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Discussion Starter #1
Last night was Bells first night with us, she has a three story cage which I kept by my bed last. Well last night around four in the morning I woke up to what I thought was my dog crying, it sounded just like a puppy whine. It was very soft and short and sounded just pitiful. I looked at my great dane and she was sound asleep. I heard the noise again and followed it right to Bells cage. I looked in on her and she was sitting on the third level just crying her little heart out. I took her out and let her snuggle in my hood and she was fine. She started making the noise again around eight this morning. It sounds so sad.:( I don't know much about her my fiancé brought her home for me yesterday as a surprise. I asked him if she was a feeder and he said yes, I am very excited to be able to give her a loving home and I will be watching him closely to monitor any signs of pregnancy. I just feel awful that she makes this little pitiful noise. Any experience anything similar?
 

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Pet rat are normally mostly silent (to the human ear, though they make almost constant sounds in the ultrasonic range). The sounds we do hear, that are normal, are objection type squeaks, "No!", "Mine!", "Scared!". Most of the time when we can hear strange ongoing noises, or squeaks, there is respiratory disease at work. You might take a listen to the videos on this page and see if you can ID your rat's noises. You could also do a search on youtube for strange rat squeaks and listen to even more. If you find one that matches, post it here. It would be great if you could video or audiotape your rat's noises also.

http://www.joinrats.com/RatHealth/SOUNDS/HealthyOrSickSqueaks/11128370_DtL6HQ
 

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Discussion Starter #4
She does not have a friend yet, I was worried about getting her a friend if she might be pregnant. Should I search around for a another female her size/age. I checked the videos and none fit, which I guess is good because I do not want her to have underlying health problems. However Ill be doing some research on new vets because my current has been pretty crappy the last few times I went in with my pup. I will definitely record it when she starts doing it again. I felt so bad for her, its a heart breaking noise. Once I pick her up and let her hang out with me she is fine. She even stops when my great dane comes over check her out. I am thinking she maybe lonely.
 

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She does not have a friend yet, I was worried about getting her a friend if she might be pregnant. Should I search around for a another female her size/age. I checked the videos and none fit, which I guess is good because I do not want her to have underlying health problems. However Ill be doing some research on new vets because my current has been pretty crappy the last few times I went in with my pup. I will definitely record it when she starts doing it again. I felt so bad for her, its a heart breaking noise. Once I pick her up and let her hang out with me she is fine. She even stops when my great dane comes over check her out. I am thinking she maybe lonely.
That group of videos is not a complete set of all problem sounds, so please don't conclude that because you didn't spot a match, your rat is healthy.
Respiratory disease in rats, the sounds can stop and start to some extent, depending on the stress level of the animal. They sort of hold their breath so that the sounds stop. For example I once heard some problem squeaks when I was carrying a rat around on my shoulder. Hadn't heard them until then and after the excitement of the shoulder ride, they stopped. But, they were Wrong, and shouldn't have occurred all all. That rat went on Baytril immediately for 6 weeks. After that no sounds ever heard.

Was the sound, did it have a sort of cadence of in-and-out, a rhythm in sync with breathing? That is another indicator of respiratory disease rather than normal squeaking.
 

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If you suspect she may be pregnant, I completely agree with you waiting before you get her a friend. I'm guessing the environment you got her from is questionable for you to be wondering that? The gestation is only 3 weeks just so you know so you will know soon enough whether or not you can go ahead and get another one. I'm not sure how obvious the tummy is on a pregnant rat but i'm sure its pretty obvious so you'll probably know at least a week before she pops. Anyways, on your post. I know some people are concerned that she may be sick, but I experienced the same thing as you with my rats. I had my boys neutered a few weeks after i got them and they weren't given any kind of pain medicine to go home with. So the night of the surgery i could tell my bigger boy was in a lot of pain but the vet was closed so i couldn't help him until the morning. I slept in the living room with him and in the middle of the night i woke up to a strange noise. I thought it was the tv at first but i muted it and found out it was coming from my boy who was in pain. It was a little yelping sound is how i would describle it. he was just doing that over and over. The only thing I could figure was that he was crying. So i went to his cage and laid with him and pet him and then he stopped. I also heard my other boy doing the same thing when he was sick but the noise was coming from his lungs. He was just uncomfortable and that's why he was doing it. I totally believe that it is crying. Your rat may be making a similar sound or technically it could be that she is ill. Of course, that is something you should validly check out. If it is more of a wheezing kind of sound or you hear any kind of problem when you are holding her like rattling or she sneezes all the time or has porphyrin coming out her eyes or nose then yes you mayu contribute it to that. But the sound my rats made was a specific type of squeak that they were producing vocally, it wasn't going with a pattern of breathing or anything. What you described like a dog whining is kind of how it sounded or even maybe a bird chirping since they are so quiet. Anyways, I'm here to say don't get too freaked out with everyone saying she is sick. Yes, it is something to keep an eye out for but I definitely second the noises you heard as crying and I'm actually glad someone else has experienced that!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hey everyone I was able to capture some sound last night, Its very faint but it was also 3 AM so I was trying to wake up my dogs and fiancé. After the video I shined my flashlight on her and she was in her hammock curled up in a little ball. She seems energetic and playful. Let me know what you think of the sounds she makes if it is too faint I will try again in tonight.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOk6S51OhEU
 

