I have submit turned on, but I’m not sure if I’m getting everything from it, I know the Tumblr messaging system doesn’t work properly all the time.  I know for a fact someone submitted something yesterday & I never receive it, so yours more than likely got lost in Tumblrspace as well.  It takes me a little while to get back to messages sometimes, I work full time & I have so many animals that a lot of my time at home is spent caring for them. Lately I have been trying to be a little more timely about replying to everything within a day or two, so if I never wrote back to yours, it’s because I didn’t get it, I promise! I don’t think I get all my asks sometimes either, because my number of messages varies wildly, like some days, I’ll get 10+, & other days, I’ll get none, & that seems kinda weird, I would think it should be more evenly distributed than that.

I’m not able to send fanmail for some reason, but I can get it, so if you ever send something & it’s been a few days, feel free to send me another ask/submit/fanmail to make sure I got it, I won’t mind & I’ll write back to let you know if it’s just that I’m busy or something.

Hi! That sounds a lot like he might be in need of a neuter, especially because of the personality differences towards you.  It’s pretty normal for males to have little dominance battles when they’re 6mths-1yr, but any time they continue regularly for more than a couple of days, blood is being drawn or excessive hair is getting pulled out, or you have one or more rats that seem legitimately terrified of a cagemate, it’s a pretty good sign that the aggressor(s) need a neuter. They can be expensive, but I’ve never had a neuter I regretted doing & I’d get all of mine snipped if it were financially possible—I love boy rats, but I think they’re happier when their hormones aren’t getting in the way & they’re DEFINITELY easier to deal with.

It is worth the trouble to call various vets, even ones that might be an hour or so away, if you have available transportation, because prices can vary widely. I’ve heard of neuters being as cheap as $50 going all the way up to $300+.  I’d say an average is probably around $100-150; my usual vet’s fee is $100, but she also requires a pre-surgical exam ($40). I have been taking mine lately to a clinic that’s 60 miles away because they do it for $70—even taking the cost of gas into account, it’s still way cheaper than using my usual vet.

♥ 3 notes — tagged as: #ask #anon

Have they had anything like lettuce or other vegetables lately? Lettuce & broccoli are the main culprits with diarrhea in mine. Sometimes, rats will have runny poop if they’re stressed or scared.  It’s more than likely nothing to worry about, but if it continues for more than a day or two without a dietary cause, or you see any signs of illness in any of them, I would probably take them to a vet (you could maybe separate them for short periods of time to see who’s got the runny poop). The fact that it’s pale would make me inclined to think it’s due to a vegetable they ate, since veggies/fruits will often change the color of their poop.

Hi! You have asks turned off, so hopefully you’ll see if I reply here!

Noooo, I’m definitely not a breeder, I didn’t even want these (I got a female who ended up being pregnant) & I’m probably gonna end up having to keep most of them because it’s so hard to find good homes!

I dunno how old your males are, but if they’re over 6-8mths, it’s more than likely gonna be very difficult to introduce them to new companions, unless they’re really, really mellow. I LOVE males, but the vast majority of them, unfortunately, can’t be introduced to new buddies after they hit puberty, unless they’re neutered. If you’re interested in going that route, I know of a very reasonably priced vet in Conyers that’s only around $70 for a neuter, which is waaaaay cheaper than you are going to find anywhere else, but if you try to introduce them without neutering (if they are over 6-8mths), there’s a chance they won’t be able to go in together 

Also, if you are going to try to mix males like that (it’s not impossible, depending on the personalities involved, just difficult & sometimes dangerous), it’s a much better idea to get 2-3 babies at a time, because if the age difference is that big, the younger one is going to end up alone when the older ones die. You could also get a female & spay her ($82 at the place in Conyers), as introducing mixed sex groups is waaaay easier.

I THINK you can use Ivermectin on sick rats, I can’t seem to find anything when Googling it. I would probably double check with a vet, though, just to be sure, because some drugs can have interactions with things & I know there are some weird reactions (like some antibiotics can’t be taken with dairy or they’re less effective, some drugs you have to give 30 minutes+ apart, etc.).  I know Revolution isn’t supposed to be used on sick animals. I would think Ivermectin is probably mild enough that it’s not going to cause any harm to a sick animal, so the main concern would be drug interaction (I think! Definitely not a vet.)

