Question about Achilles' Fur? Photos

Vladina

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Hello friends,

I was hoping to get a bit of input from anyone who cares to chime in...the last time Achilles and Maximus had a checkup with our vet, I mentioned to her that Achilles had little tiny specks in his fur that I had noticed and of course, I was freaked out about the dreaded "mites" or something similar.

Dr. Kamaka examined his fur and showed me the dots and said, "This is oil and dirt buildup in his fur and since he is overweight, it is hard for him to groom himself back there and the dirt and oil/skin flakes, etc, build up." She also reminded me that since he is an intact male, he produces more of that kind of stuff/buck grease, etc. Sounded about right!

She recommended, in addition to trying to slim down my boy, that I get one of those small toothed combs for him so I can help clean up his fur and comb out the excess dirt build up. I do comb his fur every few days, but in the past few days I noticed it looks even worse than usual! SO much stuff in the fur I comb out! I just want to make sure it is not a red flag of some sort?

I took some photos to show...is it possible that since he is so fat and getting elderly that the buildup of dirt and oil in his fur is just getting more visible due to the fact he probably does not have the ability at all now to groom back there?

Both of the boys have clean looking fur and of course they are in very clean surroundings and have their bedding, etc, changed daily, so they are not visibly "dirty" looking or anything. I also give them a little sponge bath with baby wipes sometimes, but most of the time they look very clean and their fur looks nice and soft and healthy.

I have started to comb him every day now, (and yes, he does enjoy the combings!) but I wanted to make sure there is nothing else that I should be concerned about with the way his fur looks when I comb it out. He eats and drinks and loves to be cuddled and groomed and he is a happy boy, other than this fur issue, so no other problems I have seen.

We don't see any sneezing or breathing problems or anything and no visible poryphin on their noses or eyes.

It might also not help the situation that Achilles is a very long haired rat! He has very thick fur so maybe it is easier for more dirt and oil build-up to get trapped in it?

Does the fur in the photos look abnormal or out of the ordinary to anyone? My poor fat Achilles baby. :disbelief:



 
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lilspaz68

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Yeah that's a lot of scurf. I assume his fur is also greasy over his back a bit?

You might want to pick up Dawn dish soap, then carefully wash his back...make sure you rinse well too.

This should help. I had to do this for one of my RTR rescue boys.

oct8Malcolmsbackprepick.jpg~original


oct8Malcolmsbackprepick2.jpg~original


With Malcolm I could pluck the fur out it was that loose in the follicles, and once it was out, there was nothing for the grease to hold onto. I don't normally pick a rat bare but I was worried about skin infections.

oct8Malcolmspickedfur.jpg~original
 

Vladina

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Thanks so much Shelagh, that was helpful! So is scurf another word for...ratty dirt dandruff or something like that? I never thought about whether or not Achilles' fur felt actually greasy or not, but perhaps it does have a bit of a thick oily feel to it. So it is dirty skin and grease build up that just flakes off and gets stuck in the fur, eh?

I can try the Dawn dishwashing liquid, as I have some Dawn in the house already...question...how does one rinse Dawn off a rat that despises water? :undecided: Just grit my teeth and do it, I guess!
 

Vladina

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P.S. Marc and I never did experience what "buck grease" is like or what it looks like on a male rat as our two previous boys, Klausse and Wolfgang passed away at such a young age...they never developed anything like that, so we have no experience with it I guess. :(
 

lilspaz68

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Thanks so much Shelagh, that was helpful! So is scurf another word for...ratty dirt dandruff or something like that? I never thought about whether or not Achilles' fur felt actually greasy or not, but perhaps it does have a bit of a thick oily feel to it. So it is dirty skin and grease build up that just flakes off and gets stuck in the fur, eh?

I can try the Dawn dishwashing liquid, as I have some Dawn in the house already...question...how does one rinse Dawn off a rat that despises water? :undecided: Just grit my teeth and do it, I guess!

