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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
shauna10/01/14101010Thanks for the help, will do my .....
Anna09/26/14101010Only one word is needed .... excellent. Deb .....
Erin09/21/14101010Heartfelt thanks!!!

Recent Answers from Debbie Ducommun

2014-09-26 My rats ate foam:

Hi Marissa,  It is likely that they didn't actually eat it. Rats do a lot of chewing, but they don't always swallow what they chew on. If they did eat a piece, I don't know how long it would take to pass

2014-09-25 Suddenly sick rat:

Hi Anna,  I'm so sorry for Milo's problems. I would suspect that he might have a blood clot in his spine that is causing the paralysis and some poor circulation. Other causes could be an injury to his

2014-09-20 Rat peeling and chewing paint:

Hi Lauren,  So, obviously your rat has free roam of your room, is that right? It could be that he is doing this because of the meds he is on. In my experience, pain medication is often not necessary for

2014-09-17 Rat's hyperactivity in cycles:

Hi Paola,  I'm sorry I didn't answer sooner. I meant to, but then forgot.  I have never heard of rats doing this before. It is not normal rat behavior. Maybe there something in their environment that changes

2014-08-25 My rat rocks back/ forth [not swaying]; what is going on?:

Hi Greta,  I'm not sure what this could be from, but whenever there is something wrong with a rat, I recommend starting amoxicillin, in case the cause is a secondary bacterial infection.  See the info


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