Rat Bath

It’s not necessary to bathe rats normally, because they continually wash and groom themselves (and each other) several times a day. They don’t seem to bother much with their tails though – as I noticed after the “rat print making episode” when Rocky had purple stains on his tail for about a week! Bucks tend to be a bit wiffier than does and as I have four of them slobbing out together, I thought it might be good to give them a little bath.

I got an old washing up basin and filled it to about a quarter (not too deep!) with lukewarm water and a little squirt of baby bath, which is very mild. I had a nice warm towel at the ready for afterwards.

Shy-Shy was not impressed! He gave out a loud squeak of defiance, so I just gave him a quick swish and rubbed his fur very gently, then I wrapped him in the cosy towel which he loved! I rubbed him vigorously but carefully with the towel, and he went still, and seemed to enjoy it. In fact none of the boys were that struck on the bath, but they all liked the towel drying part.

Afterwards I noticed the rats were all busily washing themselves (probably weren’t keen on the baby bath) , but at least they were all very clean and glossy furred!

Note to self and other rat owners: Don’t bathe rats, it’s a futile exercise! Keep their cage clean, and they will keep themselves clean, it’s a rat thing.

Today my rats have been mostly eating sprouts.

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2 Responses to “Rat Bath”

  1. Hi,

    I’m sorry to write this in a comment area, so long after you posted about the subject, but I am trying to find information about Tardak. I live in the US and have rescued many rats over the years. We currently have a rescued male who came with his brother, but during the months we’ve had him, he has gotten more tempermental with males and we had to separate him from any males, including his brother. Here’s the story form the beginning: When we got the two boys, they were about six months old and got along great with each other, although the one boy did not tolerate any other males. The other week, we found that he had bitten his brother almost badly enough that he needed stiches. We tried putting him with one of our spayed females, and although he did not harm her, he was relentless in his aggressive behavior towards her and we did not feel comfortable with the setup.

    I have heard about use of Tardak in males to inhibit aggression from the rat giude and serveral forums based in the UK, but our vet here in the States has not heard of it and wants to see more information before she tries to acquire some. If you have the time, would you let me know if you have any personal experience with using Tardak? Also, would you let me know the name and number of your vet? I would like to call and ask him/her to contact my vet about the drug. Thank you very much for your time. Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated.


  2. Hi Sarah,
    It sounds like you’re having a lot of stress and worry over your ratties. I’m sorry I don’t have any personal experience of this issue, so I’m not sure if my vet prescribes Tardak or not. I have read many articles about it though, and the general consensus seems to be, that Tardak is a good short-term treatment for aggression, when the problem is a hormonal imbalance, but in other cases it may not work at all. Long-term use is not advised because evidence seems to suggest Tardak can cause mammary tumours. It is a good tester though, to work out if its your rat’s hormones increasing his aggression, and then some vets would advise castration. As horrendous as this sounds, many rat owners find it is the only cure – or the rat would have to live on its own. Here’s the URL for Estelle from Ratz which gives some info on this: http://www.ratz.co.uk/tardak.html
    If he’s an older rat it’s less likely than a buck in his prime (the time when hormone levels peek). I couldn’t find a US equivalent for Tardak, but here’s the URL with the company’s details that makes it: http://www.noahcompendium.co.uk/Pfizer_Limited/Tardak/-31160.html
    Also here’s another useful website: http://ratguide.com/meds/hormones/tardak_delmadinone_acetate.php
    I hope that helps.
    Julie (Rat Mother!)

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