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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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Recent Answers from Debbie Ducommun

2016-11-27 Gout?:

Hi Nicole,  Has she been having this problem with her hands since the surgery? Or is it more recent?  Have you tried giving her an anti-flammatory? At home you can give ibuprofen at 60 mg/lb twice a day

2016-11-17 worms?:

You don't usually see the pinworms in rats, even if they have them. They pretty much get them from their mom. If you want, or if they cause problems you can treat them with moxidectin as for mites as I

2016-11-17 worms?:

Hi Isabel,  What shape were the worms? Rats can have 2 different kinds of worms. Pinworms are long and slender with mostly pointed ends. Tapeworms are shorter and squared off on the ends. Most rats have

2016-11-16 rat jumpy?:

Hi Isabel,  Rats jump around when they are in a playful mood, so it is probably that. I suggest you follow the instructions in the article called Trust Training on my website at to make

2016-11-01 Strange breathing:

Hi Steph,  What looks like hiccups is a sneezing jag caused by the mycoplasma respiratory infection. Sometimes they make an audible noise, but not always. In both coughing and hiccups air is expelled from


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