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Hello! I've had my two baby rat girls for about a week now. They're both only just over a month old. I've noticed some minor sneezing from both of them. I know it's sneezing because I was holding one and she did it and yup, I had bitty rat boogers on my hand (ew). :?

I don't think they're sick though because I don't see any redness around the eyes or nose. My mom said it's normal, but is it? I know they cant be too cold either, they have lots of bedding and I give them paper towels to shred up and use for warmth and extra bedding (they also have a little wooden house to snuggle up in).

Any ideas as to what the tiny sneezes may be about? Is it normal? Should I be worried?
 

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Sneezing is normal really, but sneezing all ALL the time isn’t. It could be caused by the type of bedding your using. Never use Pine or Cedar bedding because it can cause respiratory problems. If you’re not using pine or cedar bedding, make sure that the wooden house isn’t made with pine or cedar. I was going to get this little hollow tree stump that they sell at Petsmart, but I had seen that it was made from pine wood. I saw a question on here about the same product I had been looking at. In the end someone said that they had gotten it for their rat and that the rat started to sneeze, so of course I didn’t get it. It could also be dust from the bedding you use. A lot of dust settles to the bottom of bedding bags and sometimes that dust finds its way into the cage and can irritate ratties. Sneezing can be caused by a whole lot of things LoL. Those are just a few of the common ones. Let’s see what else …O yeah; they can be allergic to something. Also, a lot of babies that you would get at a local pet store aren’t taken care of as well as they should be. Like my boys! When I had gotten Bob he seemed fine, but 3 days later he was sneezing and his eyes were getting crusties in them and I found out that the little I had gotten him from had a type of respiratory infection and some other problem! Either way, whatever they might be sneezing from, its always good to keep and eye on them and if it keeps getting worst take them to a vet who knows how to treat rats.
 

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It very well could be the bedding. The bedding looks like chopped up cardboard basically (very softy, possibly fairly dusty). I'll try changing the bedding. I'll ask my dad if he knows what kind of wood the house is made out of and if it's pine or cedar then i'll change it out. It's possible my room is dusty too. I'll give it a good dusting and turn my air filter on. If they continue, I'll probably take them to a vet.

JennieLove said:
Sneezing is normal really, but sneezing all ALL the time isn’t. It could be caused by the type of bedding your using. Never use Pine or Cedar bedding because it can cause respiratory problems. If you’re not using pine or cedar bedding, make sure that the wooden house isn’t made with pine or cedar. I was going to get this little hollow tree stump that they sell at Petsmart, but I had seen that it was made from pine wood. I saw a question on here about the same product I had been looking at. In the end someone said that they had gotten it for their rat and that the rat started to sneeze, so of course I didn’t get it. It could also be dust from the bedding you use. A lot of dust settles to the bottom of bedding bags and sometimes that dust finds its way into the cage and can irritate ratties. Sneezing can be caused by a whole lot of things LoL. Those are just a few of the common ones. Let’s see what else …O yeah; they can be allergic to something. Also, a lot of babies that you would get at a local pet store aren’t taken care of as well as they should be. Like my boys! When I had gotten Bob he seemed fine, but 3 days later he was sneezing and his eyes were getting crusties in them and I found out that the little I had gotten him from had a type of respiratory infection and some other problem! Either way, whatever they might be sneezing from, its always good to keep and eye on them and if it keeps getting worst take them to a vet who knows how to treat rats.
 

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JennieLove said:
What kind of bedding do you use?
It's called "Carefresh Pet Bedding". It says its formulated to be pine and cedar free. It apparently can absorb liquid a bit so it keeps the cage a bit more odor free if they pee a lot I guess. According to the back of the package it says...

"CareFRESH is a patented pet bedding made from reclaimed pulp waste... it's free of inks, dyes, clay and chemicals... it is processed to remove potentially harmful aromatic hydrocarbons that exist in pine and cedar oils..."

It seems to be alright. Any other reason they might be sneezing every so often?
 

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Yeah I used that bedding too, so I dont think thats the problem. I'll see if I can find any other reason...Did you ever find out what their little house as made of?
 

