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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
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Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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I have 3 rats, over the past few days they've all showed "bloody"

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I have 3 rats, over the past few days they've all showed "bloody" noses and eyes, and two of them are sneezing much more frequently than normal and occasionally breathing very loudly/snorting when they sleep.
I moved into a new flat just over a week ago so they are in a new environment, but I'm very worried about them after reading about rat pneumonia!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee ones today.
Now I share your concern here. The discharge you are seeing is actually porphyrin and is a natural secretion for rats. That said, when they are unwell, have respiratory tract disease, and/or not grooming as much as they should we will see this in excess as you have. And I would note that if there is increased respiratory noise present when they breathe, I would be concerned that we do have a brewing mycoplasma pneumonia here with your wee ones.
Therefore, since this can cause serious signs very quickly, I do have to note that it would be ideal to have them seen urgently by their vet for examination and antibiotics against this. Further to this, I do want to touch on some supportive care to help them until they are seen. First, I am glad to see that they are likely eating/drinking. If you have any doubt, this needs to be monitored. Any lapses, and we'd want to start hand feeding, tempting with favourites, or even potentially syringe feeding. To encourage them to drink, you can flavor their water with a bit of fruit juice. As well, veggie baby food can be a short term food (with a high water content) that can also be offered.
Also if they are quite congested and their breathing is quite noisy, you can steam treat them. To do this, you can take them in the bathroom while you run a hot shower. Or if you have a humidifier/nebulizer, you can put this by their cage and then cover both with a thin bed sheet. As well, you can use cool water or sterile saline on damp cotton wool to wipe away any nasal or eye based discharges or crusting to just keep them comfortable .
Finally, as long as you are very careful, you can put a heating pad under half of their cage (only half so they can move away if too warm and to avoid access to cables) to provide a bit of warmth for them.
Overall, to hear that all three have these signs so soon after a recent stressor, I too am concerned that we have a mycoplasmic pneumonia brewing. Therefore, we'd want to use the above supportive care for the moment but need to consider getting them checked as soon as possible (either if your vet has office hours tomorrow or consider having them seen out of hours if their signs are severe) to give them the best chance to nip this in the bud and get them all back to normal.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best, *****
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Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 17063
Experience: General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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