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Food Allergies

Rats sometimes do react badly to environmental as well as food based items. Protein high foods can cause itching skin in sensitive rats which can then lead to open wounds and infections/abscess issues. It is important that if you have treated for parasites and the rat is still having a skin issue or reaction to assess the foods that you are providing, even going so far as elimination most, if not all protein and doing an elimination diet.

Sunflower seeds are something that tends to be one item that can be overfed causing skin issues as well as fish and meat. Cutting out these foods as well as other high protein foods for 7 days may help you work out what is causing your rat to have skin issues. If after the 7 days your rat is no longer scratching and the skin condition is improving then protein was possibly the cause. Slowly reintroduce foods, making careful note about which new foods have been offered to try and get a better idea of how sensitive your rat/s are. If a reaction starts again, remove that food again and stick with the diet previous to the reaction. It could take weeks to finally find the acceptable protein limits for your rats but once it has been sorted out you will be more aware of what foods are able to be fed and which ones are a rare occasion small treat food.

Environmental Allergies

Rats can suffer from allergies related to their environment. Some triggers are perfume, fly sprays, room deodorizers, dust and smoke. Trying to keep the area where you rats are kept away from these trigger is beneficial.

Dust can cause sniffles and sneezes, some rats more than others may be super sensitive to this and will sneeze constantly. Rats can have antihistamine medications to help with these symptoms but you should speak with your vet and get advice about the right medications for your rats symptoms as well as correct dosage rate.