Lice Infestation in Rats

Treatment

 

Medicated powders and sprays are available for easy treatment of lice. As with other cases of ectoparasitic infestation, lice infestation is most often treated by topical (external) application of medicated lice-killing dusts and sprays. Sometimes the medication can be given in the form of a solution and administered orally through drinking water. Your veterinarian will advise you on what the best route of administration will be, depending on the severity of the infestation.

 

Living and Management

 

Follow your veterinarian’s advice regarding how to properly apply the medicated dusts and sprays to your pet rat. Re-infestation of lice is common unless you maintain a sanitized and hygienic living environment for your rat.

 

Even with conscientious care, some of the nits may be missed and recurrence of the infestation may be found. Check your rat’s skin for lice and nits on a regular basis, especially in the weeks following the initial infestation.

 

Prevention

 

Cleaning and disinfecting the rat’s living area on a routine basis, and making sure that wild rodents cannot gain access to your rat's living environment are essential to keeping your rat free of this parasite. Another important routine is to wash your hands and clothes after handling another rat, especially before handling your own rat. Even if the other rat appears healthy and free of parasites, it is best to take precautions. Following these steps can help to prevent or control lice infestation -- as well as many other contagious disease conditions -- in your pet rat.