Lice!

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Lice!

Post by GillianK on Sun May 18, 2014 1:42 am

Since Dorothy was put to sleep a fortnight ago, Elsie has been on her own. Shes been doing ok, still eating and grooming and she gets free range with me every evening. But in last week or so, I've noticed shes started scratching like crazy. Shes been scratching to the point of now having some bald spots shes been barbering herself so much. In the last couple of days shes been trembling and shuttering every time I touch her she is so itchy. I couldnt understand it so took her to the vet who did a skin scrape and found lice! He treated her straight away, but the trip to the vet was very stressful for an old lady rat so she's cuddled up and I'm hoping she'll be back to her old self soon.

I don't understand it. Since I started keeping rats in 2010, I have never experienced any form of parasites let alone lice. None have ever barbered themselves, the cage is cleaned out twice a week and apart from vet appointments my rats don't leave the house. She certainly wasn't scratching like this when Dorothy was with us and Dorothy never barbered herself at all. How would she suddenly have contracted lice? My rats get free range every day so I'd have noticed the scratching and there wasn't any until this last week or so?
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Re: Lice!

Post by smokierat on Sun May 18, 2014 2:01 am

Was it definately lice and not mites?Have you bought anything new from a petshop or anything?Its possible she had had a very small amount on her for a while now,and theyve suddenly increased?it happens with mites,usually when the rats a bit stressy.

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Re: Lice!

Post by GillianK on Sun May 18, 2014 2:40 am

The vet did a skinscrape and got a couple off. They were large enough to be seen moving around, and he said it was lice. Shes been so lethargic lately I wonder if she's anaemic too due to the lice. I'm not sure if the treatment he gave was to treat lice and mites. He said it would do internal parasites as well as external ones. The only thing I buy from petshop for her is the woodbased litter. Could they have come from there?
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Re: Lice!

Post by smokierat on Sun May 18, 2014 3:03 am

It may have,not sure though.Do you know what the treatment was called?If that knocks it on the head,she should start geeling better,doesnt take long at all to work Smile

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Re: Lice!

Post by GillianK on Mon May 19, 2014 12:40 am

She just wanted to sleep all yesterday, not eat, which I didn't mind. Nothing nicer than laying on the sofa watching telly with a little rat sound a sleep on you. Only us rat people understand! Noticed her scratching a couple of times this afternoon. But it does seem a bit better. I've given her cage a good clean and put some vitamin drops for rats into her water and shes having a bite to eat now. She does seem a tiny bit disorientated though. But I'm hoping upon hope she'll come round.
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Re: Lice!

Post by smokierat on Mon May 19, 2014 2:49 am

Hope she perks up soon,its tough watching them get old,ive got quite a few older girls myself at the moment x

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Re: Lice!

Post by Zoundz on Tue May 20, 2014 8:05 pm

Yep, does sound like lice. It's the right time of year, I had to treat all of ours for them a week or two ago as well! They can seem to happen spontaneously. It doesn't make any sense, but I've seen it myself. Obviously, they must come in from somewhere, but you wouldn't know where from!

xx

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Re: Lice!

Post by katherine on Tue May 27, 2014 1:01 am

Aw poor girl, Monty came out in lice too when Theo died, I think the grief knocks their immunity to them Sad hope she perks up  Kiss 

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