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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-13-2008, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
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rat body odor?

hey everyone. a while ago, I had posted about my sister having a lone rat who needed a companion. well we were lucky enough to find a baby about her size and successfully introduced them; they have been living together and getting along great for a month now!

but, there is a tiny problem. the new rat, Olive, is very smelly! the cage is cleaned at least weekly, and her cagemate does not smell bad ever. I give her a bath every single day, but within an hour she smells again. it's not so strong I can smell it from across the room or anything, just when I pick her up. it seems like Olive has bad b.o.! it doesn't seem like she is rolling around in poo or anything...but for some reason we just can't keep the smell off of her. her behavior is perfectly normal.

she is hairless, but has more fuzz than most hairless rats, definitely a fine layer over her whole body; could this be causing the problem? (then again, I have furry rats who do not smell like this...) does anyone have any suggestions for neutralizing her smell, or do some rats just smelly naturally?

it's not really a problem...just something we'd like to fix if possible...it's a lot more fun to kiss a good-smelling rat thanks!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-14-2008, 05:03 AM
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I have 8 rats at present and ALL of them smell!!! The 4 boys are worse than the 4 girls and i clean the poop out of their cage daily and give the cage a whole clean including bars and toys once a week plus i bath the rats themselves but they still smell lol. I find putting a few drops of vanilla in their water helps slightly!!

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-14-2008, 09:49 AM
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You probably should not bathe her every day. I don't think it would be good for her skin, and I'm sure she doesn't want to smell like an icky human. If you let her smell like rat for a while, her body might work out a balance. Maybe someone who has experience with hairless rats might have more insight...

What do you feed them? What type of bedding do you use? What kind of cage are they in? Also, what does the odor smell like? Are we talking about a musky smell, or does she really just smell like poop?


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-14-2008, 10:19 AM
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Definitely should not be bathing a hairless rat every day. Their skin can dry out very easily. Probably the best you can do is make sure that you're not using a bedding that holds too much odor in, put some vanilla or bio odor in the water, and clean the cage regularly. Bathing her every few weeks or so and rubbing her down with oil afterwards to keep her skin healthy is fine, but no where near every day.

Have you checked her over carefully? Sometimes a particularly bad smelling rat can be a sign of disease or infection and hairless rats are particularly prone to small wounds and abscesses.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-14-2008, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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they are in an All Living Things three-story wire cage, with Kaytee Soft-Sorbent bedding, and eating Kaytee Forti-diet blocks. my hairless boys sleep on and eat the same stuff and don't smell.

sorry to be confusing; when I said I bathe her every day, I didn't mean actually putting her in the sink and washing her. I mean using those "super pet Clean Critter wipes" on her. she gets a *real* bath every other week, plus olive oil.

it is not a musky smell, she just smells like poop. not like when a rat steps in fresh poo and it's very strong, just this general all-over odor.

I have checked her, and she doesn't have so much as a scratch. I've been keeping a close eye, and she is eating, drinking, and playing like normal. the strangest part to me is that her cagemate smells fresh as a daisy!

I've heard a couple of people mention "bio odor"...what is this?
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-14-2008, 11:47 AM
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You probably just have a smelly one. We have some that are smellier than others for sure! Probably the bio-odor is your best bet. It's just a little squirt bottle of stuff that you can get for rats, guinea pigs, ferrets etc. You add a certain amount per fluid ounce to the water daily and it keeps them and their droppings from smelling as strong. It does not completely eliminate odor.

Even though she is smelly I would not use the wipes every day. They also have ingredients that can be very drying I would say bathe her every third week or so and then use the wipes once a week on the off weeks. If the bathing products dry her out too much she'll actually get smellier when her skin tries to compensate by creating more of its own oils.
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