Herbal Remedies

ECHINACEA

Echinacea is used as an immunity booster. It causes an increase in the number of immune cells, further enhancing the overall activity of the immune system.

Dosage for rats:

It is recommended to use non-alcoholic enchinacea for pet rats.

Once a month, for one to two weeks, it is put in the rats’ water bottles. They get 6 drops per 8 ounces of water. Do not continually give your rats echinacea for they will build up a resistance to it and it will not be of any benefit.

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Vet Info

Some facts to know before you go to the vet:

  1. Rats cannot vomit.  Therefore there is no reason to make them fast before surgery. Indeed, rats need all the energy they can get before surgery because there can be a lot of heat loss during an operation, increasing the risk of hypothermia.  If a rat has not eaten, he or she cannot produce as much body heat and is at higher risk.
  2. Read moreVet Info

Scabs and Itchy Rats

A few months after I first got Rimsky and Korsakoff I noticed that they each had a few small scabs on the skin in their shoulder regions.

I didn’t know what was causing the scabs…. the boys didn’t seem overly itchy and they only had one or two small scabs at a time so I decided that maybe a few of the wrestling matches might have gotten out of hand.

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Scabs and Itchy Rats | Part 2

I always like to double check the vet’s dosage so here’s how I did it for Rimsky and Korsakoff:

Vet’s dosage: 0.05cc (same as 0.05mL)

The weight of my two rats: 500g (half a kg) each

Concentration of the medication: 60mg/mL (from the package)

Known Recommended dosage (from sources such as the RMCA drug chart) = 6 mg/kg

Since my rats are half a kg each, they should each get 3 mg (half of 6mg/kg) according to the known dosage.

0.5kg x 6mg/kg = 3 mg

Read moreScabs and Itchy Rats | Part 2

Queen Rat

Sorensen isn’t just a verbal defender of the maligned beast. The downtown resident has also become a low-cost-housing provider for the scurrying, furry four-leggers.

Sorensen saves domestic rats from death by arranging new loving foster parents who offer shelter, food, attention, care and just about everything short of a university education.

So how did Sorensen become a benevolent Pied Piper? Was it a result of growing up on a farm in Newmarket, Ontario? Or perhaps some genetic predisposition of her Danish ancestry?

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My Experience with An Abscess | Part 1

My Experience with An Abscess

One of the worst possible scenarios when owning rats is to find a lump on one of them.
Lumps usually turn out to be one of two things: a tumour (benign or malignant) or an abscess.  Luckily (sort of) for my rat Korsakoff, a lump on his abdomen turned out to be a rather large abscess.  Here are descriptions of my two experiences dealing rat abscesses – once with Korsky in February 2002 and once with Ivan in June 2003.

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My Experience with An Abscess | Part 4

February 26

Within 24 hours the inflammation around the abscess has gone down and the size of the lump has decreased significantly.

Korsakoff is being very good at keeping the area clean. I decide to rinse the cavity by squirting the saline solution inside twice daily.

March 1

The cavity has shrunk to basically nothing so rinsing the area seems pointless now.  I am amazed at how quickly it has healed.

Read moreMy Experience with An Abscess | Part 4

My Experience with An Abscess | Part 2

February 21

After doing some research on the internet and asking some rat owners about abscesses, I confirm my suspicion that abscesses need to be drained to heal. Some owners suggest allowing the abscess to burst on its own while others say that the best thing to do is have a vet lance the abscess. Either way, the abscess must be drained in order to heal.  The vet did not discuss this with me. If an abscess is allowed to grow, there is always the risk of it popping internally which can lead to severe infection and death.

Read moreMy Experience with An Abscess | Part 2

My Experience with An Abscess | Part 3

February 23

I decide to do more to try and help the abscess to burst on its own.  Due to the increase in inflammation, the abscess feels like it is quite close to the skin. I take a very small amount of the skin over the abscess between the fingernails of my thumb and index finger and give it a quick pinch.  My reasoning in doing this is that a tiny area of bruised tissue will allow a scab to form. Korsakoff barely notices.

Read moreMy Experience with An Abscess | Part 3

FAQ

 Why would you have a rat for a pet?!

Rats are the most loving, intelligent and entertaining of any rodent/pocket pet. They are very clean and can learn simple tricks, such as to come when called and to sit up for a treat. Rats can be handled outside of their cage and is a necessity for their social bond with humans. A rat will be perfectly happy to ride around the house on his humans shoulder.

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