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We noticed today that our elderly (2.5 yrs) female rat has orange discharge coming out of her nose. Could this be porphyrin? Do elderly rats produce more porphyrin from their eyes and nose?

We used aspen bedding in our rats' cage today -- it is a "safe" bedding type to use, correct? (Up until this point we've used newspaper 'fluff' bedding).
 

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is it rusty red coloured? Then its porphyrin. It can range to orange-y to bright red.

Aspen is just fine, just watch for excessive sneezing since some brands are dustier than others.
 

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I don't know as older rats produce more porphyrin, but it could be that she has a bit of a resp. issue. I would monitor it and if it continues for more than a couple of days or gets worse, consider taking her for a check up. She might just need some antibiotics or something to clear her up.
 

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yeah i don't know if it's because she's elderly, or because of the initial change in bedding. should clear up as she gets used to it unless, like lilspaz says, it's simply too dusty. in that case i'd go back to what you were using. or you can see if there's any way you can sift the bedding outdoors and get all the tiny dusty particles out.
 
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