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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm afraid my new rat might be sick, I've asked around and it sounds like a Upper Respiratory Infection. :/ I was planning on getting him a buddy, but I'm not sure if I should if he's sick.

He's only around a month and a half old, a regular fancy rat. But he's been sneezing like crazy, making small chirping and almost a weird grunting sound while he eats, kind of like the sound you make when you've got something in your throat and trying to get it out like clearing it. A few days ago, I had him on paper towels since I acidentally got him pine shavings and had nothing else for his litter, so I used paper towels, but I found something like dried blood on the paper towels where he sleeps, just two small droplets. I checked him over and can't find where it could have come from, his pee is perfectly normal and his eyes and nose are clear.

Other than the grunts that sound like hacking or coughing, and the chirps and sneezes, he seems normal, but I'm not sure. I think it might be the pine bedding they used in the pet store. They used pine for their rats, and whats worse? In an aquarium. His poor lungs.

I tried going to a vet today, but the vet that treated rats wasn't there so I'm going to try and find another vet and take him there, but I'm not sure if I can today. Will it be fine if I wait a few days to get him to a vet?
 

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Ahh poor little guy. :(
I truly feel for him. Pine bedding in an aquarium... oh dear god, what were these people thinking? "His poor lungs" is right. The red spots you saw are poryphin (sorry I don't think I spelled that right) and it is the secretions that can come out of a rat's nose/eyes and it happens to be red in color. Thank god you at least got the poor fellow onto some clean paper towels to get him off the pine bedding, good thinking. Until you can get him to the vet, the best thing to do is to keep him on clean bedding, which you are already doing, keep him as comfy as you can, make sure he is getting his fluids and eating and as for extras, if you want to try, you could get him some Sudafed or Benadryl in liquid form that they sell for babies at the supermarket or drugstore and try to use some of that to help with his sniffles and sneezing, but I hesitate to give this advice on the forum as I know the dosage needs to be appropriate for his age and weight and you would need to be careful.

You would need one of those liquid measuring syringes to make sure you gave him the proper dosage. (I have used a bit of it before and put the medicine into a bit of baby food and let my boy lick it off a small plate or added the medicine to a small chunk of bread ). Just a stop gap thing you can try to try to help him for the next 24 hours or so, and of course he does need to see a vet ASAP, but in the meantime, I hope Breyer or one of the other medication veterans on this forum will see my post and give you more accurate advice on this! My knowledge of what or which type of liquid medicine (sudafed vs benadryl) is shaky at best and I don't want to give bad advice! Anyone on the forum who is reading this, can you chime in to help?
 

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Yes, you will need to get him to the vet asap. For a respiratory infection, the vet should prescribe Baytril at the very least, and preferably a combination of Baytril and Doxycycline. The sooner he gets these medications, the better the result will be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
:/ He's gotten worse, there's more mucus now on the bedding I got him. I can't take him to a vet for another day or two, because I don't have my drivers license and the only person who can take me is my grandmother, and her husband has work until midnight. I don't know what to do, is there anything I can do to help or make him feel better and slow the infection while I wait to get him to a vet?
 

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Breyer, can Halogen do anything for his rat with over the counter liquid meds like I mentioned? I am grasping for straws here to try to help but I feel like such a medication newbie when it comes to doing the at-home medications and I hate to advise on it when I feel like such a beginner with it. :confused: Any advice for ratty?
I really want him to hang in there and be okay until the vet visit. :(
 

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Try giving him some liquid Children's Sudafed in a small syringe. How much depends on how big he is... do you know his weight? My Russell used to like the sudafed on its own, but when he wanted to be picky he would eat it mixed with bread or baby food.

ETA: Also, is the congestion in the lungs, or is it nasal? If he sounds incredibly congested nasally, you can try rubbing a drop of Afrin on his nostrils. I have used the spray kind in the past--just open up the cap and get a drop using a medical syringe, dab that on your finger, then wipe it on his nose. This is only to be used if he is very congested in his nasal passages, though, since it won't do anything for the lungs.
 

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Ah, thanks Breyer, for the post! I was using the liquid Sudafed the way you told me to, but I was a bit hesitant to start doling out advice about that stuff because I feel like such a newbie with it!
Thanks for posting about the Afrin too. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you all for the advice, it's very much appreciated :3 I'm gonna buy some Sudafed later today, as I'm going out. I booked an appointment at the vet, hopefully Rue's first vet visit will go well.
He's perked up a bit, still sneezing and chirping, but maybe that's just him losing his shyness of me.

Once again, thank you all! :D
 

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Great! Breyer gave all the good advice on the Sudafed...she is very helpful with things like that! I am sure your baby will feel better with the Sudafed.

I just gave my boy some Sudafed a few minutes ago, mixed with some baby food and oatmeal. He and his brother have a vet appointment in two days also, so I am in the same boat as you. The sudafed really seems to calm down his symptoms and make him much more comfortable. Good luck with your appointment, and I hope your baby feels better very soon! :thumbsup:
 

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P.S. Don't forget to pick up a liquid measuring syringe too, when you get the Sudafed. I got one at a drug store.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I just got back from the vet, and thankfully it hasn't spread to Rue's lungs, but it was the beginning of a URI so they put him on some Doxycycline twice a day for two weeks. :D I also got some Sudafed and liquid syringes, so yay!

I hope your little ratties feel better as well D: It's never good when a rat is sick. They get sick so fast it seems. Let's hope they get better quickly!
 

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Oh, great news for Rue! He got some good medicine, hooray! And yay that you got some Sudafed and liquid syringes..always nice to have on hand, eh?