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JennieLove said:
Yeah I used that bedding too, so I dont think thats the problem. I'll see if I can find any other reason...Did you ever find out what their little house as made of?
Wasn't able to find anything. I don't think PetCo would sell it though if it had pine or cedar in it. :?
 

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actually its a fairly safe bet that the house is made of pine (possbily even cedar but that would ahve a red tint to the wood) if you bought it a pet store and it didn't say what it was made of. just because its bought at a pet store doesn't mean that the product was necessarily proved safe for the animal, even if it was intended to be used for rats and not something else that may ot have th pine sensitivity like rats do. to be safe, get plastic houses. they may not be quite as attractive but better on the health and MUCH easier to clean. if you're worried about them not having something to chew on without the wooden house then give them chicken bones. they go gaga for them. and its funny to watch them try to run away from the others in the cage with a leg bone hanging from their mouth.

but even taking out the house i would take them to the vet to be checked out. respiratory infections can be easy to treat if caught early enough but deadly if you wait too long. also, if the infection hasn't taken too firm a hold yet then the vet can prescribe a milder anti-biotic that will be easier on your rats.

this is of course if your sure its not excita-sneezes. but if they're sneezing when calm or in the cage then is probably not excita-sneezes.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I found out that the house is made of timber, not pine or cedar.
 

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i thought timber was just another word for wood. i didn't know it was a particular type of wood.
 

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twitch said:
i thought timber was just another word for wood. i didn't know it was a particular type of wood.
:? You may be right. Uhh... Anyone else know?
 

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The only other reason I could think of is that they have a slight respitory problem, if you take them to a good vet that specailizes in rats, they will most likey give you some antibiotics. If your babies are sneezing this bad you should take them in, its important to catch the respitory problem early beacuse of course the longer you wait the worst it gets. Antibiotics will help ALOT, they will most likey give you Baytril. When I took my Bob in for a respitory infection, the doc visit was $35 and the Baytril was I think around $20, but thats just in my area...Im sure they have different prices at different vets. Don't forget, go to a vet doc that knows about rats!
 

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JennieLove said:
The only other reason I could think of is that they have a slight respitory problem, if you take them to a good vet that specailizes in rats, they will most likey give you some antibiotics. If your babies are sneezing this bad you should take them in, its important to catch the respitory problem early beacuse of course the longer you wait the worst it gets. Antibiotics will help ALOT, they will most likey give you Baytril. When I took my Bob in for a respitory infection, the doc visit was $35 and the Baytril was I think around $20, but thats just in my area...Im sure they have different prices at different vets. Don't forget, go to a vet doc that knows about rats!
Can you go to a specialized vet for just a "check up"? How much do you think that would cost?
 

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Just call aroundor look on the net...Its will say if they treat small animals or not. Its just a normal check up...nothing speacial, its just the tyep of doctor that see's the rat.
 

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any vet willdo a a check up but if you get a vet that doesn'tknow anything about rats then its not going to help any. call around and ask what type of experience the vet has in rodents and rats in particular. take the one who seems to be the most confident, perhaps has a history in rats in thier schooling. this doesn't mean that the vet has to be a specialist or and exotic pet vet (they tend to be more expensive and not necessarily more knowledgable. in fact i rejected the exotic vet in my area for another local small animal vet). take them to the one you think to be most capable first but keep an eye on the runners up. you may like them better. just like human doctors some vets just see an illness and not the patient which can make a signifcant difference in treatment plans and knowing when to let go, not to mention a personal relationship with youand your rats which is a wonderful bonus as though the rats have a short life you do not and may want to use this vet for many rats to come. they may also give you discounts if they come to know you and your changing situations with your finances. picking a vet is probably one of the most important thing to do when getting any pet but especailly so with specail pets like rats who are not quite as common as cats or dogs or even birds. i wish youluck with finding your perfect vet,but remember it may take time. it's been nearly 2 years of looking around and trying out different vets for me to find my perfect vet and i've had rats for nearly 4 year now.
 
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