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Can a rat truly be happier alone?

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Davie, Florida, USA
Hello!!

I am in a pickle and since I do not have that much experience with rats, I thought I'd ask for help from more experienced owners.

FIRST RAT: FEMALE HAIRLESS = SALLY
SECOND RAT: FEMALE WHITE AND TAN = SUGAR (RIP)

NEW BABIES:
BERKSHIRE = FLUFFY
WHITE/BLACK = OREO

In 2018, I got a hairless rat, it was kind of an impulse buy at a reptile expo (she was a feeder rat) and I knew nothing about rats. As soon as I got home I did a bunch of research, got her the largest cage (Critter Nation, double cage), the best foods and immediately started looking for a mate and found a girl kind of near me who bred rats and had a new littler. Sally was about 2 months old, a couple of weeks later, the new baby was ready to be weaned and I had to take a short trip, so, I talked to the breeder and she agreed to board SALLY for a few days and introduce her to baby SUGAR. About a week later I came back from my trip and picked up my pair. They got along great, in 2 years I never saw a fight, they never hurt each other.

When Sugar was getting close to 2 years of age, she developed a breast tumor, I took her to the vet and the doctor told me that she would advise against surgery because of her age and because it would most likely grow again, and told me to let her live for as long as she seemed comfortable.

When the tumor started growing we feared Sugar would not live much longer and decided it was better to find another girl, so Sally would not be left all alone, we went to a Ratterie and they attempted to introduce new rats to our pair but SUGAR would not like any of them, she would go after them, in the end, after trying with several candidates, the breeder told us it was better to just leave them alone, because it appeared that Sugar was very protective of Sally and was unlikely going to accept someone new.

Some months later, the tumor had grown bigger than Sugar herself, it was hard for her to walk, and we finally made the decision to help her rest, you would not believe how large and heavy the tumor was, but she was eating eagerly and playing until the end, that is why we put it off for so long, she truly was the sweetest. This past Saturday we brought her to the vet and she was humanely put to sleep.

The next day (Sunday) we went to the same ratterie again, now that Sally was alone, to try and find a new friend/s for her. She tolerated one baby (FLUFFY), but would attack the rest, the lady tried introducing several babies so maybe Sally would "chose" who she wanted to be with. In the end, we came home with 2 babies (FLUFFY and OREO) (both one-month-old siblings). When we got home, we thoroughly cleaned the cage, put new fleece, we even got a couple of new hides and a new hammock, we changed the furnishing of the cage, and put all 3 rats in exactly at the same time. Sally immediately went after OREO, the baby squeaked and I removed Sally quickly, because it was not a mild attack, she went for the back of the neck within seconds. I split the cage in 2, put the babies on top and Sally in the bottom part so they could smell each other, the following day (Monday), we tried again, and it was the same result, Sally attacked that particular baby OREO (with FLUFFY she seems fine). We separated again, and yesterday (Tuesday) tried one more time... it was the same....
Is it even possible (because the lady in the ratterie tried with no less than 7 candidates and only with FLUFFY she was fine) that a rat just wants to be left alone??? I am fearful of introducing them together now, Sally is a fully grown rat, the babies are one month old, she could kill them in a heartbeat.

I know this post is long, but I wanted to provide details. I emailed the breeder but she proposed I brought them back, give it a couple of weeks and try again, but even in just a few days, both I and my kids have become fond of the babies and would hate to surrender them, I want to try and make it work, but I do not want to put the babies in danger.

Sally is super sweet, as was Sugar, they loved each other, groomed each other, would eat together, sleep together. Can Sally be sad about Sugar not being there?? Did I move on too quickly?? Should I have waited longer? I thought it would be torture for Sally to be alone, so, we went to get new babies the very next day, was this a mistake? Do they need time to mourn? They are separated now, the babies on the top part and Sally in the bottom part of the cage.

Thank you for any advice!!!
 
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Big Schpog

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Hello!!

I am in a pickle and since I do not have that much experience with rats, I thought I'd ask for help from more experienced owners.

