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Hello all. Yesterday, myself and a good friend (roommate) purchased 2 young rats (first for both of us). I'm not quite sure of the age, but they're rather small at about 3-4 inches in length, much more with tail. They are both male.

Anyhow, my roommate purchased pure pine shavings for their bedding. I read that pine shaving aren't great for their health, but the store says otherwise, and actually recommended them. I also couldn't believe how cheap it was for a 3 pound bag (only 2 dollars!). So anyway, I notice both of the boys seem to be "sneezing" a lot, but I'm not quite sure if they're sneezing, or if that's just the sound they make.

I was also wondering if I switch to aspen or carefresh after the bag is used up, will it be too late for their health, or not? Thank you.
 

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1.) I wouldn't use pine shavings. I would go with Carefresh or yesterday's news, or something else, but not pine shavings.

2.) Rats have poor respiratory (sp?) systems and it isn't uncommon for them to have the sniffles or whatnot. My rats also sneezed and 'chirped' for a about a week, then stopped. I thought perhaps they just needed to get used to their new home or whatever, but like I said they stopped and are good now. So I'd give them about a week or so, and if they don't stop take them to a vet.

(This is my personal opinion so please do not rudely correct me if I made a mistake about anything but rather tell me in good manner. I'll happily return the favor)
 

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Switch ASAP. And you better tell that employee and his manager. Pine is definitely not good, its one of the worst. Same with Cedar. No store should recomend Pine for any animal.
Switch to Carefresh...Go with Ultra(the white carefresh). Do it asap, and they should be fine. Also, for a litterbox(if you plan on potty trainin) yesterdays news is your best option.

As for the sneezing, Its a good possibility that it is because the Pine bedding, but it may be other stuff as well. Its possible Its new home sneezies, caused by stress of a new home. Or it can be more serious, such as a upper respitory.

So i'd keep a careful eye on the sneezing, If you dont notice an improvement with the beddin change, then i'd take them to a vet. If you dont want ot deal with a vet visit that soon, You can see if the store owner would take them back due to their condition and if so, go elsewhere for healthy rats.

What kind cage are they in? That may have something to do with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Alright, I'll for sure switch to a new bedding soon. The soonest time I'll be able to though is most likely Thursday, this won't be too late right? This only their second day with it, one more shouldn't permanently damage them, correct? I know the pet store has Aspen and Carefresh, but I find it funny they recommended the pine.

As for the sneezing fits, it usually happens most when I take them out/put them back in. Could it be becuase they are excited/stressed? This make sense.

Thanks for the help!
 

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its wierd they recomended something thats obviously alot cheaper...figured they would wanna at least try to get you to buy something more expensive..lol.

As for the aspen...theres a reason why it was $2 for a 3 lb bag! hahaha.
yeah id switch asap...i use carefresh...seems to do a good job with absorbing.
 
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