Hold him tight and make its as fast as possible LOL...long sleeves hun and a towel nearby and LOTS of treats (healthy ones of course ;))

and its just a cool word that explains it all in one :)

scurf (skɜːf) n1. (Pathology) another name for dandruff
2. flaky or scaly matter adhering to or peeling off a surface
 

Vladina

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Wow, I just learned a new word! I had never heard of scurf before. Neat!

Thank you SO much for the advice on getting through a Dawn dish soap cleaning with Achilles, Shelagh, you are wonderful, as always! :-D I will use all of these great tips. I appreciate it so much. I feel much calmer and not worried about the flakes so much now, after your comments. :thankyou:
 

dspch911

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P.S. Marc and I never did experience what "buck grease" is like or what it looks like on a male rat as our two previous boys, Klausse and Wolfgang passed away at such a young age...they never developed anything like that, so we have no experience with it I guess. :(

That happens to our bigger boys that don't groom so well! I'll have to try the dawn bath too.... Peanut is ignoring this conversation...:tmi:
 

Joanne

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Wow, I have never had a rat with that type of skin issue. I hope he will come to love his baths with mom! I know when my brother was young he had what they called 'cradle cap' and they had to wash his hair with Listerine to clear it up.
 

Vladina

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Yes, I have heard of cradle cap...I had it when I was a baby actually! :giggle:

Dspch, I hear you...Achilles is doing the same thing as Peanut...he is ignoring this conversation big time! I only hope I have the guts to go through with the Dawn thing...the minute I try to do ANYTHING to one of my boys regarding "ratty care" they do a big SQUAWK! and that ends the session. I am a pushover...sigh. I will try. I give myself about a 25 percent chance of going through with it. Marc is no better! Grrr...why do we have to have such soft bellies about this kind of stuff!
 

Vladina

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By the way, Dspch, I cracked up so much when I saw your little emoticon with the hands over ears and the "La la la!" describing Peanut! :lol3:

That is exactly what Achilles is doing! I think Achilles and Peanut are partners in crime...the Fat Gang rides again, eh?
 

dspch911

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Yes, I have heard of cradle cap...I had it when I was a baby actually! :giggle:

Dspch, I hear you...Achilles is doing the same thing as Peanut...he is ignoring this conversation big time! I only hope I have the guts to go through with the Dawn thing...the minute I try to do ANYTHING to one of my boys regarding "ratty care" they do a big SQUAWK! and that ends the session. I am a pushover...sigh. I will try. I give myself about a 25 percent chance of going through with it. Marc is no better! Grrr...why do we have to have such soft bellies about this kind of stuff!

When the big babies start squawking - you have to make fun of them! That's what I do ... I start with the oh what's wrong, you sound like mommy is killing you... what a cry baby, yes your being so tortured aren't you, etc etc etc and before you know it bath is over.... Come on pull up your big girl pants....you can do it!!! With all that buck grease you might even wash off a few grams!! :rofl4: I also wash mine in the bathroom sink and let them stand holding the faucet...
 

Vladina

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Ha ha, you are right...I need to just buckle down and try. And of course I will be talking just like you advised!

Interesting...Maximus, our neutered boy, has none of this stuff in his fur, at all! He has a very silky smooth coat that always looks like he just got shampooed and groomed at the Ratty Hair Salon! But his brother....oy!
 

dspch911

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Ha ha, you are right...I need to just buckle down and try. And of course I will be talking just like you advised!

Interesting...Maximus, our neutered boy, has none of this stuff in his fur, at all! He has a very silky smooth coat that always looks like he just got shampooed and groomed at the Ratty Hair Salon! But his brother....oy!

Its more common in un-neutered boys with the hormones.
 

Vladina

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Yep, I read about that before so I was sort of expecting that with Achilles!
 

mwp051699

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I know this is old, but I had to respond.
Your rat has severe buck grease build up. Dawn can work but I prefer coconut oil. It's much milder and organic. You just lather it into his fur and massage it into his skin, comb him well, THEN give him a quick bathing with Dawn to break up the coconut oil and buck grease, and rinse under water, like in a sink of water. No need to wash his head, so he shouldn't get soap in his eyes. Dry him well so he kicks himself less, and repeat daily until his skin is clean. Then do a regular washing same method, when it starts to get reasonably noticeable.
 

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