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Hi Guys, my two blue female rats (just turned a year old) have had the sniffles for about a month now. We've taken both to the vets and they were prescribed a course of baytril and some anti inflammatory drops. They responded well and by the end of the course, they'd recovered. We went away for a 5 days and a friend looked after them, when we returned they were sneezing and sniffling again. Took them to the vets got another course of antibiotics and we've just finished it. But they're still sneezing and sniffling. Could this be a result of some kind of allergy? I know blues are very susceptible to myco and respiratory problems but apart from this they're really healthy and active. Any advice would be appreciated. Not sure if we should take them back to the vets again or not?
 

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My rat Gaz sneezes all the time and the vet said she was fine. It's not a chirpy sneeze like when Feta had a URI. It's just sniffles, all the time. Otherwise she looks healthy. Sometimes I think it might be a tick or a nervous habit, but I'm not sure. xD Sorry that wasn't too helpful. But I think they might be fine.
 

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One of my past rats did the same thing since she was a baby and she saw the vet regularly, who always told me nothing was wrong. When rats have URIs, you will likely hear clicking or chirping in their lungs when you put them up to your ear to listen. Their breathing may look labored if it's particularly severe and they may become sluggish. But if it's just sneezing (and maybe some porphyrin in the nose every morning) I'd say just keep an eye on it, mark any noticeable changes. Like I said, my rat lived 3 years and there wasn't a single day she didn't sneeze or snuffle a little, and she was active as ever and had a clean bill of health from the vet, so we concluded that it was allergies. I was always wary of changes and always kept an eye on how she sounded or how much she was sneezing; I think at this point, if they sound clear and are active, it would be practical for you to watch their day-to-day before taking them in and paying for more meds.

Whenever I took my rat to the vet for her sneezing, he honestly told me it didn't sound like a URI to him, but he would offer me antibiotics anyway if I was concerned about her. But because she had been doing that since I got her, wasn't sluggish, and had no noise in her lungs, I went home without the antibiotics and her condition never changed. If it was a URI it would have worsened within a few days, but the span of 3 years gave way to no difference. So I'd recommend you just monitor them. You see them every day and you know them well, so I'm sure you'll recognize it if something changes in their behavior & is not right.
 

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For how long did they take the antibiotics? Was there any recent change of bedding, or have you painted any room in the house or anything like that? Maybe you are using a different product to clean the cage/bedding?
It could be anything from your perfume or shampoo to cleaning products, change in temperature or humidity(one of my rats is sensitive to cold weathers and gets the sneezes when it's cold but she's ever been like that) or pollen in the air maybe. I would watch out for any other signs and keep on hearing their lungs and if they don't seem to improve in a few days they might have to take more antibiotics, another combination of drugs or even another dosage or whatever a vet thinks it's best.
 
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