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Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Small Animal Veterinarian.
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20589
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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Hi there! My almost two year old rat very recently developed

This answer was rated:

Hi there!

My almost two year old rat very recently developed a bald spot on the back of her neck with a few scabs and one small scab on her nose. Her cage mate has no symptoms. Thoughts?
Hello and welcome.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am an experienced small animal veterinary surgeon { Including rodents }, I will be very pleased to work with you today and I will try my best to answer to your question to your satisfaction. However to enable me to do so with accuracy I need a little more information, so before we start can you please answer the following ...

1. Tell me is this skin condition itchy for Xylem?

2. Is Xylem showing any other symptoms of any kind? { No matter how minor }

Then give me fifteen minutes or so to think things through, prepare an answer, and type things up. I will then get straight back to you and we can talk things over.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

She isn't isn't constantly scratching, but yes she does scratch. Otherwise her behaviour is normal. Also, the scabs are more recent than the bald patch- I noticed the patch two days ago and some cuts/ scabs appeared today and yesterday.




Hello again Sam and thanks for waiting.

I have worked out an answer for you, please read it through and see what you think, ... lets get started.

1. I have seen this sort of skin disease many times as rats get older and a great many of the cases I saw were due to mites { Despite the fact the other rat seems fine }
You see rats can often have a few odd skin mites throughout life but their immune system keeps it all under control. Sometimes due to age or other factors then they can get a little immune system depressed and then the mites run riot.

If this is the case and there is no serious underlying disease associated with things then a short course of a drug called Ivermectin will often get it sorted out. This is best given by injection.

2. There are other diagnostic possibilities of course, a bacterial dermatitis, fungal disease, allergic skin disease and more. A quick skin scraping from your vet will often give a very good clue as to what is going on.

3. You can see from the above that this sort of disease is best treated by your vet and in fact there is unfortunately very little you can do on a home remedy basis. Some owners apply the likes of Neosporin or an over the counter antibiotic cream and this could work very well if you have hit it lucky an it is bacterial skin disease you are dealing with. Statistically this would be unlikely though.

I hope I have given you a few ideas covered your question fully enough but if you would like further clarification or to talk things over a bit more then I will be on-line for the next hour or so and I will be more than pleased to continue working with you.


Dr Scott Nimmo and other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Hello again Sam,

Just a short note to thank you very much for the good rating and bonus, this is very much appreciated.

Kindest regards and good luck with Xylem ... ,