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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-24-2006, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
 
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Help please!

So I got my nephew a rat for Christmas with the promise from his mother that if he doesn't take care of it she is to return it to me. (I believe he will do great, but just in case).

He won't get her until Christmas Day, but she keep sneezing, I think, and I wanted to make sure I'm not doing anything wrong. I've got her bedding as Hemlock, Spruce & Fir mix. I want to get her a buddy, but not until I'm certain my nephew will do okay with her so I'm afraid she's cold. I'm feeding her rodent block and I'm going to look up other treats and things that I can feed her.

I had 2 rats several years back but I can't remember everything so I'm a little rusty.

Any advice on anything I'm doing wrong? Any suggestions??
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-24-2006, 11:50 AM
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ummm, i've never owned rats. but i know they's social, so try holding and cuddling it if you think it's cold. i believe it can have lots as treats, soda crackers, peas, lentils, veggies etc. you can probably give it and old sock and it'll curl up in it, i know my degu's do

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-24-2006, 03:21 PM
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hi there! i have 8 rats and have bred rats once and plan to do again, i will try to help you and give you some information.

DO NOT use sawdust as a layer at the bottom of the cage - shredded paper and shredded cardboard is safer as the dust in the ceder wood shaving can iratate those little nose's, forbedding i use shredded up kitchen roll or shredded toilet paper.

here is a couple of good websites that will give good advice...

http://www.quite.co.uk/rats/


http://www.ratzrus.co.uk/

http://www.ratplanet.co.uk/

rats will eat fruit and veg and its best given as an healthy extra to their normal dried food mix, dont give rats too many sunflower seeds
as they can cause skin irratation.

they can eat chunks of apple, carrot, grapes, peaches, - its best not to feed to much fruit and veg at once as this can cause diarrhoea.


this website is really good - lots of good ideas on it!!

http://www.dapper.com.au/articles.htm

how old is the rat? another important thing to remember is although they like fruit DONT feed them citrus fruits - its harmful to ratties.

good luck - any other questions that you may have please dont hesitate to ask.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-24-2006, 09:42 PM
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Sneezing is normal when you first get the rat.Rats sometimes sneeze in new surroundings.However too much sneezing IS NOT normal.Are the shavings dusty? Sneezing could also be a sign of a RI (respitory infection).Does his breathing sound okay? It could be a cold,but more often then not...it is myco or a RI.

I use aspen mixed with Yesterdays News and it works well and is safe.Cedar and pine are toxic as they contain phenols.I don't know about the shavings you have.Where did you get them? Sawmill shavings are not reccommended,as they often contain chemicals.

Feed veggies and fruits on the side,along with bread,pasta (dry and cooked),rice...etc.Rats have diets similar to ours and I know several people who feed the healthy parts of what they eat to their rats.My rats have a homemade diet and lab blocks as a staple and then get the above on the side.Too much protein in a rat's diet is not good and can cause protein scabs and skin issues.

Get her some toys and things she can play with and be stimulated by.Rats will play with pretty much everything...you can give cardboard and glass jars as toys,boxes...etc.They can also play with many cat,dog and bird toys,depending on the materials and stuff.

Last but not least,you should get her a friend.Rats are VERY social and thrive with a ratty companion.Get a same sex rat friend for her.






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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-28-2006, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the suggestions!!! So far, so good. He named her Jessica (don't know where that came from). He's totally in love with her and takes her everywhere. My sister-in-law called to tell me my nephew was napping on the floor and when he woke up Jessica had crawled up his pant leg and fell asleep. It was cute.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-28-2006, 08:38 AM
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I agree with Vanilla_Rat. The reason for sneezing is due to something in the bedding causing the problem.


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-28-2006, 01:19 PM
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does fir bedding have aromatic oils, maybe thats irritating the rat?


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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-28-2006, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skratikans
does fir bedding have aromatic oils, maybe thats irritating the rat?
Very much and should never be used.


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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-28-2006, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishtoes
Thanks for all the suggestions!!! So far, so good. He named her Jessica (don't know where that came from). He's totally in love with her and takes her everywhere. My sister-in-law called to tell me my nephew was napping on the floor and when he woke up Jessica had crawled up his pant leg and fell asleep. It was cute.

AWWW AWWWW!!!!

"If you can't change your fate, change your attitude." - Amy Tan
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-28-2006, 06:54 PM
 
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if i recall correctly fir is worse than cedar and pine. so its the worst
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