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Hi everyone, so I got two new baby rats almost a month ago but a couple days before I picked them up I noticed my current rat, Baba, who I’ve had for over a year, was sneezing a bit so I took her to the vet and she was prescribed smz-tmp (antibiotics) for two weeks. I’m aware they have to be quarantined for two weeks anyways before introductions let alone with signs of sickness. Because of this I figured it would be easier to quarantine her in a separate home; so my current rat Baba stayed with my sister for two weeks while on the medication. My sister noticed her getting progressively better and sneezing less and less until she wouldn’t even hear a sneeze for a couple days. When she came back to my house after two weeks, she had a follow up appointment with the vet and since i thought she sounded better, the vet instructed me to take her off the medications if she’s been symptom free for 4-5 days. I was going to leave her on it one more day to be safe and then the next day I noticed she was sneezing quite a bit again. I left her on it for a couple more days and the sneezing has died down again but it’s still just often enough for me to notice and feel the moisture when she sneezes which worries me. I feel like the medication was working for her and everyone noticed she was doing better right before she came back and then it flared up again. I called the vet and told them all of this and they told me to leave her on her medication for one more week and if she isn’t improving then I’ll take her in again for a steroid shot. They said it might be allergies or something in this environment since it flared up right when she got back. I’m wondering if it’s a good idea to leave her on the medication if I don’t notice her symptoms improving. I’m also wondering if it could possibly be a different sickness or if she does actually have allergies to something. How would I be able to tell the difference between a URI and allergies?

Side note: while the babies were with me and baba was away with my sister, I noticed one of my little girls (ember) sneezing as well and I had her taken to the vet and medicated and I believe she is better but I am still monitoring her. At this point in time they’re both in my house but quarantined in separate rooms and I feel like I’m kind of juggling which one is and isn’t sick and I’m struggling to get baba healthy to finally get them introduced to each either. Any suggestions?

Second side note: my current rat Baba, just lost her cage mate about two months ago which is what prompted me to get the new babies, so she wouldn’t be lonely. I try to give each rat their individual attention and affection they need while still quarantined, but I still don’t think they’re getting enough. The quarantine process is taking so much longer than expected I’m worried Baba is getting lonely and depressed since she’s all on her own and doesn’t even have a cage mate. I’m just curious how detrimental would it be to start the introduction process early..
 
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