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Rodents are neat, tidy creatures who love to be groomed and are happiest when their skin is comfortable.
Rodents hail from all corners of the world so have skin suited to a wide range of environments. Generally, the skin maintains correct body temperature and hydration and, protects from the elements. Rodents struggle with temperature regulation as they have very few sweat glands. Rats and mice use their tails to lose heat and burrow into bedding to keep warm whereas hamsters don’t have tails and if they get too cold they are tempted to hibernate. All rodents are sensitive to heatstroke so check ideal temperatures with your veterinarian when you are preparing your rodent palace.
Inflamed, dry, or parasite-affected skin decreases well-being. It can be sore and itchy and affects temperature control, sleep, and playfulness. Lumps could be abscesses or tumours which need veterinary attention. General care includes having suitable bedding for your rodent based on their unique species and needs.
Regular grooming sessions deepen bonding and communication whilst allowing you to catch any health issues early. The frequency of grooming depends on your rodent’s coat type and health status.
Check skin and coat weekly for parasites, ringworm, and lumps
Check and groom coat once weekly to once daily or more depending on the type of coat
Check eyes, ears, teeth, claws
Check the bottom daily for signs of diarrhoea and in outdoor animals flys trike
If you notice any changes contact your veterinarian or book an appointment here for advice before you start any treatments or supplements. It is extremely important that your rodent’s skin products are safe for or specifically designed and manufactured for rodents as human or other pet products can be harmful.
Long-haired breeds may need special brushes and equipment to remove the excess hairs. Geriatric or invalid rodents may need help grooming - consult your veterinarian for help with pain relief if needed.
Chinchillas need to be provided with a chinchilla-safe dish and sand, such as Poof, for dust bathing.
Rodent's feet are undeniably cute with their teeny soft pink pads. Bouncy, soft underfoot bedding helps to keep them comfy and prevents painfully swollen feet known as bumblefoot. Whether indoor or outdoor, paper-based pellets such as oxbow pure comfort or back2 nature are a great base for most rodents on which to layer hay and straw to eat or shredded paper to nest. Avoid fluffy bedding which separates into strands as it is dangerous, causing injuries. Avoid bare wire mesh which can harm tiny feet. Change bedding regularly to prevent the build-up of urine which can also harm those delicate feet, create odours and increase the risk of chest infections. Grubby furbabies can be safely washed in F10 shampoo which is specially designed for rodents.
Dry, crusty, sore, or lumpy rodent skin can be a sign of
Wounds or injuries - take care to check they are not being bullied by a pal
Parasites- including fleas, lice, or mites are known as ‘walking dandruff
Dry skin - caused by external dirt, unkempt coat, humidity, weather changes
Ringworm - hair loss, crusting, and scaling especially around the ears, eyes, nose
Ear mites - dry thick scaly skin around the face, eyes, inside the ears, and feet
Abscesses - these lumps swell up eventually and can be hard or painful
Tumours - can be red, inflamed, painful, or scabbed on the top -
Minor scratches or dry areas can be treated with F10 germicidal barrier ointment. If you see recurring dry skin, excessive grooming, hair loss or lumps it is important to have your pet checked by a veterinarian for infection, parasites, or tumours.