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Official Loofah Tester
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey gang, advice needed.

My old man Tucker is going bald.

He had tumor removal about two or three months ago. They shaved a bald patch in his side. It was growing back well, but then I noticed it wasn't filling in completely. I thought, he's getting older, maybe his hair just isn't growing back as quickly due to age.

But yesterday I noticed a new bald spot forming on his back, just behind his shoulder blades.

I don't see scabs, there's no excessive itching, and anything in the cage that isn't fleece, is frozen in the freezer for three days. Because other rat Zmei's health is so fragile now, I've not put them in contact with anything they haven't always been in contact with.

He's the only one looking patchy.

He's 21 months old, and his diet consists of Harlin Tekklad 2018 (I ordered 2014, but they sent me the wrong kind), assorted fruits and veggies, soy yogurt on occasion, veggie pasta and an immunity boosting regemine off/on of echenacia and goldenseal.

What could it be? My first thought is that because of the hairless surgical spot, the other boys have started over grooming him, or even he himself is over grooming.

Thoughts?
 

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Rat Rescuer and Hospice
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1,883 Posts
Hey gang, advice needed.

My old man Tucker is going bald.

He had tumor removal about two or three months ago. They shaved a bald patch in his side. It was growing back well, but then I noticed it wasn't filling in completely. I thought, he's getting older, maybe his hair just isn't growing back as quickly due to age.

But yesterday I noticed a new bald spot forming on his back, just behind his shoulder blades.

I don't see scabs, there's no excessive itching, and anything in the cage that isn't fleece, is frozen in the freezer for three days. Because other rat Zmei's health is so fragile now, I've not put them in contact with anything they haven't always been in contact with.

He's the only one looking patchy.

He's 21 months old, and his diet consists of Harlin Tekklad 2018 (I ordered 2014, but they sent me the wrong kind), assorted fruits and veggies, soy yogurt on occasion, veggie pasta and an immunity boosting regemine off/on of echenacia and goldenseal.

What could it be? My first thought is that because of the hairless surgical spot, the other boys have started over grooming him, or even he himself is over grooming.

Thoughts?
Positive he is 21 months or is that a guesstimate? Was his coat thick or thin for most of his life?

if you are concerned for parasites, just give them a dose of Revo and see if it improves things, but if he had a thinner coat most of his life, this can be typical. I have a fat ol' girl whose surgical shaving still hasn't come back in completely yet...she's older so its just not growing back even though its been 2 months.
 

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Official Loofah Tester
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I can't figure out where he might have gotten parasites. I'm so careful about that. It doesn't look like parasites and he and the others don't act like it's parasites.

Yep, he's 21 months. He's from a breeder, so I have his birthday.

He's always had a nice coat. I noticed it thinned a little bit around the face as he aged but figured that was normal since his brother did it too.


The hair grew back on the shaved side patch okay, but there are still thin and bald spots there, esp. where the surgical scar itself is. What's specifically concerning me, is the new thinning taking place in the middle of his back. He's got a bald spot the size of an oblong penny that's appeared there. That was not caused by his surgery, but appeared in the last day or two.
 

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Rat Rescuer and Hospice
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1,883 Posts
I can't figure out where he might have gotten parasites. I'm so careful about that. It doesn't look like parasites and he and the others don't act like it's parasites.

Yep, he's 21 months. He's from a breeder, so I have his birthday.

He's always had a nice coat. I noticed it thinned a little bit around the face as he aged but figured that was normal since his brother did it too.


The hair grew back on the shaved side patch okay, but there are still thin and bald spots there, esp. where the surgical scar itself is. What's specifically concerning me, is the new thinning taking place in the middle of his back. He's got a bald spot the size of an oblong penny that's appeared there. That was not caused by his surgery, but appeared in the last day or two.
that is strange but at 21 months old they should not have any thinning of coat, 24 months and up, sure, but 21 I think is a bit early. Could someone be powergrooming or barbering him?
 

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Yeah, I was going to say that Russell's fur on his back has been thinning out, but that's only happened within the past month or so, and he's 27 months old now... Does his skin look pink or irritated at all where that new bald patch is? I wonder if over-grooming would perhaps cause some redness in that area?
 

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Official Loofah Tester
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Like I said, that's kind of what I'm leaning towards, but I wanted other opinions. I'm thinking the 'unnaturalness' of his hairlessness and scar may have triggered some over enthusiastic grooming behavior in the others. I didnt' see any redness or obvious irritation in it. It was just naked.

I'll keep watching and keep asking around.

Wait. Hmmm. What does ringworm look like and how do they get it?
 

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Rat Rescuer and Hospice
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Like I said, that's kind of what I'm leaning towards, but I wanted other opinions. I'm thinking the 'unnaturalness' of his hairlessness and scar may have triggered some over enthusiastic grooming behavior in the others. I didnt' see any redness or obvious irritation in it. It was just naked.

I'll keep watching and keep asking around.

Wait. Hmmm. What does ringworm look like and how do they get it?
Its usually a ring over their entire back...you usually can get a hint of it through the fur. Finding pics is very hard but i'll try for YOU. ;)
 

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Official Loofah Tester
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you so, so much for looking lilspaz. I've got Tuck in my lap right now. Thoroughly looking again. I'm not seeing any real redness or anything that looks like the ringworm picture. Just that thin hair at the surgical site and new thinness on the back. At this point nothing to justify the 75 dollar doctor's visit. No weight loss, no other symptoms, no change in behavior.

Okay you little Tuckstinker...what's up with you? And quit looking innocently at me.
 
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