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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
so far i've managed to get two good shots of my boyfriend and one of our rats, clementine. she's his baby. ImageUploadedByPG Free1412281354.664302.jpg ImageUploadedByPG Free1412281367.652892.jpg

my questions, however, are
1) i was told rats will die if they go into heat and don't have a mate?? this couldn't be true, could it? should i get my rats fixed? they're both female, if that matters.
2) my rat sneezes a lot, but is very alert and active, so i don't think she has an upper respiratory infection. should i still be concerned? are there any precautions i should take?
3) how long does it take for rats to become more social, more specifically, to be comfortable with interacting with me?
4) the rat i posted a picture of above, clementine, she squeaks a lot. like, more than i've ever heard of a rat squeaking. is that okay?

thanks so much, i hope to hear from you guys soon!
 

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1. Definitely not. While spaying may decrease the possibility of tumors just slightly, no animal dies from going into heat and not mating.
2. How long have you had her? If it's only been a short time then she may be adjusting to the environment. If it's been a while then she may have an allergy to her bedding or possibly dust. Check that her lungs are clear by holding her chest to your ear and listening for rasping, crackling, wheezing, anything unusual.
3. It's different for all rats and some never really adjust well to being handled. Read the immersion thread and try that if you haven't already.
4. Some rats just squeak. She may not be comfortable with being touched and that's her way of saying "hey, don't do that" As long as the "squeaking" is a voluntary thing and isn't coming from her breathing then it's likely fine.
 

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I know with #1 rats don't do that but unfortunately ferrets will...
That's interesting...learn something new everyday lol I had to look it up for myself because that's just crazy. Either way, rats aren't the same thank goodness.
 

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That's interesting...learn something new everyday lol I had to look it up for myself because that's just crazy. Either way, rats aren't the same thank goodness.
I think it's only female ferrets that do but I could be wrong.
 

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2) my rat sneezes a lot, but is very alert and active, so i don't think she has an upper respiratory infection. should i still be concerned? are there any precautions i should take?
3) how long does it take for rats to become more social, more specifically, to be comfortable with interacting with me?
4) the rat i posted a picture of above, clementine, she squeaks a lot. like, more than i've ever heard of a rat squeaking. is that okay?

CongRATulations on your new family members! Clementine looks beautiful. What is your other rat's name? (Do you have more than two rats?)

Regarding the sneezing, I think it's important to take new rats in to see a veterinarian for a check-up. An experienced rat veterinarian can notice things you might not and having them see a vet in the beginning helps establish a good relationship between your new rats and your vet. If they're perfectly healthy, great. Your veterinarian will then have something to compare to when you bring them in down the road. I actually bring my rats in regularly for wellness visits about once every six months. In case it's helpful, here's a link to
choosing a good rat veterinarian from my website. Sneezing can indicate a significant health problem, one that needs immediate attention: http://aboutpetrats.com/health/common-health-problems/respiratory-disease

I have a method I really like for getting my rats used to interacting with me. Here's a link with tips that have helped me with my new rats, particularly when they're shy:
http://aboutpetrats.com/transforming-your-rat-from-shy-to-social-butterfly.html

One of my girl rats is a squeaker! What is Clementine doing when you hear her squeaking? If she squeaks while playing with or being groomed by another rat, there probably isn't any cause for concern. However, if you think she could be squeaking in pain such as if she squeaks while she's grooming herself or while she's walking around or lying down, then there could be a problem. Your veterinarian, when performing a full physical exam, will be able to tell if she has a health problem that's causing the squeaking.

BTW, That's so sad about female ferrets! Does that mean that everyone gets their female ferrets spayed?
 

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2) my rat sneezes a lot, but is very alert and active, so i don't think she has an upper respiratory infection. should i still be concerned? are there any precautions i should take?
3) how long does it take for rats to become more social, more specifically, to be comfortable with interacting with me?
4) the rat i posted a picture of above, clementine, she squeaks a lot. like, more than i've ever heard of a rat squeaking. is that okay?

CongRATulations on your new family members! Clementine looks beautiful. What is your other rat's name? (Do you have more than two rats?)

