 16, 2016 #6

    SQ

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    Revolution is fine to use with rats. The amount applied is based on weight and it is a very small amount ..... and all rats are treated, not just those with symptoms. Items are washed carefully and anything wooden is usually frozen for a few days (Btw, if you ever use bedding, it is important to freeze bedding etc before use to kill any parasites that may be in it) http://ratguide.com/meds/anti-infectives/selamectin_revolution.php

    As for bumble foot, make sure bedding is soft, such as fleece and change it frequently so that surfaces are kept clean and dry
     
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  7. Oct 17, 2016 #7

    dspch911

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    What she said, very important to freeze bedding before use 48-72 hours, need to kill any critters on it. That is another way to get mites, not freezing bedding...
     
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  8. Oct 18, 2016 #8

    Lilah

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    Wash and dry all their fleece stuff on high heat too, yes?
     
  9. Oct 18, 2016 #9

    dspch911

    dspch911

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    You can, but a complete cage clean isn't necessary with revolution since it out lasts the life cycle of mites.
     

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