Thanks for your well wishes for my boys. Achilles is my boy with the symptoms and his brother Maximus seems very healthy so hopefully it will just be Achilles that needs some help.

I know, you are right, it is never fun when your ratties don't feel well. Those darned URIs with ratties are just the worst...they always seem to have those problems, the poor little guys. :(

I am glad there are vets now that can treat ratties though..thank the gods!

Hope Rue starts feeling better! I am sure he will! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Indeed, it'll be really helpful if his sneezing starts acting up again. He's had several coughing fits, I think I might give him just a little.

Let's hope Maximus is as healthy as a horse, and Achilles doesn't have anything too serious! I hate to see sick rats, especially little Rue. His sneezing doesn't seem to end and it just looks so... sad!

Yes, it's kind of annoying to go to a vet and find out they don't treat rats. They're starting to become a more common pet now, and not to mention there's a fair amount of them in the cities and a injured one might end up being rescued by a family... There should be vets who treat ALL small animals at every clinic, in my opinion.
 

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Aww, thanks Halogen! Poor Rue...I hate thinking of a rat being sad...it breaks my heart. They are so full of love. I hope you are giving him lots of attention and soothing words to try to cheer him up...I am sure you are! Did the vet say it was okay to get him a buddy yet or did he/she suggest you wait? I know a ratty friend would cheer him up right away of course...that, and the medicine so he feels better. Good healthy thoughts to you, Rue...hang in there, okay? Give Rue a kiss and an ear rub for me. :wavey:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
xD Ikr. Rue snuggles up against my neck whenever I take him out, but inside his cage he just sleeps and sneezes. :/ I take him out whenever I can, but only in my room. Everyone gets mad at me when I bring him out, saying he'll poop everywhere xD I just sneak him out in my sweater, and they never know a thing until all the little kids crowd round me, "Where's Rue? Where's the gerbil? Can we hold him? Let me pet him!" That poor "gerbil" is never going to get better with all the stress!

The vet told me to wait a few weeks until he's all better, just so the new ratty won't be at risk. Until then, I'm going to look for a bigger cage and hopefully find a hairless rat breeder. :D They're just SOOO cute, the little hairless ones.

I'll be sure to give him a kiss and some good old ear rubs xD How are your boys doing? I hope they're feeling better :/
 

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Oh poor Rue...extra stress from kids crowding around the poor guy when he already doesn't feel good. :( Tell the kids to back off and growl at em for me! :rolleyes: Rue definitely needs some rest and peace and quiet.

The sudafed helps a lot with Achilles and he is for the most part not doing bad at all. He might either have a very slight URI or maybe just some hay fever issues with all the pollen we have around here. The vet will let us know what the deal is when we see her on Wednesday. :)
 

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if you find a breeder deliberately breeding hairless run far away...they are very cute, but they are also prone to a LOT of issues that need vet treatment (eyes and skin mostly). Some don't, but most do. Why not get a nice furred boy to keep Rue warm?

As for doxycycline and your sick boy? Sigh, its one of the weakest antibiotics out there. If you don't notice any real improvement by Day 4-5 then go back and insist on getting baytril to add to the your doxy. Its a good combo and should be able to cure your poor boy.

Now that you have antibiotics I would discontinue the sudafed, as it may mask symptoms you need to see if the doxy is working or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
D: REALLY? I never knew that. I won't look for a breeder then. If I see one at a shelter nearby, I'll adopt him for sure but otherwise I won't. :3 I might just look around on Craigslist and see if anyone is putting their rats up for adoption, since I don't want to buy another from the pet store. Those horrid people can't take care of their rats, and I can't deal with huge vet bills.

:/ I never knew that about doxycyline either! D: Hopefully it helps him. And xD I've only used Sudafed once since I got it, I'll be sure not to anymore.

:/ Let's hope the children will leave him alone. My aunt threatened to take him away from me if I "acted like that" because I told the kids to leave Rue alone. I'm just like -z snap- EXCUSE ME? YOU WANNA CLEAN HIS POOP AND GIVE HIM MEDICINE? Y'ALL DON'T EVEN LIKE RATS. Now I just hide him in my pockets and say he ran away whenever the littler ones come up to me.

Awweh. Poor Achilles. I read about rats and allergies somewhere, it's so sad. :/ they should make allergy pills for rats, unless they already do. Let's hope the Sudafed keeps on working until you get him to the vet. Hay fever is awful. So are respiratory infections.
I've had human pneumonia, so I know how the poor little boy feels... Sorta. D:
 

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Oh, I am so sorry to hear that. It is not good when the entire family unit in the household is not cool about having rats. That way it causes more stress for everyone, ratty included.

Hopefully you can educate your family members on what wonderful pets rats are and try to let them understand that it is not okay to scare or stress out a small animal with lots of kids yelling and grabbing. Sounds like your aunt needs some compassion lessons when it comes to animals, eh? :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
It's kind of ridiculous. I live with my grandmother, and my grandmother rents out my aunt's basement suite. So, my aunt said it was okay to have small pets down here, but she got mad when I wanted a rat... It's like, we're paying to rent out part of your house, rats are better than hamsters and gerbils... Why can't I have one again? "Because they're filthy creatures who are evil and I've had bad experiences" I just stared at her... She probably had a bad experiences with a WILD rat.

Right now, she thinks that Rue is going to get out and find a female wild rat and breed and infest our house with rat babies that will destroy her life forever and said I couldn't have one.. I literally facepalmed when she said that, and went out and got a rat anyways. Hamsters can be too mean for me, and I refuse a gerbil.

I think my aunt hates all animals. But whenever I vocalize that, I am labeled as a PMSing teenage girl. My family is so... unique. xD Rue is the only sane one.
 
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