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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm new and need major help
SORRY FOR ALL THE POSTS (I didn't realize you could only edit them within a 10 minute period??)

I got two female baby rats on 2/9/15 from petco (realizing I probably shouldn't have gotten them from there after)
I got them home and I thought/think they are fine however I'm worried
When I first bought them the lady had told me to use pine even though I had argued it was toxic for them but of course I listened to her
It bothered me after I put it in so I took it out ASAP
Now I am using critter care and a mix of kaytee clean and cozy
The problem is they keep sneezing and I'm not sure how often to when it becomes an issue, its constant and sometimes they will go long periods without doing it but its not likely (I read things saying sneezing is ok and then things saying it isnt so??)
I thought it might be a UR so I did a lot of research and a video told me to put half pedialyte in and half water for a week so I am and it also said to feed them just plain oats (I know oats can cause constipation) but it doesn't seem to be bothering them
I'm just worried??
I CANNOT take them to the vet not even for a check up because my parents wont allow it and where I am it costs like $80 for just one rat
They have NO other symptoms at all that I can see and they are both doing it so..I'm not sure if I just got two rats with a problem or if something I'm doing is a problem

I'm also wondering about like vibrating (I looked it up and it said something about being in heat but I'm not sure about that...they sort of shiver idk its cute and it doesnt look harmful but im not sure??? I ALSO NEED TO KNOW HOW TO CONTROL THEM FIGHTING when they are playing ...sometimes they will simply just be playing and it turns into a huge fight and one rat of mine is tinier than the other so it usually squeaks a lot and I take one out of the cage and hold it for a bit but sometimes idk if that works

EVERYTHING I have researched is ALWAYS a little bit different than what another site or person says etc so I dont know what the heck to do
 

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-SNEEZING: Give them another week to get used to smells. Beyond that, make sure you are not using candles, incense, air freshener, or perfume near them. Also try them on old towels for a week if they're still sneezing.

-PEDIALYTE/OATS: Oh god no. Give pure, untampered water or your rats are likely to get very ill. Also, don't feed them just oats. Feed them proper rat food. You can give treats up to 10% of their daily intake.

-VIBRATING: it is from heat, it can also be nervousness or waking. I'd need a video to be sure.

-FIGHTING: Don't separate unless there is blood. They're likely playing.

-VET: You didn't ask, but I want to reassure you that vets WILL be necessary in your rat's life and is a prerequisite to animal ownership. Female rats especially can be prone to health issues. Please start setting aside money, do chores, WHATEVER and save up. In one year, I've spent about $1000 on my babies. Others are lucky - spent only $150.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
-SNEEZING: Give them another week to get used to smells. Beyond that, make sure you are not using candles, incense, air freshener, or perfume near them. Also try them on old towels for a week if they're still sneezing.

-PEDIALYTE/OATS: Oh god no. Give pure, untampered water or your rats are likely to get very ill. Also, don't feed them just oats. Feed them proper rat food. You can give treats up to 10% of their daily intake.

-VIBRATING: it is from heat, it can also be nervousness or waking. I'd need a video to be sure.

-FIGHTING: Don't separate unless there is blood. They're likely playing.

-VET: You didn't ask, but I want to reassure you that vets WILL be necessary in your rat's life and is a prerequisite to animal ownership. Female rats especially can be prone to health issues. Please start setting aside money, do chores, WHATEVER and save up. In one year, I've spent about $1000 on my babies. Others are lucky - spent only $150.
I just refilled their water with normal, however is it true not to give them chlorinated water? I have been keeping jugs of water out to get the chlorine, etc. out.
I've been feeding them the normal kaytee forti-diet rat, small rodent food? the little round block looking things too
And as for the vet, I recently got a job again (was working at kmart) now at mc donalds, BUT I just started working again so it might take me a bit to save up that is why I'm so worried.../:

ANOTHER QUESTION I HAVE IS hiccuping??
 

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Rats can hiccup, and can do so when waking or when excited.

It's good you're making steps to get a vet fund. Most of my costs are end-of-life care, which you won't see for a year or more.

Kaytee food is sorta crap. Can you get Oxbow? There's also Harlan Teklad/Native Earth or Mazuri which you can purchase online.

Tap water has been researched to be unhealthy, but a britta filter can fix that. I'm not really sure on the science behind leaving water out to evaporate the chlorine. Usually, stores like Walmart sell jugs of water for cheap that makes a good option if you don't trust your tap.
 

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You should check with your vet and see if they would charge one rate to see both rats. We have 4 boys and 1 girl currently and our wonderful exotics vet usually only charges us a single check up fee. I have spent in excess of a thousand dollars on just my 3 boys last year and they are less than a year old so it can definitely get expensive when things do pop up health wise. What really helps is to set aside x amount of your salary every pay check to go into a vet fund and to find a good vet (before you need one!) who is knowledgeable and is willing to work with you. With regards to the vibration, I find that my boys do this when they are excited or they need to potty but are away from the cage. Of course, rats can also have hiccups but they are very distinct looking. I would transfer them onto the better food and take out the bedding for now to monitor changes since rats can be allergic to certain types of substrate (which could be causing the sneezing).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you guys so much!
I'm going to see about getting Oxbow or something better.
& look into the water thing!

