*Notation regarding preventative care:
Oral abscesses often do not have a good prognosis due to the fact that they are generally rather advanced by the time they are noticed and treated. It is important to check your rats teeth on a regular basis. Look for red or puffy gums, tooth discoloration (orange is the natural color for an adult rat), misalignment of the teeth, refusal to eat hard food, or a bad odor from the mouth.
These types of infections must be treated aggressively with antibiotics that are able to penetrate soft tissues (such as Clavamox). It is also helpful to use a dilute saline spray several times a day on the affected area to encourage healing. An oral abscess can spread through the sinus cavities, into the ears, nearby glands, or even into the bloodstream.
An infection of this type in the incisors can destroy bone and tissue causing the teeth to shift (malocclusion) from tissue deterioration or pressure caused by the abscess. In turn, if a rat has malocclusion due to injury, genetic, tumors, or other non infectious reasons and the teeth are not kept trimmed it can result in oral abscess from the teeth penetrating the facial or soft oral tissue
Photo 1: Shows rat with oral abscess.
Photo 2: Shows malocclusion of teeth as result of abscess and swelling.
Photos courtesy of Bellaratta’s Nest Rattery
Posted on June 28, 2003, 11:51,
Last updated on May 24, 2012, 16:31