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Pet Rats/New baby rat sneezing but hard to diagnose


QUESTION: Hello! I am so happy to stumble upon this website. I am very concerned about my new baby rats sneezing. Sometimes it seems bad, sometimes it doesn't. I am willing to take my rat to the vet the only thing is I'd really like to wait till my payday, but could a couple days be a matter between life and death? I do have a link to a video of my rat( Could you please share your opinion on what I should do? If there are home remedies that are effective to eliminate his sneezing I'm more then willing to try! Could it possibly just be him adjusting to his new home? He has been living in my home for a little over a month now. Sneezing the whole time about exactly as shown in the video. It has not gotten worse.


ANSWER: Your video didn't come up. HOWEVER, I can assist you without it. My first question is where did you get the rat and what are you using for bedding?
Any wood bedding can cause sneezing which leads to a serious respritory infection. I use carefresh, cloth or paper for bedding. Rats do often see to clear their nose and to communicate. A sneeze can be excitement. A happy excitement as well as a nervous one. Does it have an red discharge around its eyes or nose?

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QUESTION: I apologize about that video! I went ahead and just uploaded it to youtube so it may be easier. ( It's a decent video, you can hear his sneezes and see his behavior pretty well.

I do use carefresh and I've been cleaning his cage actually every few days just to make sure no urine smell or anything of the sort bother his nose. I've even been letting him hang out in the bathroom while a hot shower runs so he can try to breathe in some steam. :(

ANSWER: It says it has a privacy settin on it, not allowing me to view it.

If you bought him from a pet shop he probably has a respritory infection. If he doesn't have any discharge he's ok until you can get some antibiotics.
I have a farm and raise livestock so I rarely visit the vet. I use an herb called dock to cure respritory infections. It isn't sold in most stores however it grows wildly in most southern yards. Anywhere it's not freezing. It's tall and has dark leaves. If you google it you can see a photo. OR I just gave one of my pet shop rats a capsule of amoxicillin with cheese and she was better in a matter of hours. Some people will not agree with giving human MEDS to pets. However I have been told by a couple vets that many animal MEDS are the same with different names. Most antibiotics are perscription. So, you can also buy penecillin at an animal feed store (I.e tractor supply) BUT this must be given via injection. I am sure your concerned with doing this but it's just in the skin NOT in the muscle like humans get. If you choose this option I can further instruct how to do so.

A vet visit is always a better option. They KNOW what is wrong and know how to treat it properly.
I recognize that vet visits can be expensive especially for specialists like rodents. I would ONLY give gim the shot if he is in DIRE need. Not because the shot is a bad method but because it takes know how to do it correctly. If he is gasping for air or seems like he is struggling hard to breath AND a vet is out of the question is when a shot is necessary.

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QUESTION: Thankyou so much Emily! Your answer did actually give me a little more knowledge and I do feel a little better. Again, I apologize about my video, I actually do not upload very often. I noticed the private setting and removed it a matter of seconds ago. Here is the link ONE more time if I could just borrow a few more minutes of your time ( :)

There is no blood around the eyes but I have noticed a VERY small amount around his nose. Very tiny amount of blood. It's usually rare to see cause he wipes it away so quickly. No gasping for air, I have actually held his whole upper body against my ear and listened and his heart beat and lungs. It seems to sound normal to me.

Another thing I want to mention, I had left over medicine of doxycycline from another rat I own (whom he has had absolutely no contact with) and I administered it to the baby rat in very small doses (.2mL) two times a day for about a little over 2 weeks now. This is another reason I was hesitant about the vet, since I actually had medicine. After all obtaining anti-biotics is the reason for bringing my baby rattie to the vet :( But I feel like this treatment I've been doing hasn't been doing much if anything at all....

Thank you so much again.

I got it this time. I wouldn't worry with that. That sounds like an excited sneeze. The sneezing you'd worry about is a very rough one. The red you see isn't blood. It's a substance called porpherin (poor-fur-in). It's rat snot. If it gets excessive and you can see a tint to his fur that's red that's when you need to worry because he has so much that when he cleans himself the snot is staining his fur. I would stop the antibiotics for now, prologue exposure leads to a tolerance against the drug
Look up rat communication and see the different sounds they make. They have a wide range of "sneezes" that mean different things.  

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Emily Harris


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.


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.


Biology degree

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