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Sister's rat has sneezing/stuffy nose problem.
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Sister's rat has sneezing/stuffy nose problem.

Hello again everyone!
My sister got a rat about a week ago. He's about a month old so he's a baby. She buys care fresh bedding; it doesn't have any dyes.

My sisters rat, Milo, has been sneezing ever since we got him. I figured its just stress and he'll get over it. It died down for a while and it was getting better.

Today, I got him a little boy buddy(he's so sweet! I bought him so the new one is my rat and I'm so happy with him!! His name is Apollo) and I put him in the cage so that the two of them can get along. They love each other to death, but all of a sudden Milo's sneezing is worse. Now it sounds like he has snot stuck in his nose and it SEEMS like he can't breathe well. It's day time and he's not sleeping, which also doesn't seem normal. I've told my sister to take him to the vet but she won't listen. Milo has no red discharge from his nose, but I'm still concerned.

I know my sis has only had Milo for a week; I've only had Apollo a few hours. However, since they're new, I'm really nervous. Different people who ask the same question say its upper respiratory problems, but there's no discharge. I think I should wait till I really know how the two of them are, but is the vet the best option??? I'm just concerned about Milo and Apollo.
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4652479_tn?1357605229
Little update on Milo:
I'm pretty sure it's not an infection. Looking closely I see his nose is pretty runny, but absolutely no red discharge. My sister is considering a change in bedding, which is a good idea considering Carefresh is known to cause allergies. Is it okay to wipe his little nosy??

I found another problem: he's REALLY SKINNY!!! Compared to Apollo, he's like a twig! My sis bought ebsilac, which helps them bulk up. However, he refuses to touch it(considering the smell, I wouldn't either). I'm thinking he just wasn't hungry because Apollo didnt drink it either.
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Anyone know an easy way to get the little stubborn brat to drink the ebsilac??
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187666_tn?1331176945
Just checking in to see how the babies are doing. Esbilac is quite expensive and is generally used for raising orphaned baby rodents. It's not necessary for adding weight to an older, weaned rat. Good quality food (which they probably did not get with the breeder or pet store) will work just as well.

It's fine to keep the rat's nose clean of discharge. Just a warm damp cloth will soften the secretions and eventually wipe them off. And the rat will probably enjoy the warmth once he gets used to it. Just swipe, don't hold it on there or he'll feel like he's suffocating.

Rats can get respiratory infections/viruses just as we do, especially when stressed. Being popped into a cage with "strangers" (other rats) and then being brought home to a new place can trigger a bit of immune system break down and they're likely to get sick. But usually it's a short lived problem just as our colds are.

So I'm wondering how they're doing now.
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4652479_tn?1357605229
My sister FINALLY took Milo to the vet! Turns out he did had a respiratory problem; he had started making clicking sounds and would make pained, loud squeaks. He gave Milo some antibios and a shot of fluid that helped with his weight. He came home and WOLFED down on some almonds and a slice of apple, which was fantastic!! He's only been on the antibiotics for two days, so there hasn't been a huge difference, but he's definitely better. His nose still sounds a little stuffy (no red discharge, thankfully) and his weight hasn't increased by much, but his breathing is better, he's not as sneezy and has mostly stopped making the clicking sounds. He also hasn't squeaked painfully at all. I'm pretty sure he'll recover.

As for Apollo, he hasn't been affected by Milo's illness. I learned that respiratory infections can be very contagious, so it's a bit confusing. But, he seems perfectly okay. He's still a little attention *****, always crawling under his big brother and getting groomed by him. The two were together In the chewing tube we have for them an it was so cute!! Apollo fell off my shoulder the other night and had a bit of a shock (I felt like such a horrible mom; his legs were like rubber when I picked him up and I thought he would never be the same again!), but he's in great shape and has none of Milo's symptoms.

Thank you for the advice on the esbilac (I spelt it wrong. Could've sworn is was spelled ebsilac LOL) and cleaning his nose! I tried to clean of the mucus with a dry napkin, which probably wasn't very comfy. My oldest sis told me the esbilac was good, but I'll be sure to tell my other sis about it.

