Home / First Aid / Treating Rat Bites

Treating Rat Bites

Usually pet rats are very friendly and they don’t bite at all. However, every now and again a rat with a bad disposition comes along and with it, sharp teeth. There are a few things you should know about rat bites and treating them.

The Types of Bites.
Often people who don’t have rats use the phrase “bitten” when they weren’t really bitten. On normal occasions a rat will grab your finger if he or she thinks that you have food. It could be that your finger smells good or it could be that they think you have something tasty. This grab feels like a bite, but doesn’t really hurt. The rat often notices that it isn’t food and they let go right away.

A real rat bit is when the teeth sink in. This is the rat’s way of being scared and letting you know that he or she wants you to back off. These bites are rather painful. The rat’s bottom teeth are made to part into a v shape as they bite. This causes a wound that has a small entrance but is rather torn up inside. These wounds bleed a lot, hurt quite a bit, and sometimes get infected.

Cleaning the Wound.
It is important to clean the wound right away. You should wash it in warm water and use antibacterial soap. It isn’t a bad idea to use alcohol or a spray either. This is a very important step.

Slowing the Bleeding Down.
Bleeding for these wounds is a lot because of the inside damage. It is important to slow the bleeding to that band aids and other small bandages work. To do this you should use paper towel and put pressure on it. This will help to slow the bleeding.

Antibacterial Cream.
You then want to cover the wound with antibacterial ointment. If you spend a little bit extra you can get one that has a pain killer in it. You can take an oral pain killer if you choose.

Bandage.
Apply a small clean bandage to the wound. This should be done tight enough to help stop the bleeding, but not so tight it cuts off circulation.

Infection.
You will want to check the wound for infection. This will show up in the form of swelling and pinkness around the wound. If you should see it you should start soaking your wound (usually your hand) in Epsom salt water three times a day. It is also a good idea to wash your wound in antibacterial soap a few times a day even if you aren’t infected.

Over time the wound will heal nicely. You may have a scar where it happened, but it isn’t life threatening nor the end of the world. You will go on living as before and with these things done your wound will heal quickly and healthy.