Hair loss in older rats?

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Gingernut
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Hair loss in older rats?

Post by Gingernut » Sat Mar 21, 2009 11:11 am

Hi everyone,
I was wondering whether older rats experience thinning of their coats ever? I have an older lady who seems to be thinning on just one side. I wanted to check that there isn't another medical cause that I should be treating? :???:

Thanks all.
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Re: Hair loss in older rats?

Post by Ratgirl@RatRitz » Sat Mar 21, 2009 11:17 am

Excuse the laziness, I've just copied this from what I wrote in reply to a post on RH recently! Very similar question.

http://www.rathealth.co.uk/forum/viewto ... f=12&t=630

Opinions can differ on fur loss of this kind, and some people do say that rats just get thinner fur as they age ... I don't really believe this though since I've had a lot of old ratties who have remained very furry despite their age, so I don't feel that thinning fur is part of the natural aging process in the same way that, for example, HLD is ... I believe there's normally an underlying cause for fur thinning. Whether you can identify and rectify any cause though is another matter.

It may be something like she needs a diet adjustment now, perhaps she isn't as good at getting all the nutrients out of her normal diet any more, and so needs more easily digestible foods, or a general multi-vitamin supplement just to make sure she's covered ... it could be that she has developed an allergy ... or it could be some kind of hormonal imbalance ... or even a liver issue. If you have any concerns at all, do have a Vet look at her.

Does she have any other symptoms at all?

Is her fur thinning all over her body or only in certain areas?

Does her skin look normal?
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Re: Hair loss in older rats?

Post by Gingernut » Sat Mar 21, 2009 11:37 am

Thanks for your reply, how strange it was an almost identical question. :o

She has no other symptoms, she's her normal self in every other way, just the thinning area on her left flank. As far as I can tell, her skin looks normal-why do you ask that- are there indicators you would be looking for? Could it be mites??

I do have some supplements such as Nutri-Stat and Nutri-Cal - are these appropriate? Also DR. Squiggles is added once a week, at the moment. Should I increase my use of this, too?

:-?
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Re: Hair loss in older rats?

Post by helensy » Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:23 pm

I'm not sure - I have two sisters both 2 years 9 months and one has definite fur thinning but that has been accompanied by weight loss and she's now on fortekor which has really perked her up in so many ways (including a small amount of weight gain). The only health problem her sister has is multiple lumps but she still has a thick coat of fur and is generally much healthier than her sister.

I'm not sure that helps - I'd be tempted to also look for an underlying cause, e.g. diet based on what I've observed. :luck:
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Re: Hair loss in older rats?

Post by choicestgirl » Sat Mar 21, 2009 1:03 pm

one of my girls who is 2 years old has definate fur thinning on her shoulder area! not just thinning really.. you can see her skin. we had a vet look at her and she didn't.. do anything for it, :|
i am interested to whether it could be her diet. what multivitamin things are there i could get?
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Re: Hair loss in older rats?

Post by Ratgirl@RatRitz » Sat Mar 21, 2009 1:15 pm

Gingernut wrote:Thanks for your reply, how strange it was an almost identical question. :o
I did do a double-take ... and went to check you weren't the same person! :lol:
She has no other symptoms, she's her normal self in every other way, just the thinning area on her left flank. As far as I can tell, her skin looks normal-why do you ask that- are there indicators you would be looking for? Could it be mites??
Yes, it could be mites, they can cause fur loss (as can lice but they are fairly obvious if the infestation is bad enough to cause it) ... mites don't always result in scabs, if for example the rat has problems scratching properly, they don't get scabby, or if the mites happen to be predominantly populating an area the rat can't reach, they don't get scabs ... mites do cause what looks like white dandruff on the skin though, so had you said something along the lines of "she seems to have a lot of dandruff" ... I would have suggested you treat her for mites as a likely culprit.

I'd suggest it would be an idea to treat her for mites anyway, in order to rule them out, and to ensure they aren't aggravating any other cause.

Changes in skin colour and appearance (eg flakeiness), along with changes in skin sensitivity, can indicate other things too, so it's important to note anything like that when you see fur loss.
I do have some supplements such as Nutri-Stat and Nutri-Cal - are these appropriate? Also DR. Squiggles is added once a week, at the moment. Should I increase my use of this, too?
I use Nutri-Cal myself here, so yes that would be appropriate ... the Dr. Squiggles I don't tend to use on a regular basis, so I can't help you there ... hopefully someone else will answer that for you.

Next questions to ask are:

Is her left flank an area that gets 'rubbed up' against things when she's active? (eg squeezing past something to use a favourite route/get to a fave spot)

Does she tend to sleep on her left side a lot? ... and does she tend to sleep in any toilet areas/pee in a hammock and then lie in it etc?

I have also assumed that she is not rex ... I should have checked that earlier ... so can you confirm she is smooth coated?
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Re: Hair loss in older rats?

Post by Gingernut » Sat Mar 21, 2009 5:18 pm

Many thanks
I had actually bought some treatment for mites, just in case it was that, so I will treat her anyway. Which treatment would you use, is Beaphar's invermectin ok? I will try to examine her skin again more closely before I lose the good light, in case there is anything resembling dandruff. She is not a rexy girl. :)
I don't think there is anywhere she needs to squeeze through or rub against on a regular basis as I do change the layout regularly. As for how she sleeps, it's pretty impossible to tell because the girls sleep mostly in the kind of hammock that is covered over, but they are all 'marinaders'. :roll:

Meanwhile I'll give her some supplements and see how she gets on.

Thanks for your advice! :D
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Re: Hair loss in older rats?

Post by scabbers » Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:37 pm

i have just posted more or less the same thing.my boy has thinning fur on his back legs and the marinading bit fits him as he has slight hld and so tends to walk flat and his legs and underbits sit in his wee more thesedays.i have been cleaning him and put some savlon on his legs as they look sore but someone will tell me thats completely the wrong thing to have done.he is 27months old his brothers coat is still lovely.I treated him for mites this evening but would have thought they would both have had them if that was the case.do any of your other girls look as if they may have mites?
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Re: Hair loss in older rats?

Post by Gingernut » Fri Apr 03, 2009 5:18 pm

No, all the other girls are fine. Just waiting to see if the treatment and supplements have any effect now.
Lindy :dumbogirly: Ellie, Peace :girly:Skye, Carys, Cordi (Cordelia), Celeste, Sugar, Faray. :sleepy: John McClane, Carter, Clyde, Bellamy.
:rainbow: Hobnob, Gingernut, Cookie, Muffin, Mai Tai, Coffee, Drift, Steven.

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Re: Hair loss in older rats?

Post by Gingernut » Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:49 pm

Just as an update, and for others wondering about hair loss........

Since I treated Muffin for mites, and have been giving her the odd vitamin boost, her coat has already shown signs of improvement. :) She did indeed have areas of what looked like 'dandruff', which have now cleared. She even has her sheen back again. Mites were probably the culprits. :roll:

Many thanks for the advice, from Muffin and me! :D
Lindy :dumbogirly: Ellie, Peace :girly:Skye, Carys, Cordi (Cordelia), Celeste, Sugar, Faray. :sleepy: John McClane, Carter, Clyde, Bellamy.
:rainbow: Hobnob, Gingernut, Cookie, Muffin, Mai Tai, Coffee, Drift, Steven.

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