I posted a different question about my sister's sick rat. He is almost completely healed but is still a little sneezy. My sis gave him the antibios for two weeks (as prescribed) and I'm positive he'll get better :3.
Now, it seems Apollo has some problems. Not bad ones like Milo, but he has them.
A few days ago it got really cold out. Temperature was in the forties with a wind chill in the thirties. I knew the rats were going to be cold tht night so I added an extra piece of fleece and a thick sock to their cage. The next morning, Apollo woke with a bit of a sneezing problem. He has no trouble breathing, he's not wheezing, and there's no red discharge from his eyes or nose. He's just…sneezing. He's been getting better without any treatment (the next few days were cold as well, so I also put a cloak over their cage), soo think he just may have a cold. I might give him garlic just in case. My sister also took him and Milo out last night (I wish she didnt because they're both sick -_-) Any suggestions as to what I should do or if it could be something worse??
Also, Apollo has developed a few small, brownish spots on his tail. It's not bothering him, there are no lumps, an they're not leaking blood or puss. I've heard about male rats getting this discoloration from urine or feces, but it wasn't there before. Help??
Here's a pic of his tail (he's almost as big as Milo now! They're both growing so fast; we had to get a bigger cage last night):
Not worried about the spots on the tail unless you find a source of bleeding. My rats usually had odd spots on their tails too usually from dragging around in the potty corner.
The sneezing is not unusual in itself unless it gets more frequent, more congested sounding or he has discharge from the nose. Some rats are more prone to respiratory infections so you just have to keep an eye on him.
Watch what type of extra bedding you add to the cage. They love to chew/shred things and threads from socks and fabrics can cause major problems. A loose thread can easily tangle around a foot or the neck. Fabric bits can be eaten and cause bowel blockages. It's better to keep the cage in a warmer place or at least cover it from the outside as you did.
As for garlic: there's a mixed opinion on that. Some say a bit is good for them if you want to lower their blood pressure (lol) but others say it can cause some side effects. I've never fed it to my rats, never considered it.
I've been keeping an eye on them for the past few hours (I'm not feeling too hot myself, so instead of being totally useless on my day away from school I kept an eye on the babies). I decided to see how they would react to steam. I heard that steam opens up their airways and reduces the mucus in their noses (Or something like that, IDK). They did seem to enjoy it; they fell asleep in the bathroom while I gave it to them. I sat in there for a good hour with them before the steam wore off. It didn't do much, but I'm going to do it once a day to see if it makes any difference.
We used to give them CareFresh but we switched to this thin, paper-like bedding by... Kaymee, I think it's called? I think they find it more comforting and there's less dust in the cage.
LOL nice. I was actually gonna ask my mom to get some garlic, so thanks for telling me this before I actually got it and put it in their bowl ><!
Also, my sister got them a bigger cage the other night. It's HUGE and it's great for the size they'll grow to. However, a friend bought our old cage (A trend is going. Now all of my friends want rats XD) and the bars on the cage my sister bought has spaces in between in which Milo could crawl through. She wants to exchange it for a different one made for rats, but it costs more. And, with me lacking a job, I can't really pay half the price of a 60- or 80-dollar cage. Can we put, like, chicken wire or something around the cage we have now or something?? God forbid these sneaky guys get out of the cage when we're not home.
Chicken wire is too large but there are different sizes of "hardware cloth" available. I've used it to make rehab cages for my wildlife. It's not really cloth so don't be misled. It's a metal mesh that comes in different widths. Some is plain, some has a green vinyl coating. I use the coated variety to cut down on injury to feathers. For the mammals I use plain. It comes on big rolls and you can buy however much you need.
You can also buy humidifiers. I believe they are the cool air variety. The steam types get hot. The cool variety just put out a light mist. I've seen some awfully cute ones at Bed, Bath and Beyond that come in shapes like frogs and such, usually for a kid's room.
Hope it all gets sorted out. Rats are fantastic pets.
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