Author Topic: WARNING: Gross! Can rats carry/get scabies??  (Read 4394 times)

Offline Amy

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WARNING: Gross! Can rats carry/get scabies??
« on: January 03, 2006, 12:59:52 AM »
Ok, this is just so gross but I've been dealing with an intesely itching rash for a week now and I'm trying to figure out if it could be a mite from a rat.  Thing is, I cannot determine if it is 1: a reaction to a different/cheap detergent (that I'm starting to question because even after a few days of not wearing clothes washed in that it isn't changing, plus when I was on two days of Claritin, the "hives" didn't go away or get better) 2: a yeast rash since it tends to be in spots that are warmer/sweaty i.e. behind my knees or along my bra line, and it seems to have shown up right after I had been eating sugary foods or 3: scabies or some other mite.

I pray to God it's not the last just because the thought is nasty and all the work I'd have to do to get rid of them.  Thing is, my husband doesn't have any signs of anything and it has been a week.  But it doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon.  I think I'm finally going to break down and go to the doctor just to see what it is for sure.  I'm not a big doctor fan so I always try to delay it.  Plus, I don't like taking a lot of pills.  But, this is just getting so bad.  I hardly sleep at night because it itches so bad, and if I do give in and itch it, then it burns like heck.

Anyways, my question is, I just noticed one of my rats appears to have mite-like symptoms.  I've treated my rats for mites before so no big deal.  But I'm wondering, can rats transmit mites to humans?? Would the same mites affect them?  I guess I should wait to see what I have for sure but I'm just trying to determine if there's something here that's causing this. 

Well, sorry to gross everyone out.  Any input would be great!
Thanks!

Offline rapforjane

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Re: WARNING: Gross! Can rats carry/get scabies??
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2006, 01:15:54 AM »
I have always been under the impression that mites were species specific? Why not avoid the guessing game and see dermatologist? I know you don't want to go to the doctor, but a doctor may be the best option since you're at a loss.

Offline aphoeniceus

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Re: WARNING: Gross! Can rats carry/get scabies??
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2006, 01:28:04 AM »
Mites are species specific.  The mites on rats do not affect us and vice versa.  So you can count that one off your list :).  But yes, definately see a dermatologist, he/she will knows whats up.
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Offline scout

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Re: WARNING: Gross! Can rats carry/get scabies??
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2006, 06:32:07 AM »
The mite that causes scabies is not the same mite that rats get. And having had human scabies, it doesn't sound like that's what you have (mind you, I'm NOT a doctor, not qualified to give you a diagnosis). The human scabies mite likes to hang out in the webbing between your fingers and toes primarily, then hands. Only in severe infestations does it hang out under clothing or in the creases behind joints. It's not the first thing I'd think of, given what you're describing.
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Offline wonderrodent

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Re: WARNING: Gross! Can rats carry/get scabies??
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2006, 12:00:27 PM »
A few weeks ago I went to my vet to have my rattie's abscess removed. The vet also looked for any other problems and checked her fur. Everything was fine. The vet asked me though, if I have rashes or if my skin itches. Thank God no. She said that there is a parasite that rats can have and can also effect humans which gives them rashes. I forgot what this pesky creature is called but I can find out for you (my vet should call me tomorrow). I would definitely see the doctor (maybe your vet even knows).


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Offline scout

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Re: WARNING: Gross! Can rats carry/get scabies??
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2006, 05:23:14 PM »
That's the tropical mite - and it's very rarely the cause of mutual rat/human itchiness. I've only heard of a couple of infestations of it after years and years of rat ownership and rat forum reading. But it is a possibility...
Scout

Offline nancycccslp

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Re: WARNING: Gross! Can rats carry/get scabies??
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2006, 08:44:44 PM »
.....and so is excema.  I just spent a terrified morning, thinking I had ringworm (a fungal infection, not an actual worm) because one of the kids I work with had been diagnosed with it 2 weeks back and I had 2 perfect, circular inflamed patches.  Of course, I had just scheduled myself for a massage, facial and reflexology............needless to say, canceled those!  The dermatologist took one look, said "yup, looks like ringworm but it isn't.  It's (something something) excema."  I insisted that he do a scraping and culture just to be sure, but he's obviously right; culture was negative and the rash responded well to the meds he gave me.
Go to the dermatologist.  Pick one who's good at "Name That Spot."  You may be pleasantly surprised!