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I don't see a link to the sound? Just wanted to also chime in to say that rats do not cry. If you are hearing whining sounds, it is most likely a strong indication of a URI. The reason why the sound stops when the rat is picked up is because rats are prey animals that try very hard to make it seem like they are healthy so that they do not alert potential predators. As a result, it is often very difficult to know when your rat is sick because they 'act' like they aren't. When these noises filter through as more than a rare squeak or sniffle, it really means something may be wrong and the rat needs vet attention. Is the rat drinking and eating okay? Have you tried the skin pinch test to check hydration? Have you tried rat phoning (holding the rat up to your ear like a phone)?
 

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I just had a listen to the video and whilst it does not sound like the usual URI, it still indicates there is a problem. I would really look into getting a vet appointment set up. This way you can meet your vet, have them check the rat over and put the girl on some medications. She will eventually need a friend but sounds like you have already thought about that. Good luck.
 

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Great job with the video! I'm waiting for feedback from the author of the comments on the JoinRats page (Lindsay Pulman).

Rats can have Myco pulmonis symptoms in the upper or lower respiratory symptoms. When the (incurable) bacteria is transmitted to them from their mothers, at birth, in the birth canal, it enters via their nasal passages. So the active symptoms that may be seen in adulthood can be isolated to the upper respiratory area.

Or this could be a secondary infection, not the Myco bacteria directly.

Or it could be in the lower respiratory system, lungs, and present as pneumonia.

There are probably other variations.

Rats do not whine or squeak like this as a normal behavior... I would definitely support you to see a vet.

If the rat isn't making the sounds - can you bring your phone or some device, to play the video?
Many vets need to be educated that they should go by what the owner describes, sound wise, if they don't hear the noises from the rat. Especially since, if the symptoms are not in the lungs (so, they're upper), a stethoscope won't help the vet. Many vets don't understand respiratory disease symptoms (and their often-silent presentation).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everyone for the advice. Bell has a vet appointment early this week to make sure everything is okay. I will definitely bring my phone cause she only seems to make the noises when its dark and she has been left alone for some time. I know it can be hard to tell if a pet is sick because a lot of them do not show pain in the way we would expect. As a first time rat owner I just really want to do everything right by her.
 

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Two friends with medical expertise, including Lindsay, listened to the video. They both feel the rat urgently needs to be seen by a vet. If she were my rat I would probably find an emergency room. I hope your little lovey can pull through this.
 

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Strangely, my girl has been doing that noise for 8 months now. Ever since I got her. She's never missed a meal, major active, never had discharge from her eye's or nose and she does it when she's most comfortable. Right when she get into her cuddle sac for a nap. She'll do it for about 2 minutes, if that and then stops. My other girl gets chronic eye infections where the vet gave me ointment (she's a hairless) and has never made that noise. Strange.
 

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try leaving a nightlight on, sounds weird but some of moons babied were scared of the dark and would peep loudly in it this might be her scared and it wouldnt hurt to try
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Strangely, my girl has been doing that noise for 8 months now. Ever since I got her. She's never missed a meal, major active, never had discharge from her eye's or nose and she does it when she's most comfortable. Right when she get into her cuddle sac for a nap. She'll do it for about 2 minutes, if that and then stops. My other girl gets chronic eye infections where the vet gave me ointment (she's a hairless) and has never made that noise. Strange.
Bell does the same thing! She only makes the noise when she is in her cozy hammock that I made for her. That's the only place she does it. She is always curled up In a ball in her hammock it reminds me of a puppy having bad dreams. But nonetheless she has a vet appointment this afternoon, just to check on her. She eats great and is super active.
 

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Bell's Appointment went great! The doctor said everything was fine and that the sounds were probably from her being stressed and scared of her new cage. She now has a baby sister who also has a clean bill of health. I could not be more proud of my little girls.
 

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Well, I'm so happy to hear this! Let us know if she continues the noises please? Peaches has a friend and Peaches is one of the most content rats I know, but she makes this noise on and off. I'm not worried at all though. She's fine. :)
 

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I'm glad the vet said everything is ok. That really backs up what I was just about to say. Getting to hear the video you posted now sounds exactly like what my boys have both done at one point in time. I agree with what people are saying about meaning that she is in some sort of distress but I disagree that it means she has a URI. That wasn't what it was indicating for my boys but they were both in pain and discomfort at the time and couldn't sleep because of it. I suspect your girl is having trouble adjusting to her cage and is lonely and upset and is in a way crying herself to sleep. She could possibly be scared of the dark otherwise. They have complex thought systems like people so you never know what their little brains are going through. But I honestly would not be worried that she has a URI and is going to die just because many people have never heard their rat make a noise like that before. I am glad that you did get a vet confirm her health though because it is much better to be safe than sorry. Hopefully she will adjust soon and stop making the noise and you can soon know whether you need to buy her a friend or if she's about to have babies.
 
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