Abscesses - how many is normal?

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little_rat_lover
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Abscesses - how many is normal?

Post by little_rat_lover » Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:03 am

I'm probably worrying over nothing, but I wouldn't mind a 2nd opinion!

Back in april one of my male rats got an abscess - this boy is old, tilty and people to mites and such, so not such a surprise, but in april and may this boy got 3 abscesses (1 facial), another older boy got 1 (he did pass under a month later from unrelated things, so may have just been older and prone to things) but also my 3 young boys (brothers) all got 1 each. I basically quarantined for about 3 weeks after the last went, did extra cleans of the cage, made sure there was nothing sharp and did mite treatments. No more abscesses in those weeks. I will add all but the face abscess were on necks,i also suspected 1 of my old girls was being troublesome and nipping due to trying to be alpha and failing.

Anyway, fast forward to mid june, a twelve month old girl got what seemed to be a lump but was actually an abscess that came up inside. That cleared up mostly a couple of weeks ago now, was kept clean.
Anyway in the last couple of days, 1 of the now 18 month old boys has had 2 tiny ones come up - although he has also sprained a foot, so may have been doing something and fallen, one of the abscesses is on the side of his mouth like he'd knocked it with his teeth, the other on his neck.

But my youngest girl - about 3 months old or so - has a neck abscess.


Basically I'm wondering if this is a worrying amount, or if it's actually quite normal? Only ever 2 rats in 1 go and have :wink: 2 girls now over 2 (1 almost 30 months) have been unaffected. Also wiggy (old man) hasn't had another.

I'm getting 4 baby rats in under a week, they'll be kept separate for 2 or 3 anyway mind, but basically if this does seem a lot I need to rethink them all going in together until it's sorted.

Right now I'm considering a weeks antibiotics for everyone if my vet will agree!

Thoughts please? I can be alarmist and have been lucky in general with health so may well be me panicking over nothing!
Mummy to Chrissy, Bramble, Amber, Vodka, Riley, Monkey, Stumpy, Princess, Mr Arthur Wiggins, Pixie and Farren.

RIP: Rambo, Rue, Dill, Coconut, Faith Mischief and Bonnie.

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Re: Abscesses - how many is normal?

Post by Jemma » Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:43 am

This is abnormal, neck abcesses are often glandular and have been linked to group type infections in the past. I'd recommend a few things. First take one of the rats with abcesses to the vets, get them to take a sample and send it off for testing. This will tell you roughly what it is and what best to treat it with. Meanwhile ask for a course of synulux as that's nice and broad spectrum and has worked well with abcesses in the past for me. Then stop using or throw out the bedding your using at the moment, I have experienced and heard of several incedents like this linked to a bad batch of bedding. Hopefully in a few weeks you'll see the abcesses clearing up.
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Re: Abscesses - how many is normal?

Post by little_rat_lover » Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:55 pm

I thought it was - I've been through probably 2-3 bales of bedding in that time from different batches so doubt it's that, but I need to change anyway.

So I know - is it spread via contact only?
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RIP: Rambo, Rue, Dill, Coconut, Faith Mischief and Bonnie.

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Re: Abscesses - how many is normal?

Post by little_rat_lover » Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:44 pm

Vets appointment at 4:10

I think my run of luck with very few vets bills may have just ran out :o
Mummy to Chrissy, Bramble, Amber, Vodka, Riley, Monkey, Stumpy, Princess, Mr Arthur Wiggins, Pixie and Farren.

RIP: Rambo, Rue, Dill, Coconut, Faith Mischief and Bonnie.

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Re: Abscesses - how many is normal?

Post by Jemma » Wed Jul 20, 2011 3:20 pm

It’s a tricky one, when I had my run of glandular abcesses I was pretty sure it was with the bedding. However because I was so determined I was going to sort it out I chucked all my remaining finacard, deep cleaned the entire cage and moved them onto towels and paper cat litter for a few weeks. At the same time they were on synulux and I had the abcess puss checked. It came back as full of some sort of stomach type bacteria which was very odd. However after that point I had a total of one abcess in the group. About a year or so later I added babies to the group and they have never had this problem, I even switched back to finacard a month or so later with no problems.

With other people I’ve come across with similar problems they have been able to trace it to a bad batch of bedding (different types and supplier) or sometimes even food. It’s still pretty uncommon though. There’s also the London dungeon rats abcesses, this was something endemic in a group of rats rescued from a zoo and was really tricky, it spread to any rat living for any length of time with an affected rat and stayed in that group indefinitely. This was more linked with lung abcesses though and far nastier then what I experienced. The people I have known affected by this had to stop any entrys or physical (or fecal/oral) contact with other rats for an affected group, or let there numbers drop to nothing. I doubt yours is as severe as this, but thought it worth mentioning.
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Re: Abscesses - how many is normal?

Post by little_rat_lover » Wed Jul 20, 2011 3:52 pm

Yep - got ABs now for them, so a good course, and will wait until a while after to see if more come up too.

Fingers crossed the ABs will take care of it. If worst case comes to worst I guess I'll have to have a closed group! But fingers crossed it won't come to that :)
Mummy to Chrissy, Bramble, Amber, Vodka, Riley, Monkey, Stumpy, Princess, Mr Arthur Wiggins, Pixie and Farren.

RIP: Rambo, Rue, Dill, Coconut, Faith Mischief and Bonnie.

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Re: Abscesses - how many is normal?

Post by little_rat_lover » Sun Jul 24, 2011 9:42 pm

Just a bump for a question - how long after antibiotics have finished would you wait to see if more abscesses appear? Would a 2 week standard quarantine be long enough, or do I need to wait longer before declaring them safe?
Mummy to Chrissy, Bramble, Amber, Vodka, Riley, Monkey, Stumpy, Princess, Mr Arthur Wiggins, Pixie and Farren.

RIP: Rambo, Rue, Dill, Coconut, Faith Mischief and Bonnie.

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