Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Cicadas: What Are They and Why Are They so Loud?

If you live in some parts of the country that have Cicadas, you know how loud they can be. But did you know Cicadas make so much noise because of their short life spans and the sounds they make are in hopes of attracting a mate? While the shrill noise can be very disturbing to humans' cicadas only live for a very short time so the noise won't last for very long.

Cicadas aren't stinging or biting insects, they can fly but usually just sit in tree's and bushes making noise. Cicadas are very clumsy when they fly so it's not unheard of the insect actually flying right into a person and in some cases landing on them. All someone has to do if that happens is brush them away and they will return to flying about until they find a suitable place to land.

Cicadas are a type of insect that has a tiny beak that enables them to eat and drink the fluids or what's called xylem from plants. A female cicada will deposit her eggs which are as tiny as a grain of rice, into the grooves of trees as she walks on it. The eggs will hatch and a small bug somewhat looking like a large ant will then feed from the fluids in the tree until it is ready to drop to the ground where it will dig down and find a root of the tree to feed from.

The cicada will feed from the root for 17 years before climbing back out and shedding its exoskeleton and letting its body harden and its wings dry out. The cicada will then search for a mate and start the life cycle all over again.

There are several different types of cicadas and each species has its own life cycle. Some have 17 year life cycles while others have 12, 13 or 16 year life cycles.

During the summer in parts of Las Vegas I can hear the cicadas' loud mating noises for hours a day. Cicadas will crawl out of the ground when the temperature is between 60F and 70F and they are ready to look for a mate.

When their life cycle is at and end it's not uncommon to see their dead bodies littering the ground around trees and bushes as they fall from the trees. This is the time that some small children find it hard to deal with so many dead bugs on the ground but parents can use this time as a learning experience, teaching children about the insects. I found the two dead cicadas pictured above by a tree a few years ago.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Rats Never Do What You Expect Them To...

Ken put together two cages and made Flower an extra level to climb around and play in. I added a wigwam, cuddle sack, honeycomb hammock and a regular hammock...so what does she sleep in?

The fleece blanket covering the floor. lol I had originally lined the floor with the cotton baby blanket you see her laying on but she kept pulling it up to sleep inside it so I added a fleece blanket on top of the baby blanket and sure enough she makes a little cave under the fleece blanket and sleeps there most of the time. 

She sleeps or lays in the other hammocks at times but not as much as she does under the blanket. I don't think she'll have a problem keeping warm this coming winter. 

Rats never do what you expect them too...but that's what is so fun about them.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Review: Walmart Beauty Box

So recently I was visiting some of my friends blogs when I came across a post for a Walmart Beauty Box Subscription over at Reviews by Jenny. It sounded like a really good deal, just $5 for a box of goodies from Walmart four times a year? So I decided to sign up for it and see what all came in my box.

Well as you can see, I got quite a lot for my $5. That's right the actual box if Free, all you pay is $5 for shipping! That's a pretty good deal. #WalmartBeauty

What all was in my box?

Couture Couture by Juicy Couture Perfume sample.
Clear Hair and Scalp Shampoo and Conditioner samples.
Full Size Covergirl Continuous Color Lipstick.
L'Oreal Revitalift Triple Power Deep-Acting Moisturizer (0.5 oz trial size)
Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream Moisturizer (0.5 oz trial size)
Full Size Clinical Strength Clear Gel Deodorant. (full-size, 2.6 oz, $11.97 at Walmart)

Now you do have to sign up with a credit card but after signing up you can go to your account and cancel at any time and they don't charge you for the box until the time it ships.

So if this sounds good to you, you can visit the site and sign up here.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Review: Angel Kin By Tricia Skinner

Book Description

While channeling Robin Hood’s “steal from the rich and give to the poor” attitude at a local politician’s house, ex-con Katie Logan witnesses a forced suicide. Dirty or not, supernatural or not, he didn’t deserve to die, especially not by his own hand. But with her record, stepping forward as a witness isn’t an option. On the run from the police and the murderer, she turns to The Bound Ones for help.

