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Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Mouse The Rat's Sharp Claws

By Shellyane Bryan
A rat owner from England shares tales of living with her rats named Mouse, Slinky and Diddy.

rat
© Courtesy Shellyane Bryan
Mouse the rat has such sharp nails that she often injures herself, but she won't allow her owner to trim the nails.

I’m a little worried about my rat named Mouse. I’ve mentioned beforehand that, due to her very sharp claws, she has a tendency to cause herself a lot of damage when she gets a little carried away scratching, as rats tend to do. Well, it wasn’t too bad at first, but as the months have gone by, the cuts she’s had have gotten worse and worse to the point where she’s losing a lot of fur on her back.

I wish I knew what to do to help her. She absolutely refuses to let me cut her claws and gets incredibly stressed and frightened if I wrap her in a towel to get at them. If I try to file them, she refuses to keep still. I’ve tried feeding her at the same time, but when out of the cage, all three of my rats are much more interested in exploring than they are in eating. Even the veterinarian couldn’t cut her claws!

The brick that I put in the cage beneath the water bottle hasn’t been of any help in wearing down her claws either. I really don’t know what else to do, and I’m getting very concerned about all of the cuts she’s getting, especially because she got her eye a few weeks ago.

Whereas my other two rats do have relatively sharp claws, they’re nothing like Mouse’s. It makes me wonder what gets them that sharp, or if it’s purely a natural occurrence.

If any of you have any ideas of how to give my rat Mouse a manicure without her getting too stressed out, I would love to hear about it. I’m tearing my hair out!

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Reader Comments
great info. i can uses some of the comments for me cus my guinie pig gets long calws i have to trim them my self and she hates it.
Tommy, Pocatello, ID
Posted: 11/4/2010 9:24:18 AM
One thing you can do is either gas her down like Hannah said, or, try using something else to wear down her claws. like a scratching post for mice, or something like that. Another thing you can try doing is wrapping her claws in tight bandages, so you are kinda cutting off the circulation of her claws, leave the bandages on for the night, then the next day, try cutting them. Mouse should not be able to feel her claws so she won't be as stressed. Hope this will help your rattie.
Aiyanna, Eugene, OR
Posted: 10/29/2010 1:20:22 PM
Ok so I know this may sound scary but my husband is a vet and so he treats all my animals and if it was me asking him...I would say just gas her down and do them while she is out. It isn't like a surgery because no other drugs are given and they wake up as fast as they fell asleep with no worries. I have done this with many mice, one of which had some big tumors. Dr (hubby) could stick a needle in to take a sample and feel her tummy with no trouble at all so I know they could trim your rats claws. People are very fearful of gas and I know it feels with all the warnings that they will die while under at any minute but with it being so short of a time and as she is self harming to the point that you are stressed might be the best way. Hope this helps
Hannah, Coppell, TX
Posted: 10/28/2010 1:13:36 PM
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