They are good! I feel bad not posting about them very much, but to be honest, ever since my little Pie passed away in January, my heart just isn’t really in mouse-keeping & I likely won’t own any more for a while once these have passed away.  Janice has a large tumor that might result in her being put to sleep soon, but as of right now, she’s very happy & still incredibly mobile. Pigeonmouse is super-sweet! My boys are old & grumpy & hate being handled, haha.

Foot injuries are very common—most of mine have been a result of a rat stupidly walking on the top of another rat’s cage & getting their feet bitten through bars. In general, foot wounds tend to look much worse than they actually are because the feet tend to swell up a ton when wounded, which makes it look like they’re missing half their toes when really it’s just a small bite, but you do need to be careful with them because they are very prone to infection since rats are often walking through their own waste (or wallowing in it if you have gross nasty boys like mine).  If they get infected (pus, smelling bad, not healing after more than a few days), you need to get to a vet for antibiotics, as cases of bumblefoot can get pretty severe. It’s a good idea to try to keep them as clean as possible, most rats are not going to tolerate bandaging or Neosporin, but you can at least rinse it with water or plain saline.

I like to dose with children’s ibuprofen for pain for foot injuries because they often seem to cause them a lot of soreness. The dosage I use is around .9mL per pound of rat, but you can see the actual range on RatGuide & calculate it out. I wouldn’t give it for more than a few days because it can cause stomach upset, but it is great to get them comfortable enough to walk around. 

Since injuries to the foot are almost always caused by bites from other rats not in the cage, it’s a good idea to try to prevent rats from going on other rats’ cages & block off any areas like the space between two groups if you’re using a Critter Nation cage that’s divided in two (I put a brick in between the gap if I have a cage split in two). I’ve also had rats get sore feet after a fall—these will almost always clear up pretty quickly, but they can sometimes result in arthritis/soreness in old age, so (obviously!) be careful not to drop rats.

♥ 4 notes — tagged as: #anon #ask #color-me-courtney

Firstly, I’m sorry she’s sick. :(  It sounds like you are doing everything you can for her.

Unfortunately, I don’t have enough info on the situation to really give you a strong opinion one way or the other—if you could message me back (on or off anon) with the answers if you know them, that’d be great!  Do you know what sort of shots they were talking about? Baytril is available in an injectable form, but if she was sick enough to need injectable meds (they tend to work a lot faster), the vet would’ve given them there, not say she needed them at a later date.  The only other injectable I can think of that the vet might’ve been referring to is fluids, but again, that’s something she would’ve needed right then—that’s usually only if it’s a really, really sick rat that’s not eating or drinking anything & is dehydrated.
Just going off what you’re saying, it sounds like she wasn’t on the original medication long enough. If the prescription was for anything less than two weeks, it wasn’t nearly enough & unfortunately, whatever she has has likely built up a resistance to that original drug. What was she taking at first? A lot of vets like to automatically jump onboard Baytril, which is great if it’s a very bad illness, but the problem is that it’s a pretty heavy hitter, so if it doesn’t work, or the rat’s not on it long enough & therefore becomes resistant to it, you don’t really have a lot of stronger things to go to. If she was on something like TMS or Doxycycline or something else that’s not quite as strong, I’d recommend calling the vet up & trying to get her on 3 weeks of Baytril (or better yet, Baytril+Doxycycline, but Doxy is kind of expensive at the moment due to a nationwide shortage). Another alternative would be Zithromax or Amoxicillin—those are not quite as common for vets to prescribe, but I’ve had a lot of success with both of them.
Does the vet you’re seeing have a lot of experience with rats? The “she has to have this injection now or she won’t get better” attitude kinda worries me a bit, because in almost any situation like that, there are almost always several routes you can take & it’s never really absolutely necessary to do one treatment, there are usually a few different things you can try, many of which could lead to success. I’m assuming you’re not able to take her to a different vet, but the vet you already went to may be willing to prescribe you something else without having to bring her back in & pay a recheck fee. It’s important to sound as confident & knowledgeable as possible when you call on the phone—be polite, but go in knowing what you want & try to figure out what your options are. Explain that you’re not able to afford the shots & ask if there are any other available options—mention specific drugs, like the Baytril/Doxy combo, or Zithromax. Stress the fact that she had gotten better & seemed fine, but that you think she wasn’t on the meds long enough & probably built up a resistance. They may be willing to work out some sort of payment plan with you, especially if you have any sort of prior relationship with them. The most expensive part is going to be if you end up having to bring her in for a recheck—if all you have to pay for are drugs, it’s probably going vet  to be under $20, so try really hard to just go that route.
If you’re not able to afford any sort of treatment, or the vet isn’t able to work with you in any way or just give you meds without seeing her again, I would recommend getting her euthanized (usually $25-50, call around to vets that don’t treat rats because it’s actually normally cheaper there). It isn’t pleasant for them when they’re unable to breathe & I think it is a lot kinder to have them put to sleep if they’re not able to get medicine or the medicine doesn’t seem to be helping them.
Best of luck, I hope she gets to feeling better soon.