When a beautiful woman comes to The Bound Ones, half-angel assassin Cain is immediately drawn to her. But when she fingers him as the killer, he can come to only one conclusion. The twin he thought was dead is very much alive…and trying to send him a message. Unfortunately, that message is: “You’re next.” It’s a race against time as Cain fights to save the woman he’s falling in love with before his brother Abel destroys them both.

My Review

I won this book in a blog contest and have never read anything from this author before. But if you've read my reviews before you know that I love finding new authors to read and I definitely found a great one here. After reading the blurb on the back, I really hoped that the story would live up to my expectations and boy did it ever. 

Cain is not what I expected in a half angel half human but I really liked his character. He's big and intimidating and oh so hot! We find out a lot about his childhood, how he lost his family and why he does the work he does now. It's sad and angering all at the same time, I really felt bad for him.

When we first meet Katie she is burglarizing a house and hides in a closet when the owner comes home unexpectedly. At first I thought she was going to be one of those whiny, crying, I'm too afraid and too traumatized to go on...type of girls but she ends up being a strong, caring woman and I loved her character. 

I really liked that the author gave us so much background into Cain and his brother so we know where all the trouble is coming from and how it started. I won't lie, the description of Abel's powers and what exactly he can do are scary creepy. You wouldn't want to meet this guy in a dark alley. 

These halfing angels are warriors so there's enough action, gory descriptions, explosions and punches to the face to keep those who want a little action along with their paranormal romance, very happy. The secondary characters are brought to life very well and I look forward to finding out what will happen with them in upcoming books. 

The ending of this book was left wide open without a cliffhanger *thank you* for there to be another book in this series and I'm looking forward to finding out what happens next. 

I easily give this book 5 out of 5 stars. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Freebie Friday!

Welcome to another edition of Freebie Friday, where I tell you what free samples and full sized products I received in the mail and how you can get them too. Someone asked me why I do a 'Freebie Friday" each week, so I'll tell you.

A while back I listed all the free samples and wins that I had received that previous year and so many people didn't believe that I could have gotten so many free things. So I decided to prove it by taking a picture every week and sharing the sites that I found the links to the freebies at. So now you too can get great free samples coming to your mailbox each week.

  You can find links to samples like these at Hey It's Free and Freebie Shark.

This week I received:

The Vegetarian Starter Guide Magazine
Poise Pads sample
Fancy Feats Broths cat food

And I won a children's book called If You Give A Mouse A Cookie by Laura Numeroff. I won this book in the Sun Maid Snack n Read Promotion they had on Facebook.

I also won a $15 Amazon gift card from a blog contest over at Rabid Reads. You should check out her great blog. 

Did you receive anything free this week?

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.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

How to Make Home Made Hamster Toys

When you first bring a new hamster home the first thing you may want to do is go to the pet store and buy up all the neat looking toys and supplies for your hamster. The only problem with that is not every hamster is going to play with all the toys you buy for him so making a few at home will be fun for both of you and cost you less money.

Hamsters are chewers so whenever you start making your hamster toys you need to make sure to remember that and always use supplies that won't be harmful to your hamster if he chews them.

When using wood, always use wood that hasn't been treated with any chemicals, dyes or glues. You can use regular food coloring to the wood if you want to give it some color.

Swinging Platform
For this toy you will need a cage that has enough room to have a small wooden platform hanging inside the cage and a cage that has bars going across the top of the cage. First find a small square piece of wood or a stiff piece of strong cardboard and drill four small holes, one at each corner. Use four pieces of thin rope but not string as string may wrap around your hamsters legs or he may choke on it. Thread the rope through the holes and tie a small knot on one end that is on the bottom of the wood or cardboard, the other end should be tied to the top of the cage so the platform in hanging in the cage.

Your hamster may jump on this or he may just chew on it, either way if he does nothing with it after a few days take it out and try a different toy. Hamsters get bored with just one type of toy and their toys should be switched out every once in a while to keep them from getting bored. This will keep your hamster happy.

Cardboard Tubes
There are so many uses for the tubes from the toilet paper and paper towels that you will never run out of things to do with them. Here are just a few fun things you can do with them.

