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Discussion Starter #1
So, I got Curly yesterday from a friend who is moving cross-country tomorrow. He had quite the ordeal - spent all afternoon in a box on the front seat of a car, and then had to ride home for an hour on the bus during rush hour with me.

I put him in his own tank with some aspen shavings and some fleece for him to sleep on. After he calmed down, he seemed perfectly fine, and turned back into his dynamic self and nested in my cleavage for a nap. :roll:

Upon instructions from his previous owner, I went out and bought some Carefresh for his tank, and when I got home from work today I replaced the aspen shavings with the Carefresh.

Now he won't stop sneezing! And his breathing is kind of snorty/grunty...I'm really worried, because he hadn't been doing that before. Could it be the Carefresh? It seems to be a favorite around here.

I'm going to try to take him to a vet (assuming I can find a good one around here in Seattle that won't be too far of a busride) this week to get him all checked out before I put him in with the girls.


My other concern is about Charlotte. She's....well, she's very uncooperative. I got her just over a week ago from a shop that's MOSTLY a fish shop, but I found out they breed their own rats in the back, and I absolutely fell in love with her, and she was so sweet at the shop, and seemed healthy. I got her home, and she hasn't chilled out. She'll let me pet her now, but she won't let me pick her up. She spends all day hiding in the fleece at the top level of my rat condo....I had her in QT by herself until just before I brought Curly home - if Trent hadn't asked me to take Curly, she would still be in there. (Curly has a couple scratches that he gave himself that I'm treating, thus why I put him in QT)

I needed the tank for Curly, so I was dumb and put her in with Lola and Zero in the rat condo. They get along fine, but she still hides, all of the girls are scratching a lot more (mites, I'm assuming?) and one of her eyes is looking a little crusty.

I'm worried and not really sure what to do about that. If I can afford it, I'll be taking everyone to the vet soon.

(Lola and Zero are still acting like their usual dynamic selves, and other than the increased scratching, haven't changed a bit. They're sisters that I got from a breeder back in early December)
 

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Carefresh shouldn't make Curly sneeze, but it's always possible - all rats are different. He could still be getting used to it, and therefore sneezing more. Perhaps give him a few more hours and see if it lessens; if not, change back to the aspen for now?

If you can't see what it is that is making them scratch, as far as I know, it can be two things, mainly. Mites, as you say, or too much protein in their diet. If they are all scratching, then I would guess it's possibly mites.

I have read here before that people say it's no more expensive to take two rats for a check up than it is one, so maybe if you 'shop around' a bit with the vets, you may get a good deal.

I've never treated for mites, but if it's a simple thing you can do, perhaps just treat them anyway, while you are waiting to see a vet?

Good luck with them. Sounds like you have your hands full for a while!
 

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I've just had another thought... you mention they have fleece in their cages... have you recently washed them? Could it be the laundry detergent? The reason I ask is that I put our rats in the bath tub on some towels, when I was introducing them, and it took me a while to realise that it was the towels making them itch. I now put everything of theirs through an extra rinse, and they've been fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
He doesn't seem to be sneezing anymore, and his breathing sounds normal again. Whew. I didn't want to have to call Trent and be like "I've had your rat for a day and I broke him." :( Haha. He has a big lush bed full of fleece and fluff that came with him from Trent, but he's insisting on sleeping under the waterbottle. I keep bugging him cuz if I'm cold, surely he is too.

I haven't recently washed the fleece, and when I did it was with this hypoallergenic unscented detergent because I'm really sensitive to perfumes and such myself.

I think it might be mites - Charlotte has some scabby feeling things on her skin (she won't let me pick her up to look.) Haven't found anything on the other girls, but they have been scratching a lot.

So far, Dr. Karen Obegi is the only vet in Seattle that I've found that caters to rat care. I'm gonna call today to find out what her rates are.
 

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Good to hear Curly's ok :) I think it usually does just take them a day or so to get used to a change.

Good look with the vets for the girls. It really does sound like mites, but I don't think they're that hard to treat, though.

And thanks for the tip on the detergent! I'm going to try that myself. Do you have to get it from a special store, or do most places carry it? (I haven't seen it before.)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm sure lots of places have it. I got it at Trader Joe's (or rather, my roommate did.) I think they have it at Target too though.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I found a vet through on of Seattle's more reputable shops (the owner is a rat nut) and I'm taking Curly and Charlotte in on Tuesday. $35 a pop, though. Ouch. And if I want to get Curly neutered, it's another $87.
 

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Ouch! Least your ratties will be happy and you won't have the worries any more, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Very true. I can eat ramen an extra week if it means the kids are happy :)
 

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With those scabs and where she came from she most likely has mites and transmitted them to your other girls. I hope your vet will give you Revolution because you'll need to treat all 4 of your rats now. Mites can be transmitted by hitching a ride on you, so most likley Curly has them too. :(

About her skittishness, very typical. She is from petshop/feeder stock with no socialization and most likely bad breeding. Give her time, treat those mites, and let her learn from your other girls that you are "okay". Patience is key here.

Curly probably had the new home sneezies plus its possible that the carefresh you gave him was dusty. My rats and I cannot use carefresh, we sneeze like crazy and I don't like the smell. Aspen or fleece for me. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yeah, Charlotte has some dandruffy stuff. None of the others do though.

I'll see about getting some Revolution......I only have $100 to my name till payday in 2 weeks though, and $70 of that is going to get Curly and Charlotte checked out.

She's warming up to me more and more each day though. Yesterday she came out of hiding to get a piece of carrot from me. And when I woke up this morning, she was curled up sleeping with the other girls in a poptart box, instead of hiding up on the top level in the fleece :)

We'll see how it goes after I take her to the vet, though. She's not going to be too pleased with me, I imagine...
 

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you can also see about ivermectin you can buy it at the petsmarts that sell stuff for horses you need the 1.78 syringe and give them a rice sized grain of it on a tooth pick or put it on a yogie to make sure they eat it all. You would want to take her to the vet to be absolutely sure it is mite or lice though i am getting all of my boys treated on the tenth it willcost me 100 for both treatments for six rats. but i am getting the shots they sell it at petsmart for about 5 bucks just to let you know
 

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Chivahn said:
I'm sure lots of places have it. I got it at Trader Joe's (or rather, my roommate did.) I think they have it at Target too though.
You're right, I found some amongst the regular detergent at our local supermarket. I just hadn't thought to look for it, I guess. Thanks again! :)
 

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Ivermectin applied to the skin is probably better than oral administration, i've found it seems to work quicker (i've only had to use it on my guinea's not my rat, but i assume the same principal applies).

Also, the wheezing/sneezing/rattling could be stress induced. Oscar had me really worried with this when i first brought him home but after a couple of days he was absolutely fine :)
 

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All sources that I've come across for rats with mites say that Ivermectin needs to be given orally. Maybe it's just a guinea pig thing? :p
 
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