Regarding the sneezing, I think it's important to take new rats in to see a veterinarian for a check-up. An experienced rat veterinarian can notice things you might not and having them see a vet in the beginning helps establish a good relationship between your new rats and your vet. If they're perfectly healthy, great. Your veterinarian will then have something to compare to when you bring them in down the road. I actually bring my rats in regularly for wellness visits about once every six months. In case it's helpful, here's a link to
choosing a good rat veterinarian from my website. Sneezing can indicate a significant health problem, one that needs immediate attention: http://aboutpetrats.com/health/common-health-problems/respiratory-disease

I have a method I really like for getting my rats used to interacting with me. Here's a link with tips that have helped me with my new rats, particularly when they're shy:
http://aboutpetrats.com/transforming-your-rat-from-shy-to-social-butterfly.html

One of my girl rats is a squeaker! What is Clementine doing when you hear her squeaking? If she squeaks while playing with or being groomed by another rat, there probably isn't any cause for concern. However, if you think she could be squeaking in pain such as if she squeaks while she's grooming herself or while she's walking around or lying down, then there could be a problem. Your veterinarian, when performing a full physical exam, will be able to tell if she has a health problem that's causing the squeaking.

BTW, That's so sad about female ferrets! Does that mean that everyone gets their female ferrets spayed?
Even if they're spayed I still think it might be a problem... I don't know what ferret owners do about it tbh
 

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Discussion Starter #8
1. Definitely not. While spaying may decrease the possibility of tumors just slightly, no animal dies from going into heat and not mating.
2. How long have you had her? If it's only been a short time then she may be adjusting to the environment. If it's been a while then she may have an allergy to her bedding or possibly dust. Check that her lungs are clear by holding her chest to your ear and listening for rasping, crackling, wheezing, anything unusual.
3. It's different for all rats and some never really adjust well to being handled. Read the immersion thread and try that if you haven't already.
4. Some rats just squeak. She may not be comfortable with being touched and that's her way of saying "hey, don't do that" As long as the "squeaking" is a voluntary thing and isn't coming from her breathing then it's likely fine.
1) okay, good, my friends told me that but the only rodents they have are ferrets so that's probably why they assumed it would be the same with rats. relieving nonetheless!
2) it's been four days, counting today. i'm switching to aspen next week, since everyone raves about it here, and it's really cheap if you buy in bulk at the pet store across town. but i'll keep my eyes on them both as the days go by. it's $80 per rat for just a check up here, and i barely make $150 every two weeks at my job, so i'm hesitant about rushing to a hospital when they don't seem to be lethargic or in any sort of pain.
3) yeah, again, it's only been four days so i'm sure they'll warm up with time. i just don't want to wait too long, y'know? i usually take mine out for a few minutes and let her crawl on me and climb my arms and tunnel through my hair, then put her back in the cage for the day. i feel like small doses of immersion are the best way to go. they're just babies.
4) she squeaks and sometimes grunts, but not for any particular reason. just when she's sniffing something really intensely or sneezes more than twice in a row, and sometimes when she's touched/picked up unexpectedly(like when i open the cage door to change the food and she tries to sneak out). i put her to my ear earlier this morning and all i heard was a stuffy nose, nothing in the lungs; do rats just get colds or is this her body trying to adjust to a new environment?

thanks for replying, i feel welcome here already!
 

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Ferrets actually aren't rodents! They're mustelidae - aka the weasel family. But it also contains otters, badgers, and wolverines!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
2) my rat sneezes a lot, but is very alert and active, so i don't think she has an upper respiratory infection. should i still be concerned? are there any precautions i should take?
3) how long does it take for rats to become more social, more specifically, to be comfortable with interacting with me?
4) the rat i posted a picture of above, clementine, she squeaks a lot. like, more than i've ever heard of a rat squeaking. is that okay?

CongRATulations on your new family members! Clementine looks beautiful. What is your other rat's name? (Do you have more than two rats?)

Regarding the sneezing, I think it's important to take new rats in to see a veterinarian for a check-up. An experienced rat veterinarian can notice things you might not and having them see a vet in the beginning helps establish a good relationship between your new rats and your vet. If they're perfectly healthy, great. Your veterinarian will then have something to compare to when you bring them in down the road. I actually bring my rats in regularly for wellness visits about once every six months. In case it's helpful, here's a link to
choosing a good rat veterinarian from my website. Sneezing can indicate a significant health problem, one that needs immediate attention: http://aboutpetrats.com/health/common-health-problems/respiratory-disease

I have a method I really like for getting my rats used to interacting with me. Here's a link with tips that have helped me with my new rats, particularly when they're shy:
http://aboutpetrats.com/transforming-your-rat-from-shy-to-social-butterfly.html

One of my girl rats is a squeaker! What is Clementine doing when you hear her squeaking? If she squeaks while playing with or being groomed by another rat, there probably isn't any cause for concern. However, if you think she could be squeaking in pain such as if she squeaks while she's grooming herself or while she's walking around or lying down, then there could be a problem. Your veterinarian, when performing a full physical exam, will be able to tell if she has a health problem that's causing the squeaking.

