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My Pet Rat Bit Me Drew Blood!
For pet rat owners, some of their research questions are, my pet rat bit me and drew blood. So, what do you know when this happens? Is the bite infectious or fatal? Are there ways to protect against rat bites, even from your pet rat.
As friendly and loyal as pet rats can be, they can also be territorial. Invading their alone time will lead to aggression, and sometimes a rat bite. In case you reach inside the cage and your pet rats squeak or act territorial, then withdraw.
Related: Best Rat Cages – Our Top Pick
My Pet Rat Bit Me Drew Blood
A rat bite looks like a small puncture on your skin. Most rat bites will bleed, swell and, if not treated, lead to an infection. So, if your pet rat bites you and you draw blood, you need to call your doctor for guidance.
Rat-bite or nibbling
First, there is a difference between your pet rat nibbling or biting you. A pet rat will nibble at your hand or fingers to show they are comfortable around you. It is also a way of satisfying their curiosity. A nibble is some tiny bite, which never hurts and never draws any blood.
Rats can also grind their teeth, even when nibbling. It can be a sign of comfort and happiness. However, this can also signal discomfort. If you know your pet’s body language, you can tell when bruxism is a sign of discomfort.
Before getting to the doctor, you can try to administer first aid by:
- Controlling the bleeding and cleaning the wound with soap and some warm water. Make sure to clean the inside of the wound
- You can use some antibiotic oil ointment before covering the wound
Watch for signs that show signs of infections, even if the wound is showing signs of healing. These include, but not limited to:
Remember to remove any rings you might have since rat bites might cause swelling.
Rat Diseases Symptoms
Rat bites can cause two types of infections:
It is common in the US. Symptoms of this infection will appear 2 to 10 after the bit, and include:
- Rashes on the hands and feet – usually appear 2 to 4 days after the fever
- Joint and back pains
Also known as spirillary RBF and it is common in Asia, and symptoms appear 1 to 3 weeks after the bite. Some of the symptoms to watch out for are:
- Swelling around the wound
- Aching muscles
- Swelling on the lymph nodes
- Rashes even when the wound is healing
Treating a rat bite
A rat bite infection is better treated by a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatments. If left untreated, an infection from a rat might become serious and even fatal.
Mostly, a doctor will prescribe the below medications:
- Gentamicin – for an infection that affects the heart
- Streptomycin – for an infection that affects the heart
If left untreated, rat bites can cause:
- focal abscesses
- systemic vasculitis
- polyarteritis nodosa
If you are one of those pet owners who are wondering, my pet rat bit me and drew blood, so what next? Well, first, contact your doctor. You can try to administer some first aid, but ensure you see a doctor for proper treatment in case of an infection. It’s not worth the risk of infection so ensure you see a trained professional if you think the bite is deep or will take a long time to heal.
Hey, I’m Amy and I’m in love with my Pets! I have a diverse variety, including 2 cats, 1 dog, 3 rabbits, 2 guinea pigs, a rat and a beautiful macaw. I love writing about everything pet-related and spend as much time as I can sharing my personal experiences.