FIRST RAT: FEMALE HAIRLESS = SALLY
SECOND RAT: FEMALE WHITE AND TAN = SUGAR (RIP)

NEW BABIES:
BERKSHIRE = FLUFFY
WHITE/BLACK = OREO

In 2018, I got a hairless rat, it was kind of an impulse buy and I knew nothing about rats. As soon as I got home I did a bunch of research, got her the largest cage (Critter Nation, double cage), the best foods and immediately started looking for a mate and found a girl kind of near me who bred rats and had a new littler. Sally was about 2 months old, a couple of weeks later, the new baby was ready to be weaned and I had to take a short trip, so, I talked to the breeder and she agreed to board SALLY for a few days and introduce her to baby SUGAR. About a week later I came back from my trip and picked up my pair. They got along great, in 2 years I never saw a fight, they never hurt each other.

When Sugar was getting close to 2 years of age, she developed a breast tumor, I took her to the vet and the doctor told me that she would advise against surgery because of her age and because it would most likely grow again, and told me to let her live for as long as she seemed comfortable.

When the tumor started growing we feared Sugar would not live much longer and decided it was better to find another girl, so Sally would not be left all alone, we went to a Ratterie and they attempted to introduce new rats to our pair but SUGAR would not like any of them, she would go after them, in the end, after trying with several candidates, the breeder told us it was better to just leave them alone, because it appeared that Sugar was very protective of Sally and was unlikely going to accept someone new.

Some months later, the tumor had grown bigger than Sugar herself, it was hard for her to walk, and we finally made the decision to help her rest, you would not believe how large and heavy the tumor was, but she was eating eagerly and playing until the end, that is why we put it off for so long, she truly was the sweetest. This past Saturday we brought her to the vet and she was humanely put to sleep.

The next day (Sunday) we went to the same ratterie again, now that Sally was alone, to try and find a new friend/s for her. She tolerated one baby (FLUFFY), but would attack the rest, the lady tried introducing several babies so maybe Sally would "chose" who she wanted to be with. In the end, we came home with 2 babies (FLUFFY and OREO) (both one-month-old siblings). When we got home, we thoroughly cleaned the cage, put new fleece, we even got a couple of new hides and a new hammock, we changed the furnishing of the cage, and put all 3 rats in exactly at the same time. Sally immediately went after OREO, the baby squeaked and I removed Sally quickly, because it was not a mild attack, she went for the back of the neck within seconds. I split the cage in 2, put the babies on top and Sally in the bottom part so they could smell each other, the following day (Monday), we tried again, and it was the same result, Sally attacked that particular baby OREO (with FLUFFY she seems fine). We separated again, and yesterday (Tuesday) tried one more time... it was the same....
Is it even possible (because the lady in the ratterie tried with no less than 7 candidates and only with FLUFFY she was fine) that a rat just wants to be left alone??? I am fearful of introducing them together now, Sally is a fully grown rat, the babies are one month old, she could kill them in a heartbeat.

I know this post is long, but I wanted to provide details. I emailed the breeder but she proposed I brought them back, give it a couple of weeks and try again, but even in just a few days, both I and my kids have become fond of the babies and would hate to surrender them, I want to try and make it work, but I do not want to put the babies in danger.

Sally is super sweet, as was Sugar, they loved each other, groomed each other, would eat together, sleep together. Can Sally be sad about Sugar not being there?? Did I move on too quickly?? Should I have waited longer? I thought it would be torture for Sally to be alone, so, we went to get new babies the very next day, was this a mistake? Do they need time to mourn? They are separated now, the babies on the top part and Sally in the bottom part of the cage.

Thank you for any advice!!!
Sally is going through loss and yes, they have complex emotions just like people do. The babies need to grow a little more and she needs time to mourn before I'd attempt to put them together again. It's good they can smell each other.

Is Sally huffing at them through the bars?

I wouldn't give up but I would let the babies get older before you try again, and having them near each other the way you do is good b/c Sally can smell them. I'd put some of the babies things with Sally so she can smell them and vice versa, put some of Sally's things with the babies. Switch their hammocks or something, so they can familiarize themselves with scent. It's all about smell, and time. Sally needs time to heal from her loss.

