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My rat is itchy! Too much protein? Advice please.

(11 Posts)
BlackNoSugar Mon 18-May-15 21:22:03

Our two male rats are just about 4 months old. They have good quality cereal-based food and we give them fresh food once a day, usually bits of whatever we're having for tea, if it's suitable. Typically they'll have some assorted veg, a bit of fruit, and a tiny bit of meat.

One is quicker and sneakier, he dives in and pinches all the good stuff before the other one has even managed a yawn and a stretch. He's been scratching a bit the last couple of days, and I've just noticed today he has little red scratch marks and his coat looks greasy.

I'm pretty sure it's because he's been nicking all the meat! The other rat is fine. They didn't have any protein today, I'm going to be strictly rationing it from now on.

Is there anything else I need to be doing or looking out for?

RattieofCatan Tue 19-May-15 07:33:37

Treat for mites/lice as a precaution. In our girls cage we have one with protein issues and she was also bottom of the heirachy so minor injuries were common, so when her sister started itching we thought it was the same. Our two other girls didn't itch but we found mites on them sad within 24 hours of treating the mites were gone though and its worth doing preemptively.

Re protein, what food do they get? If its a pellet one it may be slightly high in protein, if its a muesli mix they may be picking out the bits that have more protein or there may be too much protein in it (both of which is our issue with Aeryn!)

BlackNoSugar Tue 19-May-15 13:19:08

Thanks Rattie. It's Banana Brunch, a muesli mix with fruit, which is 14% protein - on the lower end, which is why I supplement with whole food.

I'll pick up some mite treatment tomorrow, it won't hurt to treat them anyway.

It hasn't spoiled his appetite wink

RattieofCatan Tue 19-May-15 13:34:54

I use banana brunch in my homemade mix smile

We bought enough treatment to do all of our rats as it can't hurt. Two of ours have protein issues, Aeryn and our lone boy. If it is protein just supplement with extra meat a little less often, Aeryn loves meat and the dried fish we put in their mix and I think she may be prone to it so it can get quite bad for her sad You probably only need to supplement with meat a few times a week, fresh veg will do fine on a daily basis. Ours get our dinner (when we're not having fake meat) but because I'm a vegetarian they only get meat if DH has tuna or I get out some applaws or pate. But their mix has a high level of purer protein so they don't need it that often at all.

Have you given yours a boiled egg? That's very amusing but it's definitely an infrequent treat!

BlackNoSugar Tue 19-May-15 18:24:12

Ours absolutely love mealworms - they are so funny with them!

How does it work with a boiled egg - do you leave it in the shell? Is it hard-boiled? It sounds like a lot of fun for them!

RattieofCatan Tue 19-May-15 20:22:32

Do you give them live ones? I've not given ours live mealworms but our ratsitter did, she said that they positively loved them. I can't help but shudder to think about it!

Just boil an egg and throw it in, shell and all! I ended up having to break the girls one in half as they couldn't open it and were squabbling over it, but I've yet to try it again! They loved it though!

Thisismyfirsttime Tue 19-May-15 20:41:34

This is one of those times where Active Convos misleads you and I was fully expecting to find a poster had thrush and was wondering if she should lay off the steak! I have no advice for you OP but I have at least discovered that an abundance of protein is no good for rats!

RattieofCatan Tue 19-May-15 20:53:52

grin That would be a brilliant title for a thread about thrush grin

Thisismyfirsttime Tue 19-May-15 20:56:58

It may be because DH says 'get your rat out' in his best dirty old man voice every now and then that corrupted this poor innocent thread for me! As you were....

BlackNoSugar Wed 20-May-15 16:02:04

Thisis "get your rat out" hmm

grin

RattieofCatan Wed 20-May-15 19:29:32

Ahahaha Yeah, DP does that occasionally too, usually I throw one at him in response wink I've also been known to make crude comments about a rat on a rat blush grin

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