Fold the end of one toilet paper tube inward and fill the other end with hamster food or treats such as carrots, yogurt drops, apples, or pears. Fold the other end of the tube inward so the food is tucked inside the tube and put it inside your hamsters' cage. He will smell the food and start chewing the cardboard tube to get at the food. All perishable foods such as lettuce, apples and pears should be taken out of the cage if not eaten at the end of the day because they will rot and make your hamster sick.

Put four or five paper towel tubes with just a little hamster food inside each one on the floor and let your hamster run from one to the next. He will like the time outside of his cage and you will have fun watching him run in and out of the tubes.

Food String
Although you should not use real string for your hamster's toys, there are a few fun things you can use in place of string. For this food string you will need to have one large carrot and cut it length wise in square strips sort of like a long stick that you can load pieces of food onto like a shish kabob. When you have the carrots cut, then cut small pieces of apples, pears, boiled eggs ect, and push them onto the carrot stick you made. You may need to poke a hole in some of the foods so you don't break your carrot stick. Then give the carrot stick with the food on it to your hamster. Each stick should be about four inches long so you aren't wasting too much food and make sure to discard of any uneaten food at the end of the day.

Paper Shredder
No, don't let your hamster play in the paper shredder but you can watch him become one. Make sure to use paper that isn't treated with any dyes or ink as that can be harmful to your hamster. If you can find blank white paper you can put a half a page in your hamsters cage and watch them shred it faster than your paper shredder would and then play in it, use it for bedding or hide under it. Your hamster might even keep it in larger pieces for hiding under while he's sleeping. You can leave the shredded paper in his cage until he urinates on it. Never leave wet paper in a cage as it will not dry out easily and could make your hamster sick.

I do not mean you should take your hamster to a carnival no matter how much fun you think your hamster would have, but to make a carnival for your hamster right at home. You will need one of those little plastic kiddie pools without the water added to it, three empty cereal boxes, three cardboard tubes, and one empty shoe box. You will also need chinchilla dust which you may or may not have on hand but can buy at the pet store.

First thing is to make sure the kiddie pool is clean and free of dirt and water, then remove all plastic from the cereal boxes and cut holes large enough for your hamster to fit through in the sides of the cereal boxes. Place the cereal boxes and the cardboard tubes into the kiddie pool. Now take the empty shoe box and cut the sides down so your hamster can jump in and out of it on his own and fill it with chinchilla dust and then put this in the kiddie pool as well. Now get your hamster and put him in the kiddie pool and watch him play in his homemade carnival.

Hamster love to dig so the shoe box filled with chinchilla dust will keep him busy digging for a long time and since it's in the pool you don't have to worry about the dust getting all over your floor.

So there you have several cheap and easy home made toys you can make yourself. No matter what kinds of toys you make for or give to your hamster, they may or may not play with them. If your hamster is chewing like crazy on the bars of his cage, he is most likely bored out of his mind and wants something fun to do so go make him his own carnival to play in for a while.

Always be aware of how much time you let your hamster spend outside of his cage without food and water as well. You will love watching him play with his toys but make sure to let him take breaks as well so he can go to the bathroom, eat some food, get a drink of water or just rest.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Review: Precisio Tweezers

I haven't bought a pair of tweezers in years. The last time I had a new pair of tweezers is when I won a grab bag at a party and it had a pair of tweezers, a nail file and a brush in it. That was about 15 years ago, so as you can tell I was in need of a new pair of so I bought the Precisio Tweezers.

My husband is a maintenance man and does things around the house and sometimes when working with wood, he'll get the occasional splinter. Since my old pair of tweezers didn't work well at all, I would end up having to take a pair of nail clippers or a needle and dig the splinter out- not fun.

*This is what the tweezers looked like when I opened the package.*

Hubby just so happened to get a splinter in the side of his hand while cutting wood with his hand saw and I used this opportunity to use my new tweezers and in less than 5 seconds I had grabbed the offending piece of wood and tugged it out. The tweezers worked really well and held on great. 

I don't pluck my eyebrows, I never have. I really have no need to. But that's not the only use for a pair of tweezers. I used my new tweezers to grip seed beads while I ran a thread through them while I worked on making a new beaded bracelet and it worked great. 

