Pet Rats/whats wrong with my babies?!
I just received 2 baby rats, a boy (Greasy) and a girl (Marley) they are about a month and a half new, and they seem to have a cold
I am not sure what to do for them because they seem very uncomfortable.
The have runny noses and their sneezing is getting very wheezy.. i have read a few things on the internet and truth be told, that is scaring me and just making me think they are VERY sick,.
I would really like your opinion on the matter, maybe there is something i can do to make them better or at least be able to understand what is going on.. these rats are my pride and joy, like i said "my babies".. please help me Irene i don't want them to be hurting!!
Congratulations on your new babies! Before I address the illness, I hope that you are keeping them in seperate cages because at as young as 5 weeks of age, females can get pregnant. Don't even put them together for a second, because it would happen so quickly, you wouldn't even have a chance to blink. I also want to make you aware that rats should not be kept alone. They are very social creatures and would be lonely and bored without a cagemate. That said, please consider getting a same-sex companion for each of them.
Rats don't get colds the way that humans do. Chances are very high that your babies are suffering from a respiratory infection. All rats are born with something called mycoplasmosis (myco), which in some rats stays dormant throughout their lives, but in other rats, it flares up causing respiratory issues. Usually, rats that have myco flare-ups tend to suffer with them from time to time throughout their lives, usually getting more serious as they reach old age (2 years and up). These flare-ups will not run their course on their own like human colds do. They require antibiotics. If not treated promptly, there is a chance it may become serious and possibly turn to pneumonia, and the consequences of that could be deadly. I am not trying to scare you, just inform you that this it is important to tend to this illness as soon as possible.
I'm going to steer you to a web page written by another expert discussing myco in detail. Especially pay attention to the part about "Properly treating myco". You must take them to a good vet that has experience treating rats. If you need help finding a good vet in your area, tell me your zip code and I can locate one for you.
When you do go to the vet and if he confirms respiratory infection, ideally he will prescribe Baytril, an antibiotic that has a track record for best success in treating myco outbreaks. Please insist that a miniumum 21-day dose is prescribed, and look for improvement within the first 3 days. If no improvement is seen in 3 days, it won't work and a different antibiotic needs to be prescribed, or a combination of antibiotics. If you do see results in 3 days, remember that it needs to be continued for a full 21 to 30 days. Anything less will not fully eliminate the infection, resulting in a possible relapse not long after. Again, this web site will give great detail about this. Here is the link:
Please let me know if I can help with locating a vet or with anything else. Good luck to you and may your babies return to good health soon!