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[align=center]Last Saturday I got my 2 rats, Penelope and Alice. They're about 5 weeks old. About 2 days after I got them, I noticed Penelope was coughing or something. It looks like she was coughing. Or breathing heavily, maybe? Anyways, she makes weird squeaking sounds when she "coughs." Is this a sign of some illness or anything?

She only does it sometimes. And she never does it when she's out of the cage.[/align]
 

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sounds like there may be something in the cage that is irritating her. what bedding are you using? what detergent to clean the bedding? what substrate are you using? if its dusty that could be your problem. then again it may just be the new home sneezes. if it continues for a total of 5-7 days then have her checked by a vet.
 

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[align=center]I'm using CareFresh bedding. Then there's newspaper underneath the bedding. And I haven't cleaned out the cage yet since I only got them 4 days ago. There is a cabinet near the rat cage that's dusty. But then wouldn't my other rat be coughing/sneezing too?[/align]
 

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like humans some rats can be more sensitive to certain things then other rats. it could be the dust on the cabinet or it could be the carefresh. if i remember correctly there have people to have used it in the past that found it dusty and the rats would sneeze from it. i've never used carefresh myself because i discovered Yesterday's News before getting around to it. yesterday's news is about as dust free as it comes and the best at odor control. i think you get more bang for your buck with YN as well.
 

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[align=center]So should I dust my cabinet? Wouldn't that just put the dust in the air?

Do they sell Yesterday's News at Petsmart/Petco? How much does it cost for a big bag? And it sounds like it's made of newspaper, so can you just rip up newspaper and use that instead of buying Yesterday's News?[/align]
 

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There is a syndrome called new home sneezes, its a rejustment phase to a new environment. I would day look out for a red stain round the nose and eyes, lethergy ect-if you see this THEY ARE ILL take them to vets asap, also if they are still snotty after a few weeks take them to the vets.
Does that sound right folks?
 

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that is certainly a good sign of illness if it happens before the week is up. but in my experience it can take quite some time for those symptoms to show up in a sick rat. tween has been sneezing and breathing slightly harder then normal for 3 days but she is still just as active and no red snot or goobers (can't spell the right name for it tonight it would seem). in the past the red stuff has taken a few days to a few weeks to show up from the time i suspected an illness. so if you do see those signs then a vet visit is definately needed but you may only have sneezes and slightly raspy breathing for days to weeks prior to those signs. if your rat is new then it very well can and probably is the new home sneezes. but if after a week or if they start showing any other signs of illness then a vet visit is due.

as for dusting the cabinent if you use a damp cloth and rub slowly the dust will not escape into the air but will be trapped in the cloth (the things you learn when you live with an asthmatic and progressively ill grnadmother! :grin:).

in reference to the YN: YN is different then just paper. it is very tightly rolled pellets of paper with no toxic inks. i believe it is in the rolling that the most odor control benifits originate. i know with merely shredded paper the odor can become quite nasty in only a day or so. also though the pellets get wet they do not feel wet and absorb the moisture quickly so the rats do not get wet (its like the huggies of the rat litters that way). then too though the pellets will get larger and more fragile when wet they do not break up into dust.

as to where you find YN and price, where i'm from in Canada a 30lbs bag can be bought for $15 in most pet or feed stores. i have even found it in walmart and sobeys (a grocery store) though the price is a bit higher. if you look around a bit you should be able to find it fairly easy. it is marketed as a cat litter.
 

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So is it the difference between wet sneezes and a proper runny nose?
How do you tell the difference between new home sneezes and an infection?
 

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you wait a week and watch for other signs of illness. this is quarantine is 3 weeks long.
 

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Right ok.
can I hyjack the thread a min?
I have had the new rats in my house for over two weeks now, they still sneeze occasionally although are compleately normal as far as I can see.
Are their sneezes previous myco (they had it months ago) or what is going on?
I need to take the lumpy girl to the vet anyway so it is not a prob to take the while gang, should I?
 

