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My pet pinky rat keeps breathing hard

2745 Views 15 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  lilspaz68
I have a pet pinky rat that I saved from beeing snake food because the snake wouldnt eat the poor thing for 2 weeks so I felt bad that it was sleeping to die so I kept it but it keeps breathing hard and always sleeping it barley eats or drinks water, I heard it could be sick but I never hear it sneeze could some one please help me with this situation because i feel bad for the poor thing but i don't know what to do, I tryed googling it but couldn't find nothing could some one help me please, anything would be good at this point oh and how do I bath her ?
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Um, a pinky rat needs it's mom. It should be dead by now.
Ummm how old is it exactly because if it's really a pinky then it wouldn't be alive at this point. You may want to consider bringing her or him to the vet and if it survives it needs a friend of the same gender
It could be cold and if its truly a pinky it would be less than two weeks it will have a hard time living without its mom esp when you have not been feeding it milk ect.
I think I was wrong on the type of rat but it's a white one with red eyes and it's body is about 5 inches im guessing its just too young, should i try normal milk or will that hurt her? and thanks for the replys
Sounds like an albino ... how old is it? and I have never dealt with an infant rat.
I dont know the owner brought it because my sister is looking after the snakes for her but the body is about 5 inches long ( without tail ) and it's white with red eyes ( friend said it was a pinky )
thats probably bigger than my 3 month old girls. I wonder if it could be the bedding what are you using?
well for now I'm using new paper shreds because I just took it out of the snake tank yesterday and the store was closed so I wasn't able to get any, is there something else I should use for now or is there a specific type I should get ?
At five inches long he sounds older than a true pinkie. In proper lingo, a pinkie refers to a newborn rodent who has yet to grow hair. Newborns are almost impossible to hand raise. I've only known of a couple of folks who did it successfully, and they had tons of experience with rats. I think that's why everyone's so pessimistic. If your little albino has hair, has been in a snake cage for two weeks, and is five inches long, he might even be old enough to survive with urgent proper care and a strong will to survive. I agree with Elliriyanna that he may even be two or three months old. Still a juvenile, but old enough to be weaned and independent of his mother.

Good for you for caring enough to want to do something. Your baby's chances don't sound good, though. Odds are the stress and other things has caused your rescue to contract a respiratory infection at the very least. Rats are prone to them even without the horrific treatment this poor little dude has endured until now. If it was in a snake cage for two weeks without food of its own, no matter what its age I'm shocked it's still breathing. He's weak from starvation and illness. Try offering it baby food, or other pureed fruits/cooked veggies (no citrus). Get some flavored Ensure type drink and try syringe feeding it to get some liquid and calories into it. You can get tiny feeding syringes for kittens, or pick some up from a vet. They'll be about half the circumference of a golf pencil.

Keep it in a warm place, but not too hot. Try putting a heat pad on low underneath one side of the bottom of a small cage. The heat will radiate through the bottom and keep it warm. Leave half of the cage bottom non-heated, so if it gets too hot it can move away.

You can use flannel teeshirts or sweat pants as bedding for right now. Or even undyed household paper products like paper towels. Proper purchased bedding would be aspen wood shavings. Avoid (like the plague) pine or ceder as those give off phenols that will further damage his lungs. I'm assuming you're in the U.S.? Unscented Carefresh will also work, as will unscented Yesterday's News.

If it is still alive today, it will absolutely require a trip to a vet ASAP who specializes in exotics or rat care, and will need to be on antibiotics. The vet can evaluate it to see what else is going on or even if this baby is salvageable. If you can't afford a visit, explain your situation and ask what your options are. If you can get a weight on it--a digital kitchen scale that measures in grams is what you need. Then they may be willing to just charge you for the cost of the antibiotics.

If nothing else, they may be able to humanely euthanize your little trooper if he's too far gone.

(I hope someone who knows more than I do will reply too?)
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when she was in the snake tank we gave her food and water so she was fed and once I caught her sleeping with the snake lol, I figured it was stress because I started to take her out of the box that I have for now untill I get a cage and her breathing kinda got better because I keep petting her lightly so I figure she's begining to trust me but now it looks like she's just bored and I don't know what to do to play with her or how to make a good environment her to be comfortable and stress free, I made a little bed for her out of a clean construction sock and a water bottle with the ends cut off so its like a little bedded cave lol and she seems to like it, I've alson read that it could be because she's lonley, so I'm thinking of getting a friend for her but I don't know if it's too late to introduce another rat. Oh and I'm Canadian lol
It's never to late to introduce a friend:) as for toys hammocks ect there's a lot of ideas on the forum for ratty toys. I'm from hull Quebec Canada. Where abouts in Canada are you if you don't mind me asking
Canuck here too :D

Sorry for coming off so rude up top, the original post seemed like spamming and I was really tired..

Are you sure the gender of the rat? When you have him/her looked at by a vet make sure you know the gender of you plan on getting a friend for him/her!
Thank you, I'm gonna have to check that out and I'm form Hamilton, Ontario
lol It's ok I didn't take no offence, from what I read it makes sence, I think it's a female because I can't see no hanging parts if you get my drift lol and the fur is soft ( from what I hear female rat's fur is soft and male is sorta nappy ), I'm gonna take her to the vet on monday to have her checked out so I know exactly whats wrong, she seems to be eating a little bit at a time but she still breathes a little hard but not as hard as before because before you were able to hear her but now not that much and I'm working on a playground for her so she's not too bored while I get her a friend
there are few decent vets in Hamilton (I am in Toronto), so who are you planning on taking her to?

Can you take a video or a picture so we can see what you are telling us?

does she have porphyrin (red discharge) on her eyes and nose during the day (its fine to have it in the morning, or right after a long sleep, as long as they groom it off and it stays off).

Does she make any breathing sounds? Can you rat phone her ( hold her with 2 hands and press her side (lung) to your ear and listen to her breathing?) Do this on both sides. Listen for crackles, gurgles, wheezing, etc. A rat should breathe quietly so hopefully you don't hear any of this. this method is called rat phoning.
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