Aww, thank you! I want to see a pic of Benny now, you should submit one if you can!  Jean Luc, Philip, & Baldor are probably my most handsome. Poor Data would be extra good-looking if he didn’t have a giant tear in one ear & an oddly lumpy body.

Jean Luc is so friendly, too! He cracks me up, he loves playing with my hair. He used to pick at the other rats’ teeth & I always joked he was going to be a dentist, but now he seems to be a hairdresser instead.

::refrains from making a David Tennant semen remark because that would be tasteless but omg I want to so bad::

I DON’T KNOW HOW I NEVER NOTICED, BUT HE DOES LOOK LIKE HE HAS A SPERM!!!! bb Baker did have a penis, much like Crawfisha did when she was a little baby, but hers grew into more of a figure 8 shape.  :(     If I ever become a breeder, I will breed specifically for reproductive-themed markings, & all of my babies will have sperms & penises & ovaries on their heads.

♥ 12 notes — tagged as: #anon #ask #jean luc

Any time a rat has respiratory issues that aren’t treated right away (or issues that take a while to clear up even if they ARE treated right away), there’s going to be some level of permanent lung damage incurred…the amount depends on the rat’s age, how long he went without treatment, & the severity of the infection.  I’ve had some rats that went months with untreated minor lung issues at their previous homes & even after I had them on antibiotics & they were completely well, they would occasionally sound sniffly, especially if the weather changed…this was more than likely due to lung scarring.
With that being said, any time a rat is showing changes in condition or difficulty breathing, it’s a good idea to get them checked out by a vet, just in case, & not assume that it’s simply an issue of scarring, even if they have had previous lung issues that likely resulted in some scarring. It could be either a new respiratory infection popping up, or (very commonly), it’s the previous infection that never got all the way cleared up, either because the rat wasn’t on antibiotics long enough (14-21 days is really best for most drugs) or the antibiotic wasn’t effective. It’s best to try a different antibiotic the second time through, because there’s a good possibility the illness is resistant to whatever they were on the first time.
I had an older rat a few years ago, not long after I first started keeping rats, that had ongoing, untreated lung issues when I got him. The previous owner said he had sounded like that for months (she didn’t know of any vets to take him to).  I got him put on a round of Baytril & he sounded a little bit better, but still kinda sickly. He was acting fine after he finished the antibiotic, so I assumed it was lung scarring & that was how he was always going to sound since he had likely had respiratory issues for much of his life. Several months later, he had a small abscess & had to be put on another antibiotic for it. Low & behold, his breathing cleared up almost as soon as he started the meds. He spent the last few months of his life breathing perfectly clearly almost all of the time—he did have some scarring, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was.

Gah, that doesn’t surprise me at all. I’ve gotten in arguments with pet store employees before who didn’t believe that feeder rats are not a different breed & that they’re capable of being tamed, or that dumbos are not a tamer version of “fancy rats.”

Hi! “Mink” is a color—I think it tends to be kind of a bluish brown in Australia & Europe, but in America, it is usually a deep, even brown color that doesn’t have any ticking (different colors on one hair, like you’d see in an agouti rat or a black rat with silvering). I have a GREAT example at my house right now, Terra (who belongs to my friend Kaley, I’m just rat-sitting).

Velveteen is a little more complicated. It’s a coat type that’s similar to rex, but it is impossible to identify by looking at, you have to know the genetics involved & have a breeder that has tracked lineage.  A rex rat’s fur & whiskers should be tightly curled. A velveteen’s coat should be wavy.  The problem with rexes is that they’re becoming increasingly more common & you’re seeing more & more poorly bred ones that don’t have proper coats. Unfortunately, a poor rex greatly resembles a velveteen.  Even further complicating matters is that a lot of people don’t even think velveteen exists as a separate gene, it’s just poor rexes that people are breeding & selling off as something special. I don’t know enough about genetics to have a strong opinion one way or the other

Hi! I use it on mites/lice, at least as a first attempt, because it’s way cheaper than Revolution & you don’t have to get it from a vet. A lot of mites/lice are resistant to it, though, & in my experience, it’s often not as effective as Revolution is (though the easiest thing is just to freeze food/bedding as it comes in to prevent lice/mites in the first place!). 

