Bite Wound Figure 3

Figure 3: Bite wound to nose in a 3-month-old female rat (Nunu).
Case history and photos


Nunu, a 3-month-old, intact, standard hairless female rat, had been moved into a cage partitioned to keep the young rats separated from the older females until proper introductions could be attempted. Nunu managed to stick her nose through the partition into the area where the older rats were where upon one of them bit her on the nose.

Clinical Signs

The bite was angular and nearly removed the nose. Fortunately, enough tissue below the nose was left intact to keep the nose attached. The bleeding was profuse covering the rat, the cage, and the wall behind the cage.


Bite wound to the nose.


When the rat was found the bleeding had slowed to a minimal seepage. The nose was gently cleaned with gauze pads and unscented chlorhexidine. Due to the timing of the injury veterinary care was not an option the day the injury occurred.
With the advice of an experienced rat fancier (and a diagram of a rats nasal structure) the owner realigned the nose and used Super Glue to hold it in place. A very thin line of the glue was applied onto one side of the cut closest to the eye. The nose was immediately pushed into position and held for 10 seconds.
To keep the rat from grooming the wound an Elizabethan collar was used.

The following day the rat was taken to the veterinarian. The vet was pleased with the owners home first aid care and prescribed Baytril, Amoxidrops, and Metacam.


The collar was left on for a week and a half until the rat chewed it so far back that she could groom her nose. She dislodged a clot that had formed on the nose. The nose had started to heal on the left side of the face but ultimately it never completely connected properly to the right side. The nose eventually healed and does not appear to bother the rat even though it is scarred and slightly offset. She does breathe noisily since the injury.


bite wound to nose
Photo 1:  Angular bite wound into nasal tissue.   Photo 2:  Reattachment of nose and Elizabethan collar to enable uninterrupted healing.   Photo 3:  Healed.

Case History and photos courtesy of Veronica Pruitt


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