Is your rat sneezing but acting normal or is your baby rat sneezing a lot? That’s an infection! But wait… Do not be scared as we’d show you how to fix it!
Generally, sneezing in pet rats can be a sure sign of a respiratory disease and is one of the most common health issues in rats at the vets!
Respiratory infections in rats can be caused by a number of various pathogens with the most prevalent cause being a mixed bacterial infection.
Is your new rat sneezing constantly? Here are other signs of respiratory disease to watch out for:
- Porphyria (red discharge from the eyes and nose)
- Weight loss
- Increased respiratory rate or effort
Sneezing Rats Home Remedies – How to make them feel better?
Typically, a large number of rats appear to develop respiratory disease after a recent stressor in their environment. This can be the introduction of a new pet, changing houses or occasionally secondary to other diseases. By helping them settle in, you can calm their sneezes and they’d feel much better.
Secondly, rats are also sensitive to new smells (especially strong ones) in their environment and some of these may become harmful after inhaled over time. This includes scented or treated woods, perfumes, smoking or even build ups of their own waste (faeces and urine). For this reason, rats should be housed in open-wire cages, in rooms with lots of ventilation. Their pens should also be cleaned frequently, to prevent ammonia and nitrogen fumes irritating their lungs.
Thirdly, You can have them in the bathroom while taking hot showers. Steam is awesome for respiratory irritation!
Wash their bedding with unscented detergent a couple times a week if they have fleece.
Fourth, try grapefruit extract supplement. Even better, mix it in with yougurt and freeze it into drops for little treats.
Fifth, a drop of liquid Echinacea on a cheerio two time a day for a couple days, take a break, and repeat. Your pet rat should feel better afterwards.
Lastly, some rat owners claim dark chocolate helps too. Use a cage that allows you to rinse it in the tub once a day without too much issues (mostly to get off any pee residue on the plastic).
If you use an hygrometer, you should observe the humidity in their living area. You don’t want it too dry or too moist.
Lastly, some rats are just sneezing rats. Even after a trip to the vet.
This rat wheezing home remedy will work for mice too!
How Does The Respiratory Infection Occur?
The primary culprit in rat sneezing infection is a pathogen known as Mycoplasma pulmonis. This is a commensal bacterium that populates the respiratory tract and can be present without causing disease.
It is the overgrowth of Mycoplasma that is associated with pathology. As it rapidly spikes in population the trachea and nasal sinuses of your pet rat, the bacterium then upgrades to an inflammation, which ultimately leads to a buildup of respiratory secretions (mucous). This causes the affected rats to sneeze and, in some cases, start to breath faster than normal.
So My Rat Just Has A Cold?
Not really. Whilst Mycoplasma alone is often limited to upper respiratory tract infections, it can cause pneumonia if other viruses or bacteria are present.
Pneumonia is the term used to describe infection (and often inflammation infection) of the lungs, and a broad variety of other viruses and bacteria in rats can work in conjunction with Mycoplasma, to cause this.
The Main Pathogens Are:
- Corynebacterium – a gram- positive bacteria that can trigger lung abscesses.
- Streptococcus – another gram-positive bacterium. Humans are carriers and can transmit this to rats, and it can lead to pneumonia, fluid accumulation around the heart and in the lungs, as well as middle ear infections in rats.
- Pasteurella – a gram negative bacteria that works synergistically with Sendai virus and mycoplasma to cause pneumonia.
- Sialdodacryoadenitis virus (SADV) – a coronavirus that can cause sneezing and conjunctivitis.
- Klebsiella – a gram negative bacteria that is evident in healthy rats. It can cause abscesses in a number of organs.
- Sendai Virus – a paramyxovirus that slows down healing within the lungs of already sick rats.
Can I Treat a Sneezing Rat?
Yes, you can treat rats with respiratory disease caused by infections through the help of medications. But, it is unlikely that these medications will cure your rat. The viruses and bacteria described lead to chronic changes to the lungs that are hard to reverse, and they generally encourage the effects of each other.
Some rats can be treated and not take up to several months to a year to get well, whilst others can take a few days to a couple of weeks.
The chronicity and severity of the infection depends on multiple factors, so supporting your rat’s immune system is a great way to give them the best chance of a long, happy life.
What Treatments Are Available?
Sneezing rat’s treatment involves a number of medications. The treatment of rat respiratory disease includes antibiotics for the bacteria involved, bronchodilators to reduce the effort required to pull oxygen into the lungs and anti-inflammatories to reduce the inflammation happening. A lot of these medications will be needed on and off throughout the rat’s life, and over time the types of medication recommended change to better suit the infection as it becomes more chronic.
Where Can I Find More Information?
WE know there are books on rat wheezing home remedy, sneezing rats home remedies but when it comes to an unwell rat, we recommend they are seen by an experienced rodent veterinarian.
We at Basic Rat Vets are always happy to see new rat patients and receive questions every day on exotic animals.
Is there any information we missed in this sneezing rats home remedies guide? Let us know by using the comment section below!