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Hi,
I purchased two blue dumbo rats 10 days ago (Freya & Silvia). Both are about 2-month-old females. Since getting them, they both presented with what sounded like sneezing at times. Silvia having it more often than Freya. I initially thought it was nothing more than "new home sniffles" but Silvia's "sneezing" has not resolved yet, nor has it improved. It hasn't gotten worse either but Freya's has completely stopped. I use paper towels atm as their primary bedding to minimize allergenic potential (non-fragranced, non-coloured), fleece (washed in non-bio, hypoallergenic and fragrence-free detergent) and Back2Nature paper pellets in their litter box. I also avoid using any scents and candles in the room they are kept in. I cleaned the cage with rodent-friendly, non-fragranced detergent and spot clean daily (although they are mainly defecating and urinating into their litter box at this point). I went to the vet a day after getting them as I am a new rat owner and was concerned that Silvia might have an upper respiratory infection but the vet reassured me it was not that as she is eating plenty (most of their diet is rat pellets with occasional small treats), drinking, and remains very active. She also listened to both lungs of the two rats via stethoscope and said that they both sound clear. The sneezing seems to settle almost completely when she is resting (but still awake) and does not seem to interrupt her sleep. There is no porphyrin or discharge around neither of the rats' eyes or snouts at any point and they both have a shiny, clean coat; grooming regularly. Does anyone know what may be causing it? Can I be mistaking the "sneezing" for a form of vocalization? Silvia is not timid at all at this point and loves being handled, willingly climbing up my arm when I reach in so I don't think it's stress-related. The two rats also get along very well with no evidence of fighting at all. I would appreciate it if anyone could help me.
Thank you.
 

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When I first got my rats a few months ago I had the same problem. I have 2 Red rats and one dumbo rat, all three did the same thing. I did some research myself and found that it can also be caused by stress, the new move can be hard on them. They quickly stopped, although occasionally the youngest will make a sneeze noise. It can also be the fact that this is a new place, and it smells different, so their noses are getting used to it. Some people also say that the sneezing sound is a form of vocalization (like bruxing.) If it seems too concerning to you, and it continues on for a long time and seems to be getting worse, definitely go see your vet. It's better to be safe than sorry
 
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