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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got my ratties 3 weeks ago. This is the first time I've owned rats and I tried to do as much research as possible before bringing them home.<br>I bought everything I possibly could to make them happy and I care for them like children, they sleep in the same room as me and my boyfriend and I constantly check that they are ok. Unfortunately the woman I bought them from lied about the conditions they came from. She advertised them as "healthy, well-handled baby rats" but from the get go Marshmallow had terrible mites and she sprayed them head to toe with mite/lice spray, in their eyes, mouths everything and told me to let it sit on them for 24 hours and they'd be fine. She wouldn't let us see their living conditions either she just dumped a whole bunch of baby rats on the driveway and I couldn't leave Marshmallow or Alfie behind I needed to save them. We quickly found out Marshmallow had a broken tail that had set itself and a chronic sneeze which three weeks later Alfie is showing signs of too. They have been treated for the mites with Ivermectin and I did immersion with them because Marshmallow was biting viciously at first. Now they are they sweetest little blokes and they love us to bits. Marshmallow has been making rumbling wet sounds in his chest every now and then, especially at night and I have been trying to feed them dark chocolate to help but they hate it, any advice on how to get them to eat a bit daily would be appreciated. They are going to the vet tonight to see to the sneezing and rumbling sound, I'm very worried about him.
 

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Well by the sound of it, you are doing the right thing by taking to the vet. If you can hear audible sounds in their chest, definetly time for medical intervention. Good luck!
 

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Yep chesty noises / feelings are well worth treating. If these guys are under about 3-4 months then you want them on amoxicillin or Septrin as opposed to baytril, as its likely to be something other than myco. You want a good long course of 3-4 weeks to try and make sure whatever it is is gone for good. If in doubt about your vets experience take along the upper respiratory guide from www.ratguide.org.uk – vets tend to get on well with the way they phrase things on there.

It does sound like you found a rather dodgy breeder there, I really wouldn’t want to use mite sprays on rats, they are often ineffective and it’s easy to over dose, especially on youngsters. I would let the vet know about that as its possible its caused some issues.

The tail break and set may actually be a tail kink (these can look extreme), which is a genetic linked thing where a couple of the rats vertebrae kind of fuse into a bend. They are usually harmless to the rats and something that should be bred away from if possible (I get the odd very minor one pop up in my line, that I’m trying to get rid of). Usually it’s a slight bend or kink near the tip, I’ve seen a couple with real zig sages and big bends further down. Hopefully its that rather than a break.
 

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Hi, I'm a new rattie owner, have had my girls for 2 weeks. They came to us sick and have been on antibiotics for 1 week now. Please let us know how your babies are doing, I will be watching for updates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all so much for you replies, it's nice to be among people who care what others are going through. The vet put both my boys on a one week dose of antibiotic paste, morning and night. After the second day they were already a lot better, rumbling chest sound was gone and no more sneezing. Which is a huge relief as i was losing sleep worrying. Isamurat, as for Marshmallow's tail it looks like his tail has been snipped off at the end and has several stiff bends in the middle, it had a scab on the tip when i picked him and his tail isn't as long and doesn't reach a fine point like Alfie's. She had children running around the yard when we arrived and mentioned that she lets the kids play with the rats a lot so i wonder if something didn't happen with a pair of scissors or a door. Perhaps that is why he was biting in the beginning too. I guess i will never know. At least they are safe, healthy and very spoiled now. Thank you all again xX
 

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Had my girls to the vet a week after I brought them home, they are both on antibiotics 2x a day for 2 weeks. Wanted to mention because my vet said they would seem all better after a week, but the 2nd week is important to make sure they completely recover.
 

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It is very good to go to a vet. If your vet gave them oral tablets and they won't eat them ask for oral injectables: sucks holding your cute rat sill and putting nasty medicine in their mouth... but beats them dying :( URI's kill fast, as quick as in a week for those young or old, and it is good to get the medicine in them.
 

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You really need them to be on anitbiotics for 3-4 weeks minimum, even if the symptoms clear up. If you give them a smaller course they can fail to properly get rid of the issue and it can come back, you also encourage antibiotic resistence.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The vet only gave us enough for one week and to have them seen and get the tube of antibiotics is 80 dollars. So if the vet knew we would have to return that was awful of him. I have another problem, they finished their antibiotic course yesterday so today we gave them their last dose of Ivermectin (3rd week) but i'm afraid to bath them since the chest sound. It's completely gone now but i'm scared bathing them will bring it back. I would appreciate advice or suggestions of what to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The antibiotics they were put on says doxycycline as monohydrate, should I ask the vet for a further course of it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm in Australia. It says for dogs and cats on the tube, if the fish one is the same stuff I will try get some on ebay. Good to know about the bathing because they really don't enjoy it and i'd rather not cause them stress, thank you. I only have one more question and it's about their teeth. My boys don't chew much, they have every kind of toy, plastic, wood, loofah you name it but they only like a foot pummel stone toy. I'm concerned that their teeth may overgrow if they keep avoiding chewing?
 

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This is one of those internet myths. Rats brux to keep there teeth down and also wear them by eating hard foods. As long as the teeth meet evenly you don't need to worry
 

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Hello there! Small things that can help out ratties while they are being treated to aid the treatment include the following:
1. Bringing your ratties into a humidified room can help out. Bring them into the bathroom with the shower running or run a humidifier and just have them sit in the room for a little bit.
2. Dark chocolate can help keep up the immune system, but be careful with this as they can have too much. I would give very small slivers every other day for a bit but not too consistently and not too much!
3. Change the bedding to fleece. All wood/paper/etc bedding can irritate your ratties lungs. Fleece is easy to clean, reduces smell and keeps the air clean.
4. Do a deep clean of the cage and the room that they are in. Water and vinegar are good disinfectants just make sure everything has dried before they return to the room!
5. Keep morale up! Give your ratties plenty of hugs and kisses, take them out often. If their health is a bit down, help keep their energy and happiness up!

Sorry I'm a bit late on this one :D

Hope this helps and hope the medication works well. <3 sending best wishes!
 

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Watch steaming rats, in some cases it can make respiratory symptoms worse, where they are very thickly congested it can make the congestion more liquid so it goes deeper and causes more issues. I would only try it if its really urgent and then be prepared to get them out asap (though generally higher humidity is better for rats).

Also fleece isn't always ideally, it cuts down on dust but its not very absorbent so can cause more issues with urea build up close to floor level. Its a bit of a balancing act. I would say if your rat seems affected by the bedding your using its worth trying another, and going for lower dust options, but that doesn't mean fleece is the best option. Some rats can also react badly to certain fragrances that fleece etc. is washed in, so its a bit of a trial and error type thing.

I had one rat that only had resp symptoms on aubiose (a very low dust hemp bedding considered one of the better ones) she was fine on shredded card (actually slightly higher dust).
 
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