Wait until the babies are older for another introduction and do it in a neutral area the rats have never been.
 

lilspaz68

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The breeder should never have let you take home 4 week old babies or advised about intros. Some rats won't recognize a baby rat as a rat at that age and can main and kill them (that bite to the neck is a kill bite). So for now you let Sally grieve, and let the babies grow up. Since there was such an extreme reaction wait until they are 7-8 weeks old then do careful neutral intros (somewhere that Sally doesn't normally go so she won't feel territorial, and somewhere you can watch everyone at all times and intervene if necessary.
I've had rats that lived beautifully with siblings or cagemates they knew since they were young but absoluteky hated every rat I tried her with after the siblings passed. Each situation is different.
 
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Thank you SO much for your replies. Sally does smell them sometimes through the bars. At the ratterie, they were put together, the breeder put them all in a box and they were with each other for a few minutes, and she thought it went well. But for the ride home, I separated them because the carrier I brought was not large enough to transport all 3 comfortably and because I drove a bit over an hour to get there., so, we put Sally in a different carrier, and when we tried again home, that happened.
I will follow your advice and wait a bit before introducing again, and I will make sure to give Sally extra love during this difficult time.
They were born on September 08, so, yeah, they are about 5 weeks old NOW.
 
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shaunavalon

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Further to this - swap them around. You say your rat is happy with one of the other rats being around? Maybe integrate that one rat for a day at a time? I'd take Sally and put her in the other side and move the one she was having trouble with to where Sally was. Let Fluffy spend some time playing over at Sally's place if they get along? Maybe see what happens when you move Oreo over to Sally's side and Sally in with Fluffy?

They are quite young little ones, and that can totally be a factor as they aren't able to defend themselves yet. Sometimes there can be a bit of fighting when integrating rats, and with very small rats this is an issue as they have no means of putting up their own display of dominance.

Also, keep switching it up with them - swap the sides they live in (without cleaning first), swap their toys, and so on.

What happens when you take them all and put them in a neutral place? Try a bathtub or bed? Is Sally still aggressive when you put them in an unfamiliar place together outside of their respective territories (cages)?

Often times, to integrate rats, I let them play in the bath or spare bedroom or on my bed under supervision until they become used to each other.

Also, this is important with rats, when you have one of them euthanised or one of them dies, it is really important to bring the passed rat back and show their partners the body (I'll put it into the bottom of the cage for the rest to discover). This way, they can see that their cagemate has passed, and they can mourn. Otherwise all they know is that their mate vanished suddenly with no explanation and then it takes much longer for them to cope with the loss. Do this under supervision and remove the body after about 20 minutes to make sure that they don't do anything weird.

The recommend age for letting rats go is 6 weeks - your rats were barely weaned at 4 weeks when you got them. I highly recommend spending a lot of time with the babies to socialise them - maybe even teach them a few tricks if you can.
 
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Thank you so much for your input. When in a neutral environment, Sally was better, at the breeder's they were together sniffing each other and even cleaning each other, the breeder did try with several candidates. Fluffy was actually the first and Sally was good to her from the start, then there was a second baby, a third... a fourth, then, the lady told me she would take Sally in to do the introductions herself (due to COVID, we were not allowed in, we were doing everything in the porch, but, since Sally was not accepting other babies -other than Fluffy- and the lady had to constantly be getting in and out to bring new babies, she figured it would be better to bring Sally in) and sometime later she came back out with Sally, Fluffy and Oreo together in a box and they seemed fine. But for the car ride, since it was somewhat long and my carrier was not very large, she separated them, and lent me another carrier for the babies, and I put Sally back in her carrier, so, back home, I cleaned everything, changed the hides, moved things around and put them together back at the same time, and well, you know the rest...

I did not go there looking for a baby, in fact, I would have chosen a mature rat, but the lady recommended babies, she said older rats like to "mother" babies and that Sally would be happier with some young, and since she has a lot more experience than I do, I did as she said.

