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Discussion Starter #1
So Nim has had a bit of a sneeze since I got her. I took her and her sister to the vet and we got some medicine. After the course of medication the sneezing has stopped and there is no discharge.

But they make chattering noises at each other. The best way I can describe it is like the rats in the movies only not so high pitched. And they just sit in their hidey hole chattering. They only do it in there or sometimes when they play rough. Is this normal or should they go back to the vet?
 

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Could it just be bruxing? Rats normally do that when they are contented or just to grind their teeth down and it's totally normal...
 

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Rats brux, (chat their teeth together,) to keep their teeth down, but also when they are happy. If they are hiding and chattering, they are probably just enjoying themselves. Also, two rats will often squeak when wrestling with other rats, as well as during cleaning sessions to let the other rat know if they are too rough with cleaning or play.

Nugget often cleans Silvia a little too much ans Silvia complains to her to let her know. If it's during cleaning, don't worry, because if it was hurting the other rat enough to bother them, they would wrestle with the rat to make it stop, or run way to tell them they've had enough, but Silvia often lays with her eyes closed, squeaking every now and then while Nugget cleans her with out even caring enough to open her eyes. While playing, I don't usually worry about squeaking unless it's really frequent, because they play fast, so wrestling always looks aggressive because of their energy level.

They get carried away, but unless you see one of the rats bleeding or one of the rats with the other rat's fur in it's mouth or claws, don't be worried. Usually if you flash a light at them, (my rats play a lot when I'm trying to sleep...,) or bang the cage, and they both stop and look over at you confused, then they are just playing, and may even go back to playing until you try to get their attention again. If the fighting persists and looks like one rat is injuring the other, and the squeaking is constant, then maybe be worried.

NEVER try to stop them by grabbing or touching them, as you can get bit in the cross fire rather seriously. Try to separate them with a piece of cardboard or a toy, (NEVER your hand,) and remove the rat who is the rat getting beaten up, keeping them with you, or if too scared, in an other cage or box of blankets. DO NOT try to pick up or touch the aggressive rat, even if they are sweet and calm normally, because they are full of adrenalin and need to calm down.

If both rats are aggressive, or if you are not sure who is the one losing the fight, separate them as described earlier, if you can, then take one out, (if injured, take the non injured one, though instinctively you want to help the hurt one, because a hurt rat is more likely to attack you when cornered after a fight, even if they are sweet normally,) using a folded towel or shirt, keeping them away from your hand as much as possible.

Once separated, give them time to calm down. If one of them is injured, wait until they are calm before trying to treat them. If they are seriously, and possibly fatally, wounded, then try to get it to a vet immediately. If rats fight bad enough to injure each other, then do not attempt to keep them in the same cage any more. They have showed they are endangering each other, and possibly need to be housed with out an other rat, and there is no point in going through this problem again.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I am not too worried about their playing. They don't hurt each other and they only fight when I am giving food and one is too blind to see their food so goes for the other lol.

It is not bruxing. I am searching youtube for the sound but I will try to record it next time they make it.
 

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Are you sure that they're not wheezing? I thought my girls were chirping or making chicken-like sounds. When I mentioned this on the forum, I was informed, correctly, that they were having respiratory issues again. I brought them back to the vet and received more medicine.
 

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Yes, this sounds like respiratory issues. This could be one of three things; Respiratory Infection, Allergies or Nose growths. Nose growths are uncommon, and my vet informed my that there is only a 12% chance of a rat making sniffle squeaks, or sneezing, to have this condition. More commonly, Allergies. Allergies in rats have extremely similar symptoms to a Respiratory infection; sneezing, wheezing, clicking and porphyrin discharge around nose and eyes.

To know for sure, the vet has to listen to the lungs. If the lungs sound healthy, but the rat is sneezey, the rat probably has allergies, but they will give you medication just to make sure it isn't just early in the infection's life cycle. After a week or two of medication for infection, they should be breathing normally with no wheezing, clicking, snuffles or sneezes. If the medication doesn't help, then your rat probably has allergies, and most likely, it's to dust. Cleaning their cage very often helps, but there isn't really any medication for allergies.

If your rat has nose growths, there's nothing you can do, and cleaning their cage often helps keep dust from irritating them. I was told these growths are harmless other then blocking the nose partially and making the rat congested and sneezey for the rest of their life, similar to allergies.

Respiratory infection is an extremely common and treatable ailment, and can be caused by micro plasma, which is carried by most rats. If the cause of the infection is a micro plasma flair up, then it's likely to happen again later in their life. It can be treated, but not cured.

Not all respiratory infections are caused by micro plasma, and can be cured with the same medication as I micro flair up infection.

Unfortunately, (with out expensive, unnecessary tests,) you can't really determine if the rat has a micro plasma respiratory infection, or a regular respiratory infection, and it's not really worth spending time and money to find out because you are getting the same treatment anyway, and, (if it is micro plasma,) it might not flair up again. Illness is unpredictable and unfortunate, but this is what we have to put up with to keep our lovely rat companions happy and healthy.

My late rat Oliver went to the vet becuase of sneezing when he was little, (because the rat I had before him passed away from respretory distress,) and I feared he had a respretory infection. The vet said his lungs sounded good, but gave me medication for him. After forcing him to take medication for a while, there was no improvement, and she told me he had allergies or growths, but most likely alergies. (100$ later to find out he'd be sneezing porphyrin all over me and my room for the rest of his life.)
 
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