Rat Scratching Herself Compulsively

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New Member
May 27, 2021
Hi, my little baby just got done with having a cone on for about 2 and a half weeks while an injury on her foot was healing. Everything went fine during the recovery process, but today was the official day the vet gave me the OK to take her cone off... and now shes been compulsively scratching herself for the last handful of hours. I clipped her nails, gave her a bath, did everything I thought I needed to but she just keeps scratching until she bleeds. I’ve had to stop her multiple times and even though I’ve clipped her nails it’s not stopping her from hurting herself because shes doing it so forcefully. I’m not sure what the issue is, she had cone-off time under supervision during the two weeks, time with her sister, baths, everything I was told to do I did. I don’t know why she is behaving this way, and she didn’t do it before when I had taken it off. Should I be worried and schedule a vet appointment or is this normal for rats who have been living with a cone? I suppose it could be allergies since she is still only about seven months old and I haven’t had her through a spring season yet, but should I be worried?


Staff member
Supporting Member
Jul 21, 2007
Toronto, Canada, Earth
Having a cone on continuously for 2 weeks may have caused a bacterial infection of the skin (usually if rats need to have things out on to protect them from bothering incisions it's for a much shorter period usually max a week at the most.

If she does have pyoderma (she will have red lesions on the skin and it will be bright orangey pink, she will scratch herself raw from the itch/pain. She would need antibiotics and meloxicam to control the discomfort.

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