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Pet problems with Elaine Pendlebury.

Dear vet

I have been told that my one-year-old rat has bumblefoot. What is this condition and is there anything I can do to help?

- Maria

Dear Maria

First of all you should take your rat to your vet to see if it actually has bumblefoot, or pododermatitis, as there are other conditions which can affect a rat's legs.

Bumblefoot is a condition affecting the lower area of a rat's legs.

It is sometimes seen in rats that are housed on rough or wire floors, or when there is dirty bedding.

These rough surfaces cause cuts and abrasions on the feet. The feet then become inflamed and may become infected, causing skin ulcers.

The affected areas on the rat may need to be bathed and an antiseptic cream applied to the dried skin. The rat may also need antibiotics.

With bumblefoot, the rat should be moved to a cage with a solid bottom and have plenty of clean, soft bedding.

It is also a good idea to think about whether you need to clean your rat's cage more frequently and thoroughly.

In addition, overweight rats are more prone to this condition, so it is worthwhile discussing a weight-loss programme with your vet if this is a problem.
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Title Annotation:Family Life
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Aug 16, 2005
Words:207
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