How much do rats scratch?

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by MuffinsMum, Oct 1, 2012.

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  1. Oct 1, 2012 #1

    MuffinsMum

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    We dosed the girls with Revolution a week ago (Sept22) at about 5-6mg per lb.

    They don't scratch incessantly, there isn't any fur missing there aren't any scabs, to the naked eye I see nothing, but I still feel like they're scratching more than they should which is why we dosed them originally. Having a little scratch every now and then *regularly* interrupts their exploration and awake time.

    They sometimes clean their toenails after a scratch.

    How much scratching would constitute regular grooming?

    How long does it take for Revolution to work if there is something?

    Thanks for any thoughts!

    :scratch:
     
  2. Oct 1, 2012 #2

    Cinderwolf

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    Rat do use their toes to groom themselves thats what you are seeing when they clean their toe nails. But if you feel like they are scratching a lot, since you dosed revo, it isn't gonna be mites but it may be a reaction to something in the cage. What kind of bedding do you use? wood shavings or something to that matter may be upsetting their skin, or if it is fleece, try changing detergents and see if that makes a difference. If none of that makes a difference they are probably just grooming themselves.
     
  3. Oct 1, 2012 #3

    MuffinsMum

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    Thanks Cinderwolf! We're linen users and I use Ecos detergent (interestingly they've changed the formula, now that I read the bottle. Originally it was made from soy, now the surfactant base is coconut ...) but that still shouldn't be bad for a rattie surely?

    Hmmmmm. I'll keep exploring.

    They all scratch about the same amount as one another. So I had thought that an allergy/reaction thing would show up more in one than in everyone?

    Maybe it's normal? But I don't have anyone else's ratties around here to judge by. :confused:
     
  4. Oct 1, 2012 #4

    Cinderwolf

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    Yea I think it is probably normal behavior. Take a close look at their skin? does it look irritatied. if not I bet they are jsut grooming.
     
  5. Oct 2, 2012 #5

    jorats

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    When rats are itchy due to bugs, you will see them stop scratch an go about their business but when they lick their toes and then scratch, that's more of a grooming.
     
  6. Oct 2, 2012 #6

    Aida

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    It might not be bad, but just different(the coconut).

    Either way, my rats scratch a lot, too, and nothing has changed in their cage. The weather is turning cooler, maybe their skin is just more dry? So many things, but as long as there aren't any scabs, I wouldn't worry.
     
  7. Oct 2, 2012 #7

    MuffinsMum

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    Thank you!

    The girls do both - sometimes they have a quick scratch, like when they come to say hello - they'll have a quick scratch and get on with the rest of what they were planning on doing, maybe when they're done, they'll have another one... and sometimes it's a toenail cleaner kind.

    It doesn't seem to wake them up when they're sleeping, but having a little scratch every so often seems to be a regular part of being awake.

    It isn't excessive. I just feel like it's often.

    Will be keeping my eyes peeled!

    (Does Ivermectin cover anything that the Revo could have missed? Should we be considering that after a period of time?)
     
  8. Oct 2, 2012 #8

    Godmother

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    I once used a trial version of Sniffy the Virtual Rat (fun software if you want to improve your behavioral modification skills.

    Sniffy, who is modeled on lab rats, stops frequently to scratch. I presume that labs would be kept mite free or as close as possible, and that frequent scratching is normal.

    I try to notice changes in my rats' behaviour. If a rat suddenly scratches a lot more than before then I look for possible causes.
     
  9. Oct 2, 2012 #9

    jorats

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    I wouldn't do the ivermectin yet. Wait until you find scabs. But yes, ivermectin is equally as good for all kinds of buggies.
     
  10. Oct 2, 2012 #10

    MuffinsMum

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    Thank you!

    So it sounds like they're probably doing what little ratamuffins do.

    I'll definitely keep looking and watching and we have our hands all over them so many times each day, if something is amiss we should pick it up.

    I'm so relieved that this doesn't sound like discomfort - it sounds like Sniffy would classify it as pretty normal! :)
     

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