How Do You Control A Pet Rats Teeth Growth ?

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Dec 16, 2009 in Rat Answers | Subscribe

My sons pet rats teeth are growing too long and causing the rat injury. The rat does not use the salt lick or knaw on the artficial carrots in his cage. Any suggestions to curtail his teeth, besides the ones we are already are trying?

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  • onlygram says:

    If the rat already has injuries please take the little guy to the vet to get them trimmed. If your little friend doesn’t like the wooden carrots take a look at your local pet store (i go to petsmart) and get the alfalfa or berry logs. They are compacted food and it makes the gnawing more enticing. Good luck!

  • RabbitMa says:

    Your best bet is to experiment and find something that the rat enjoys chewing on. Mine used to love chewing thick cardboard tubes that I got from the deli from their heat-wrap plastic rolls. You can also place small blocks of (clean) wood in the cage. Most pet stores carry them. They have a hole drilled into each side for easier chewing, and it doubles as a toy. Ratty old shoes were also greatly enjoyed by my rats, and it gave them a place to sleep. If the rat still doesn’t cooperate, many vets can file their teeth down to a safe size.
    Good luck 🙂

  • chole_24 says:

    you have to give it a hard wood chew toy’ or a piece of hard wood. the teeth will continue to grow and eventually the rat won’t be able to eat if you don’t. Asalt lick will doNOTHING for teeth .

  • softball says:

    What is this rat eating? The normal act of chewing food should be enough to keep his teeth worn down. A good diet is usually varied and includes different grains and fresh foods. The seed mixes at the pet store aren’t worth their money. Check out information on both the Suebee’s diet and lab blocks.
    If normal chewing isn’t keeping the teeth worn down, his teeth or jaw might not be aligned properly, in which case they will have to be trimmed. Take the rat to a vet and they can do it for you, and possibly show you how to do it at home to save some money on vet trips. I had a rat recently who was born with a misaligned jaw and her teeth had to be trimmed every week.

  • strayd0g says:

    You can take him to the vet and they will put him out and file his teeth down. Then get him something chewy to knaw on.

  • Redneck Crow says:

    You know those little wooden things that hamsters chew on? Those help with teeth growth. It controls it I mean. Also, besides the salt lick, there are also little mineral licks. Some pets like those better, so you may want to try that out. If all else fails, then you may have to go to the vet. Sorry I can’t be any more help. Good luck. :]

  • kvn_klng says:

    As suggested, natural bones are good for keeping rat teeth worn down. You do not have to worry about rats choking on bones, or the bones splintering (which is the concern when it comes to dogs). If you’re still concerned, provide some beef or pork bones (poultry bones, when cooked, splinter easily)…you can buy them at any pet store in the dog section. Mine love them and it keeps the teeth trimmed down.
    You should be feeding a mixed (varied) diet as well. I feed dog kibble as a staple, dry vegetable or whole wheat pasta (the hardness of the pasta keeps teeth worn as well), and Total flakes (for vitamins/minerals). I then supplement with fresh veggies/fruits/meats/cheese/yogurt/ect.
    If you arent’ feeding a varied diet that naturally keeps those teeth trim, then I suggest doing so.
    If the teeth are crooked and not wearing down properly because of that, a vet will need to trim them regularly.
    Hope that helps!

  • SillyJun says:

    Give him something good and hard to chew. Believe it or not, some rats go crazy over bones. I used to cut the little round bones out of a ham slice or a round steak and give it to the rats before I cooked the meat. They gnawed the heck out of them. Rats aren’t exclusively seed eaters in the wild–they will eat eggs, baby birds, and carrion occasionally. Gnawing bones gives them some minerals and calcium as an added extra.
    Some rats like maple or crabapple branches-anything that’s safe for a rabbit is safe for a rat. I’ve known some that liked the cuttlebone that’s sold for birds to grind their beaks on.
    I’d try the bones out of round steak and the ham slice bone or a maple or crabapple branch first just because they’re free. Rats are kinda like people–they have individual preferences. You just have to try stuff out ’till you find what works.
    Good luck with the rat.

  • free-spi says:

    You need to realize a rats teeth never stop growing. This is one of the reasons they can be so distructive to a home when wild. You need to go to a vet and get its teeth growned down…. Then get some natural nowing items like wood etc. Good luck

  • Isabel says:

    Give him a piece of wood to gnaw on

  • enemysmo… says:

    he needs something hard to gnaw on…else take him to a vet

  • kdbprese says:

    From a website called “The Rat Report” By Debbie “The Rat Lady” Ducommun, it reads;
    The teeth overgrow only if there is a medical problem which prevents normal tooth grinding. In healthy rats, the upper and lower teeth are lined up and keep each other sharp and the proper length by grinding together.
    If a tooth is knocked out of alignment, both it and the opposing tooth will become too long. Overlong teeth can rub sores in the mouth and prevent the rat from eating. The first symptom of a tooth or jaw problem, if the abnormal teeth aren’t noticed, is usually weight loss. If you think your rat’s teeth are abnormal, compare them to another rat’s teeth.
    If there’s a tooth abscess or problem with the nerves or muscles on one side of a rat’s jaw, the teeth will commonly wear unevenly or overgrow. The rat may stop eating hard foods, due to an inability to chew normally. This inability to chew may be caused by either pain or physical disability. I know of this problem occurring in two rats where the problem eventually progressed to acute pain in the jaw, perhaps caused by heart problems. So, although I haven’t had occasion to use this treatment since then, I suggest that in cases such as this giving the rat pain medication on a regular basis may help the problem and allow the rat to chew more normally.
    Trimming Overgrown Teeth
    Rat teeth don’t contain nerves, so trimming them is painless. However, it isn’t unusual for the gums to bleed slightly after the teeth are trimmed, especially when trimming bottom teeth, due to the pressure applied to the tooth. Overgrown teeth will need to be trimmed every 1-3 weeks, depending on the type and severity of the problem. Lower teeth grow 2.8mm per week, and uppers 2.1mm per week. So in a month, they can grow up to 1/2″ too long! The teeth should be trimmed whenever it looks like they’re long enough to rub a sore or cause difficulty eating.
    The best tools for trimming teeth at home are dog toenail or human fingernail clippers. Your vet might be able to use a dental saw.

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