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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My rat, Hamelyn, is making a clicking kind of sound and since it's all over the internet that rats shouldn't make much noise and I couldn't find any videos of rats making this noise, I'm a little concerned. Have any of you heard a noise like this before? What does it mean? [p.s. in the video, I made a clicking noise and also tapped on their cage and those aren't it. You'll want to turn your volume up. Also, the yawns are just bcause they were both sleeping; it's not an issue breathing.]

 

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It sounds like squeaky hiccups.
Hiccups themselves aren't necessarily bad, but when they are squeaky and wheezy like that it can be a sign of a respiratory issue, like a URI. It's probably because you have them in a glass tank. That is a very bad cage for a rat and they should be put in an open air wire cage as soon as possible.

Edit
Looking at that I'm not sure it's a glass tank now... I don't know what that is haha. But enclosed cages like that are a no-go. Rat pee has ammonia in it, and without air moving through the cage it will cause problems with the I breathing.
 

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Sounds like a respiratory infection to me. Rats are extremely prone to them anyway but being in the glass tank can multiply the chances of your rats getting one because of the lack of air circulation. One of my guys has a URI right now, he's on anti biotics, as long as you get it treated it's not normally something you need to worry about. If they are making this noise constantly though then the infection is quite far along. Get them both to the vet asap, you'll probably be given a seven day course of an Baytril or something similar. To stop the infection coming back, your best bet is to buy a cage with bars, not only will this give them better air circulation, they'll also have more room to climb an explore and you can hang lots more hammocks and toys.

Hope everything goes well.
 

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7 days isn't enough to treat a respiratory infection. You should be given at least 4 weeks, preferably 6.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It's a plastic bin that they're in. It's temporary and I've only had them for a couple weeks. She's been doing this since I got her and it isn't constant. She only does it a few times and then stops if I distract her. That's why I thought it was voluntary. How much does treatment for respiratory problems cost? I don't have a lot of money right now so if there's a chance that this isn't respiratory problems, please let me know. Also, if it changes anything, I clean out their bedding every two days. Do you think this is something she's had since I got her?
 

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It's a plastic bin that they're in. It's temporary and I've only had them for a couple weeks. She's been doing this since I got her and it isn't constant. She only does it a few times and then stops if I distract her. That's why I thought it was voluntary. How much does treatment for respiratory problems cost? I don't have a lot of money right now so if there's a chance that this isn't respiratory problems, please let me know. Also, if it changes anything, I clean out their bedding every two days. Do you think this is something she's had since I got her?
Cost changes depending on where you live and what vet you see, the first vet i used for my rats a few years ago would charge me £30-40 for a course of antibiotics but the vet i see now only charges £22.

If it isn't a RI it could be the bedding effecting her. What type of wood shavings are you using atm? :)
 

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7 days isn't enough to treat a respiratory infection. You should be given at least 4 weeks, preferably 6.
Wow, really? I don't think i've ever been given a course of anti biotics that long before! My vet did say to come back after the seven days to get more if the symptoms are still there though. :)
 

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It's a plastic bin that they're in. It's temporary and I've only had them for a couple weeks. She's been doing this since I got her and it isn't constant. She only does it a few times and then stops if I distract her. That's why I thought it was voluntary. How much does treatment for respiratory problems cost? I don't have a lot of money right now so if there's a chance that this isn't respiratory problems, please let me know. Also, if it changes anything, I clean out their bedding every two days. Do you think this is something she's had since I got her?
Also, it doesn't sound wheezy from my end. Could these be just normal hiccups?
Well hiccups can be stopped with a distraction usually. But these hiccups are clearly making a sound. Normal hiccups are silent or nearly silent, and don't occur ~too~ often. But it seems like your saying she does it a few times a day? And she's done it since you got her?

There's always a possibility she's just different and making vocalizations.
But it's more likely a sign of respiratory stress. Can you pick her up and hold her to you ear, as if she is a telephone? Listen to her lungs, is it a soft in-out wooshing sound or do you hear clicking or raspy noises?

Any other symptoms? Like excessive poryphin, puffy fur, lethargy?

Wow, really? I don't think i've ever been given a course of anti biotics that long before! My vet did say to come back after the seven days to get more if the symptoms are still there though. :)
It's likely the symptoms won't be there, but the infection still will be. Do you find yourself getting lots of RI's? Could be the same one that never was fully healed from too short of treatment.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well hiccups can be stopped with a distraction usually. But these hiccups are clearly making a sound. Normal hiccups are silent or nearly silent, and don't occur ~too~ often. But it seems like your saying she does it a few times a day? And she's done it since you got her?

There's always a possibility she's just different and making vocalizations.
But it's more likely a sign of respiratory stress. Can you pick her up and hold her to you ear, as if she is a telephone? Listen to her lungs, is it a soft in-out wooshing sound or do you hear clicking or raspy noises?

