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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there! I'm new to the group and just thought I would introduce myself. I am a second year student in a vet tech program, and will be graduating in May. I had a rat, Lydia, a couple of years ago but she died of a respiratory illness. I've just gotten another young female rat, Sienna, from school. I would guess that she's probably about 3 months old. I think she weighs about 150g and is brown.

I'm a little paranoid about the noises that rats make now that I've lost one to RI. So today when I heard Sienna making some weird noises while she was sleeping, I got a little worried. She's been doing a little bit of bruxism too, but there's no porphyrins coming out of her eyes or nose.

It's funny because even though I went through all of this schooling, I am not very knowledgeable about rats. So any tips or information that you all can provide would be greatly appreciated! It's nice to meet you all. :)
 

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Welcome to the forum.

Bruxing is a sign of contentment/happiness in rats,so the bruxing is something you do not need to worry about.

What kinds of noises is she making? How is her breathing??? What kind of bedding are you using?

Also she should have a female companion.Rats thrive in the company of other rats.They do much better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Her breathing doesn't seem to make any noise, though she seems to be breathing a little harder and more abdominally. I was told that you shouldn't house two female rats together unless they've been raised together because there is more of a chance of fighting. Plus, I really don't want to get another rat to stay with her until I can make sure that she's healthy. She isn't sneezing, there is no bloody tears from her eyes or nose, and she's eating and drinking pretty good. The reason I was a little worried about the bruxism was because I was told that it could also be a sign of illness, combined with the appearance of the rat (hunched over, fluffed fur, lethargic). If she does okay and makes it through the night, I'm going to get some fluids and antibiotics from school to start giving her. Hopefully this isn't that dreaded mycoplasma stuff. :(
 

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Hello. I'm new here too =).

Welcome, or rather re-welcome to the rattie world. Ratties tend to make weird noises from time to time. If she starts to act lethargic or just doesn't seem like herself keep a close eye on her. It could be something as simple as the dust in the bedding which is usually the case with my rats. Also, ratties do best in groups so I would reconsider not getting her a buddy. I'm not sure where you heard they might fight but it's very very rare you'll find an aggressive rat, especially a female.

You'd be surprised how very little information about rats there is out there. I recently found out my usual rat vet doesn't know the first thing about rats. So being aware of rat illnesses is always a plus. Here's two websites that have saved my ratties lives on more occasions than once. Since you're a vet tech some of the terminology shouldn't be as foreign to you as it was to me lol.
http://ratguide.com/
http://www.ratzrus.co.uk/ratguides/illnesses
 

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hello and welcome! :jump: definitley the bruxing is totally okay, it's a good sign! mine do it at the sight of me lol. def get her a friend. you'll be amazed just by watching them together, you'll wonder why you didn't do it sooner lol, i did. if you're worried about a new rat bringing in illness, just make sure to quarantine for two weeks in another room, if nothing comes up then she's ok adn you can introduce them! :) best wishes
 

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I was told that you shouldn't house two female rats together unless they've been raised together because there is more of a chance of fighting. Plus, I really don't want to get another rat to stay with her until I can make sure that she's healthy.
No,this is not true.It is quite easy to introduce two female rats together,even if they were not raised together.I have owned/raised rats for yrs and have found it quite easy to introduce rats.Of course you get the odd rat that just rather be alone,but in most cases rats thrive on rat companionship.Even male rats love to be in pairs/groups.

That is good to make sure your current rat is not sick first.But you should think about getting her a female friend anyway.And also you will have to quarantine a newbie anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just wanted to let you all know that I took Sienna into school this afternoon to have my vet instructor look her over. She was pretty dehydrated so we gave her some fluids, and he gave me antibiotics (enrofloxacin) to give her once a day for two weeks. I took a bag of fluids home with me too, and will be giving it to her three times a day. Hopefully this will all help her to get back on her feet again. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Oh ok! Well thanks for setting me straight! :) I'll definitely get her a rat friend once she's feeling better and back on her feet again. She's on antibiotics for awhile and I'm giving her subcutaneous fluids to help with her dehydration.

Debbie
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks, everybody... unfortunatey Sienna died last night. My vet instructor gave me some antibiotics and fluids to give to her, but she didn't make it. The other rats at school had been sick too, and when we had done the necropsy on some of them, it showed bad lung problems and some liver issues too. So I guess she had the same problem that the rest of them had. :(
 

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Oh NO that's awful, I'm very sorry for your loss. If you still want to own rats someday I would suggest looking into a rescue or a reputable breeder and you can get two girls next time. Actually you might even want to consider boys which are easier for first time owners, they tend to be calmer. In the future if you need any advice we'll be here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm going to bleach out my aquarium and get a new cage, just to be safe... before I go and look for a new rat. I want to make sure that I don't have anything in it that will transmit to the next ratty. I'm going to research some reputable places to get a rat from in my area. I want to make sure that I get a healthy one this time. Getting a sick one from school was to be expected since she was among feeder rats that we had gotten for our Lab Animal Nursing session. So this time I'll go for a pet quality rat. Do any of you know if the place you buy from offers some kind of a short-term health guarantee? Like 3 days or something?

Debbie
 

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I am so sorry for your loss! :(

Some breeders have gaurantees.If they are reputable,you will also probably have to sign a contract as well.Do a search,I am sure you will find something.

Where are you located?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm about 45 minutes southeast of Chicago. I'd be interested in hearing what breeder you're recommending.

Deb
 

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Hello and welcome to this forum! You should get her a pal! Rats do so much better in pairs and they normally wont fight they are gentle animals! I have 2 rats that are not litter mates (although they grew up together) and they never fight! Get her a buddy!! ;)
 

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Im so sorry for your loss! R.I.P. Sienna! :(
 

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Im sorry!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I think I already posted this but I'm planning on getting two rats from a rat breeder this time. I can't stand getting attached to the feeder rats from the petstore and then having them die a short time later because of all the diseases that they were exposed to. Plus, I do have the same feeling about petstores, and not buying animals from them so as not to encourage them to continue providing and selling them.

Debbie
 
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