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Discussion Starter #1
I have two female fancy rat sisters that I got a week or two ago now from PetSmart, they're about 3-4 months old. They both seemed completely fine at first, but within a week Luna started sneezing. It doesn't happen as much now (and keep in mind she never looked sick and is still an energetic, adventurous, playful rattie that has a normal appetite for both food and treats, and is still drinking water regularly), but now her sister Lily is seeming a bit sick.

Lily acts completely normal as well though. She's still energetic and playful as she jumps, plays, climbs, and runs on her wheel constantly (she loves the exercise wheel!) not to mention her appetite for both food and treats is totally normal, along with her drinking water regularly. Yet, off and on her hair will stand up on end and look course and rough (which I've read can be a sign of sickness/illness). This will continue for 30 minutes to hours on end and then her fur will go smooth and back to normal again for 30 minutes to hours on end. This has been happening for 2 or 3 days straight now.

Along with her fur randomly changing as I mentioned, her eyes will start squinting and be half shut. This will occur usually only while her fur is course and rough (standing on end), but while her fur is smooth and normal her eyes will be opened wide like usual (sometimes her eyes are opened wide when her fur is course and rough as well though, it gets kind of hard to keep track since it changes so often). However she only occasionally sneezes, she has no drainage or leakage from her eyes, ears, nose, or mouth, she has no discharge coming from anywhere, and is completely normal besides her random appearance change.

She had diarrhea for a bit yesterday but now she is back to producing the regular stool. The day before yesterday however, I gave them both two small pieces of cooked shrimp (which I read on many different sites that cooked and shelled shrimp is fine for your rats) and I also gave them some chopped up apple, so I wonder if maybe any of that had something to do with her diarrhea, even though it didn't effect her sister. I'm not sure whether she is fine and healthy or not because her behavior seems healthy and normal but sometimes her appearance seems like it could be otherwise.

Does anyone have any thoughts, suggestions, or has been in the same or similiar situation with their ratties? I really appreciate all helpful and nice comments, I'm just a new rat owner that wants the best for all my furry babies and is quite nervous about this.. Thank You!!
 

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Judging from the fact that they are both still active and eating and drinking normally I wouldn't be too worried. The diarrhea was likely caused by too many new foods being introduced into her diet in a short space of time. Also has it been cold where you live lately? My rats will fluff up like that if they are cold. My best advice is to keep an eye on them and makes sure that they are eating and drinking normally and if they stop eating and drinking then take them to the vet.
 

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Okay, thank you so much! I really appreciate you responding, I was really worried. I live in Colorado actually but since it's still summer here the outside temperatures range from between 70-100 degrees at the moment in my town, but my room will get hotter than the actual temperature outside. So if it's 80 degrees outside, it'll be between 85-95 degrees in my room. I have an AC in my window but I try not to use it anymore since I got my ratties because I was told by PetSmart employees that if they get cold they'll die, however I've read on a few different sites that it's better to have them on the cold side rather than the hot side. Do you think maybe the heat is effecting her? And if so, why would it only be causing Lily to look this way and not Luna as well? Sorry, so many questions! Haha
 

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I heard having a fan blowing directly onto your rats isn't good, but air conditioning is fine (don't have a the cage in front of it). You should keep the room between 65 - 80 degrees. 90 degrees and up can be dangerous.
 

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Awesome, thank you for the information! I to have also heard that rats (or other small animals in general) shouldn't be in front of fans, vents or anything of that nature. I just wasn't sure if an AC could even be turned on with them in the room. That's honestly a huge relief for me though because it's been so hot in my house, and my room especially that I feel like I'm having heat stroke. Hopefully it didn't bother them too much! But I'll make sure it's between those temperatures, now that I know :)
 
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