Emergency & First Aid for Rats

You should always be prepared for first aid measures. In the event of an injury or illness, please do not hesitate and consult a veterinarian as soon as possible.

If you are injured or have any signs of illness, you should never wait more than 24 hours to see a veterinarian. The sooner your rat is treated, the more likely it is to recover.

If your rat is in visible pain, lying apathetically on its side, or breathing heavily, you should contact an emergency veterinarian immediately! You may be able to treat minor health problems yourself until your vet’s office hours. For first aid in an emergency, you should get a small emergency pharmacy.

Emergency kit for rats

You should always have the following foodstuffs, supplementary feedstuffs, medicines, and medical devices in the house:

  • Baby porridge in a jar (semolina milk porridge, banana milk porridge, etc.) and e.g. B. Nutri-Cal-Paste (supplementary food for cats and dogs, contains important vitamins and trace elements) can be mixed into a porridge and force-fed with a syringe in the event of illness-related refusal to eat.
  • Syringes (1ml, 2ml; without needle) are used to administer forced feeding and medicines.
  • Bird Bene-Bac supports the intestinal flora and is used e.g. B. in case of diarrhea, feed change, loss of appetite, etc. used. For acute symptoms, about 0.3 grams are administered orally 1 – 2 times a day. Bird Bene Back is available from the vet.
  • Radicular is a supplementary feed that is given directly into the mouth or via the feed to support the digestive processes in the event of gastrointestinal problems (e.g. constipation). It contains, among other things, linseed and rapeseed oil as well as extracts from various medicinal plants. Rats are given 3 to 4 drops 3 times a day.
  • Bepanthen eye and nose ointment are used in the initial treatment of minor injuries (e.g. superficial bite injuries) to the skin and eyes.
  • Bandages and swabs are necessary for injuries (e.g. bite wounds).

First-aid measures for rats

If your rat has been bitten or suffers from heatstroke, you should provide first aid immediately.

First aid for (bite) injuries

If one of your rats is badly injured (bleeding from the paw, ear, etc.), fold up a swab or cloth and press it onto the wound. Put an elastic bandage over it and fasten the whole thing with leucoplast or adhesive tape.

First aid for heatstroke

Rats do not have sweat glands and are therefore very sensitive to heat. From about 30°C there is a risk of heatstroke. The first signs are shallow, labored breathing, and apathy. In the further course, the animals suffer a shock that can be accompanied by convulsions. As a first-aid measure, the rats must be taken to a cool place immediately and wrapped in damp, cool compresses.

The affected rats should then be presented to a veterinarian as soon as possible. So that it doesn’t get that far, you should provide the animals with sufficient cooling at high temperatures. Make sure there is good ventilation (no drafts!) and darken the rat room if necessary.

Food refusal in rats

If your rat stops eating or eat too little due to illness, force-feeding is necessary. To avoid radical dietary changes, it is best to grind up the usual dry food and soak it in water or chamomile tea. Mix half of the whole thing with baby porridge (e.g. semolina milk porridge, banana milk porridge, or carrot porridge) and add little melted oats or oat flakes. This mashed food is carefully administered orally using a disposable syringe (without a needle).

Depending on the general condition, about 1 ml of the mashed food is given three to six times a day. The exact amount depends on weight, age, and medical condition and should be agreed upon with the veterinarian. The weaker an animal, the more frequently it should be fed in small amounts. If your sick rat does not take any or not enough liquid, this must also be given using a syringe.

In no case should you give the animal too much porridge at once, as this can lead to severe stomach overload? When force-feeding your rat, try to keep it in a natural position and not too vertical. Never put too much porridge in its mouth, otherwise, the animal will choke and have breathing problems.

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