I get the tubes on Amazon, they usually run around $8.  You can also get it at a feed & seed or tractor supply store. The entire tube is designed to treat one horse one time, so the medicine may not be dispersed throughout it evenly. I usually empty it into a container & stir it up to make sure the drug gets mixed up properly.  The dose for a rat is (orally) about the size of an uncooked grain of rice. Dose once a week for three weeks. Most of them don’t mind the taste (it’s often apple flavored), but since the dose is so small, it’s reaaaallllllly easy to give to a rat, even if you’re unskilled at giving meds…just hold the rat up against your belly, grabbing the head & front underarms, stick the Ivermectin on the bottom of a syringe, & push it into the rat’s mouth, most of it’ll get on their tongue, but since it’s such a small dose, they can’t really spit it out.

♥ 3 notes — tagged as: #anon #ask #long post

Anonymous: "Hi, I was just wondering if I could have some advice? I've had pets ever since I was little and most of them have been rodents however I never had any rats. I was thinking of getting some sometime soon, do have any advice/tips for first time rat owners or people who are looking to get rats?? Thank you and I love your blog! ^-^"

Hi! This might be kinda lengthy, so I will answer it by itself.


  • Rats should not live in tanks like some other rodents can. The ammonia buildup is very bad for their lungs & they’re not stimulating enough for them. Bar spacing of ½” or ¼” is best, as females & young males can fit through 1” bars (you can cover larger spacing up with hardware cloth & zip ties to make the spacing smaller).
  • Rats should never live alone except under very rare circumstances (older male whose cagemates have died, health issues that make living with other rats dangerous, severe hormonal imbalances & an inability to be neutered for some reason, male obtained at an older age who has never had companions before)—“I only want one” or “my parents/landlord/whoever will only let me have one” is not an appropriate circumstance. In my opinion, if you can only have one for whatever reason, you shouldn’t have any. Rats can develop severe behavioral/psychological issues due to being kept alone & it’s not a happy environment for them, regardless of how much time you spend with them.
  • Cedar & pine bedding are both no-nos, they cause respiratory issues. Paper-based beddings, aspen, or fleece (washed in unscented, dye-free detergent) are all fine.
  • Online cage calculators provide a great guideline of how many rats can fit in a particular size cage, though they are just a guideline & individual factors need to be considered—some rats are very happy in big groups that may slightly overcrowd a cage, some rats do better in smaller groups & tend to fight if they’re around a lot of other rats. Sex, age, activity levels, size, & personality are the main things you want to think about when deciding whether or not more rats can fit in a cage.
  • Craig’s List is a fantastic place to find cheap used cages. They also tend to be cheaper on Amazon than in stores.


  • You don’t really need to buy a lot of fancy store-bought toys to entertain rats. I get most of my stuff at thrift stores in the kids’ section—they loooove Fisher Price farmhouses & plastic toys that they can crawl on or lie in. IKEA is also a great place to find things they will like.
  • Most rats like hammocks & hanging tunnels, which can be purchased online or sewn if you have any crafting abilities.
  • Some rats like wheels.  I don’t think it’s worth buying a really expensive one to test it out, but cheaper wheels are available & if you find that your rats enjoy them, you can always buy a nicer one later.  Don’t get the kind with the horizontal bars, as rats’ tails or feet can get stuck in them & they can get hurt, but the wire mesh ones with the tight spacing are fine, so are the hard plastic ones.


  • It’s always a good idea to have money put aside in a vet fund in case something goes wrong. Many rats are very healthy. Others are not. A vet visit fee is generally anywhere from $20-75, antibiotics usually run an additional $10-20. Euthanasias are typically between $25-50. Surgeries vary widely depending on where you live & what’s being done, but neuters are usually $70-150, spays are $75-250, & an abscess or tumor removal is usually $100-250.
  • The primary health problem with most rats is respiratory issues. If a rat actually has a respiratory infection, there is no at-home cure—only antibiotics (from a vet) are going to help him.  Even if you take great care of your rats & keep them in a clean environment, they can still get a respiratory infection. Symptoms of respiratory distress include: puffed out fur, noises coming from the lungs (clicking, cooing, wheezing, wetness, grunting), mouth breathing, lethargy, excessive drainage from the nose, & excessive sneezing.
  • Mammary tumors are very common, especially in female rats over ~1.5.  Spaying at a young age greatly reduces the risk of developing mammary tumors in adulthood.


