Help! New rat sneezing!

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Help! New rat sneezing!

Post by bluerose » Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:05 pm

I got a rat last week. I LOVE HER! I read it is not good to just have one as they get lonely. I went back to the pet shop and got another from a different litter since I got the last female in my first ones litter. When I got her they said she wasnt used to being handled and the only time I held her was when they changed their cage. When she brought her out she had her by the tail :shock: . I got her home and held her for a few minutes and the more she was on me the more she sneezed! I am worried she has an infection. I put her in a different place than my healthy rat in case she she is sick. I am already emotionally invested with her and dont want to exchange her for another. I called all the vets in an 80 mile radius and no one sees rats. Please help. I am going to give her a little while in a dark room to calm down and see if it is stressed induced.

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Re: Help! New rat sneezing!

Post by HereticPr1me » Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:05 am

TL;DR new home sneezes are a thing, isolate her and monitor for a couple of weeks, use paper-based bedding and make sure she is a girl.

Hi, and welcome :)
Firstly, it is good practise to always keep a new rat(s) separated from the others for a couple of weeks to watch for any signs of infection or ill health, so that was the correct thing to do. Ideally in a separate airspace or room.

Secondly, its not uncommon for rats to get "new home sneezes". Theyre entering a completely different environment than they have lived in until now, and different smells, air quality, different humidity levels, bedding etc. Theres also us, with our clothing, deodorants, etc. - I assume you don't spray air fresheners anywhere near them.

I personally would wait the quarantine period and monitor her. Keep a good ear for signs of crackly breathing or congestion. If shes hooting or sneezing up red mucous (porphyrin) then a vet trip might be in order. If its new home sneezes then it should settle. Ensure she is on dust free, paper based bedding and not wood shavings/sawdust.

Finally, most vets in Europe will see rats so I assume youre in the US ? If so it might be worth getting in touch with the RMCA (rat and mouse club of America) for info on responsible breeders and vets.
It's definitely worth finding a vet that will see rats, or speaking with your most local vet about working with you if theyre happy for you to bring along information for them to refer to (Rat Health Guide website is a wonderful resource) as it can really help when asking for a treatment they may not have used with rats.

And one other thing, given the pet shop lifted her by the tail, Id be extra vigilant and make sure you girls are both definitely girls before introducing them to each other. Pet shops can mistake even rats, believe it or not. Im glad youre not planning to return her, chances are they would have her put down if you did, its pretty routine, sadly.

All in, its good you've gotten your girly a new friend, it adds so much more to their lives :)
Doug, witless provider to :
Ratties :smile: ex-lab boys Boxer and Spot
Budgies Freyja and Haiku.
:rattyrainbow: 43 storytellers loved and lost, most recently : Jess :rattyrainbow:

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