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My rat Scabbers is making very strange sounds it sounds like labored breathing how do I post a video on here it's like hmph sounds and wheezy also what can I give him temporarily till I can get him to a vet
 

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Separate him from the other rats. Turn on a humidifier. I heard that dark chocolate chips help but Im not quite sure. If you don't have a humidifier, run a hot shower and keep him in the room.
 

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You can try extra dark chocolate. You can also try a humidifier aimed at his cage.
 

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So dark chocolate does work? Hmmm... I thought it was a myth! That's cool. I'll try that in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Okay my parents will be home soon so I will get him to a vet and I found a tutorial on YouTube on how to make a bathroom create a lot of steam also I can't get him to eat any dark chocolate not even the flavored so I'll just try the steam thing
 

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Ok you could try and moisten the chocolate in your mouth first. That may make it more appealing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok I called my mom and she thinks that it could be caused from stress because we recently had to move the bird into the rat room but we are going to move the bird out of the room overnight and see how he is in the morning and also I'm going to clean his cage
 

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I hope he'll be okay!
 

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And your rat isn't going to make labored breathing sounds from stress.
 

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My girls are going through the same. Daisy's is significantly worse (pneumonia) but with treatment she is improving. I have given them squares of dove dark chocolate, which they love. If they won't take baking chocolate, this is a good option, because it's sweetened but still is dark enough to help. It seems to be helping them lots. If he won't eat it at all, you might be able to get him to lick it off of your fingers if you melt it onto your hand and try to groom him in whatever special place causes him to groom you back (my rats both have one, so there's a chance yours might, too!) he'll taste the chocolate on your hands and hopefully make a go at it. Also, I moved their cage to a cool, dark area next to my humidifier so that their air can be as moist as possible without the vapor dissipating elsewhere (my humidifier is personal sized, so that's why I had to do this. If you have a larger one, this should not be as much of a problem and you can probably just get away with having it in close proximity to the cage). Use a cool mist humidifier, the same kind that a lot of people use when they are sick and run next to their own beds. Steam could also work, but cool mist would likely be more comforting.

Last night Daisy was getting so bad that I build a nebulizer chamber out of a small plastic box that I drilled holes in. I followed a dosage guide I found on the internet, roughly, because I don't have a whole lot of other medications except albuterol. I'm asthmatic, so I luckily already had albuterol vials and a nebulizing machine. It was .05 albuterol mixed with 8 ML of saline solution. I made my saline solution myself with regular table salt (not the best) because I had to act quickly. My babies are very small and tend to feed off of each other's stress at times, so I nebulized Daisy individually. This helped her a TON, and I mean, A TON. Here's a resource on how to build a nebulizing chamber if you can. http://ratfanclub.org/nebuliz.html. It's not that hard to build one, as I had to really throw together a rag-tag one last night and it still worked, but if you don't already have a nebulizer in your house then you wouldn't be able to. If you don't, just make sure you ask your vet about it. Someone on here also gave me this resource: http://ratguide.com/health/lower_respiratory/pneumonia.php. It has a nebulization guide about halfway down the page.

If you have no medication, just using saline solution could help. I haven't tried it with only saline solution, but a member on the forums told me it can make a big difference. Definitely get your rat to the vet soon. I was going to wait to take mine, but members here on the forums and some rat lovers on instagram urged me to take them in sooner - I think it saved their lives. Also, you may want to put some raw honey (a really, really small amount) and smear it on the tip of a straw and give it to him. Don't glob it, he could choke. Just smear a thin film of it and let him lick it off of the straw (or your finger). It could really help soothe him.

If worse comes to worse (because I know I was worrying about what I'd do if my girls stopped breathing) there is a way to resuscitate that might be good to know. This is not to say that your rat is going to die - NO NO NO! I just worried a lot about what could happen so I found it a little calming to know what to do. Here are a couple of resources I found on how to give your rat CPR.

(Just a warning, the second one is a little graphic. It was written by someone who was performing CPR on lab rats for research purposes, so it's a little heart wrenching for some, but the information is valuable nonetheless).

http://www.tinytoesratrescue.org/#!shock--cpr/c34f
http://www.dr-mikes-maths.com/thotz/index.php?itemid=143


 

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Does anyone know if pneumonia is contagious?

Basil's breathing has been noisy lately and seems to be getting progressively worse (with periods of normalcy in between). She has an appointment for tomorrow morning, but after reading about pneumonia in rats, I'm terrified she might not make it through the night.

