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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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Help!

Hello,
I've had my rat Minnie for about seven months now. I've noticed that some of the 'scales' on her tail have begun to disappear. I don't know if they're falling off or if she's picking at them, but it's starting to worry me. Does anyone have an idea as to what's going on there?
Also, her fur is thinning a little bit at one spot on the top of her head, and at another near her lower back. I'm a very nervous mother, so I'm really worried. Thanks for taking the time to read this. Can you tell me what's happening?
-Sheridan
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 06:58 PM
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perhaps it's dry skin, it makes the tail look flaky sometimes.
the hair falling off too could be some sort of parasite?
.
I'll let others who know more guide you in the right direction! but pictures would certainly help if you can!
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 07:50 PM
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Does she have a cagemate? Does the cagemate pin her down and excessively groom these areas like her head? If so this is likely barbering.

Other causes of hair loss/thinning are age, especially with rex coats, and parasites like lice and mites. Does she have any scabs on her back, shoulders, rump, neck or head?

The scale loss could be anything. Is the tail normal beyond the loss of a few scales? or is the scale-less spot pink and raw looking?

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-02-2010, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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She does have a cagemate, actually. This sort of raises another question I have. So here goes.
The first rat I ever had (daisy) is about 15 months. She's so sweet and social and laid back, but when it comes to food, she likes to hoard everything away and steal food from Minnie (the one who's losing hair and the tail 'scales', and who's about 10 months.) Honestly, though, they get along fine everywhere else. When food (or sometimes water) isn't an issue, they are perfect buddies. I'm kind of worried because Daisy seems to bully Minnie when I'm not around, and that very well could be the cause of Minnie's hair loss. I seriously doubt it's age, Minnie's pretty young and came from a reputable breeder. I was wondering what I could do to keep them from fighting. Should I feed them seperately? I wanted to get a new Martin cage, but I'm still kind of raising the money, so I don't have an extra cage on hand to fully seperate them.
On a seperate note, Minnie's tail seems pretty normal. The places where her scales are missing look healthy. What I'm concerned about is that she's missing a number of the scales. Her tail's not near bare, but there are patches that are entirely missing (maybe 20 in a patch?) I'm increasingly nervous about this, as none of my previous rats have ever had this problem. Help?
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-02-2010, 09:25 PM
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20 in a patch means she scraped her tail or caught it and had to pull it out.

Daisy is your alpha, Minnie is the subordinate. I wouldn't worry, it sounds like natural hierarchy to me It sounds like Daisy is a stasher, but as long as she doesn't KEEP Minnie from eating, you're all fine.

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