These tweezers also come with a case for storage so you'll never have to worry whether or not your tweezers are dirty. 

I really liked the Precisio Tweezers and recommend them. If you'd like to buy a pair you can find them here

Monday, September 22, 2014

Review: Crave Naturals Eyebrow and Eyelash Brush Kit

If you use make up then you know that we need a lot of different brushes for the different types of make up that we use. That's why I was excited to try this new Eyebrow and Eyelash Brush Kit. I have an Eyebrow and Eyelash brush but they are about 7 years old so I was thrilled to be able to try and keep these new ones. 

The lash comb works well if you get a little too much mascara on your lashes and you know it's going to clump and look bad. Instead of taking all of it off and starting over, I just used the lash comb to run out any lumps and make my lashes look good and then applied a little more mascara. 

*this is what the canister that holds the eyebrow and eyelash kit looked like when I opened the package*

The Eyebrow Brush works well to apply powder color to your eyebrows or in my case just tame my eyebrows after waking up and they are going every which way. I just wet the brush and comb my eyebrows down so they look nice. 

*this is what my kit looked like when I took it out of the canister*

I don't do a lot of tweezing or trimming of my eyebrows so they can become a bit wild if I don't brush them into submission in the morning and this kit is exactly what I needed to add to my make up kit. 

I have a special 25% off coupon code for my readers. Just go to Amazon and search eyebrow brush and use code: QQMSRCOC at check out. 

The Crave Naturals Eyebrow and Eyelash Kit definitely deserve a 5 out of 5 star rating. 

Disclaimer: I received this product for free from Crave Bloggers in exchange for a truthful review. 

Happy Raturday!

Welcome to a new weekly blog post I'm calling, Raturday! I've seen Caturday and while that's really cute, I think the rats needs some photo time so everyone can see how cute these little animals are. I've gotten permission from Rat Logic's fb page to share their pictures on my blog. So get ready to smile because these are cute. 

*click pictures to enlarge*

*I made this demotivational poster from a post and comments I saw on FB the other day. I blanked out the names because it was too funny not to share. *

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Review: Kiss Stick On Nails

So I don't paint my nails as often as I used to because the paint chips off while doing dishes, cleaning cages and my rats love to try and bite my nails when they are painted. I don't think the nail polish is going to hurt them if they bite once or twice but I'm not willing to chance it happening all that often. 

So when I do want fancy fingernails, I either take the time to apply acrylic nails- but that can be time consuming or I apply these press on nails. 

As you can see, they are really pretty and not too long. It's hard to type with really long nails, at least it is for me.

The glue is already on the nail so all you have to do is press them onto your nail. That's it, all done. And they stay on for a few days. Now sometimes if they come off before I'm ready I will just take a little nail glue and glue them back on and they will stay for about a week. 

Here's a close up picture of a couple of my nails. I love this design. It's colorful without being really crazy loud colorful. There's just enough color and design on these to be really pretty. 

I put these nails on in just about 2 minutes. I usually hold the nail down once I apply it so it gets good stick and then go onto the next one. No mess, no drying time. Just pretty nails in a couple of minutes. I've been using Kiss Press On Nails for years and I really like them. I would never be able to paint such pretty designs on my own.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Weekly Rat Facts: How to Care for Your Rat After Surgery


There are times that you may have to consider taking your rat to a veterinarian to have surgery, maybe to remove a tumor or cancerous growth. The first thing to consider is if your rat is healthy enough for surgery. If your rat is over-weight, has breathing problems, or is in any other way in bad health, surgery may not be possible. You should discuss this with your surgeon before hand. Finding a Veterinarian that has experience with small animals and has done this particular surgery before is a must. Not all Vets have experience with "Exotics" and therefore finding one who does is a top priority.

It is important to discuss the methods they will use for surgery. What kind of anesthesia will they use? Gas is the most common type used now because finding a vein in a small rat is not likely and gas is much easier to administer. Will they prescribe a post operative pain killer for your rat? It is important to make sure they are willing to give you a post operative analgesic, the pain medicine they give during surgery will likely wear off a few hours after surgery and there's no need for them to be in pain while they heal.