  • Females are usually smaller & prettier—they are a lot more delicate-looking & more petite. They tend to be more active even into late adulthood. They are easy to introduce to new companions throughout their lives. They are very soft.
  • Males are a good bit bigger & are usually lazier (at least as adults). Most males cannot be introduced to new friends (or only introduced with great difficulty) after the age of 1. Some males can have hormonal imbalances & get in fights with cagemates—a neuter will almost always solve this. I wouldn’t say that most males need neuters (or even many), but I think it’s irresponsible to get boys if you’re not prepared for the possibility that at least one of them will need to be snipped. In my experience, I’d say maybe around 5% of males that I’ve had have absolutely needed a neuter, with maybe 10-15% more greatly benefitting from one.


  • Rats do not bite very frequently. A scared rat is much more likely to run than bite.
  • Don’t use any sort of air fresheners or scented candles around a rat cage, they can cause respiratory issues. You can use baking soda boxes (like the kind for refrigerators) to control odor. Overcleaning a cage, especially one with males, will cause it to smell worse because they’ll want to mark everything.
  • Rats shouldn’t interact with mice, ferrets, hamsters, gerbils, or other small animals. Ferrets will kill them & they will often kill rodents that are smaller than them.
  • A rat’s lifespan is generally quoted at 2-3 years—I’d say on average, it is more like 2-2.5.  Very few rats make it over 3 years.
♥ 25 notes — tagged as: #anon #ask #faq #long post

Will do in the future. (tag: #long post)

Not embarrassing at all, I am really wanting to find homes because I don’t really want almost 40 rats! I live in Athens, GA.  I don’t mind driving within a 100 mile radius to get them homes, & if anyone can meet me in Savannah, GA, I could maybe work something out to get there.

I’ve got four boys possibly spoken for, one girl possibly spoken for, & one boy I’m definitely keeping.  That leaves one boy & six girls that still need homes. I’m gonna make a long post with detailed info once they’re 3 weeks old, so I’m not super-desperate yet at this point, but I’d definitely like to get homes lined up as early as possible!

♥ 4 notes — tagged as: #ask #anon

Hi! It more than likely wouldn’t be an issue at all—females are generally veeeeery easy to introduce to one another, & especially babies, since they aren’t really viewed as a threat. One of my girls, Vera, was kind of a pain during a few introductions, but she was unusually dominant when she was younger & she has mellowed out quite a bit with age. Crawfisha is my dominant one now & she is a bit of a handful towards strangers, but even so, it’s nothing like dealing with boys.

Even boys at that young (6mths) would probably not be too terrible during intros—that’s right under the age when they start getting hormonal & want to be little devils to anyone unfamiliar.

If you live near me, please take a baby! I DON’T WANT TO KEEP EIGHT BABIES PLEASE TAKE ONE lol.

Ok, that’s a little more understandable, assuming there aren’t any pet stores near you. Just keep in mind that litters are often pretty big! I was really hoping that Merima would only have 6-7 babies so that it wouldn’t be a huge thing financially for me to keep most of them, but she had 13, which isn’t at all uncommon (and I’ve heard of ones as big as 18!)—that’s automatically going to require two Critter Nations because there’s nothing else big enough to hold that many, chances are high that at least one of the boys will need a neuter, I can guarantee you you’re going to have one respiratory infection within the first year at a bare minimum, etc.  The two cages alone are going to be around $400 (& you’d need that even with a litter of only 8!), not counting any vet bills or the increased cost of food.

Thanks, I did. <3

Thank you, I needed this. I thought Crawford was going to move out yesterday after we had a fight, but now he is going to try to stay at least a few more weeks. I don’t want to live alone again, I know it’s not gonna be that bad once I’m alone, because I lived alone before & it wasn’t terrible, but I’m not ever going to go anywhere overnight (I love traveling) or visit my family (they live 4 hours away) because I won’t have anyone to watch the rats. And I’m always paranoid about my car breaking down & not having anyone to come pick me up or anything.

Thank you! Aww, I’m having all these “thank you” messages haha, y’all are too sweet.

This will only be okay if you also mail me costumes.

Haha, just kidding, they will be fine. Though I will say most rats aren’t big on costumes (trust me, I’ve tried). Just don’t leave them unattended in anything, of course!

