Itching from too much protein?

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rmn34

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One of my little guys has been itching a lot lately. I first suspected mites, so I checked by holding him over a clean piece of glass and running a comb through his fur, then examining the particles that fell off under the microscope. I could not find any insects or anything that looks like eggs.

Upon reading that protein can be a culprit I realized that he has been stealing a lot of fish from my plate lately. I had never heard about that before now.

How long does it take for the itching to stop?

Is there anything I can do to help in the meantime?

Would a bath help or make it worse?

Thanks!
 

lilspaz68

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Mites aren't visible to the naked eye (only lice) so now you want to check for little scabs over the shoulders, neck and head. These are real signs of mites and you'll need to treat all your rats with Revolution.
 

rmn34

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With his sister fighting the PT he probably has not been groomed like usual. Do you think that is why the itching just recently started?

I had previous rats that had some kind of infestation many years ago. IIRC I was able to see the insects under the microscope but I don't remember if they were lice or mites. I do remember I gave them SC Ivermectin.

Should I try doing a skin scraping, or can the revolution be given as a preventative with no adverse side effects?
 

rmn34

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I thought it might be food related because it just started recently; and up until now they had never eaten Ensure or baby food or any of the other things I have had to feed the one with the tumor.

Would you agree that the timing of the itching could be caused by the lack of grooming while the other one is ill?
i.e. she was in no condition to groom her cagemate and eat the baby mites before they could take hold?
 

SQ

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Unless limited by age, illness, or disability, rats are able to groom themselves although they often groom one another. I don't think his cage mate being unable to groom him caused this.

Mites is the most likely cause so that is why people treat with revolution. It is possible that it could be allergies (or protein) but treat with revolution and if that does not solve the problem, then other causes should be looked at.
Did you read the link on mites I posted? I have noticed that sometimes mites become more of an issue in the spring and again in the fall. Rats who are ill or not in the best of health can be more effected by mites.
 

rmn34

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I did read the link. Thank you. You are amazing. I really appreciate your help! So do my little ones.

The thing is this just started around the same time I started feeding them high protein foods.

Now they are both itching, but the other one has been sneaking food from his cagemate, so they both have been eating high protein.

I have started separating them when I feed her.

How long would it take to eliminate protein as a suspect?

Also, the vet is backlogged nearly 3 weeks due to the coronavirus, and the places that sell revolution online also say it will take weeks to ship.

The site you linked said Salemectin or Ivermectin are effective, and I do have Ivermectin 1% on hand.

Back in 2016 my vet recommended SC injection but according to ratguide, PO or topical is preferred.

Would Ivermectin be equally benign if it happens to not be mites?

Also I notice ratguide says "Do not use Selamectin / Ivermectin on sick or malnutritioned rats". Would that apply to the one with the tumor?



Thanks!
 
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lilspaz68

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I'm not a fan of ivermectin, I've seen overdoses that ended up killing the rats. Protein scabs are actually very rare. I've experienced it exactly once in over 500 rescue rats. If you are in the US, it would take 2-3 weeks for the Revo to arrive from Australia.
 

SQ

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as Lilspaz68 said, revolution is much safer. It is also more convenient as it only needs to be applied once where ivermectin needs to be given many times.

It is unfortunate that your vet will not just sell you atube of the kitten revolution, then if you have a digital scale that weighs accurately to 1gram and has a tare function (an important piece of equipment for rat owners), you could weigh each rattie and treat them yourself .... we could help re the correct dose
 

rmn34

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My scale is capable of weighing to the milligram, which is necessary to dispense amoxicillin and other powdered drugs accurately.

Is there a particular website you recommend? The ones I have looked at say 4-7 weeks due to coronavirus shipping delays.

Thanks!
 
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lilspaz68

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If you are in the US, you can order from Pets Megastore. You might want to put up on online request to see if anyone has a spare tube that could sell to you.
 
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rmn34

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Thank you! I ordered some from them. It says 15-30 days with express shipping. It is much cheaper than in the US also, even with the shipping.

I have been sticking clear tape to their fur and checking under the microscope for bugs; still nothing yet.

I just had a crazy thought... What if it is something in the water? We have well water that is extremely acidic... It destroys water heaters and metal pipes. All our drinking water goes through a 5-stage RO filter, however I know there are certain things that can still get through.

I am switching to bottled water from the store just to make sure...

But could an allergy present later in life? like other ailments, when the their immune system starts to decline due to age?
 

lilspaz68

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If you are dealing with mites they are invisible to the naked eye, you will only see the effects like the scabs, thinning fur, excessive scratching. I doubt it's your water but it won't hurt to switch them.
 

rmn34

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I only suggested that because I thought I seemed itchy lately too... Of course that could be all in my head.

So what magnification is necessary to see the mites?

She has all 3 of those symptoms btw.

DSC01588 (Medium).JPG

DSC01600 (Medium).JPG

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First I held her over a piece of paper and scraped around the areas around the thinning fur, and collected the particles that fell off with clear tape...


And this is the result of using clear tape to press against her skin after parting her fur.

 
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lilspaz68

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Kitcat it's best to start your own thread rather than hijack someone else's. Start with what symptoms you saw to convince you it was parasites?
 

rmn34

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So it has been a week and a half and they are still itching- but I think they are itching less? Its hard to tell.

The vet recommended 18mg/kg of the cat strength so that's what I gave them.

I kept them separated for a couple hours to give it time to dry. I parted their fur and using a blunted 22g needle I squirted it right in the middle of the triangle formed by the back of the head the the shoulder blades.

Most of it seemed to make it into the skin but it did kind of wick up into the nearest clump of hair. Hopefully I did not mess it up.
 
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