Unlike you and I, rats do not need to fast twelve hours before surgery. They are unable to vomit and can eat right up until they go in for surgery. After surgery they will most likely want some water and you should make sure you are there to help them get at the water bottle if they need extra help. The Veterinarian hospital staff is going to be busy and no one will give your little fuzzy buddy the tender loving care that you yourself will. Make sure they are being kept warm and have food around they can eat.

Make sure to ask what kind of stitches they have used to close the wound. Most Vets will use subcuticular dissolvable stitches which are small stitches under the skin that make it harder for the rat to chew off. Most wounds will heal fast as long as the rat leaves them alone. For larger wounds a vet may have to put in staples or other types of stitches. If your rat starts chewing on them, the vet may tape a piece of gauze around the wound and then use cast material to make it harder for the rat to open the wound back up. Most rats won't bother too much with the wounds and they will heal quickly.

Once you get your rat home you will want to keep them separated from any other cage mates for at least two days. This is just so they can heal before their cage mates start sniffing at the wound or accidentally hurt them while playing. Most rats are smart and will curl up next to a cage mate that's not feeling good.

While you have your rat in its own cage you have to make sure to keep him warm. It's easiest to do this using a single level glass cage. Putting a heating pad on the low setting, that's covered with a towel, under the tank will keep the cage warm. Put the heating pad under only half of the tank so your rat can choose whether they want to lay over it. You rat will be sleeping and may just want to curl up and sleep for a while after coming home, this is perfectly normal. You should wake your rat up every two hours and offer him some water either from his water bottle or from a dropper to make sure he doesn't get dehydrated. Offering some baby food or soft food will also help him feel better and help him heal faster. Mixing any powdered or liquid medicines the vet gives you into a small amount of yogurt or baby food will make it easier for your rat to take his medicine. While also making sure he gets some food.

If your rat become lethargic or won't eat or drink you should take them back to the vets office right away. This is a sign of dehydration and a rat can die from this rather quickly. Your vet can give them an injection to get them hydrated again. If you see any redness or swelling around the wound, this may be a sign of infection and you should take your rat back to the Vets office right away.

The most important thing to remember is to be there for your rat. Hold them, give them all the attention they want, hand feed them if necessary and give them lots of love.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Freebie Friday!

Welcome to another edition of Freebie Friday, where I tell you what free samples and full sized products I received in the mail and how you can get them too. Someone asked me why I do a 'Freebie Friday" each week, so I'll tell you.

A while back I listed all the free samples and wins that I had received that previous year and so many people didn't believe that I could have gotten so many free things. So I decided to prove it by taking a picture every week and sharing the sites that I found the links to the freebies at. So now you too can get great free samples coming to your mailbox each week.

  You can find links to samples like these at Hey It's Free and Freebie Shark.

This week I received two books...
Vampire Trouble by Sara Humphreys for being in Sara's Angels Street Team.
One Bite Per Night by Brooklyn Ann. I won this book at SOS Aloha

I also received 5 samples of Nesquik *one is missing because I used it before I took the picture, lol*

So did you received any freebies this week?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Review: The Bouqs

They came in a nice secured box.

I started snapping pictures as soon as I got the box and was pleasantly surprised to find the flowers in really good shape. 

As you can see the flowers come very securely wrapped and looked great when I opened them. 

There are clear instructions on the box as to what to do after you have opened the box.

This bouquet is called BBQ'n and is from the Volcano Collection and if you like it, you can find it here

This bouquet comes with 12 Roses and Freesia accents and as you can see, it is quite beautiful. When ordering you can choose this one which is the original, or the deluxe which comes with 24 Roses and Freesia accents or the Grand which comes with 36 Roses and Freesia accents.

My apartment smells so good. There's really nothing like the scent of fresh cut flowers to brighten your day and make your home smell inviting.

So if you're looking for company that sends flowers, I can highly recommend this one because my flowers looked wonderful, were fresh and came wrapped very securely so none of the flowers were damaged during transport.

                                  UPDATE: 3 days after they arrived and they still look gorgeous! 
I received this product for free from The Bouqs in exchange for my truthful review. I was in no other way compensated for my honest review. All thoughts and ideas expressed are my own.

