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Old 10-02-2013, 11:50 AM
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Default Sneezy rat

Biggs has always sneezed a lot, ever since I adopted him. He's never had an nasal/eye discharge or harsh breathing, just...sneezy. He was on a round of antibiotics (doxy and baytril) for a week when I first brought him home and it kind of cleared up, but never really went completely away.

It's been about a month now and he's still sneezy. He sneezes more when he gets excited about something, but also just sneezes for no reason. Still no eye/nasal discharge and his breathing is still normal. He's put on some weight and his coat is glossy and thick now (versus kind of scraggly when I first brought him home). His energy level and attitude is great as well; very happy, curious, and playful.

He has a "double decker" cage. The lower half is a 29 gallon aquarium, the upper half is a wire cage. He sleeps in the aquarium portion, but is frequently up top to eat/drink/play. I use paper bedding, no shavings, and I keep it clean.

Should I be worried that he's still sneezing? I don't want it to turn into an URI, but besides the sneezing, he acts perfectly healthy. Could the sneezing just be him? I do know that the vet said his bite is off, but that's the only thing she found "wrong" with him upon physical when I had him neutered.
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:30 PM
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My sister's 2nd rat, Sam, was like that. He just sneezed a lot, never really investigated the cause. He lived to a nice age for a feeder rat.
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:08 PM
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I think rat people overreact majorly to sneezing. A majority of my rats have become chronic sneezers in old age despite the vet never finding anything wrong with them.
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:25 PM
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If there is no discharge from the eyes/nose, and he's active and upbeat (as opposed to lethargic)... I personally would keep an eye on it, but not really worry. My honest guess is this: Paper bedding (Carefresh and the like) can be pretty dusty. Plus, living in a partially enclosed habitat would hold the dust in.

Again, as long as things are kept clean and he's otherwise healthy, I wouldn't let it stress me out. If you are really worried, you could try complete wire caging instead of the aquarium/double decker setup.

And yes, some rats ARE just sneezy. I'm not discounting that possibility. I just don't think that naturally sneezy rats are the norm, though. I feel that it's more likely that there is an outside cause.

Good luck! Glad to hear that he's doing well, aside from being sneezy.
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxfox426 View Post
If there is no discharge from the eyes/nose, and he's active and upbeat (as opposed to lethargic)... I personally would keep an eye on it, but not really worry. My honest guess is this: Paper bedding (Carefresh and the like) can be pretty dusty. Plus, living in a partially enclosed habitat would hold the dust in.

Again, as long as things are kept clean and he's otherwise healthy, I wouldn't let it stress me out. If you are really worried, you could try complete wire caging instead of the aquarium/double decker setup.

And yes, some rats ARE just sneezy. I'm not discounting that possibility. I just don't think that naturally sneezy rats are the norm, though. I feel that it's more likely that there is an outside cause.

Good luck! Glad to hear that he's doing well, aside from being sneezy.
This is my guess too

Sneezing doesnt alway equal URI BUT I dont think its normal really either...he is probably reacting a bit to something. I would try to move him out of the aquarium and topper if possible as that is likely the culprit followed by carefresh if thats what you are using.

Other possibilities could be something in your home that is causing it..scents, cleaning products, etc.
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Old 10-03-2013, 03:29 PM
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The aquarium/topper setup is actually fairly new - I couldn't afford a large wire cage, so I just bought a cheap tank on craigslist and used my smaller wire cage as the tank topper. He was sneezy before I changed the setup. When he was on his meds, he was strictly in a wire cage.

I don't use brand name Carefresh (way too expensive), but I do purchase the "generic" brand from whatever store I happen to be shopping in at the time. If I were to switch beddings, what would you recommend? It really isn't that dusty, especially when compared to aspen and the like.

I can't think of anything that would be irritating him in the general vicinity. He's over by my computer desk and I don't really use any strong cleaners/scents in that area.

Honestly, he is otherwise doing great and he looks to be in so much better health than when I brought him home. The improvement in his coat is just amazing. I guess I will just continue to moniter, and if I see it heading in the direction of an URI take some steps to get him treated.
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Old 11-11-2013, 03:45 AM
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If you mentioned this already, forgive me, but how long was he on his meds?
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Old 11-11-2013, 07:04 AM
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Perhaps try eco bedding. It probably doesn't control odor that well, but it's dust free, basically crinkled paper. It would at least let you know if bedding is the culprit.

http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...AvailInUS%2FNo
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Old 11-11-2013, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Shakou View Post
If you mentioned this already, forgive me, but how long was he on his meds?
One week.

But, his sneezing hasn't gotten worse since I posted this. He tends to have more sneezing fits when he is excited about something - either i dont hear him sneeze as much anymore, or I've just become so used to it I don't notice when he does during normal day to day things.
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by *blackrose View Post
One week.

But, his sneezing hasn't gotten worse since I posted this. He tends to have more sneezing fits when he is excited about something - either i dont hear him sneeze as much anymore, or I've just become so used to it I don't notice when he does during normal day to day things.
Wow. That's it? I was expecting the answer to be 10 days, as that's what most vets prescribe rats for with myco flare ups, and even that's not enough time. Problem is, a lot of vets don't know a whole lots about rats, and finding one that does is worth it's weight in gold. Rats should be on baytril for a minimum of 3 weeks, possibly more. Mycoplasmosis (what you're most likely dealing with) is a BITCH to get rid of, especially if it's turned into a virus. During this time, you have to be cleaning their cage daily (regardless if you're using bedding or cloth) to remove ammonia build up, as that has a lot to do with it as well.

It CAN be chronic, especially if he came from a pet store. Myco is something all rats are born with (it's passed on from their mothers at birth), but rats from a good breeder typically have stronger immune systems to fight this crap off on their own, where as rats from pet stores don't.
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