All my babies have been producing lots of porphyrin.. But Dawson was neutered in January, introductions was a nightmare, and Algae had a tumor removal + spay earlier this month, so I'm nervous circumstances might be masking something here.. No one else is sneezing as bad as Basil, though, and no one else has audible breathing.

But if pneumonia is contagious, should I separate Basil for the night? She's currently sleeping in a fleece circus tent on my bed, next to me (by her choice).
 

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It may be a good idea to keep her close to you tonight to monitor her. As far as it being catching, I think that the answer is both yes and no. In humans, pneumonia can be caused by mycoplasma (the same that causes it in rats) and is very contagious. That's usually how walking pneumonia happens. There are also bacterial and fungal forms of the disease that are not so readily transmitted. So, I think it depends on which kind of pneumonia she has. I think that sometimes rats get pneumonia because they get myco flare-ups, as most rats do have myco and I've heard that for some it's a long term maintenance kind of thing. So, in terms of separating her from the rest, I do think it's a good idea. They may have already been exposed though, so you'll want to monitor the rest closely and treat them as well. Hope that you can get to the vet soon. You're a good owner for wanting to keep her comfy in the mean time. Lots of prayers and well wishes coming your way.
 

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Also, keep it mind that even though it could be pneumonia, it also could just be an upper respiratory infection, which is more easily treated. Your vet should definitely be able to tell you tomorrow.
 

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I thought pneumonia in humans were generally only contagious to those with weak immune systems, (eg. children, elderly, complications of/in addition to other illnesses, etc)?

I know URIs are reoccurring, but I read that pneumonia can be lethal. Do you know what the treatment is for pneumonia? Or, well, I suppose that would depend on the cause.. Nervous about how much the diagnostic tests will cost, as I've already dropped $500+ this year on Algae's and Dawson's vet fees. More importantly, I hope we'll be able to find a treatment for whatever Basil has - it's starting to sound pretty awful, and I think she may be my heart rat.

Thank you for the well wishes, as well as the helpful information. Basil & I really appreciate it. <3
 

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The vet gave me Baytril for the URI and for Daisy's pneumonia. It was about $10 -$20 for the antibiotic, and they factored it into the cost for the entire visit. I think that the cost varies from vet to vet, but for the one I went to they were rather reasonable in terms of the medicine cost. The most expensive part was the visit itself, which was a little excessive because they charged about 50 or so for each girl. The exotics vet I'm going to on Friday is going to just charges for the visit itself, not for each individual rat, so I'm hoping that's a little better. I'd really like to get an x-ray of Daisy, because the urgent care vet told me that she had pneumonia based on listening to her lungs. I think that a chest x-ray would be more definitive as to how progressed it is. I'm a little upset myself about the vet, because I'm just now learning how bad pneumonia is, too, and the vet didn't tell me about the prognosis at all or give me much information about it, besides the fact that respiratory distress is really common when you get a new rat (I got mine last Thursday from Petsmart). I got really freaked out when I read about how bad it can be.
 

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Oh, i just want to add. If you can, try to get a reimbursement from Petsmart for the vet fees. My sister took her hamster to the vet twice and Petsmart covered the vet fees (which came out to $300 something) for the first two weeks since purchase date. I think petco cover the first 30 days. I was stupid and waited 15 days before taking Algae to the vet, so I ended up paying out of pocket.

Let us know what they say and how the vet visit goes on Friday! I'm thinking of getting an x-ray for Basil, too. I read pneumonia can cause scarring of the lungs, and even though that might not be treatable, I'd like to fight whatever's plaguing Basil aggressively if it's as bad as pneumonia.

Okay, I have to get ready to take my babies to the vet! I'll post an update once I get back :)

P.S. I LOVE your avatar -- who is that??
 

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Update on Basil: Vet doesn't think she has pneumonia; she didn't hear any crackling sound in her lungs. While this would normally be good news, Basil didn't show any symptoms while she was at the vet! (I feel like this always happens). Anyways, the vet said that the crackling sound I heard might be contained to the nasal passages/head area, so she put Basil on Doxy and Baytril. Since she was fairly adamant that it wasn't pneumonia, I didn't push the x-rays; I did ask about it though, and she said it was tricky taking x-rays of rats because they're so small and that many rat owners don't request x-rays... so I just left it at that.

Daisy's ADORABLE <3 <3
 
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