Greetings to my Forum Buddies and a quick question?
I have noticed in the past week that Achilles is leaving a lot of ratty hairs on his blankets, etc. When I pick up the boys' housing fabric every day to do my "sniff tests" I am getting long white hairs up my nose, sticking to my lipstick (ha!) and after I have been holding Achilles (which of course I do daily) I notice a lot of his long white hairs on my clothes. I have always been used to having ratty hairs on my clothes, but this seems to be more than the usual. I don't mind rat hair on my clothes of course, but I just don't want it to be indicitive of something that could be wrong with my baby.
Is this normal? I know rats can molt and shed, but I never really noticed it before with Klausse and Wolfgang, or at least not to this extent. I am also wondering if it may be the reason I have had a really scratchy throat and sneezing lately, which I was attributing to general hay fever that I have been known to get once in awhile in the Spring and Summer. But not this bad.
Do long haired rats do this much shedding or could there be some sort of medical problem that can cause this? Achilles seems to be in good general health with no other problems or issues. Just his usual happy, cuddly bear self with his usual big appetite and kissy demeanor.
Anyone know how much shedding is okay and what is not okay?
Does he seem to be losing fur when you look at his coat? (By that I mean, does his coat look thinner than normal?) If not, I really wouldn't worry about it. If he does look like he is physically losing more hair than he should be, and if his coat is thinning out, then you might want to take him in to the vet to rule out any medical issues. Too much protein can sometimes cause hair thinning in rats, so you might end up needing to switch their lab block formula over to the adult one if they are still on 2018. That's all that comes to mind right now, but like I said, I wouldn't worry about it if his coat looks normal.
ETA: Looks like lilspaz and I posted at the same time...at least we both had the same advice! hehehe!
Thanks, to the both of you, for replying! Well his coat looks fine, no thinned out spots that I can see so far and no balding areas or patches, so it may be that Achilles is just a long haired ratty that sheds a lot.
Maxiumus has shorter fur, similar to Klausse and Wolfgang, so I may just be a bit sensitive allergy-wise to the long fur. But thanks for the reminder about the protein in the lab blocks!
Something for me to remember. I do still have the boys on HT 2018 and I was planning on switching them over to 2016 or 2014 when they got a few months older, but....maybe they are old enough now for the switch? They will be six months old on August 14th.
Speaking of lab blocks...do you two know if there are any differences between choosing 2014 and 2016 from Harlan Teklad, aside from the difference in protein content? I wouldn't mind hearing your own personal preferences.
I always used 2014 with my boys once they got to about 7-8 months of age, and they did really well on it. I actually don't know much about the 2016, so I don't know if I can really compare it to anything else. The 2014 in my experience was very good for them.