“Power grooming”, also referred to as “barbering”, most often takes place around a pet rat’s neck and shoulders and results in fur loss.
Fur loss caused by a rat’s over-grooming him or herself—or another rat—is called barbering.
When a rat boggles, their eyeballs appear to pop in and out of their head. Boggling is usually accompanied by bruxing. (See the next term for the definition of bruxing.)
When grinding their teeth together, pet rats make a sound called “bruxing”. It’s usually a sign of happiness, similar to a cat’s purr. In some instances, also similar to cats’ purring, bruxing can be a sign of stress.
The orange-ish colored skin on this unneutered Double Rex rat’s back is called “buck grease”
Patches of yellow or orange skin on the back of a mature, unneutered male pet rat are referred to as buck grease. This discolored skin occurs because of an overproduction of testosterone. The orangey, oily skin is often eliminated when male rats are neutered.
Usually it’s male rats who dribble urine on surfaces upon which they’re walking. These surfaces can even include other rats as well as human skin and clothing. Occasionally females urine mark as well. Often, neutering will eliminate urine marking in males.
If you notice your pet rat’s head swaying from side to side or bobbing up and down, your rat is likely to have pink or red eyes. Sometimes a rat who utilizes parallax vision has eyes that look almost black, but they may actually be a very dark red. Rats who move their head from side to side (or up and down) are helping to compensate for their poor eyesight. Their sideways (and/or bobbing up and down) movement allows them to better focus and perceive distances and depth.
Porphyrin can be seen around this rat’s nose and eye
A red discharge, called porphyrin, is usually observed coming from a rat’s eyes or nostrils. It can become dried and crusted when present for any length of time. Porphyrin looks just like blood, but is really a secretion from your rat’s Hardarian glands, located behind each eyeball. The presence of porphyrin is usually a sign your rat is sick and/or stressed.
When one rat grooms another often—and with excessive force—it’s called power grooming. It’s a case of “Kill ‘em with kindness” combined with “I have the AUTHORITY in this house.” Power grooming, similar to barbering, also often results in fur loss.
Besides love, what exactly do pet rats need?
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