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Help! My rat has bald spots

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Jess5

Active Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2020
Messages
30
Location
Reno Nevada
Hello,
I currently have 3 young female rats housed in a single critter nation with lots of enrichment. They aren’t tame yet but I spend at least 30 minutes a day interacting with them inside the cage and they’re making progress.
Yesterday I noticed that my PEW rat (Jenga) had a pink bald spot on one of her front arms. There’s no scabbing or blood, it just looks like it was shaven. Today when I went to feed them, I noticed that her front arm bald spot got larger and she had a new one on her hind leg.
I got some pictures so hopefully they help. I suspect that it might be barbering but I’m also terrified it’s parasitic or something. The other rats have no hair loss and don’t seem to be excessively itching or anything. I’ve had a mouse in the past who was a barberer and j know there’s not much you can do to fix it, but I’m still not even sure if that’s what she’s doing.
*if I see any symptoms of mites or anything I will schedule a vet appointment, but I just had to take these guys to the vet about a month ago for a URI so the budget is pretty tight! I’m only asking the forum about this to see if I should be worried/get suggestions on what to do. Thanks!*
 

Dena

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2018
Messages
218
Location
Texas
Looks like barbering to me. I have a mouse who does this, and his patches are always in weird shapes. Never had a rat do this to this extent, so maybe someone more knowledgeable will chim in.
 

lilspaz68

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Toronto, Canada, Earth
defintely looks like barbering and more likely to be the girl barbering herself rather than a friend overgrooming her. Watch them carefully and you'll probably see her pulling the skin around so she can really shave it down. Its unsightly but not harmful and the weird thing is its not always a lifelong compulsion but can fade in time.
 

Jess5

Active Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2020
Messages
30
Location
Reno Nevada
Looks like barbering to me. I have a mouse who does this, and his patches are always in weird shapes. Never had a rat do this to this extent, so maybe someone more knowledgeable will chim in.
Good to know! Thanks :)
 

Jess5

Active Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2020
Messages
30
Location
Reno Nevada
defintely looks like barbering and more likely to be the girl barbering herself rather than a friend overgrooming her. Watch them carefully and you'll probably see her pulling the skin around so she can really shave it down. Its unsightly but not harmful and the weird thing is its not always a lifelong compulsion but can fade in time.
Thanks! I’ve seen her grooming those areas a bit already. I think the placement/skin would look different if it wasn’t barbering but I’ll keep a close eye on it. I hope the behavior doesn’t last long!
 

Jess5

Active Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2020
Messages
30
Location
Reno Nevada
So is barbering like trichtilomania in humans Lil Spaz? I find the human/rat connections amazing.
Funnily enough I actually do have trichotillomania myself lol! Hopefully she didn’t pick it up from me haha, I guess we can relate to each other in a sense!
 

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