Edited 'cause I couldn't spell "excema" correctly.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2006, 06:55:01 PM by nancycccslp »
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Offline wonderrodent

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Re: WARNING: Gross! Can rats carry/get scabies??
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2006, 05:32:51 PM »
My vet just called me (she is awesome). This parasite I was talking about earlier is a mite that can be transmitted to humans and is called cheyletiella or "walking dandruff". You get rashes and they itch.
Maybe it is just an eczema. Good luck!!
Keep us updated - even if it's gross  :)


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Offline Amy

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Re: WARNING: Gross! Can rats carry/get scabies??
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2006, 02:53:28 AM »
Thanks sooo much everyone for the input.  I haven't made it to a dermatologist yet (my husband's insurance just switched so we're in transition) but I think I'll try to make an appointment for tomorrow.

I'm back to thinking it could be allergy related.  I do have environmental allergies that result in congestion/sneezing (hay fever, cats, dogs, grass, mold, etc. etc.) but they really haven't bothered me for quite some time and I've NEVER broken out in a rash like this - after 6+ years of rat ownership.  I was speaking to a co-worker and she insisted it was something in our house.  We just moved in (rental) on Nov. 23rd but I ruled it out because this didn't show up until after Christmas.  An interesting thing happened when I got home from work yesterday, though (had the holiday weekend off).  I hadn't had too many symptoms at work.  Came home and within minutes started itching like mad.  So who knows, maybe it is allergy or eczema - even though the rash doesn't look anything like hives I've seen.

Will keep everyone posted.  Treating my gal for mites and will definately mention that one mite to the Dr.  Thanks for the helpful info and for not being grossed out!

Amy a.k.a. Rooie

Offline wonderrodent

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Re: WARNING: Gross! Can rats carry/get scabies??
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2006, 08:16:58 AM »
Well, usually you don't get allergies right away, it takes some time to develop an allergy. Maybe there is mold in your new place? I don't know if you can get rashes from mold though if you don't touch it. I guess, it would be more like sneezing or asthma. I hope you didn't develop allergies to your rats. I help out at a ferret rescue and I was totally fine for 6 months and suddenly I got allergies (I am already allergic to tons of other things). Itchy nose, sneezing and asthma. So it's not that if you don't have an allergic reaction to something right away you'll never develop an allergy to the same thing later (especially if you already have allergies to other things). Have you realized when it happens? What are you touching before it happens? Does it go away for a while? If it was mites I would guess the rash is always there and the same with eczema (but what do I know, I am not a doctor). I would watch what you touch, eat and maybe even in which room you feel the worst and write it down so the doctor has a better idea what you are suffering from.
Good luck and we are totally NOT grossed out!  ;)


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Offline AnnieB

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Re: WARNING: Gross! Can rats carry/get scabies??
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2006, 12:14:22 PM »
When you got home from work did you take a bath/shower or do you have a jacuzzi or other bathing tub type thing which has recirculated water?  Definitely see a dermatologist, but it could also be a recurring surface staph/pseudomonal infection.  (Google pseudomonas folliculitis if you're interested in pics/descriptions).

Use nylon bath sponges and make sure they dry out thoroughly between uses, toss loofahs if possible and wash all your bathing linens (towels, flannel/washrag, bathmats) in HOT water.


Good luck.. atopic excema and other itchy/burny/rashy stuff is no fun =(

Annie in Norway

Offline wonderrodent

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Re: WARNING: Gross! Can rats carry/get scabies??
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2006, 02:26:40 PM »
I was just thinking if it was mites wouldn't your husband have them too by now? Anyway, if they are mites you would also have to wash your linens, towels etc. every day in hot water. I keep guessing and guessing - maybe I should just wait what the doctor had to say  ::) I would take mites over allergies any time  :yelcutelaugh: (at least you can get rid of them easier - I HATE allergies!)


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Offline Michelle000064

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Re: WARNING: Gross! Can rats carry/get scabies??
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2006, 02:34:39 PM »
I suffer from weather excema meaning everytime the winter is here my skin dries out and I get itchies all over, sounds awful but isn`t it funny when you read something about itches it can make you itchy?