If I have any other questions/concerns do you mind if I refer to you?
 

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The entire forum is full of helpful experts (such as RatDaddy in Behavioral, Cagedbirdsinging in Nutrition, etc), so posting a thread will usually get you responses. However, feel free to PM me! Hope you enjoy your babies! And you should be able to access the full forum now :)
 

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You bought animals when you knew you couldn't get them medical help if needed? Uh.
 

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Out of curiosity, what kind of cage do they have? I'm just asking in case the lady told you to get a cage too small. If you search up "Rat cage calculator" and then input the cage deminsions into one of those. If it says two rats can fit then you're good! If not, you may also want to separate a cage fund from the vet fund. :3

Also, I'll completely vouch for the oxbow. It's wonderful food and my rats will even take it as a treat sometimes. Supplementing with veggies will also keep them healthy.

As for the sneezing, give them a few days. Rats usually sneeze after getting home. Some things to remember to keep it from getting worse: No perfumes and smoke should be anywhere near the rats. This may also be important, if you keep a window open in the room, you may want to close it. I noticed that Neera (My girl that seems to have a bad immune system) seemed to be allergic to something outside and it made her sneeze.
 

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You bought animals when you knew you couldn't get them medical help if needed? Uh.
Why are you being rude? This person asked for help and all you're doing is basically calling them stupid, which they are not.

A lot of people don't realize that so much care is needed for rats (expense wise); which is what happened to me when I first got my girls.

When you're a new rat owner, it takes time to learn all these things. So maybe you should reconsider your rudeness and help someone instead. I'm sure when you were a first time rat owner, there were things you needed help/advice with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My rat cage is actually a ferret cage so it's pretty big!
& as much as I'd like to comment back to you erinsweeney, I won't bother.
Thanks a ton Erikablanchettexo, it means a lot. I thought this site was a friendly community? I guess some people don't fit that category.
 

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How do you guys feel about http://www.petco.com/product/121184...CoreCat=LN_SmallAnimalSupplies_Rat_HealthCare
I'm looking to maintain my rats health and am unsure about this stuff
That's what I use in my girls water :). I honestly don't know if it has had any significant help with their health but I'm sure it gives them some vitamins and such that they're missing out on. I do find that I change the water more often though because it does dilute a lot once it's in the water bottle if that makes sense?
 

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How do you guys feel about http://www.petco.com/product/121184...CoreCat=LN_SmallAnimalSupplies_Rat_HealthCare
I'm looking to maintain my rats health and am unsure about this stuff
Things like this aren't really necessary if they're getting a balanced diet. Look at their food and a nutrition guide on any veggies you're giving them to see if there's anything they're lacking. I always feel like getting vitamins from a dietary source is better than using a supplement, but that's just me. Hope your rats are doing well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Alright, thank guys!
They are doing good so far, don't wanna jinx it though
I've noticed they kind of poop in one spot so I'm thinking now is a good time to start litter training them??
I DONT WANT THEIR TEETH TO OVERGROW EITHER and was curious on what ya'll thing is good for chew toys?? because im not to keen on getting colored wood stuff but thats all i can seem to find
 

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In my experience vibrating means they are scared or nervous. They should do it less and less as they get used to you!
 

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Colored wood chew toys are usually fine. You can trust most that are marketed towards rats and birds. Just read what they are made of very carefully, and if you doubt it, just don't buy it.
Here is a list of safe and unsafe woods for rats:
http://exoticpets.about.com/od/RatSupplies/fl/Safe-and-Toxic-Woods-For-Rats.htm

I personally recommend Lava Ledges (also handy for keeping nails shorter and something fun to climb to), Snak Shaks (http://www.petco.com/product/123085...e-Small-Animal-Chew.aspx?CoreCat=OnSiteSearch and http://www.petco.com/product/100637/eCOTRITION-Snak-Shak-Activity-Log.aspx?CoreCat=OnSiteSearch) and these apple wood chews: http://www.petco.com/product/104964...ws.aspx?CoreCat=LN_SmallAnimalSupplies_Treats
You can also give them uncooked pasta sometimes.

And yes, you can start litter training from day one. Put a litter box where they are usually pooping, that's a great way to get them started.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Awesome, loaded up on a bunch of stuff for these two!
I appreciate all the help, honestly. It means the world to me.
They have both been doing very well (still sneezing) not A LOT but it's still happening which I'm sure it is the bedding or just a thing. I'm going to be getting new bedding again this weekend and we'll see how it goes. I'm also sort of looking to "pimp" up their cage again and I want some kind of rope or latter type thing to hang from the ceiling that they can climb up, etc. They LOVE chasing each other around while climbing on the sides of the cage so I thought they'd enjoy something like a rope or latter as well. Any ideas on where I can find something like that? I've honesty looked everywhere that I can think of...LOL
 
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