How to Tell If Your Rat is Sick


Rats can get sick just like you and I and when we get sick we go to the doctor, you should also seek out the advice of a doctor for your rat when he gets sick. A Veterinarian that specializes in exotics will be the best one to take him to. They will already have had previous experience with others rats and will be more helpful than a Vet who has little or no experience with exotics.

Respiratory Infections
Respiratory infections are the most common ailment seen in rats. They can get them from being in bad bedding such as Cedar or Pine shavings as well as getting too cold or chilled and being around other rats with an infection. These infections can be fatal so getting them to a vet's office right away is essential. A vet will most likely give you antibiotic medication to give to your rat with a dropper or you can mix with food. The vet will show you how to administer the medication before you leave. If your rat is sneezing a lot, making wheezing noises or you hear crackling coming from his chest you should get a vet's help.

Tumors or cancerous growths are very common in rats as well. Sometimes they can be removed. If your rat develops a tumor and he looks like he is in pain or stops drinking or eating and his health isn't good enough for him to make it through a surgery, your vet can humanely euthanize him. While you are playing with your rat you should routinely check him for lumps each week. Sometimes they can be found before they progress too far and your rat will likely make a full recovery after surgery.

Skin Problems
Scabs, cuts and small sores are the most common skin problem with rats. Small cuts can be caused by a rat cleaning himself and his nails being too long or sharp. You can trim rat's nails with baby toenail cutters or by taking a nail file and filing down the very tips of the nail. Scabs should be looked at more closely as they can be signs of a bigger problem. Sometimes scabs are the result of mites or lice and this can be treated with over the counter sprays and medicines from most pet stores, but if it doesn't work you will need to take your rat to a vet to get proper care. A vet can clear up lice and mites very quickly.

If there are two rats in a cage and one of them has bald patches of hair, they might be doing what is called barbering. One rat may excessively groom another rat to the point of his hair falling out. Most times they do this because they are stressed, bored or sick. Giving them plenty of toys, lots of time out of the cage and affection will keep them from getting bored. They may also get abscesses on their feet, also called Bumble Foot. These abscesses will look like small dark sometimes red or brown lumps on the bottom of their feet. Most times a vet can get rid of them by lancing the wound, cleaning it out and giving them topical and/or oral antibiotics.

Broken or Bleeding Toenails
It's quite common for a rat to break or partially rip out a toenail. Their toe will bleed and you may think its worst than it actually is. If this happens the best thing you can do is rinse the nail off, use a styptic pen or powder to stop it from bleeding. Most veterinarian offices will have it and can give it to you. If you don't have this you can always use a small amount of flour. You can also put a small amount of antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin on the wound. Do not pull off a toenail that is hanging on. You rat will do this himself when he is cleaning or it will fall off on its own. A rats toenail will heal surprisingly fast so a vet's visit is rarely needed unless it gets infected.

When a rat gets sick they seem to go downhill very fast so getting them the professional help they require in time is essential. Most rats will make a fast recovery if treated by a professional and you will have many more days with them. Knowing before you get a rat or any animal that you may have to spend money at a vet's office is something you have to think about. Once you bring an animal home you are responsible for their health and well being. Being responsible means being able to take care of all their needs when the time comes.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What Does Your Rat See and Smell?

Rats don't see as well as we do, but they do see things differently. A rat will get a feeling for its environment with his whiskers. Rat's whiskers are the most important thing he has to get a feel for what's around him. A rat will rapidly brush his whiskers along the floor, carpet, cage and even you in order to get a picture of what is around him. Rat's whiskers are more sensitive than humans fingertips in the way they let him know what he is around.

When you're playing with your rat, just watch his whiskers as he walks across the couch, walks along your arm or the floor. They will constantly brush their whiskers along whatever they are next to. They will feel all the tiny indentations, dents, dimples and bumps that we never notice. They know if the surface is smooth, bumpy, or cracked.

