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Discussion Starter #1
I know I've posted a lot on the boards in the last few days, sorry to be bothering people. :/

Short run down of the situation:
I moved to a new apartment. Grizz started sneezing and scratching a lot. I took her into the vet, and he said that her lungs were clear so it was probably environmental. He told me to give her .1 ml of children's Benadryl twice daily for a week to see if that made any improvement. I did that and started using a humidifier near her cage at night.
The Benadryl made her feel awful, so I took her off of it after about five days. I called the vet to ask him his opinion, and he said if she was not sneezing regularly anymore to keep her off it, but if it started back up again to bring her in.
She is no longer sneezing often. Once or twice a day, tops. She is still scratching, but as the vet checked her for mites and lice and found nothing plus she doesn't have any scabs or hair loss, I'm chalking it up to too much protein in her diet and making changes to that effect.

However...
She's still not acting quite right. I know I'm on high alert with her right now, so I am trying to ascertain if I need to just chill out on this one.
Changes:
-She is occasionally refusing food. This is weird for her because she is usually miss grabby paws-- even if she doesn't want to eat it right then she'll hide it away for later. She's still taking food, but sometimes she'll ignore it-- even her favorite treat, Cheerios.
-She and her cagemate Lee are pretty active at night. I always take them out for free-range time in the evening, and then I put them back when I'm going to sleep and they romp around the cage making a ridiculous amount of noise for creatures so small. Last night after I put them in, Grizz curled up in a corner and went to sleep. Lee seemed concerned and spent a lot of time grooming and cuddling her. After about an hour, Grizz got up and they played like normal.
-She lost a great deal of weight when on the Benadryl. She seems to be gaining it back, but it was scary.

I've listened to her lungs and they sound normal and she's not injured (that I have been able to tell.)

Am I overreacting? I am so afraid to lose her as she is my companion animal at school and helps with anxiety attacks. I'm having anxiety about HER now, which is totally counterproductive... The vet didn't seem concerned when I called and everyone else seems to think everything is fine, so I'm second guessing myself.

Thank you for your answers. I appreciate that everyone on this board has been compassionate towards me as I freak out.
 

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I have a boy who is very sneezy, I took him to a vet and she said everything was all fine. I still panic each and every time he does it though and I'm constantly listening to his chest...so I know what it's like to be on high alert!!! How often does she scratch? You could try a dose of ivermectin just to be sure, but make sure she is healthy first. I can only really help in what I've experienced, sometimes my rats don't take food from me either. I almost see it as them thinking 'I've learnt this human will always feed me and I will always be given food so I don't need to take this right now.' It shocked me the first time I had whiskers turned up at a treat. If she's definitely gaining the weight back then I wouldn't worry about that too much, I'd use scales just to check though. A rat losing weight is a sick rat, so if she puts it back on hopefully that's a sign there's nothing too much to worry about. As for the slight personality change I'm not sure, you could just be being paranoid and noticing things that have always happened. Just keep an eye on her and take her back to the vet if anything changes.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It's nice to know other people are on the high-alert train. I think Grizz is getting sick of me using her as a phone to listen to her lungs at this point.
She is for sure putting weight back on. A few days ago I did the pinch test with her skin and things weren't looking good, but I did it again last night and today and everything is back to normal in that area.
Being a paranoid rat mama is exhausting!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Oh-- and she is scratching very frequently-- probably four or five times an hour.
 

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Every slight behaviour sends me into frantic mode! "He's sleeping on the floor? He's never done that, why is he doing that?' I then continue to pick him up check every thing...he practically sighs in exasperation then curls up back to sleep! By the sounds of it she's nice and hydrated and getting nice and healthy again :) I'm not 100% sure but I'm pretty sure that 4/5 times an hour is normal, but mites and lice scratching happens practically every minute. Since the vet already said she's clear, she probably is. Like you said no hair loss or anything. From my experience I'd say you can take a breath and relax a bit. Whoever would guess such tiny little animals would cause such an array of drama!
 

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I used to go on hyper alert for the tiniest things too. I probably still would except they've immunized me to it. Seems like every week or so one of them will have a day when they're acting just a little bit "off". I used to freak out and watch closely since I couldn't even put my finger on what was wrong, but they're always back to themselves the next day. Maybe your ratties do the same thing. I'd give it a couple days unless there's something symptomatic/seems more serious than being able to be chalked up to being in a weird mood. Like losing weight is definitely cause for concern, but occasionally turning down cheerios, well maybe they just weren't in the mood for a cheerio.
 

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That's a lot of scratching. Scratching can be the only symptom of mites, and tests are notoriously false negatives. Go to petshed, petsofoz, or joespetmeds and grab some revolution for kittens. You'll only need one tube. You'll give each rat three drops on the nape of the neck and hold for five minutes to let dry.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Definitely scratching. She grooms pretty regularly, but I know that's normal. Last night I watched her clean her ears for the first time... it was pretty hilarious to watch. If I give her kitten Revolution and she doesn't have mites, can it harm her? If there's no risk of harm I'll get right on that one. They're due for a full on cage clean tomorrow, so I'd have new bedding in there and everything.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
As a side note: she must be feeling better today, she's industriously pulling all the books off my bookshelf.
 

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Nope no harm. Like treating a dog for fleas when they don't have it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Awesome. I'll get some and do her and her cagemate just to be on the safe side.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
One more question-- does Frontline work for rats, or should it be Revolution? I know they treat many of the same things for dogs and cats, but I don't know if rats react differently in this case.
 
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