I spoke with the owners of a local mom and pop pet store about my rats starting to sneeze. They gave me some of their sulmet that they say they give to the small animals when they are sneezy.. anyone have experience with this? Is it safe to give?
How long have you had your rats? If it hasn't been long then they may just be adjusting to your home. If it's been a while and they're sneezing but not showing any other respiratory symptoms, then I'd try a different bedding.
Hmm... that doesn't sound good so I'll avoid using it. I have had them for 3 weeks.. the u had periodic sneezing before but it's been more frequent since yesterday. This morning one of the had one of their eyes closed/crusted over with white crystals... came back a few minutes later and it was better.. still sneezing though. At what point should I take them to the vet?
Have you checked their lungs by holding their chest to your ear? Listen for wheezing, crackling, clicking, anything abnormal. Watch for eating, drinking and behavior changes as well. Mine have all been a little sneezy since I had to turn the heater on this winter, but it's nothing infection related. Changes in breathing sounds and rapidity are definitely things to watch out for though.
I've listened by holding up to my ear and also using a stethoscope.. I don't hear anything but their heart and some noise when they sniff...one just had a little sneeze attack... saw some mucous from the nose and a little troubled breathing afterward... now he seems fine. . I was going to go out of town for 3 days.. about a 5 hour drive.. was gonna have a friend check in on them but do you think it would be okay for me to bring them with me so that I could keep an eye on them and take them to the EC if needed? Can I just use a cat carrier as a temp home while we travel or shold I get a critter keeper tyep thing?
I'm wait to hear back from an exotics vet who can see them early next week.. and will take them to an EC before then if the labored breathing becomes constant..but would a car ride stress them put and make thingo worse? Sorry... Im just super worried now.
I'd take them with you honestly. A cat carrier is fine for travel as long as you have a place where you can let them out to roam. You may want to try giving some children's benadryl to see if that helps the sneezing. If that doesn't help then you will probably want to take them in to see the vet since it may mean that they've got the beginnings of something a little more serious than allergies.
Do rats get scared in the car... I have just managed to start building my relationship with them where they are trusting me and coming to me when I open the cage door... Im worried that they will be very frightened..
Completely up to you. I'd just make sure your friend who is willing to watch them understands the situation and is willing to take them to the vet if need be. Maybe leave some cash just in case. As I said, it's up to you and how involved your friend is willing to get. I've come home to a dead rat before after leaving them in someone else's care, so I have a hard time trusting anyone with them now. And as far as the drive being stressful for them, yes it could worsen their symptoms MAYBE, but as far as it being detrimental to your relationship with them, I think it would actually have the opposite effect. I have done a lot of bonding with my rats through stressful situations and if you think about it, you'll be the only static thing in their lives during that trip, so they will likely be more willing to come to you for comfort.
Thank you so much for the help... man.. sick animals stress me out haha. Makes me wonder if I'm getting in to the right field (1st year vet student..so basically don't know anything).. I'm leaning toward taking them with me. Just hope I don't make things worse for them. I may be posting when I'm out of town for moral support.. it's kind of amazing how many vets don't see pocket pets.. it's one of my interests so I'll hopefully be able to be ono the list of good exotic vets when I'm done
I probably have more experience handling and treating rats from my work in a laboratory than most vets. It's pretty sad that there's a serious lack of emphasis put on rats and mice in the veterinary world and we definitely need more vets out there with a real passion for them. Awesome that you're a vet student, was always a dream of mine, but life took me elsewhere. Best of luck on your trip and we'll definitely be here if you need anything. Buy that children's benadryl and some children's guaifenesin (for chest congestion) before you leave just in case. Here's a dosing guide for the guaifenesin http://ratguide.com/meds/respiratory_drugs/guaifenesin_otc.php
Honestly, with the debt to income ratio.. probably better that you went a different route... I will be graduating with probably close to 200,000 in debt..which is pretty insane. It kind of bothers me when people refer to vets as being "money hungry" because its really far from reality.. but yea.. mini rant. The program i am in offers a small animal and exotic track.. but i feel like most of my hands on experience will come from outside opportunities made available through the exotics club...totally want to get as much experience as possible. Thank you for that link.. do you know the dosage for benadryl?
That's exactly the reason I went with another option lol I got paid to go to school for research and will likely continue getting paid for it all the way up through my PhD. Here's a link for the benadryl http://ratguide.com/meds/respiratory_drugs/diphenhydramine_hcl.php You'll have to do the math based on the concentration of what you get and your rats' weight.
You are definitely smarter than me ☺. I'm also a career changer so you would think I would know better. But i chose what i think will make me happy in the long run.. so hopefully it works out in the end. Thanks for all of your help..let you know how this all goes!