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My pet rat has severe bumblefoot. What can i do for him at home? I have Bactine, peroxide, iodine and Silver ointment but nothing is helping that rock-hard swelling and abscess. Please help!

Thank you for contacting us with your question! My name is Dr. Kristi Rhodes and I am a veterinarian at North Bay Animal Hospital. My interest is primarily in exotic animal medicine because I love rats as well, so I can certainly appreciate your concern about your sweet pet! Regarding bumblefoot, severe footpad infections are common among small mammals housed on improper substrate, especially cages with wire flooring.

In some cases, substandard hygiene, including fecal soiling, can make the problem bigger. Symptoms of this condition include swelling of the affected feet, lameness, and reluctance to move. Improved sanitation and better substrate are the initial steps in correcting the problem. In addition, the feet themselves should be evaluated by a veterinarian. In many cases, either topical or oral medications to treat the infections are needed along with these husbandry changes. Pain relief is also often recommended as these lesions can be very painful.

Other possible causes for the clinical signs you are seeing include other types of infection, neoplasia, or other abnormalities that should also be assessed by a veterinarian.

Abscesses in any species can be notoriously difficult to treat and can often cause further complications such as life threatening bony infections without proper veterinary care, so we welcome you to make an appointment with us at any time so that we can perform a full physical exam and discuss any additional recommendations such as medications or husbandry changes that may help your pet to feel better as soon as possible.


Kristi Rhodes, DVM

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COVID-19 Service Announcement

May 25, 2020

Tampa Bay Animal Hospitals adjust to providing care during Phase 1 re-opening of Florida during human coronavirus COVID-19 with continued Curbside Service, Telehealth, Mobile Services, Elective Procedures and More.

The health and safety of our clients and staff is of utmost importance as we continue to provide the best care possible to pets.

We remain committed to caring for our patients and meeting their health care needs in the safest and best way possible. Be assured that we continue to follow CDC guidelines and federal, state and local recommendations for practicing social distancing. We have established a phased plan to resume normal services to see our patients for healthy pet exams, all procedures and surgeries and urgent care needs.

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