Rats have a highly developed sense of smell. As you watch your rat walk around also pay attention to his nose. You will notice his little nose constantly twitching, smelling the air, the carpet, you and any other rats he is around. Your rat may be asleep while you are making dinner but once he gets a whiff of what you're cooking he will most likely be up, jumping around letting you know he smells what's for dinner and he wants some too.

Rats love to stick their noses into small cracks and crevices that hold all sorts of wonderful smells for them. They will try to dig their way through any small opening to find the smell if they like it and they have sharp nails to help with the digging as well as long sharp teeth. Rats love to gnaw on things, so if you let your rat run loose in the living room, expect him to chew on the wooden table legs.

Your rats vision isn't very good, at best what they see more than a few feet away is blurry. That is why a rat will come up to and sniff you, lick you and his ears will twitch when you talk to him.

Because rats are so close to the ground, the things they see are going to be different from what you and I see. If you put your rat on the floor, he isn't going to see just a carpeted floor, he's going to see all the small things on the floor that the vacuum missed the last time you used it, he's going to see a great hiding place behind the couch and a wonderful place to run along the wall.

Rats are very inquisitive, they will seek out fun places to run and climb onto. They will shred your clothes, curtains and any other fabric they find to take back to their nests. They think it would be great bedding material.

Have fun with your rat, but take care where you let him roam as he may get lost, chew up your furniture, wires and walls or just climb somewhere he can't get down without hurting himself.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

How To Give A Rat A Bath

Wild rats are very used to being in the water, they will swim through sewers, ponds and even your swimming pool to get where they need to go. Domesticated rats are another story though. While some rats love the water, others will claw your arms and hands and maybe even bite you to get away from the water.
*Lucky got his first bath back on July 10th. He had a little buck grease on his back and so a bath was in order to wash the greasiness out of his fur.*

The best way to make sure you won't have a problem giving your rat a bath if they need one is to introduce them to water long before it becomes a necessity. If you introduce your rats to the water when they are younger and make it a positive experience they are going to be less likely to be afraid when you try to give them a bath. If however no matter what you do your rats don't like the water, you should only bathe them when it becomes necessary. If they smell bad it's probably time to clean the cage instead of giving them a bath. If they get into something that covers their hair and the only way to get it off is to give them a bath, there are ways to prepare.

First thing you should do if bathing becomes necessary is make sure you are in a room you can close off from the rest of the house. The bathroom is perfect as you can close the door. Make sure your rat can't escape and hide under any furniture, get caught behind any appliances or jump from somewhere high and break his leg.

Put just enough warm water in the tub to reach over your rats legs, if your rat is scared, putting too much water in the tub will scare them more. You don't want them to accidentally drown while you are trying to wash them. Make sure the water is warm to the touch and the temperature in the room is warm. Rats can get respiratory infections very easily.

Don't use a human shampoo or body wash, this can cause drying to their skin. Instead get a Critter Shampoo like Squeaky Clean. Most pet shops will carry animal shampoo. Petsmart carries several types of shampoo for small animals. When you start washing them make sure not to get the shampoo in their ears, eyes or mouth. Add just a small amount to your hand and rub all over the rat's body, even the tail. Holding your rat under his body and gently washing him will make him feel more secure. Don't be surprised if you rat poops in the water, they will do this when they are stressed or upset. Just scoop out the pellets and continue with the bath. To rinse your rat off, gently swish some water upon your rat's body with your hand.

After the bath, wrap your rat in a soft towel and pat them dry as much as possible. Some rats will curl up in the towel and let you hold them until they dry. But most will start cleaning themselves right away and will keep cleaning until they are dry.

Make sure to give your rat a treat after the bath, this will help settle them down and make them feel better. You should always talk soothing to your rat and give them treats after they do something that may be upsetting to them.

Lucky seemed to like his bath, he just laid in my hand and let me wash him and then when he was all done he licked, licked and licked his fur some more until he was dry. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Happy Raturday!

Welcome to a new weekly blog post I'm calling, Raturday! I've seen Caturday and while that's really cute, I think the rats needs some photo time so everyone can see how cute these little animals are. I've gotten permission from Rat Logic's fb page to share their pictures on my blog. So get ready to smile because these are cute. 

*click pictures to enlarge*