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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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Rat whimpering/wheezing?

Our rat, Mochi, is making a noticeable whimpering/wheezing sound. i know it is normal for rats to "whimper," but I've never heard him make this sound before.

He will be two in a few months. Last June, he had a tumor removed from his lower abdomen. It turned out that he was in the like 5% that actually had a malignent tumor. The vet said that, if another tumor came back, it wouldn't be worth treating. Truthfully, I'm surprised he's lasted this long.

There are no signs of another tumor (that we can see). No lumps/masses (the other was OBVIOUS).

He's still eating a lot and he is quite active. I plan on taking him to the vet on Friday, but we're going out of town on Saturday and I'm sad to leave him.

Any ideas what this may be? I've read about that respiratory disease that rats' carry. Seems like, if detected early, you can treat it.

We had a mouse that died a year ago from congestive heart failure. The sound he made (whimpering/wheezing) and fast breathing was very similar and that scares me.

Any advice would be appreciated!


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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 10:06 PM
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My first guess would be an upper respiratory infection at the least. If that's the case, he'll need to be on antibiotics. As you know these little guys can go downhill fast, with it turning into pneumonia. If you can hear a crackling or popping sound when you listen to his chest, he may have pneumonia and you should try to get him to the vet asap. The crackling sound is also common with congestive heart failure. I know nothing about the treatment of congestive heart failure, but there is a treatment for it. Obviously the goal is to make him as comfortable as possible while he has quality of life.

As for the respiratory disease...are you talking about myco? Myco usually lies dormant unless the immune system is compromised through stress or infection, then it flairs up causing inflammation of the lungs (I think that's how it works), which opens the door to secondary respiratory infections. There is no cure for myco, and treatment consists of healthy food and low stress to encourage a strong immune system.


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Last edited by Storyseeker; 01-05-2011 at 10:11 PM.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for this info! This website also helped a lot: http://www.ratfanclub.org/resp.html.

I'm taking him to the vet first thing tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed we're able to treat him!


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 06:57 PM
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Whimpering is not actually a normal sound for a rat, they are pretty quiet overall and any sounds when they are breathing are bad.

You said you are going away on saturday? How long are you gone for? There's no point starting his course of antibiotics unless you have someone who can give them to him while you are gone or until you get back.

Story, my understanding about myco in our rats is it constantly attacks/bombards the immune system all their life, and rats with weaker or stressed immune systems will have secondary infections crop up (respiratory or genital myco). When a rat hits 18 months or so, their immune system has aged and is not working as well, and this is when you normally see illnesses popping up more often after this age. This is also why you can have 1 sick rat in a cage of 10 and no one else will get sick. I personally believe its that particular rat's immune system.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilspaz68 View Post

Story, my understanding about myco in our rats is it constantly attacks/bombards the immune system all their life, and rats with weaker or stressed immune systems will have secondary infections crop up (respiratory or genital myco).
Ah! I almost had it right. Small but important difference from what I said! Thanks for the correction!


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