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 Post subject: Sudden fright, now wheezing
 Post Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 1:05 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:20 pm
Posts: 6
Hi eveyone
Would appreciate it if someone could shed a light in what just happened.

We had taken our three girls into their usual freetime room. My son's friend arrived at the same time and also come into the room. My daughter had two of the rats in her dressing gown and Chico had hidden herself under the bed.

Sudddenly Bluebell leapt out of the dressing gown and ran around frantically. She was runnuning one way, then another, then ran to the door and seemed to be jumping at it. She then flopped to the ground, laid there for a minute, then ran and hid under a chest of drawers.

I couldn't coax her out and ended up moving the drawers to pick her up. She has now developed a squeaky wheeze.

Could this have been some sort of seizure? My son's friend has cats at home - could the smell have terrified her? We suspect cat smells have spooked them before, but thought this had improved.

Is the wheeze likely related to what just happened?

Prior to this they had been busy rearranging their cage furniture and behaving normally.

They are now all back in their cage, but still seem very subdued.

I would be very grateful for any advice anyone can offer.

Many thanks, Tracey


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 Post subject: Re: Sudden fright, now wheezing
 Post Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 9:48 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:17 pm
Posts: 2079
Location: Newcastle on Tyne
really sorry to hear about this - it sounds very distressing for you both

I wonder if it's the other way round - the behaviour caused by the wheeze. When rats are in respiratory difficulty, they tend to panic and bolt wildly in every direction, often trying to climb upwards where they might be able to find some ease by hanging their heads over a drop.

I would get her checked out just in case there's an underlying respiratory problem - it can worsen very fast.

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 Post subject: Re: Sudden fright, now wheezing
 Post Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 9:22 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:20 pm
Posts: 6
Thank you Helzie
To be honest the 'wheeze' was very faint. I could only hear it when I held her right to my ear. When I fed them last night she was the one who ate the most - so I was happy that her appetite wasn't affected.

All three girls seemed a bit shy again today and spent most of their time in their Sputnik. We did coax them out this evening for free range time. They were jumpy for the first fifteen minutes but regained their confidence and ended up running around and investigating as normal. When I picked Bluebell up I couldn't hear any sign of a wheeze tonight.

We'll continue to keep a close eye on them all, but things do seem much better this evening.

We really appreciate the advice - we are new to rat keeping and it is a bit like having a new baby in the house!


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 Post subject: Re: Sudden fright, now wheezing
 Post Posted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 5:03 pm 
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It sounds to me like it could have been a seizure, but as Helzie mentioned, other things can cause the symptoms you described. The smell of cat does sometimes (often?) scare rats that aren't used to it, but scared rats tend to run and hide somewhere covered/safe, and if they're moving around in the open they generally creep around slowly and cautiously on their bellies.

If Bluebell's breathing is fine now, she's eating well and moving around normally, then I would just keep a close eye/ear on things. Make sure the cage they're in has plenty of fall-breakers, and if the same sort of thing happens again, I'd see a vet.

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