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Hi all,
I haven't posted on the "hi, i'm new" board cause I don't have any really good pictures of my little darlings uploaded yet.

(let me just say, I have had rats before.. 2 were gotten at the same time, the other two were only children during their lifetime)

So, While i knew that pine/cedar isn't good for them, and explained to my husband when we got our first rat together, Merlin, (R.I.P) , He picked up pine/cedar when he surprised me with my new baby, Luke, one day after work.
"The pet store said these shavings were fine." he insisted. (pfft, what do they know?) I told him we needed to get paper-based.. I'd used Yesterday's News for my babies after I learned of the toxic-ness. (Luke came from a friend who likes to breed her ratties...She always has homes lined up for them, but no vet..) My guy said we'd use up the pine/cedar mix till it was gone.. small bag, then get the pulp stuff.

Luke was lonely. After lining up 10, count-em, 10, potential homes, as well as a couple backups in case they back out.. plus we have the room for at least 3 more.. so no hating.. we purchased a Siamese-ish female from the local pet store. Love at first sight. Lylith is almost 4 months, and Luke is 6 months. They're the best of friends.

Which brings me to Minnie.
I was at the reptile store.. who go through 300+ feeder rats a week, when My friend Traci and I looked in the rat tank. I pointed to one and told her it was a rex. She immediately bought it. I spotted a baby dumbo in there, sucking on its foot and looking quite content.
So I bought it.
I didn't QT, cause I didn't know.. I was very new at the introducing new rats to each other deal, but I kept her with me for a couple hours before putting her in with the others.. she's only about 4 weeks. I listened for sneezing, rattling, ANYTHING that seemed off. She was fine. I gave her some baby pablum, and she loved it. she picked up a piece of dog food and nibbled away.

So I introduced her into my tank. At this point Luke was getting rough with Lylith, so I got another cage and moved him in. (Lylith gives me a heart attack at least once a day, escaping and running all around trying to get in with Luke. She also cuddles the baby and carries it like its hers)

Over the past 3 days(have had her for 8 days), Minnie, the baby, had been very vocal when I pick her up. She grinded her teeth, gave some odd chirps and squeaks, and a few little sneezes. I'm really worried. I plan on taking her to a vet... if I can find one in the area who deals with Rats, but I won't have the money to do this until next week, when hubby gets paid. Even then I'll be scrimping, because we have to move.
Tonight I replaced all the wood shavings.. Luke's cage too... with shredded toilet paper and small... and i mean small.. area's of alfalfa (the baby isn't interested in it...Lyl just plays in it) an hour later I picked up Minnie and, while still grinding her teeth and a couple little squeaks, no more sneezing.

The only time Luke has sneezed is when I cleaned his cage two days ago. Lyl hasn't in the time I've had her.
Is there any more preventative measures I can take to help her out?
Any other advice?
And whats the going rate in Ontario, Canada for a Spay/Neuter?

Apologies for being so long-winded.
 

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OK, my best advice is to not allow any further contact between Luke and the girls, unless he is fixed! Rats can get pregnant within seconds, literally!

I'm so pleased you changed the bedding! Seeing as the sneezes have gone, your problem is obviously at least two fold...

Does Minnie squeak when the other rats touch her/play with her? Can you describe how are you picking her up? Have you tried other ways of picking her up? Does she seem lethargic, is she eating/drinking ok, is she playing with the other rats ok?

Squeaking and chirping, and grinding teeth, can be a "leave me alone you big oaf!" protest. Obviously, they could also point to something being wrong with her and she is in pain, so you really should have her checked out by a vet asap.

Also, as I understand it, the only problem with alfalfa is that it has no nutritional value so it goes straight through them, I don't think it does them any harm. I'm sure someone will correct me, if I'm wrong. ;)

Oh, and, welcome to the forums! :)
 

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Im not tryin to bug or harass you. but you should think about gettin a wire cage(with small bar spacin). Its better for their respitory and they enjoy it. Plus if you noticed a little sneezin...itd be good to have a wire cage.

Sorry im not gettin this? But you have one boy and three girls? or is it boy boy girl girl. Keep in mind, everybody needs a same sex friend. However you asked about nuetring/spayin so i guess you were thinkin about it. And like Donna said, they can get pregnat fast.

When did you get the rex and dumbo
 

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Where in Ontario do you live? I am in Toronto myself.

Please keep Luke away from the girls, we have a tooonnn of homeless rats in Ontario sadly. I moderate the available shelter rat section of Ontario for Adopt a Rat Canada, plus I hear of a lot of oops litters, rehomes, etc.

Your baby girl has stopped sneezing? Are her chirpy noises when she is fairly still or bouncing around? Baby rats often sound like baby birds until 5-6 weeks. I am convinced that our rats are generally pretty silent most of their lives because they spent the first 5-6 weeks yelling constantly!! Does she have any porphyrin (red fluid) around her eyes or nose?
Can you do ratphone with her (lift her up so her side (lung) is against your ear) and listen for rattles, wheezes, gurgles etc? Do both sides.

And better than TP for now is white paper towel or even fleece or a towel itself. My rats are on fleece now. :) Make sure there are no loose strings your little baby could get caught up in. Keep supplementing the wee one to help her grow big and strong.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Luke and Lyl are having a planned litter.. 8 babies have homes already and if theres any more.. well, i guess i'm keeping them.. any less, and I guess I'm refunding their deposit, lol.

If you look on the breeding section..i just posted a topic... I just acquired a sweetie with some babies.. sister to Luke.
Will be keeping at least one boy if i don't get Lukey fixed.

Everyone's in wire cages now.. except Valerie and the babies are in a large tank.

Switched to Aspen.

Minnie is only squeaking when she's chasing my hand around, now. Yells at me if I don't let her explore the bed. lol..she's still so tiny I don't like letting her roam.

Got Spot the other day..picked her out when she was 5 days old, finally got to take her home :)

Pictures of both!

Minnie (she's bigger now)


Spot

And Hiya Neighbour...I'm in Hamilton.
 
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