Huh, that’s kind of weird, I’ve never heard of that happening before. How long ago was she spayed? My mom’s dog used to act super freaked out by my stepdad’s terrier every time she got back from the groomer, it was like she thought it was a different dog just because it looked different & maybe smelled a little differently. If she just got fixed, like, within the last 24-48 hours, it may be that he can tell she’s not quite feeling right & it’s freaking him out a little, or it could be the vet/surgical smell that’s getting on his nerves. I would definitely keep them apart, if you’re able to, at least a few days since you reaaaaallly don’t want her getting injured if a fight breaks out. Cece was back to normal within two days after her spay—she was spayed very young & I know it tends to be a lot physically harder on older dogs, but I would wait about a week to put them back together if you have any suspicion at all the other dog would get aggressive.

Maybe try to call the vet & ask if they know of any reason why he’d be acting like that? Sorry, I’ve been around dogs my whole life, but not like rats, where I’ve had a gazillion, so I am not nearly as familiar with the way they think!

Aww, no, I never got it! I am always anxious to mentally breed my rats to rats I see on the internet, so I would love to see her! Rory is especially fun to pretend to breed. I think he has mentally had babies with at least one in every twenty rats, male or female, that I have seen on Tumblr.

I am glad to hear that he seems to be doing okay! Maybe it is just a cyst, that seems so weird though, that it’d start out small & then get fast & then go small again.

It’s so hard to try to find vets that know what they’re talking about when it comes to rats. I got really lucky to find a good exotic vet (mine has way more experience with ferrets, birds, & rabbits, but at least they do treat rats regularly), but I’ve been to soooooo many, & the vast majority of them are just taking people’s money for extremely subpar service. I think about the best you can expect to find most of the time is a dog/cat vet that is at least familiar with rats & is willing to do research…I’ve been to plenty that just seem greedy & not willing to learn anything about a species that I know way more about than they do, even though I’ve never been to vet school. :-/ The idea of moving to another state terrifies me because I really trust both the vets at my practice & I am extremely comfortable with them & I know they’re willing to do research if it’s something outside of their expertise. 

SORRY THAT WAS COMPLETELY OFF TOPIC AND NOT EVEN FULLY DIRECTED AT YOU but I feel like a lot of rat owners automatically trust every word out of any random vet’s mouth & that’s not always a good idea. Rats aren’t something that the average vet sees on a regular basis & there are plenty of vets who may have not treated a rat since they were in vet school (which could have been 25+ years ago).  I’m always scared I might be coming off as a know-it-all if I say something to someone about a vet being wrong, but the fact of the matter is that someone who has a vet practice can be an expert on dogs & cats & know next to nothing about rats.  The first vet I went to when I moved here took an $80 x-ray of a sick rat & then said to me “Man, I wish you had brought along his cagemate, so I’d have a healthy rat to x-ray & compare these to!” & umm…yeah, basically what I’m getting at is there are some very, very uneducated vets when it comes to treating rats. That guy is one of the most popular dog vets in my area & I’ve heard he’s extremely good with horses, so I’m not saying he’s an idiot, but I can almost guarantee you I know more about rats than he does.

♥ 3 notes — tagged as: #anon #ask

AWW THIS MESSAGE ALSO MADE ME HAPPY!!!! I don’t like taking pictures of myself, I am way self conscious about my bad skin (I could be used in a textbook as the example for acne scarring). It doesn’t show up on the iPhone or webcam, so I don’t mind poor quality selfies, haha. I think I have only taken two pictures of myself the whole time I’ve had an SLR!

I took a few pics of myself at Dragoncon I’ll try to get posted soon!

THANK YOU THIS MESSAGE MADE ME HAPPY TOO! A lot of pet stores don’t bother to sell “boring” colors or non-dumbos as pets & I’ve gotten into soooo many debates with ignorant pet store employees who think albinos can’t be tamed or are some sort of different species that stays wild-acting. 

I prefer the dull colors because I feel like Rorschach & Jean Luc are equally as deserving of good homes, & if me having Bonkers or Pax & showing that they have just as nice of a personality as Theo or Crawfisha convinces even one person to get a “boring” rat, then I’ll be happy. :)

OH DEAR GOODNESS this is like a therapist challenge, I am so bad at saying nice things about myself.

  1. I type very quickly.
  2. I am efficient & good at time management.
  3. I am an excellent driver.
  4. I make good nachos.
  5. I am good with money.

