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Discussion Starter #1
So I've read that new rats can get "new home sneezes" for about a week when they are in a new home. I have a new rat who is not fully grown yet, and I have had her for a few days. Since I have had her, she has looked healthy, normal activity levels, no outward signs of illness. However, she has been sneezing the whole time. When she is active she seems to make a sneezing or snorting sound every few seconds.

It really worries me, especially because I recently had a rat suddenly get sick from suspected myco in her nervous system and die. My fiance keeps trying to reassure me that the sneezing is fine. But this doesn't seem normal to me. Part of it is probably the trauma from what happened but even after reading about new home sneezes I just can't stop worrying.

Today I checked up on the new rat and now she's sneezing twice at a time sometimes. The sneezing seems even worse. My fiance said he's noticed it before though but thinks it may have escalated today (though it's also been a windy day with a lot of pollen in the air and thinks it could be allergies). Is this not normal even for new home sneezes? Do you guys think I should take her to get looked at? Or give it another day to see if it continues?
 

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I'd probably take her, if the sneezing is rapid and constant it's not normal.
 

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What bedding do you use?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
An absorbent pad on the lowest level, fleece blanket, plastic flooring, and small amounts of CareFresh in the litter boxes in the cage.

The frequency of the sneezing has me concerned. This rat came from Petsmart and they said that under their guarantee if she needs treatment, they will take her back and keep her on hold for us so we can buy her back.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm not sure whether to go with the "Vet Assured" program or go with my regular exotics vet though, since I've been reading some posts elsewhere suggesting that Vet Assured might be bull...
 

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I'd just take it to a specialized vet
 

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I'd bring her to your own vet. Sometimes when pet stores say they'll make sure the rat is better and then re-sell it they don't or forget to save the specific rat for you. I've heard horror stories regarding that so I'd for sure just pay out of your own pocket.
 

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Please don't take her back to the pet store.

Honestly I've had sneezers and they were ok. Sometimes it's just allergies. Go with your gut. If you think you need to take her to the vet, do it. You'll feel better and so might your rat :)

Oh.. one thing that makes my rat sneeze is if we use any fabric softener or dryer sheets. Drives his nose crazy! So now his fleece gets none of that. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I think my other girl may just be a sneezer... she tends to sneeze more when she's out of her cage and excited (though it still worries me a bit from time to time, but noticing the pattern helps me feel better).

As for our new little girl, she was hardly sneezing at all this evening! So maybe it really was a case of new home sneezes? Let's hope! We also noticed that when the swamp cooler comes on, she sneezes a lot less, so maybe dry air irritates her nose. Should I still consider taking her to the vet if her sneezing starts up again or doesn't go away? From what has been said here, even though it would cost me money I think I would take her to my vet instead of the pet store. I've had to take enough sick rats to the vet though that hopefully she isn't starting to wonder about me!
 

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I had a rat that did the same thing.. mostly when out of cage or excited. I understand that dry air irritates all ratties! I recently bought a $12 gadget from walmart that measures temp/humidity in our bedroom (where the cage is). We use our cool mist humidifier to keep the air between 40-60% humidity and it really seems to help!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Good to know that dry air can be that big of a factor in rat sneezing! I still get nervous sometimes when my excitable sneezer is running around on me and sneezing on me, even after I know her pattern. I guess it's really easy to panic about sneezing after reading scary stuff about mycoplasma (and especially since I recently lost a rat to suspected myco... even though that rat wasn't even sneezing and showed no signs of illness before she suddenly got sick and couldn't walk; they think it got in her nervous system...)

At this point, I am hoping it was just a combination of dryness and new home sneezes with the new little one, so we'll be keeping the swamp cooler on and keeping an eye on her. I had been noticing occasional sneezing from my other ratties, too. If it starts up again, considering the abnormal frequency of sneezing she was having, I am considering whether I should still get her vet checked. Thanks everyone!
 

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When I first brought my ratty home he was also pretty sneezy, and it lasted for more than a week. Maybe a month. Its now died down and he's perfectly healthy. Could rats have asthma?
 
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