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Well first off I must say, I am very pleased to have found this web page. It looks cool and interesting, and I particularly appreciate the rules that are laid out to keep it a respectful and inviting environment. I only wish I had come across it under different circumstances! My name is Amberly, I am new to rats and love them already.:rolleyes:
Recently my finacee's brothers girlfriend took in two youngish lady rats. A few days later both of these lady rats gave birth to 24 beautiful healthy babies. The woman who took in these rats was to say at the very least- abusive to the rats, she did not clean their cage and did not go and get them more food when they ran out and instead fed them whatever human food she had on hand. Instantly being the animal lovers that we are, my fiancee and I offered to take them home and watch them for a while. They are in significantly better conditions and we have read up on them as much as we can. We have the lady babies in one cage and man babies in another cage and the two mama ratties in their own cage. We of course didn't seperate them until they were just after 4 weeks old and did so to keep the sexually mature boys away from their Mama's.
Okay now, to the point of why this is an EMERGENCY SITUATION: My babies have been sneezing, and at first we were like "okay okay, it says its common for them to sneeze a bit when first introduced to new things." But the sneezing has since grown worse, some rattie babies are sneezing more than others, its developed to a few wheezes! I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO. -sorry for my panick- The nearest vet is a 4 hour drive ONE WAY, and its not just a matter of one rat, but 24 babies. ???
So details, only a few are sneezing particularly badly, but they are indeed getting worse, all of them. We haven't seen any blood or red/dark stains in their cages, they are still pretty active and playful, they do not sneeze in their sleep, the mama's don't sneeze save for every once in a while.
Other details, they have a big big cage with fleece lining as the bedding that we sweep up every day and run through the washing machine every 2-3 days. We have them on Oxbow young rat food and give them peas and carrots every other day and change their waters daily.:confused:

Any information or suggestion on how to fight what seems to be secondary infections on 5 week old ratties is SO appreciated. I'm very frightened. Please and thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Also due to the urgency of the situation, quick responses would be appreciated. This here is my baby of the bunch, and one of the sickest. His name is Oliver.
n4.jpg
 

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If it's an infection you will need antibiotics, so that may mean a vet visit. Some will give tiny pieces of dark chocolate to help with respiratory issues, but this is usually in addition to antibiotics if needed. An air filter in the room they are in is also helpful. Steam can also be helpful.

Other things to look at-what is their cage set up? Is there plenty of ventilation? Are you using shavings? If so, if it's pine that is harmful to rats so removing that would help. Aspen, paper or fleece are safer chooses, try to find one that isn't dusty. You said you use f leece, but what about litter boxes if you use them?

If the cage is small, you are going to want to clean often with that many because of ammonia build up. I know you said it's large, but 24 is a lot. so even a critter nation which is very large can only hold 12 tops. Also, girls and boys need to be separated, at 5 weeks it's possible to start getting pregnant rats.

I've got 7 boys in a qc, which is 20 inches deep, 36" wide and 60 inches tall and 7 girls in another of the same cage. and probably do about the same as you on cleaning the fleece, the boys perhaps a little less often because they don't really mark. The litter boxes can be anything from once to twice a week depending on use, I have 3 in each cage and they use different ones more heavily than others.

At that age I also gave a little human soy baby formula to both the babies and the mother to help everyone out.
 

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First welcome :) That was amazingly kind of you to help these rats out!

My first suggestion is to maybe try and locate a rescue near you. They may be able to help with meds/fostering some of the babies for you and finding them homes. If you post your location, someone may be able to help direct you to someone.

Like Mimsy suggested first check any environmental issues. Are they in cages with bars or tanks? What is their bedding? Any type of candles, air fresheners or smoking in the same room/area as them?

I would say from your description they definitely need to be put on meds. You can call local vets and explain the situation and see how much it will cost. But for sure you will have your hands full giving meds to so many rats. That is why I am hoping a rescue can help you out!

The other option is just buying the meds yourself online and treating them.

**I am not a vet. I always suggest getting advice from a vet. Alot of rat owners do treat URIs themself but there is always a risk involved in not consulting a vet.

http://www.ladygouldianfinch.com/shop-meds.php
http://uspigeons.mercasystems.com/index.php/enroxina-pigeons-products.html

You want to buy both
DOXYCYCLINE
Baytril also known as Enrofloxacin

I suggest joining this group on facebook
https://www.facebook.com/groups/RealRatLoversWantToKnow/
it is a group run by vets/experts but make sure to follow the rules
They have a file about dosing for the meds.

Ill send u a PM with a copy of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you both very much with your suggestions. I will be putting all the ones that are not already "in play" to use! I appreciate it very very much.
 

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I know steam was mentioned very quickly, but it could help a lot until you can get them the help they need. The best way to do this is go in your bathroom, run the hot water until the room steams up, and then let your babies hang out in the bathroom for some quality time. Maybe make this part of their free roaming?

Also when you're able to (post count and all) you should maybe check out the adoption subforum? 24 babies is a lot and I'm imagining you're gonna need plenty of potential homes.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well you have all been so helpful and I have done a bit of steaming up the bathroom, but I will do so more often. Suprisingly I have adopted out 12 babies already! To some local pet stores that don't do feeder rats as well as friends and co workers, and I am making sure they go to good homes by them. None are going out though until they are in good health! We have meds on the way, and they actually seem to be doing a bit better already since I got home from work but I don't want to jinx anything! I will definately check on that adoption subforum though, I didn't know there was one :D
 

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Dark choclate is AMAZING at helping rats with URI's.
You should really contact a vet though to ask the correct dose for the rats, as it could be dangerous to give them unproper doses. Calling is always free, and you might get some more advice.
 

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Do you have any scented things in your house? Candles, air fresheners, perfume, cologne, or anything like that? Is your laundry detergent scented, or the products you use to clean their cage? All of this can affect a rat's breathing, some more than others.
 
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