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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
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help me :)

Hello everybody,

I just got a "fancy" rat yesterday. She seems to have adjusted quite well, to her new enviroment. She's in great health. Yet, she started to sneeze, not a lot, just a little. I'm thinking that it was just the change in enviroment, because after a while she stopped. I looked on the internet for answers, but nobody had an exact answer except take her to the vet. Any advice would be great!
thanks
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 10:13 AM
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I don't usually take them to the vet until there's more than just a little bit of sneezing. If there's a lot of near constant sneezing, sounds of congestion (hold her up to your ear and listen to her breath, any clicking, tightness, raspiness, crackling etc), porphyrin (red blood like discharge from eyes and/or nose), or lethargy and generally not seeming to feel well.

If there's just a little sneezing and she seemed fine and then started sneezing very quickly after being introduced to her new home I would eliminate environmental factors first. What bedding is in the cage? Some beddings such as carefresh are notorious for causing sneezing. Do you have any lotion or perfume on your hands when handling her? Is there any fleece or other fabric in the cage that has been washed in detergent, if so what detergent? Is there a fan or anything creating a draft? Air conditioning filters that haven't been changed and are very dirty? Candles or air fresheners in the same room as the cage? ETC?
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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this is my first rat so i'm new to all of this. the only thing, out of everything you said that could be the possible reason why she would be sneezing is the carefresh bedding. what would you recommend instead of carefresh?
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 11:00 AM
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Yup, carefresh bedding will do it every time. It's one of the ones that the petstores really recommend too so when you said it was your first rat and you had an otherwise healthy sneezing rat, that's kinda where my head went.

You'd have to get advice on others on bedding because I don't use it. But back when I did I found that basically anything that's not overly prone to mold or overly dusty works fine. With carefresh the problem is that the little fine fibers get in their nose and irritate. Stay away from corn based beddings because of mold and because they'll eat it, no pine, no cedar, etc. When I used bedding I used to use either the recycled paper litters or this cat litter that is wheat based but they don't seem to eat it. But like I said I haven't used bedding for mine in some time so there may be way better products out there.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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thank you so much for the help and advice!!
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 12:32 PM
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hello Lysse, welcome to the world of being wrapped around your rattie's paws LOL

How long have you had your little girl? If it hasn't been long, can you go pick up a friend for her where you got your girl? they are incredibly social animals and you should always have 2 unless there's special circumstances involved.

BUT make sure your cage is big enough for 2 first.

Punch in the dimensions of your cage into this cage calculator and it will tell you how many rats can live comfortably in it.

http://www.fancy-rats.co.uk/informat...agecalculator/

I always found carefresh dusty myself, and use fleece (washable), aspen and lately I have been using Yesterday's News as a litter in the bottom of some of my cages. I also use it in my litter pans. Yesterday's News is a pelleted paper for cat litter.

Aspen should be quality, not dusty in the bag. and do not use Cedar or Pine as they are dangerous for your pets.

There are many other beddings you can use, soft sorbent, etc, etc but keep away from corn cob bedding as it is too absorbent and can actually draw moisture from your rat's tail causing a condition called ringtail which can make them lose the tail painfully.

One thing to be very aware of, is that ANY wood or paper-based litters (aspen, carefresh, etc) should be frozen for 48 hours before use. Rat mites and lice can sometimes hitch a ride in the bedding and your rats will end up infested. Itchy unhappy ratties, vet visits or at the very least, having to treat your rats and scrub your cages.

Diet should be a quality lab block (Harlan Teklad is considered the one of the best blocks and can be ordered online), Oxbow Regal Rat is superb but some rats will stop eating it completely and will become dangerously thin...kudos to anyone who has ratties who stay on this diet (its the best out there) Mazuri is fine (Petsmart) but has a high protein level and you want, low fat, low sugar and low protein diet for your rats, as it can keep them healthier longer. Weirdly enough a good block for rats is Living World Extrusion for Hamsters...hehe. There are also mixes you can make up with a quality dog kibble and cereals, etc (for eg. Suebee''s Mix, but even Suebee herself only created this diet because she had no access to quality lab blocks).

Supplement with veggies, a little fruit and even less protein

here is the forbidden foods list
http://www.petratscanada.com/forbidden_foods.htm

Don't get sucked into yogurt drops being good for them, its pure sugar, try multi-grain cheerios as a treat instead.

As for the sneezing, it sounds like New Home Sneezies...and if there's no other symptoms and your girl doesn't end up sounding congested and wet, then it should pass in a week or so.

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Last edited by lilspaz68; 08-11-2010 at 12:36 PM.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-12-2010, 01:10 AM
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Lilspaz is right, you really should have 2 girls, not a lone rat. Rats thrive on having company and they can get seriously depressed without a companion. Have you thought about getting her a friend? 2 rats are no more work than 1.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-12-2010, 08:26 AM
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I agree with the others, get a second rat! I an forced to keep only one, and even though she seemed fine for a few months, she now shaves the hair off her arms with her teeth to show her unhappiness of being alone.
Pleaaaase, get her a buddy! It will be better for her, and for you
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-12-2010, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vladina View Post
Lilspaz is right, you really should have 2 girls, not a lone rat. Rats thrive on having company and they can get seriously depressed without a companion. Have you thought about getting her a friend? 2 rats are no more work than 1.
Yeah, just watch out for those rattie addiction tendencies and stop after 2. I can tell you from experience that 2 are no harder than 1, but 16 are considerably harder than 2.
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