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Discussion Starter #1
I've had Cooper (my 9 week old) for about a week now, and I've noticed something odd.

She'll make noises that sound like a wheezing-type sneeze (mixed with a growl?) that's just continuous (or like a bunch of sneezes over and over). I've heard these noises before, with my past rat Cheeseball, when she got a URI a couple days before she died.

Cooper is louder than that, though. I would take her to the vet, if it weren't for one thing. She only makes these noises when I pick her up, but she returns to normal after a couple minutes, unless I start to pet her back or head (petting behind her ears doesn't make her make these noises). Also, she rarely properly sneezes, and she NEVER makes these noises when inside the cage.

Could it still be a URI, or is she just vocal? I'm broke right now and an initial checkup from the vet costs $120, and it's the only vet within a 5 hour drive, so do you think it's really worth going to a vet, if it may just be a fright response?

(Posted in the behaviour forum because this seems like more of a behaviour thing)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Also thought I'd add: it sounds a little like bruxing, but more wheezy. I've heard bruxing before, and it's pretty different.
 

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Ine if my new boy's Ollie has had a bit of nose crackle when he breathes for a few days. I started him on a round of antibiotics to be safe, but one thing I do notice is that it get's louder when he's under stress. Yesterday I did intros with my older boys and he was a bit freaked out and I noticed his crackel was getting louder when he was scared. So that could be why your girl only makes noises when you pick her up. Perhaps, like Ollie, the noises are just getting more pronounced with stress. I'd suggest you still take her in and get her going on a round of antibiotics just to be safe.
 

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There is a saying that a silent rat is a healthy rat.

Honestly unless the cage is right smack next to you and you are sitting by it all day you may be missing the sound other times. It is also possible that she is alittle stressed and it is making her breathing a bit worse when she is being handled.

Her making those sounds though are not a good sign. I do suggest treatment. It can do real lasting damage if not treated.

**I am not a vet, I always suggest getting a vets opinion and it is often wise to only treat with a vet's advice.
But... many people treat their rats for URIs themselves. You can buy the meds online.

This site gives the med names and dosing info
http://ratguide.com/health/bacteria/mycoplasma_mycoplasmosis.php

You can buy them online without a prescription from bird websites.
http://www.ladygouldianfinch.com/shop-meds.php is one site.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My cage is less than a foot next to my bed, and less than a foot from my desk, so unless she's sneezing while I'm getting dinner or going to the bathroom, there's nothing. The vet isn't open until Thursday so I'll hold on until then and monitor her

I haven't heard any noises since yesterday morning, even when holding her. I held her up to my ear and she's not even slightly crackly or wheezy now, so I guess I'll just see if it happens again.
 
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