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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Add to Favorites - The Rat Guide

An ill Mystery licks baby food
from a finger.
There are a few websites that every rat owner should save in their Favorites. The Rat Guide ( is first and foremost. The Rat Guide is divided into 4 sections: the Health Guide, Care Guide, Medication Guide, and Breeding Guide.

The Care Guide covers your basic rat care - everything you need to know when you are planning to get rats. The Breeding Guide helps rat owners with oops litters (it is not uncommon for a pet store rat or a Craig's List rat to go home with you secretly pregnant) as well as dedicated breeders.

It is the Health Guide and the Medication Guide that I find to be invaluable resources that are not duplicated anywhere else. Most of the common and not-so-common health issues are covered in the Health Guide, along with symptoms, diagnosis, treatment options, medication dosages, figures, and case studies. No where else on the web can you find this detailed information on the potential medical conditions that could be affecting your rat.

The Medication Guide covers many medications that can be prescribed for rats, what they are prescribed for, and what dosages are safe and effective for which conditions.

These guides are not a do-it-yourself treatment protocol. Most medications require a prescription and diagnosis and treatment likely require a vet. Instead, this is an excellent resource for both before you take your pet to the vet - so you can know what to expect and you can be ready with questions - and after seeing the vet - so you can better understand the treatment protocols and medications that your vet prescribed.

If there is any drawback to the Rat Guide, it is that it leans on the technical side. There is no getting around that. If you want the facts in detail, it is going to get technical. However, sometimes this makes it hard to find the information you are looking for. For example, if I am looking up Baytril in the medication guide, there is no category listed for "antibiotics" - which is where I would expect to find it. Instead, it is listed under the slightly more obscure term "antimicrobial agents." If you are not familiar with medical terminology, it can sometimes require a little digging to find the article you are looking for. There is a search function, but sometimes the search fails to locate articles that I know exist on the website.

Those drawbacks are minor, though, and you will soon find yourself familiar with the organization, layout, and content of the Rat Guide, and we are all very lucky that such a resource is available to us.

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