Pet rat wiping paws frequently

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mufintherat

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Hi everyone!

I’m going to attach a link to the video I got of Mufin doing this weird behavior, but before that I want to give a little back story.

For some time now she’s been chewing and scratching, and I’ve gotten her dozens of revolution treatments. However, nothing seems to work, so I’m not even sure it’s a mites/parasite problem anymore. Anyway! She’s had some icky scabs and her vet prescribed Duoxo Chlorhexidine 3% PS Pads and Vitamin E to be applied to them. This is the second time I’ve done this treatment, and this first time it worked really well (the scab was on her right cheek) and she didn’t do this behavior. Only just recently has she started doing it (scab currently behind left shoulder).

So, finally, the point! She’s been frequently like tapping her paws and like wiping them (?) on surfaces. It started out only once in awhile, but now it’s happening super often. I’m just not sure if it could be a neurological thing or if it’s just the result of the topical vitamin E getting on her paws? She just didn’t do this the first time around, so I’m just curious if anyone has any idea what this could be! She’s almost two years old, so I’m just trying to cover my bases!

Thanks you guys!
 

lilspaz68

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if something is on their paws they don't like the taste of, they will wipe them like this. Does she do it allll day or just the few hours after you've applied something?

I'm more concerned about the scabs you have been attempting to treat, can you post pics?
 

mufintherat

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That definitely makes sense!

And yeah, so she had a scab awhile back, and the topical treatments that I did worked and it healed up. That was about 2-3 months ago, I think. Probably about a week or two ago she started creating more scabs on her shoulder, all in the same spot! I’ve been doing the topicals and it looks like it’s getting better, but I have no idea why this keeps happening. The revolution treatment does absolutely nothing for her. I’m not sure if her scratching could be a dietary thing or dry skin?? :-(

Here’s a photo though, I couldn’t get a great shot because she’s squirmy, but hopefully it gets the point across! Thanks for helping!!!
 

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mufintherat

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Oh no :’-(( And no, my vet kept insisting that it was mites, and was going to charge a fortune for a skin scraping. She’s not a great vet, but she’s the only one in town who treats rats. If I make an appointment for the vet, do you have any recommendations on what I should say? I don’t want her to take advantage and try to recommend all of this random stuff that Mufin probably doesn’t need, but I’m not sure exactly what to ask for! I really appreciate your help! This forum feels like the only place I can get actual information on how to help my babies, so thank you so much for taking the time to explain :)
 

mwp051699

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That's definitely not mites. It's a bacterial infection, likely caused (ironically) by her incessant tapping and grooming and scratching. Think of it as a Catch 22 type of thing. The sores are being caused by bacteria on her paws, which, in turn, is caused by her grooming and scratching the sores, Which is caused by her (by this point anyway) the bacteria on her paws. In summary, she's continually reinfecting herself, which has likely negatively affected her immune system, making the infection even more opportunistic. I'm short, wash her with antibacterial soap, dry well, and apply Silverdene if you have some. And if you can, carefully shave the fur down in that area and soak with the Chlorhexidine solution as often as is practical for 20 minutes or so, being careful not to touch it afterwards. And most importantly, clean her cage well and remove any poops whenever you see any. I would put down fleece and change it daily. If you have oral antibiotics, you will want a gram-negative one I think, but it's best to consult with a vet about this. I just went through my 3rd similar situation like this and my success was Chlorhexidine soak, Silverdene, cover with a Tegaderm patch (I swear this is the key), and then wrap it up with a disposables sticky Ace bandage to keep rattie from getting at it. Just don't wrap too tightly. After a few hours I remove the Ace bandage and the Tegaderm will stay stuck to the shaved skin and none of my rates ever remove it, I think they consider it a part of their skin, lol. So good luck.
 

mufintherat

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that was SO helpful!! thank you SO much!! it makes total sense now that you’ve explained it. my vet tends to try to sell me on random stuff, but in your experience, what would you suggest for the antibiotics? you’re literally a life saver, thank you!!!
 

lilspaz68

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My cures for pyoderma (bacterial infection caused by staph aureus) is baytril, Metacam (meloxicam) to reduce the inflammation and pain causing the scratching, and later on once the bacteria has been killed you might need a topical to keep the skin from drying out and pulling.
You want the lesions to go from angry orangish pink to a cooler lighter pink (healing tissue) before you know the bacteria has been killed. You continue with Baytril and Metacam until it's well on its way to healing.
 

mufintherat

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Thank you!! This has been so helpful and informative. I made an appointment with the vet for Tuesday, so hopefully this whole thing can go away once and for all! Once again, you’ve been so helpful!! Thank you soo much! <3 :)
 

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