Thursday, September 25, 2014

What You Need To Know About First Aid For Your Pet Rats

What you should have on hand in case of an emergency :

Children's Motrin with dropper 1-2 drops for pain, twice daily.
Medical tape
Heating pad to place under cage if trying to keep rat warm.
Children's Benadryl Liquid 1-2 drops for insect bites, stings. Not more than two times per day.
Baby nail clippers
Skin Glue for minor rips in ears, due to fighting.
Cotton Pads
Ice Packs, in case of Heat Exhaustion.

Your pet rat can have many injuries and ailments, one common injury is called Degloving. Degloving is when a rat loses some of the skin on their tail. It can be a very painful and a life threatening injury to have. If they lose too much blood from their tail they will go into shock and may die. If your rat's tail becomes degloved, you need to seek immediate Veterinarian attention. You can apply a small amount of Neosporin to the injured spot, but this injury is going to be very painful for your rat and you should be aware he may bite you because he is in pain. You can give 1-2 drops of Children's Motrin with a dropper, twice daily.

How to give CPR to your pet rat:

There are several ways and opinions on how to give a rat CPR, here are just a couple.

First thing is to make sure your rat is not breathing, if he is breathing then clear his airway by opening his mouth and pulling his tongue out slightly and to the side. If he is not breathing, that means his chest or abdomen is not rising and falling, place him upside down in the palm of your hand. With his head up on your fingers, take two fingers from your other hand and rub his chest in a circular motion. This is done to stimulate his heart.

If that does not make him breathe, you can try the Ratty Fling. It's called the Ratty fling because that's what you're going to do, fling your rat while holding him of course.

While holding your rat the same way as before, swing your arm underhanded up to three times. This is done to try and force air into his lungs. Make sure you have a good hold on your rat as you don't want to accidentally throw him while performing the Ratty Fling.

Another form of CPR is Mouth to Nose breathing:

Again check to make sure he is not breathing, his chest or abdomen are not rising and falling. Check his skin temperature, is he cold and stiff? If your rat is cold and stiff then he has been dead for a while and there's nothing you can do to bring him back.

If he is still warm then check his neck for a pulse. If he is not breathing and has no pulse, you need to start mouth to nose breathing. Do this by putting your rat upside down on a solid surface, or in the palm of your hand. Open his mouth and make sure there isn't something like a piece of food stuck in his mouth. Pull his tongue slightly forward and close his mouth, gently hold it closed. Put your mouth over your rat's nose, just his nose not his entire mouth and slightly blow into his nose. His chest should rise, if it doesn't blow a little harder, then lift away and let the air come back out. Excess air will come out of the rat's mouth which is why you can't cover the rat's mouth with your own while performing CPR. Breathe into your rat's nose once, every two seconds. Do that three times and then check the side of his neck for a pulse and stop to watch and see if he is breathing on his own.

Do this until you reach a Veterinarians office or until you feel it necessary to give up. If your rat stops breathing this can be life threatening and you should get medical attention for him as soon as possible.

Although most people think of rats as inexpensive pockets pets or generally a good first pet for a child. They may get sick and need medical attention. If you cannot afford a vet, please do not get an animal. If you think just because they only cost $5.00 at the pet store, you shouldn't spend the money it takes to give them basic medical attention, do not get an animal. If you are thinking of buying a rat and you already know you cannot fit a vet bill into your budget, you should not buy the pet. I can't get anymore frank than that.