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well when you say occasionaly what do you mean? once a day every day? once every few days? remember not all sneezes mean illness just their human counterparts. not everytime i sneeze does it mean i'm coming down with something. if the sneezes are still fairly regular and happens multiple times in a day then a quick check up wouldn't hurt. but it also too depends on the sneeze. if there's colored projectile then that's often snot and a runny nose often means illness. if its clear then its spit which does not necessarily mean illness. at this point some people may tell you to get them checked out but in my experience a few sneezes here and there and the vet isn't going to to do anything. if they're breathing sounds funny or they sound conjested then that is normally when the vet will prescribe baytril.

having said all that, if the vet doesn't mind you taking everyone and doesn't charge an arm and a leg for the extra check ups then take advantage of it. its always a good idea to have you vet meet your pets when they are healthy too so they have some knowledge of what the animal is like on a normal basis as well. not all vets will let you afford this though as i have heard of vets charging a separate office fee for each animal and tagging on an prolonged office visit fee on top of all that. but like i said, if you can do it without putting a larger dent in your pocket go for it. otherwise i wouldn't bother unless i saw more definate signs of illness.
 

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thanks :)
They have sneexed on my skin before it just seemded to be moisture.
They sneeze maybe once every hour.
When she saw Lola and Poppy she just charged for one. I might just take Sushi and describe the sneezes the the vet so she can call them in if she thinks she needs to look at them. they all seem well so Im to really worried
 

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I want to point out, sneezing is one thing, but as soon as there is respiratory sounds its not just New Home Sneezies anymore. And most sneezes are wet, just not excessively. I watch sneezers carefully for any more symptoms, and if they show them, I am medicating.
 

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I just wanted to mention to make sure you get unscented Yesterday's News. The bags look the same.
 

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you know i'm not even sure if they sell the scented kind in my area anymore. i saw a bag of it nearly 3 years ago now but since then all i'm ever able to find is the unscented kind. which is just fine with me of course as that's what i buy anyway. but that is a good note. the bags look nearly the same
 

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I used Carefresh for my animals for years until someone told me about Yesterdays News. It cut out a lot of sneezing for my rats. I'm sure they prefer the Carefresh since it's so much softer and they can nest with it, but the Yesterdays News really cuts down on the ammonia and dust.

I usually buy the unscented softer texture cat litter variety instead of the kind for small pets, the price difference is huge. It's something like $15 for a small bag of small animal YN or $18 for a huge bag of the cat litter type. Be sure to check the cat litter area so you're getting the cheaper kind.

My ratties used to try to eat it when we put fresh YN into their cage, but they'd only take a bite or two and realize they can't digest it well and they'll leave it alone after that.

And I agree to steer clear of the scented type, that gave my ratties the sneezes.
 

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I used Carefresh for my animals for years until someone told me about Yesterdays News. It cut out a lot of sneezing for my rats. I'm sure they prefer the Carefresh since it's so much softer and they can nest with it, but the Yesterdays News really cuts down on the ammonia and dust.
My boyfriend is allergic to the rats...do you think switching to yesterdays news would help him??
 

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It might help some, my husband is also extremely allergic to the male rats musk. We keep a supply of baby wipes and hand sanitizer around for ratty handling. I know when we made the switch to YN hubby could tell the difference on day one. It holds the odor well and expands when wet so it's easy to spot clean also (other than those rat raisins that tend to look just like the YN sometimes :lol:)

The best thing for him is changing clothes and doing a good hand/arm/neck wash after handling the rats, and making sure he doesn't clean the cage. I do all the cage cleaning so he doesn't 'flare up' with an allergy attack. Make sure they aren't in your bedroom either, we did that and overnight it would get hubby extremely congested. Sometimes those dirty tails cause some allergies too, so be sure to wipe those tails off with a warm cloth or a baby wipe. I've heard rats sweat through their tails also which makes them even dirtier.
 

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Thank you so much! I've been pretty worried about my boyfriend, and i'm excited about switching to YN to see if it helps!!!

He's pretty good about washing up after he handles them!

Also... unfortunately since we are in a house with roommates currently the rats have to stay in a room where he is ALL day but we are moving in a week, so the ratties will dwell in the living room! I'm going to set up a rattie paradise (or at least a town lol)
 
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