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I can answer any questions about pet rats, but you will probably be able find answers to simple questions more quickly on my website at If you have a life-threatening emergency you can try calling me at 530-899-0605. I am not usually on the computer on the weekend.

Experience in the area

I have been "The Rat Lady" since 1985 and am recognized as one of the world's experts on pet rats. I have 3 published books and already answer lots of questions about rats daily.


President of Rat Assistance & Teaching Society


I am a monthly columnist for Pet Business magazine, and my writing has appeared in other magazines. I have 3 published books.


BA in Animal Behavior

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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
Charlotte06/25/15101010Thank you so much for a quick .....
Aya06/13/15101010Thank you so much! I appreciate the .....
lu06/10/15101010Perfect advice!! I am so much less .....
Drea06/02/15101010I will be getting the amoxicillin. Thank .....
Cheryl05/26/15101010Deb, thank you so much. I appreciate .....

Recent Answers from Debbie Ducommun

2015-06-25 Sudden death of rat:

Hi Charlotte,  I'm so sorry for your loss. The sudden death of a young rat is most commonly caused by a sudden severe bacterial infection. Sometimes it comes on so quickly you don't have time to notice

2015-06-13 Bad breath?:

Hi Aya,  A bad smell is usually caused by a bacterial infection. This could be in her mouth or in her nasal cavity. I recommend getting her on amoxicillin. See the info below. I recommend keeping her on

2015-06-10 My pet rat has tumors:

I understand. It is common for the skin over a large benign mammary tumor to break down, but this usually does not seem to cause the rat any discomfort, or cause any serious problems. I recommend letting

2015-06-08 My pet rat has tumors:

Hi Lu,  How long will you be gone on holiday? It is definitely not time to euthanize her yet. Is it that you can't afford to have them surgically removed?  Deb

2015-06-04 female rat who bites:

Hi Rachel,  It could be she was not as well socialized as her sisters, or she just has a more suspicious dominant personality, which needed more socialization than she got. Or, she could have too much


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