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Rat Care

Rats may not be one of the first pets that comes to mind when most people consider their options for furry friends, but they make excellent companions. Rats are growing in popularity as pets and continue to find their place among households and families around the world. We’re dedicated to being the best rat vet in Miami and all of South Florida to provide the pet care you need.

Whether you are a first-time rat owner or you are an experienced pro, it’s important to keep up with health care for your pet rats with the help of a rat vet.

Most Common Rat Pets

The species of rat bred for pet purposes is known as the fancy rat. Other types of rats are wild variations, and they are not suitable for keeping as pets. Fancy rats come in a variety of breeds, some of which have different health care concerns than others.

The most common type of fancy rat is the standard, which has short, shiny fur. Other commonly-found types of pet rats include tailless rats, hairless rats, rex rats with curly hair, dumbo rats with large ears, and satin rats with a silky coat. These rats come in a variety of colors, some of which are bred on purpose and some of which are natural.

Types of Rat Vet Care

Rats need vet care just like any other pet. Here are some of the most common types of care that we provide to pet rats in Miami, FL.

Acute Illness and Injury

Rats are hardy and may not become injured very easily, but this is always a risk with any pet. Additionally, rats may become suddenly sick without warning. If either of these occurs, your rat vet will be able to assist.


Your rat vet can help you with grooming your rat including ear cleaning, nail trimming, and more. We will also be able to instruct you on the proper way to bathe your rats if needed.

Dental Care

Rats need to chew almost constantly in order to keep their incisors from becoming painfully overgrown. Your vet can check your rat’s teeth to be sure their mouth and gums are healthy, and can also trim the incisors if necessary due to overgrowth.

Nutritional Maintenance

Rats will eat nearly anything and will happily gorge themselves if they are overfed. Because of this, they often become obese and may develop illnesses due to poor nutrition. Your vet can help you figure out the right food to feed your rats as well as how often they need to be fed.


Rats don’t usually require surgery, but every now and then, they might. A good quality rat vet will be able to perform neutering and spaying services as well as the removal of abscesses. We can even perform dental surgery if needed.

Reasons to See a Rat Vet

As with any other pet, there are many common reasons why you should bring them to the vet. Below are some of the reasons why you should bring your rat to the vet.

Of course, if you’re unsure at all about the health of your rat, don’t hesitate to call us.

Respiratory infections: Rats develop respiratory infections easily. A sneezing rat is often a sign of respiratory illness, especially if the sneezing continues for more than a day or happens very frequently. Take your rat to the vet right away if you think they have a respiratory illness.

Skin conditions: Rats who are kept in unclean living conditions may develop skin lesions and other skin problems. These issues will require immediate vet treatment and will also require the rat’s enclosure to be kept much cleaner in the future. We will let you know what you can do at home to help reduce the risk of continued skin conditions in the future.

Head tilt: Rats with head tilt may have a variety of health problems causing it. Inner ear conditions and brain tumors are some of the most common causes of head tilt in rats, but this problem may also occur due to stroke or birth defects. No matter the cause, we can help.

Abscesses and tumors: It is common for rats to develop abscesses and tumors, and this is even more common in female rats than in males. Vets can examine, diagnose, remove, or aspirate tumors and abscesses as needed. Your vet will also be able to give you a recommendation regarding which option is best for your pet rat.

Parasites: Rats do not tend to carry as many parasites as some other rodents, but the potential is always there. Rats will scratch frequently if they have parasites and may show other signs such as lethargy or a loss of appetite. Take your rat to the vet for treatment if they seem to have parasites.

Quality Veterinary Care for Your Rat

As you can see, there are many considerations involved in keeping pet rats. Although rats may not live as long as some other types of pets naturally, you can extend their lifespans and ensure they remain healthy, happy, and vibrant for as long as possible when you work with a skilled and experienced rat vet.

Paws and Claws Medical Center is here for all your rat vet needs in Miami, FL, and the surrounding areas. We specialize in exotic pets and can tailor a plan to help keep your rat happy and healthy.