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advice needed for new lone pet rat owner

Discussion in 'Rodents' started by Alixc22, Mar 30, 2011.


  1. Alixc22

    Alixc22 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi guys

    I am looking for some advice as i have recently bought a baby male pet rat about 3 days ago and i have a few concerns...

    Firstly he has been making a strange almost clucking noise, very similar to a content guinea pig is probably the best way i can describe it and he has been sneezing quite a lot. i have checked his bedding is suitable for rats and allergen and dust free so i dont think the bedding is causing the problem. i have looked up bruxing but the noise he makes doesnt sound that sharp or loud, there is no discharge from his nose and his eyes look bright and healthy and he is eating so should i be concerned?

    Secondly he is very shy but i understand this is common in most new pets when they are gettin used to their new surroundings however I am now hearing that he may be happier if he had a friend. Is it true i would need to buy a second cage at first for the second rat and leave the cages next to each other for a while? My only concern is that i have only recently bought one cage and cannot rly afford the expense of buying another esp if its only going to be used 4 a short space of time.

    Has anyone had success in introducing two young rats before without requiring a 2nd cage?

    would appreciate any advice people can offer right now as i want to make sure my ratty is a happy 1! x
     
  2. Argent

    Argent PetForums VIP

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    First off, hello and welcome to the slippery slope of rat ownership ;) You'll get ratty mania soon enough!


    That clucking sound is a sign of respiratory infection due to either stress or unsuitable bedding. The packaging says it's safe for rats...but what's it made of? A course of Baytril from the vets should clear up his respiratory system, but hopefully it's still just new home sneezes. What size is your cage by the way?

    As for a friend - YES. Rats crave company. He will be a lot happier and more confident with a buddy or two. Have you considered adopting from a rescue? Not the big ones like RSPCA etc, but there are small-time 'private' rescues that usually have young ratties for adoption. Is there any way you could borrow a cage from someone just temporarily? With him being so young and his new playmate will most likely be young as well, it shouldn't take them more than 4-5 days to a week before they're living happily together.

    As well as having the cages next to each other, you can swap their bedding around so they can smell each other close up, then let them out together for playtimes so that they can meet on neutral ground. There may be a bit of tussling, but at this age, it's hardly anything to worry about.
    With them being very young, they should get along fairly quickly, before their hormones have kicked in. :)

    Good luck, and we need pics!!! :D
     
  3. Alixc22

    Alixc22 PetForums Newbie

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    thanks for your advice!

    the bedding is made from cardboard by the looks of it - i was thinkig about trying a different bedding maybe and see if the sneezing etc stops.

    in reference to the possible respiratory problems, would it be recommendable to leave him for a few days and see if he settles down or see if the problem persists? - i have no idea on the urgency of these things, i only bought him on monday and noticed the noises late monday night and yesterday, is it safe to leave him 4 a few days to see if it continues before taking him to the vet?

    Again thank u for any advice and photos will follow when i get him out of his house lol :) x
     
  4. Argent

    Argent PetForums VIP

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    Yeah I reckon it could be just new home sneezes. After 7 days though, from when you got him, if he's still sneezing the same or more, then I'd take him to the vet. And don't worry about contaminating yet another new rat unless his symtoms worsen - all rats have myco, they can't pass it to each other, it just flares up when the rat is stressed, but there are other, more serious viruses that were particularly rife last year, not so sure about this year, called Sendai, and SDAV, which come across as somewhat similar to myco, but usually result in death so you need to keep a close eye on him. So definately vets when the week is up if he's still chirping and sneezing.

    Cardboard sounds fine, mine are on Finacard with no problems. What cage have you got?
     
  5. Alixc22

    Alixc22 PetForums Newbie

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    atm he is in a ferplast starter cage but i'm looking 2 upgrade him into something bigger in the next month or so as he starts to grow.

    I'll give him until the wknd and if he's not sounding any better i'll take him 2 the vet.

    hopefully if i can locate a cheap cage from somewhere he'll have a mate by the wknd too!

    many thanks again x
     
  6. Argent

    Argent PetForums VIP

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    No problem - try looking on ebay and preloved for people selling second hand cages cheap in your area. For 2-3 rats I can recommend the Ferplast Freddy as a good cage, or a Jenny. If you manage to save up more though, you might be able to find someone selling a Liberta Abode. They're meant to be pretty good cages for the price. :D
     
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