Mites and Microscopes

Discussions relating to all aspects of a rat's health and physique
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Knox
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Mites and Microscopes

Post by Knox » Sat Sep 28, 2013 5:10 pm

My old boy Draco is a bit itchy at the moment, he has a few scabs to his face from intro bites so it could just be them irritating him, but he could have mites as he's been rather stressed out last few weeks. I have some spot-on ivermectin but I also have a microscope so don't want to unnecessarily give anyone chemicals. But I've only used microscope for looking as plant and insect slides. I have distilled water etc to set up slides, but I don't know how to take a sample from Draco - do I just snip a bit of fur or do I need to scrape some skin? And if so, where from on him?

Not used microscope for a while, and I'm feeling sciencey :mrgreen:
~ Ele ~
Owned by Oreo, Kester, Io, Dimebag, Remus and Chester B!
Rest in peace my angels, Tonks, Mr Socks, Luna, Chino, Bella, Chali, Scout, Atticus, Mouse, Puck, Dill, Neville, Clayton, Boo, Brian, Bertie, Draco and Eric.

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Bruxy
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Re: Mites and Microscopes

Post by Bruxy » Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:14 pm

I'd imagine you'd have to scrape the skin as they burrow in. I'm not sure it's something that can be done without causing a bit of discomfort as I've seen vets looking for mites/sarcoptic mange in dogs and they really do scrape at the skin and it looks ouchy :shock: You could try doing it more gently and seeing if you come up with anything, I'm sure you wouldn't want to hurt them :D but if you suspect mites a bit o' invermectin wouldn't go amiss methinks. But that's just me :)

I found this article which you may find interesting though I'm not sure I'd put it into practice :| but then I have zero firsthand relevant veterinary experience lol, that and being a nervous nelly :P
http://veterinarymedicine.dvm360.com/ve ... ?id=748255

So jealous you have a microscope, I'd love a decent one for when I too am feeling sciencey :lol:

Edit: typo :oops:
Last edited by Bruxy on Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Laura x

Currently Ratless - hopefully not for much longer!
Always in my heart: Sunny, Sirius, Rubeus, Lupin, Orrin, Arlo, Wolf, Skif, Earl, Merlin & Pie.

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Stovokor
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Re: Mites and Microscopes

Post by Stovokor » Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:18 pm

All rats have mites anyway, they are endemic.

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Bruxy
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Re: Mites and Microscopes

Post by Bruxy » Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:22 pm

Stovokor wrote:All rats have mites anyway, they are endemic.
Yes I should have mentioned that finding them wouldn't really prove anything unless you had detailed knowledge of what constitutes signs of overpopulation - I have no idea. I think the only reason they do skin scrapings in dogs is to identify the type of mite and how to treat but I'm not even sure of that.

Yes so all my ramblings account to a grand total of: 'um.... I dunno' :rollred:
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Laura x

Currently Ratless - hopefully not for much longer!
Always in my heart: Sunny, Sirius, Rubeus, Lupin, Orrin, Arlo, Wolf, Skif, Earl, Merlin & Pie.

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Knox
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Re: Mites and Microscopes

Post by Knox » Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:34 pm

Interesting, thanks for replies and link. I have a dissection kit (I'm an Ecology student, not just odd lol) but would not trust taking a blade near the rats incase they moved or I slipped - I would never forgive myself! The microscope was ridiculously cheap - my dad found it in Lidl's a few years ago for £49.99 and got me it for Xmas as I was doing Microscopy at college. It's really not bad for the price at all, has an attachable camera to attach to pc and take photos :)

So with the mites, if its not going to do him any harm to ivermectin-him you recommend I treat him just in case he does have them. I have checked for lice and there is no sign of them. If I get lice again I will definitely get some of those under the scope!
~ Ele ~
Owned by Oreo, Kester, Io, Dimebag, Remus and Chester B!
Rest in peace my angels, Tonks, Mr Socks, Luna, Chino, Bella, Chali, Scout, Atticus, Mouse, Puck, Dill, Neville, Clayton, Boo, Brian, Bertie, Draco and Eric.

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Bruxy
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Re: Mites and Microscopes

Post by Bruxy » Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:06 pm

Knox wrote:Interesting, thanks for replies and link. I have a dissection kit (I'm an Ecology student, not just odd lol) but would not trust taking a blade near the rats incase they moved or I slipped - I would never forgive myself! The microscope was ridiculously cheap - my dad found it in Lidl's a few years ago for £49.99 and got me it for Xmas as I was doing Microscopy at college. It's really not bad for the price at all, has an attachable camera to attach to pc and take photos :)

So with the mites, if its not going to do him any harm to ivermectin-him you recommend I treat him just in case he does have them. I have checked for lice and there is no sign of them. If I get lice again I will definitely get some of those under the scope!
Yes even with the dulled blade they recommend I think it's wise not to go a-scraping for the sake of not stressing Draco out any further and without veterinary training I just don't think it's a good idea. Just thought the article might help to satisfy your curiosity about the little blighters (mites! not rats lol) :P

If as you say he seems itchy and has scabs around the face I would definitely suspect mites and treat with invermectin. In my experience scabs from intro scuffles tend not to be on the face (generally on the bum/back with me) so that's another reason to suspect mites. But if anyone disagrees with this please do put me right.
Laura x

Currently Ratless - hopefully not for much longer!
Always in my heart: Sunny, Sirius, Rubeus, Lupin, Orrin, Arlo, Wolf, Skif, Earl, Merlin & Pie.

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Knox
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Re: Mites and Microscopes

Post by Knox » Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:02 pm

Yeah he has had bites on his face when he had mites before but I actually saw one of the new boys bite his face a couple of times so know at least a few are actual bites, but I will treat him anyways :)
~ Ele ~
Owned by Oreo, Kester, Io, Dimebag, Remus and Chester B!
Rest in peace my angels, Tonks, Mr Socks, Luna, Chino, Bella, Chali, Scout, Atticus, Mouse, Puck, Dill, Neville, Clayton, Boo, Brian, Bertie, Draco and Eric.

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