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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-19-2008, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2008
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Scabby Tail?

Hi guys, I'm new to this forum.

While playing with my pet female rat a little while ago I noticed that the tip of her tail was very flaky and scabby. She's not the type to sit still so I can't really vouch for any flakiness elsewhere but she does groom her forearms quite vigorously from time to time. No lesions or rashes from what I could see, and I know she doesn't have mites (we've been down that road before). Her tail doesn't appear to hurt her and there are no cuts and no redness. Just flakiness

I've heard a diet high in protein can cause skin problems, but she eats lab blocks almost exclusively. She has a mineral block as well. I've had her since October so I really don't think it's a sudden allergy. I also live in a dorm so air quality isn't the best. I don't know if the AC would be bugging her or not. Any suggestions? Or does she need to see a vet?

Thank you!
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-20-2008, 01:59 AM
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If it's just her tail then it could just be dirt. Rats don't like to clean their tails that often. If she'll hold still long enough, take a damp wash clothe and wipe her tail a little bit to see if the flakiness will come off. Just be gentle though.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-20-2008, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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Well, it's not dirt but thank you for the suggestion. I tried rubbing her tail gently with a wet cloth (in between bouts of her chewing my hair and said cloth in retaliation). What I noticed are that the flakes/scabs (not like the dark scabs but old white ones) are definitely attached to her tail and the wet "bath" did rub some off. However, where there were once scabs are now red patches. Nothing's bleeding but I don't want to proceed if it's going to irritate her skin. Is this normal tail skin shedding behavior? I've had rats in the past, but I've *never* seen this before. I also tried to take a picture but no go, the camera won't focus well enough on her flailing tail
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