OMG that took me way too long to come up with & I feel uncomfortable now, maybe I should try to do that on a daily basis because it seems kind of unhealthy that it was that difficult for me.

AWW THIS IS SO CUTE. I have the most precious little image in my head of a tiny little bb rat with a little letter. THANK YOU ANON FOR THE CUTE IMAGE.

If he’s getting sick that frequently, it more than likely the same illness that’s not clearing up. Doxy is a great drug, but it’s not nearly as effective by itself as it is when combined with Baytril, & if he’s been on it multiple times within the last few months, whatever he has is resistant to it by this point anyway & it’s not doing any good to repeatedly put him on it if it’s not making a difference. You should notice an improvement within 3-5 days, definitely a vast improvement within a week.  In general, occasional sneezing isn’t really anything to worry about if it’s the only symptom being displayed, but if it gets to the point where it’s frequent & you know there’s no environmental causes (like a bedding allergy or air fresheners near the cage), then it does likely indicate some minor respiratory issues that would require antibiotics. If he has a legitimate respiratory/sinus issue, nothing’s going to clear it up other than medication from a vet.

Antibiotics for a respiratory infection should be given for a minimum of 10 days, sometimes it takes almost a month for things to clear up (& if it’s a recurring issue, like repeated abscesses, a rat may need to be on antibiotics for its entire life). I would see if your vet can give you Baytril to go along with the Doxy or either try switching to something else entirely—I’ve had success with Amoxicillin in the past. Doxycycline is not normally anywhere near as expensive as it is right now; there’s a nation-wide shortage at the moment because it’s used to treat MERSA. I can definitely sympathize with you, Bandit has been on $40/month worth for the last couple of months because he has to take it continuously until his heartworm treatment begins.  If your vet is charging you $50/month for a rat’s Doxycycline, you’re being waaaay overcharged—the amount a rat would need, even right now, when it’s more expensive than usual, shouldn’t be more than $20 at the very most. An exam fee on top of that would likely be another $20-60, but if it’s a recurring problem, you will likely be charged a cheaper recheck fee (possibly no fee at all). I’d try to go back & either get Baytril added or something else entirely—if you say that he’s not clearing up & showing the same symptoms, they may not make you bring him back in.

That’s so strange! That’s exactly what happened with Vera. I have to assume she had some sort of minor back injury that wasn’t bad enough to leave a bruise or anything, like maybe she pulled something. I have never seen anything like that in the six years I’ve owned rats, & I’ve been around loads that had health problems.

I feel bad because I got this over the weekend when I was away & just now had time to respond, I hope he’s doing all right.

Abscesses normally grow quickly like that, but that’s kind of weird if it was there for two months before it suddenly started growing. It more than likely would pop on its own (especially if you help it along by putting a warm washcloth on it), but it might be worth taking him to a different vet for a skin scraping or just to get a second opinion, assuming it’s within your budget. It might be a mammary tumor or something else that’s likely benign, but those normally grow much slower & I’ve never had anything that stayed one size for a while & then suddenly got way bigger—I wish I could help you out more! Good luck with him.

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frystavirki said: please let that be clean rat fleece.

HAHA yes, it was clean. And I realize now looking at the pic that it looks like I’m naked. I DON’T CLEAN MY CAGES NAKED, I SWEAR! I HAVE ON A TANK TOP!!!

Sadly, our marriage was short lived, as I just caught Philip trying to have carnal relations with his sister. I’ve always wanted to make a soap opera called Days of Our Rats.

