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Thread: Sneezing and Wheezing

  1. #1

    Default Sneezing and Wheezing


    I just got a pet rat yesterday, and so I'm fairly new to all of this. I've looked up on sneezing and wheezing and it's given me some info, but I don't know. I think I'd like one of your opinions, lol!

    Naboo is still a baby, or I'm assuming he is because he's still super tiny and has a very furry little tail. I got him from a pet store yesterday that beds their rats in Aspen. I got him cork bedding, and set up his cage.

    I didn't notice anything happening at the pet store. I made sure to check his eyes and nose and stuff, and he checked out. I held him for a good 10 minutes, listened to his breathing (no wheezing).

    Then I had to bring him home, and it was COLD. But the ride takes 15 minutes tops, mom had the heat in the car up high, and I was doing the best I could for him.

    I noticed sneezing and wheezing later that night. I thought he was just chattering, but I read that rats don't do that unless they're pissed (and he wasn't), and it sounded like 'monkey noises', which a book I bought said means it's wheezing.

    I read online that it may just be him getting used to his new surroundings, and I'm really hoping it's that.

    How long should I wait to actually start worrying?
    What do you think it's from? How can I make it better?

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Sneezing and Wheezing

    It's possible that he's got the new home sneezes. If he's wheezing with his breathing then that's not okay and he'll need to see a vet. I've never heard of Cork bedding before So I'm not sure if maybe thats what's bothing him. Do you hear any clicking with his breathing?
    To be on the safe side I would take him straight to the vets, make sure he doesn't have a URI.
    Did you get him a cagemate? What kind of cage is he miving in? If you have any New owner questions or concerns just ask

  4. #3

    Default Re: Sneezing and Wheezing

    I was actually planning on getting him a new one today -- a cagemate, that is. I really wanted a dumbo rat, but they mislabled him and I didn't realize until I got home. LOL.

    I don't know if it's wheezing. Is it ok if their breathing sounds wet? I mean, when he sneezes nothing comes out. But when he breaths in and out, it sounds like he's got a little cloggy nose, kind of like a whistling. (This is what I mean when I call it wheezing.) When I hold him up to my ear and listen to him breathe, he doesn't wheeze as I would if I were sick, and actually sounds as though he's breathing fine.

    I don't think the bedding's bothering him, tho it might be. It's kind of pellet like, and Naboo keeps trying to eat it when he's running around. I'm going to change it to the Carefresh kind or whatever, because with the cork stuff, if he really tries to eat it it could possibly get caught in his throat.

    The cage is called a Deluxe Pet Rat Home. It had a ramp and stuff, but I took it out because Naboo wasn't using it. I don't think he could figure it out, LOL.
    It measures 24 1/2"LX12 1/2"WX14 1/2"H.

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  6. #4

    Default Re: Sneezing and Wheezing

    That's a decent cage for just the one or two small rats. You might need to upgrade when they get older to a cage with more height. They Looove to climb!

    If his breathing seems wet. I'd take him to the vets. That's not normal. Sneezing in a new home is, Does he make these noises when he's sleeping?

  7. #5

    Default Re: Sneezing and Wheezing

    When they sleep, they don't.
    I think Naboo wasn't making these noises at the pet store yesterday because he was frightened, or I was just too excited at getting my new rat to notice!
    I went back today to get another rat (this time for sure a dumbo), and I got it from the same cage Naboo was from..I noticed that ALL of them were making these noises that Naboo was.
    It didn't deter me from buying the rat, though! I made sure to tell them that their rats were sick, and the manager. I plan on making a visit to the vet ASAP, with Naboo and Riley. :]

    Problem is, I don't know what I should do! Do I just call and ask them if they have anyone that's able to work with rats? What do I say to them? How should I get the rats there? (When they're in boxes, they pee and poop all over. :[ )

    How much do rat visits usually cost? How much do they cost for something like this sneezing and wheezing?

  8. #6

    Default Re: Sneezing and Wheezing

    Google exotic vets in your area and just call and ask if they work with rats. You should be able to explain your problem and get a quote on the price before even going.
    As for getting them there, a plastic carry case would work, a cat carrier. Something they can't eat their way through.

  9. #7

    Default Re: Sneezing and Wheezing

    Thank you so much for your help!

  10. #8

    Default Re: Sneezing and Wheezing

    No Problem! let us know how things go

  11. #9

    Default Re: Sneezing and Wheezing

    Soo, I've got more problems.

    Turns out Riley (changed the name to Howard), might be a FEMALE. How unfortunate. Being a Howard now, and a female.

    Since these were my first ever rats, I really didn't know what to look for. I know I shouldn't have believed the people at the pet store, but I know that rats can draw their..boy parts..up into themselves if they're scared. I am still not 100% sure Howard is a girl. I mean, a sign of a girl is the spacing, and the nipples, right? What if my rat doesn't have the nipples, but has that kind of spacing between her butt and urethra?

    Anyway. If Howard IS a girl, I think she's pregnant. Howie's pretty big around the middle. I weighed her today, and she's only 100g. I don't think that's a lot, is it? :[

    Anywayyy. I called the pet store and asked what they would do for selling me sick rats, and they said that they don't have a return policy. WELL DUH, THAT'S NOT WHAT I WANT. How horrible, to even think about returning them back to that place! They gave me a name of a medicine I could try though, called Ornacycline.

    Is that a good medicine to use for rats? I still want to bring my rats to the vet on Monday, so we'll see how long it takes to get them scheduled in.

    Another question, if I do use Ornacycline for both rats, will it affect Howard's (possible) babies in a bad way?
    Can I bring Howard to the vet and have them confirm pregnancy? Or will I just have to wait?

    On a side note: Both rattie's breathing isn't a snuffly as it was before. They're only a little sneezy still. It gives me a little relief, tho I know I should still get them checked out so that they don't stay 'mildly' sick.

  12. #10

    Default Re: Sneezing and Wheezing

    If Howard doesn't have nipples then he's a male.

    Regarding pet shop meds they're not generally recommended. Many aren't FDA approved and are made to unknown quality standards. Some aren't even recommended for the animal they're intended for, let alone for different species.

    I wouldn't waste your time or money with ornacycline. It's a tetracycline based antibiotic (one of the weaker ones) designed to be put in the drinking water for birds.

    If your new rats do have a respiratory infection they will need accurate dosages of specific antibiotics to get better, something that is impossible to achieve by putting meds in drinking water because you've no way of knowing how much they're drinking and will most likely end up under-dosing.

    If they still sound bad definitely wait for the vet on Monday. At their age the vet should prescribe doxycycline or zithromax. Baytril is probably the most common antibiotic prescribed for respiratory infections, but there is still some controversy over whether it should be given to very young rats.

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