Internal and External Parasites In Pet Rats

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Internal and External Parasites In Pet Rats

Internal parasites can afflict rats just as easily as general illnesses can. All it takes is a newly adopted pet, a bad batch of bedding, or even a human visiting who has infested rats themselves! While there are preventative measures to be taken, action is usually postponed until a potential infestation is found. So just what kinds of parasites can infect our pet rats?

Rat Mites: Hard to See, Appear as Fur Specks or Dust

Mites are relatively hard to see on rats, unless you are looking very closely (or you have dark colored rats). They may appear as orange or red dots on the rats fur, or they can look like dust or rat dandruff on the coat.

Lice On Rats: Seen as Small Brown Bugs, or as Silver Nits or Eggs on the Hair Follicles

Lice are a blood sucking parasite that is found nestling in the fur of the rat. The nits, or eggs, are commonly seen as silver spots on the hair follicles. Lice live for up to 21 days, and rat lice will not cross over to another species. Since they are species specific, you can rest assured that the species that infest rats are NOT the same as the lice found in human hair. They can cause Anemia, which could ultimately kill the infected rats.

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