BTW, That's so sad about female ferrets! Does that mean that everyone gets their female ferrets spayed?
thank you!! my other rat's name is juno, after the indie film. she started out the docile one, but over the past few days she's become the dominant of the two! she often lays on top of clementine and grooms her.

i want to, except i only have two options.
one, i temporarily sell them back to the store and they will take my loves to the vet and pay for everything, and then let me know when i can come buy them back after treatment.
two, i pay $80 per rat for a checkup, minus the cost of any necessary treatment.
one is hard because i'm already so attached to them, i don't want to just give them back! but two is hard because i'm young and work a part-time job that not only pays very little but that i have to use the income for a lot of things, including my boyfriend's smoking habits, so i can't just dish out $160 dollars if nothing is wrong.

and thanks, i'll check out that link!

she mostly squeaks when i pick her up or when she's exploring, it's not consistent though. she has a stuffy nose, but her lungs sound clear when i "rat phoned" her this morning.

and i don't know, i would hope so! my friend got hers spayed the week she bought them, and they've been fine ever since.

thanks for the reply, i hope to hear from you again!
 

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thank you!! my other rat's name is juno, after the indie film. she started out the docile one, but over the past few days she's become the dominant of the two! she often lays on top of clementine and grooms her.

i want to, except i only have two options.
one, i temporarily sell them back to the store and they will take my loves to the vet and pay for everything, and then let me know when i can come buy them back after treatment.
two, i pay $80 per rat for a checkup, minus the cost of any necessary treatment.
one is hard because i'm already so attached to them, i don't want to just give them back! but two is hard because i'm young and work a part-time job that not only pays very little but that i have to use the income for a lot of things, including my boyfriend's smoking habits, so i can't just dish out $160 dollars if nothing is wrong.

and thanks, i'll check out that link!

she mostly squeaks when i pick her up or when she's exploring, it's not consistent though. she has a stuffy nose, but her lungs sound clear when i "rat phoned" her this morning.

and i don't know, i would hope so! my friend got hers spayed the week she bought them, and they've been fine ever since.

thanks for the reply, i hope to hear from you again!
I just have to say that rats aren't always inexpensive pets. The cost of veterinary care does add up and many pet rats are prone to becoming sick, especially with respiratory problems and mammary tumors. Do you have anyone who can help you out with paying for Clementine to go to the vet? If you're hearing a stuffy nose, it sounds like she really should be seen and the vet may choose to prescribe medication(s). It's important you go sooner rather than later. Rats can sometimes go downhill quickly and it's much easier to treat respiratory problems early on.

Keep us posted!
 

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I just have to say that rats aren't always inexpensive pets. The cost of veterinary care does add up and many pet rats are prone to becoming sick, especially with respiratory problems and mammary tumors. Do you have anyone who can help you out with paying for Clementine to go to the vet? If you're hearing a stuffy nose, it sounds like she really should be seen and the vet may choose to prescribe medication(s). It's important you go sooner rather than later. Rats can sometimes go downhill quickly and it's much easier to treat respiratory problems early on.

Keep us posted!
oddly enough, clementine has stopped sneezing almost completely and her breathing isn't stuffy anymore.
unfortunately, juno has started leaking red discharge from one of her eyes and both nostrils. i'm calling the exotic vet as soon as they open at 6am monday to schedule an appointment for her. i'll keep my eye on clementine, but juno has become the priority now.
juno is starting to sleep more and eat less, and that's scaring me. so hopefully i'll be able to schedule an appointment on monday, since i called on friday and asked for an opening.
i'll keep you posted for sure.. these are my babies. i've only had them for 5 days now, but i want to keep them until the end. and i'm not letting the end be now.
wish me luck! :(
 

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That's great that Clementine has stopped sneezing almost completely and that her breathing doesn't sound stuffy any longer.

Juno's red discharge from her eyes and nostrils is called porphyrin. There's lots of helpful information about it on the internet and here is the link about porphyrin on my website. Decreased appetite and sleeping more are definitely signs that Juno is probably sick. I'm so glad you're taking her to the vet on Monday. Were you able to find a vet who's experienced with rats? Looking forward to finding out what your vet says.
 

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i took my babies to the vet yesterday, they were not very pleased about it and neither was my bank account, but i got the meds i needed and they're looking better already. as soon as the vet set juno down she ran to me and climbed up my arm to hide in my hair. needless to say, they're happy to be home. they both had upper respiratory infections, juno more so than clementine. just thought i'd keep updating their situation for anyone who cares. :)
 

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Thanks for updating us! I'm so happy to hear you took them in to see the vet. Hope it's going well with giving them their medication and that you're starting to see improvement. In case you're not familiar, respiratory medications should generally start making a difference within three days. If no improvement is noted within this time period, different medication(s) should then be tried.

Sending healthy, healing wishes!
 
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