As for Milo's weight, it hasn't increased terribly. He really enjoys tomatoes, sesame seeds, apples and chocolate. Can you give any suggestions on high quality food??
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4652479_tn?1357605229
I didn't know that wh0r3 would be censored 0.0 sorry! Guess "hog" would be better *feels really immature ><*
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4652479_tn?1357605229
Just found out his feces is soft. Not normal. Hoping he doesn't have wet tail…
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187666_tn?1331176945
I would avoid chocolate first off. I've never fed my rats tomato but generally I avoided the acid type foods like oranges, tomatoes and such. They do well with apple, banana, fresh veggies (not too much spinach please). There are some nice quality rat food mixes out there with plenty of variety of nuts and seeds. But I still added fresh foods and nuts as well.

The feces may be soft due to the antibiotics. The meds can throw off the digestive flora in the gut. You could give him a bit of yogurt each day if he wants it or put some acidophilus (comes in a capsule) in his water bottle. I always use acidophilus in the formulas I make up for baby mammals.

LOL about the censoring. I was trying to figure out what word you could have used that would be so terrible.
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4652479_tn?1357605229
We've only give him chocolate two or three times. She's never given him ridiculous amounts; it's not his diet (though I'm sure he'd LOVE to have a chocolate diet, LOL). Wow, did know tomatoes counted. I knew citrus was bad, but not tomatoes. I tried giving him a piece earlier and he didn't eat it so. I've got carrots in there right now; how do rats handle peppers??

My sis hasn't gotten Milo any mixed diets when it comes for food specifically for rats. We only have these large pellets that they don't terribly enjoy, but will eat. We're feeding them more sunflower seeds and almonds.

Oh, thank God!! I didn't know what we could've possibly fed him to give him wet tail, and his tail isn't even wet-looking (I know it does get wet when they have wet tail). We also have a salt wheel for him to grind his teeth and—since its salt—he drinks more, making diarrhea less likely. My sister started putting the wet tail drops back in once he got sick into the food because it didn't seem like he like the taste.

I've been thinking about separating Apollo from Milo. I know it may put him under stress, but I really wanna make sure Milo eats sufficiently and so Apollo isn't always wanting to play and bother him. I also don't want Apollo contracting the infection. Your thoughts on this??

He's still underweight. I know this will sound cruel, but is their any way to make him eat. It ***** that he's sick and at the same time not eating.
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4652479_tn?1357605229
Wow, really? $ucks is censored, too?? Do they have a list of what one SHOULDN'T type??

BTW, I'll also inform my sister of the yogurt and the tomatoes.
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187666_tn?1331176945
I've never seen wet tail in rats, only in hamsters. The lab chow you mention is the bare necessities for survival. Breeders and labs use it because it's easy to plop in the cage. The only good thing I can say for it is that it is hard and keeps the teeth worn down.

As for fresh foods I use mostly veggies like broccoli, a bit of carrot, squash. They prefer fruits like apples, grapes, pear but too much of those will cause loose stools. When I'm raising young rodents like squirrels I give them butternut squash pieces and walnuts. Those two things will pack on the weight. If I'm raising them in late summer or early fall, I want to make sure they have plenty of weight on before releasing them.

If there's enough food in the cage each day for both rats, there's no need to separate the two as long as they're getting along. My rats have always just eaten when they're hungry, not hoarded the food.
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Okay, so it's been almost a week and Milo's health has improved significantly. His breathing is now almost silent an he's getting chubby. He's almost more chubby than Apollo now! Apollo also has yet to be affected by the illness. Milo eats and drinks just fine and has a lot more energy; he even plays with Apollo now (he used to just stand still or run away whenever Apollo jumped on him)!

However, he still has a stuffy nose. I can really describe the sound so I'll try onomatopoeia: shh-ck-shh-ck-shh-ck-shh-ck. Basically he's breathing in and out while it sounds like his nose is stuffed up. My sister has given him the antibios for over a week now (she still continues it even after it seems like he's recovered. Good girl) but his stuffy nose isn't gone. Can I just ask for help one more time???
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4652479_tn?1357605229
Sorry, I've been using my iPhone to check on this and I didn't know what the get more results button did.  I didn't see your most recent comment ><

Huh, so squash and walnuts add onto the weight?? That sounds good. Definitely telling the skin-and-blister about that, but I gotta go out and get it first :/

My sister had separated Apollo for him for just a night because he was apparently stealing food from Milo (who was still quite sick and thin at the time). It wasn't that bad and Apollo returned to the cage the next day. We haven't HA a problem like that since.
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