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Pet Rats/My new baby rat is sneezing

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Hello, I have had my baby male rat for 5 days now and since then he has been sneezing a lot, he sneezes more when I interact with him.  I also have 3 female rats (they are not in the same cage as the baby).  I have encountered the sneezing thing before with one of my females excpet she had discharge and funny breathing.  When she was taken to the vet she was diagnosed with "upset nose" and I was given medicine for her.  So I don't know if my new one is coming down withsomething or if it is adjusting to his new home.  It's been a rough road this past week.  His cagemate just died (I got the two of them from a pet store but those rats are technically feeders). I work at the pet store and just fell in love with them. I know for future reference to buy a rat intended to be a pet.  I am also wondering if it is stress by being lonely that he is sneezing.  I intend on getting him a new cagemate ASAP.  Sorry for the long story but again my question is if I am over reacting about his sneezing.  He is currently in atank because the cage I have he can get out of.  I use shredded paper, newspaper, and a little bit of the carefresh (I'm taking it out today I saw that it isn't that good for them) for his bedding.  He is very active, eating good and drinking his water.
Thank you for your time, it is very much appreciated!

Answer
Sara, rats use a sneeze sometimes to communicate. Mine do it when they are excited. I would only be concerned if there is porpherin present around the nose or eyes(a red crusty snot). I have never heard of care fresh being bad for rats. I have heard quite the opposite. I have never used anything but carefresh. Any wood based bedding is bad. Carefresh is just recycled newspapers. If you are concerned with a respiratory infection I would go to a local herb shop or green house and ask for dock. It's an herb commonly used in people for respiratory issues. I grow it myself in a garden for use. I would also get him in a wire cage. A tank can make it harder to air out the cage, thus making it dusty.

Feeder rats are not necessarily a bad pet. Many of my rats are feeders from a pet store I too worked at. They often come with respiratory infections, this is why I always have dock on hand. It is easily treated with out a high vet bill.

Take a min and breathe. If he has discharge then look for dock ASAP. If none is present then take him to your vet.

Good luck!

Emily

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Emily Harris

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I can Answer Questions from Training your pet rat,socializing , breeding ,whelping,birth defects, coat patters,genetic disorders, Pros and Cons of Rats,Male vs. Females, Behavior, Diet, General care, Housing, Bathing, Home remedy for the deadly respiratory infection,exercise,Toys,play time,free ranging, what can cause your rat to become sick(ex pine and cedar oils),Living Conditions, Sexing a rat, Intelligence, Breed standards and ways to improve the smell of your pet rat.

Experience

I currently have 4 rats, 2 females, 1 breeding male and my 5 year old male who has been retired. I have a degree in biology. I breed for feeders and pets. I have owned rats for 8 years and have bred for 6 years.

Organizations
FFA

Education/Credentials
Biology degree

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