Any other symptoms? Like excessive poryphin, puffy fur, lethargy?


It's likely the symptoms won't be there, but the infection still will be. Do you find yourself getting lots of RI's? Could be the same one that never was fully healed from too short of treatment.
I haven't seen any lethargy. She sleeps, but that's normal. She isn't sleeping excessively and she plays all the time if the lights are off. Her fur looks normal and the only time I've seen porphyrin was when I had a flat paper floor in their cage while potty training them and there were some light pink marks around their bed. Didn't seem like an abnormal amount. I just checked her breathing and while I couldn't hear very well since she was squirming [she's not entirely used to being handled yet] it sounded like normal to me. Just windy breathing sounds.
 

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I would take them to a vet. Honestly I am not attacking you but you dont have proper equipment for caring for a rat or rats...you dont have alot of money to spend...which I understand. But we spend about $40 a month for food and bedding alone. And we just forked out some $3000 in vet bills for everyone this past winter trying to stamp out a URI. Rats arnt cheap pets. You may want to consider waiting till you get everything ready for them before you get more :(
 

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I haven't seen any lethargy. She sleeps, but that's normal. She isn't sleeping excessively and she plays all the time if the lights are off. Her fur looks normal and the only time I've seen porphyrin was when I had a flat paper floor in their cage while potty training them and there were some light pink marks around their bed. Didn't seem like an abnormal amount. I just checked her breathing and while I couldn't hear very well since she was squirming [she's not entirely used to being handled yet] it sounded like normal to me. Just windy breathing sounds.
If the only symptom you see at all period is this noise, I wouldn't worry. You gotta get them out of that bin as soon as humanly possible though.
The second she gets worse it's time to go to the vet. It's possible this is all because of the bin / lack of air circulation. It might get better when she can breathe better, or it could develop into a solid URI.

Lethargy is identifiable moreso by lack of interest. Like if you try to play with her or give her a treat and she just doesn't move or care. If any of the symptoms I mentioned or any of these show up, go to a vet:
- Eating less
- Drinking less
- Wheezing, clicking or coughing noises

Keep listening to her lungs everyday, the best you can. If you hear anything besides a soft woosh-woosh it's a problem. For porphyrin, you should only see a small amount around the nose when they first wake up.

Oh and vet costs... I'd say expect anywhere from 25-100 $ for the visit and actually about the same for antibiotics to treat a URI. It really is too hard to guess if we don't go to the same vet. My advice is to call all local vets who see rats and ask how much a standard exam fee is. Antibiotics for URIs really should be less than 50$. You can ask how much they charge for antibiotics, but the receptionist might not know. This is good information to have either way!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
If the only symptom you see at all period is this noise, I wouldn't worry. You gotta get them out of that bin as soon as humanly possible though.
The second she gets worse it's time to go to the vet. It's possible this is all because of the bin / lack of air circulation. It might get better when she can breathe better, or it could develop into a solid URI.

Lethargy is identifiable moreso by lack of interest. Like if you try to play with her or give her a treat and she just doesn't move or care. If any of the symptoms I mentioned or any of these show up, go to a vet:
- Eating less
- Drinking less
- Wheezing, clicking or coughing noises

Keep listening to her lungs everyday, the best you can. If you hear anything besides a soft woosh-woosh it's a problem. For porphyrin, you should only see a small amount around the nose when they first wake up.

Oh and vet costs... I'd say expect anywhere from 25-100 $ for the visit and actually about the same for antibiotics to treat a URI. It really is too hard to guess if we don't go to the same vet. My advice is to call all local vets who see rats and ask how much a standard exam fee is. Antibiotics for URIs really should be less than 50$. You can ask how much they charge for antibiotics, but the receptionist might not know. This is good information to have either way!
Thank you for your help! I actually made up a large shelf to attach to the top of the cage and she spends a lot of time up there so maybe she likes the fresh air. She definitely isn't lethargic! She's very active and playful; both of them are. I plan to get them a cage very shortly and until then they're spending time on their shelf and time outside of their cage.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I would take them to a vet. Honestly I am not attacking you but you dont have proper equipment for caring for a rat or rats...you dont have alot of money to spend...which I understand. But we spend about $40 a month for food and bedding alone. And we just forked out some $3000 in vet bills for everyone this past winter trying to stamp out a URI. Rats arnt cheap pets. You may want to consider waiting till you get everything ready for them before you get more :(
Thanks for the reply. I already have bedding in bulk that will last quite a while. Food is the only recurring expense at the moment and they're going to get a new cage shortly. I know I should have waited to get them until I had more money but rest assured, I don't intend to get anymore until I have a bunch of money for vet visits and such. I honestly think she's going to be fine. She has no other symptoms or anything out of the ordinary so I'm going to keep a close eye on her and her breathing and I think she'll be just fine.
 
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