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  1. Pax: “peace” in Latin, I got him because he looked like a rat I had previously owned who was very mentally troubled & passed away a few months before I got Pax, I hope that he is at peace now
  2. Alan: the Paul Simon song You Can Call Me Al + it amuses me that he has a person name + Alan Menken, who wrote a lot of Disney songs
  3. Vincent: he is named after my favorite rat on the VirtuRatz game (he looks like he did)
  4. Fell: Norse name meaning “rock”
  5. Baldor: Norse name meaning “strong” or “dangerous”
  6.  Abjorn: I just liked the way it looked/sounded, I derived it from the Norse name “asbjorn,” which apparently refers to “bear.”
  7. Kazimir: Russian name meaning  “destroyer of peace”
  8. Mendel: Hebrew name meaning “comforter”
  9. Hobbes: he is orange like Hobbes the tiger from Calvin & Hobbes
  10. Rorschach: I was trying to decide what his marking looked like to give him a name & it most reminded me of a Rorschach ink blot test.
  11. Vera: came with her name from previous owner
  12. Viola: character in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night
  13. Bonkers: cartoon police cat
  14. Theo: Theo Katzman, a singer
  15. Crawfisha: female version of my boyfriend Crawford’s name (craw-FEE-sha)
  16. Pip: character in Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations
  17. Philip: I wanted a proper-sounding, handsome name
  18. Podrick: character in Game of Thrones
  19. Dotcom: he had a dot on his head + 30 Rock character
  20. Worf: character in Star Trek: The Next Generation
  21. Jean Luc: character in Star Trek: The Next Generation
  22. Data: character in Star Trek: The Next Generation
  23. Geordi: character in Star Trek: The Next Generation
  24. Riker: character in Star Trek: The Next Generation
  25. Turnip: I wanted him to have a silly sounding name.
  26. Merima: Hebrew name meaning “uplifted” or “exalted”
  27. Effie: character in Skins (I misspelled it)
  28. Anya (she is probably going to live with my friend Kaley but I like the name & if she changes it, I’ll probably reuse it): Russian name meaning “grace”

I used to only like names that can be shortened, but lately I’ve had a lot that don’t easily lend themselves to nicknames. I think names with very strong sounds are a lot easier to teach rats, like “Bonkers” is very distinct & clear & she doesn’t get confused over it, if I say her name, she always comes & she’s the only one that comes when I say it, because it doesn’t sound like any of the other rats in the cage. I usually say “Miss Viola” instead of just Viola, because the sound is similar to Vera & I don’t want them to get confused since they’re in the same cage. I usually try to call them something easily distinguishable, even if their name isn’t, like “Worf” might be hard for a rat to get, so I say “Worfy Worf” & he knows I mean him.  And Theo is a little short too, so I always say “bb Theo” so he knows I mean him. I try to make it easy for them to understand that they’re being talked to because they like hearing their names & I don’t want to make it more confusing by giving them a name that they can’t understand all that easily.


Aww thank you! I hope you have a nice day too!!  All rats are adorable, but mine are definitely the adorablest. :D


Thank you!!! I will get more pictures posted soon, have no fear, anon #1. I have to make my claws this week & then I think it’s all done? I dunno, I may make a mask of some sort, I haven’t decided.


Hi! Abscesses, tumors, & cysts look pretty similar to the untrained eye.  Abscesses tend to pop up much quicker than tumors or cysts. A tumor usually moves independently of skin, whereas if you grab the skin, an abscess normally feels like it’s part of the skin.

If I have a rat that I know has been in a fight & had a bad bite, I make sure to check it for a lump over the next 1-2 days, because one will almost always pop up. A lot of abscesses are not very serious & will go away on their own (they can be helped along by pressing a warm washcloth to the face). They might smell bad & the rat may appear irritated when you touch it. If an abscess looks to be getting bigger or not healing up, definitely head to the vet, as some abscesses can require surgical removal. I recommend any rat with a face or mouth abscess to immediately go to the vet, as those are a lot more dangerous.

Cysts often look similar to abscesses, but they’re not usually nearly as large. They’re kind of like pimples, it’s basically where the oil is building up on the skin & it causes a little bump. They don’t seem to hurt as bad as abscesses & rats aren’t normally irritated by you messing with them. They might have an incredibly gross looking scab over them that looks exactly like a piece of rat poop sticking out of a hole in the rat. I normally peel those off & squeeze the cyst out because I am so grossed out by the scab. It’ll be filled with a whiteish yellow thick gunk & I keep squeezing till a little blood comes out (the rat will normally squeak at this point).  There will be a tiny hole afterwards—make sure to flush it out with water or saline to keep it from getting infected (it’ll heal over quickly).  They seem to be common in overweight males—I’ve never read that anywhere, but that’s been my experience by far.

Tumors are normally harder, separated from the skin, & tend to not be as fast growing (the exception is Zymbal’s gland tumors on the face, which seem to grow pretty quickly). In general, they don’t seem to bother the rat much at all. If you know for a fact it’s a tumor & you don’t intend to operate on the rat for whatever reason (ex: it’s an older rat, you don’t have the money, the rat has other health problems), there’s not really any reason to go to the vet until it appears to be causing the rat distress or issues with mobility, at which point the humane thing is euthanasia.  If you do want to pursue surgery, it’s a better idea to get them in as soon as possible, before the tumor gets too large & surgery becomes too complicated.

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