We are playing with the babies a lot, every day for many hours, sometimes I even put them back in their cage just to give them a break.

I will follow your advice and switch sides, and take them out to play together in the tub, let them start getting to know each other a bit. In over 2 years I never saw Sally and Sugar fight, perhaps they did, but we interacted with them a lot and I never saw anything that resembled aggression. and back in June when we first tried integrating a new member, it was Sugar who did not want them, Sally was good.

Regarding the body, regretfully we did not get it back. We had planned a little funeral and burial at home, but Aminal Services would not give the remains back, I was not aware of this, cause on the website it said that the disposal of the body had an additional cost, and that made me assume, if we did not want them disposing of the body, we would be getting it back, but we were told otherwise when we were already there. We usually brought her in to a private vet whenever she needed a visit during her life, but with the work being so low now, and my husband not working at all due to the pandemic, the difference in cost was very significant, so, we brought her to be euthanized in animal services and it turns out, they do not give remains back (this was the first time in my whole life I had to bring a pet in for euthanization). We were pretty sad to learn they do not give the body back, Sally did not have closure for her sister, and it makes me so sad now that you mention it. These are my first rats, I am still learning and grasping how deep and truly amazing their psychology is.

Thank you so much for your input.
 
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The breeder is quite reputable in my area, I find it hard to believe she would wean babies before it is time. Could it be possible that I got the date of birth wrong?? I always try to get my pets' exact dates of birth, and I asked (cause they are siblings) and I am almost sure she said 09/08 (September 08), but could it have been August 09?? (She said it with numbers "nine eight", or maybe was it "eight nine" ???? I will post pictures of them so you can see and perhaps I am wrong and they are 2 months, I am guessing a 4 week old looks very different from an 8 week old.
 

shaunavalon

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What the breeder did was not wrong. I just prefer it that breeders rather let their rats go at 6 weeks compared to 4 weeks. At 4 weeks, the young rats are still very much little kids who want mommy around. It is totally possible to wean rats at 3 weeks old without harm. I just don't like the fact that they gave you rats that I think are a bit too young.

Also, integrating mature rats with each other has its own set of issues and can be even more difficult. I think that Sally would have been even less accepting of a mature rat. Mature rats have a greater sense of 'pecking order' and territorialism. The younger rats you have won't be territorial yet and won't fight other rats coming into their territory. Adult rats have this and will not always tolerate other adult rats without a lot of integration effort.

I think if you just keep mixing things up with them until they are familiar enough with each other it will go just fine. You will notice a point where Sally sort of accepts her fate and says 'fine then I guess I'll be saddled up with these two young fools since you really want me to do this for you' and you should notice a change in all of them and then you'll be able to toss them together happily.
 
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Oh, my God, everything happened so fast.

Yesterday was the first day in the whole week that we did not take the baby rats out to play (we were all day long visiting animal shelters for we are looking for a dog to adopt), we got home way past 6 pm, and the kids were exhausted, we showered, ate dinner and went to bed early... I briefly checked on the ratties, made sure they had food and water, and let them be. This morning the kids slept in, we had breakfast and after that, the kids wanted to play with their ratties. At around 11 a.m. my daughter went to the cage to find OREO dead, she screamed and started crying (my daughter). There were no obvious signs of her being hurt, she was just lying on top of a hide, not moving. I called the breeder, cause I remember noticing the babies were sneezing since the day we first got them. The breeder asked me to bring them in, both and even Sally.

We went there and they told us they had an outbreak of URI and they were under quarantine, they gave FLUFFY a shot of antibiotics and told us she had to stay there for they had oxygen, antibiotics, and everything she could need to pull through, they checked Sally and said she seems fine (I have not seen her sneeze) but gave her antibiotics as well, as a prevention, they told me to deep clean the whole cage, and they were sorry, and they noticed something was wrong a few days after we got our babies, however, FLUFFY was not the only casualty, as they said, there have been affected rats both in their home as well as in pleople's homes like our case.

I feel so bad. The kids are heartbroken, Sally is still alone, I feel it went downhill SO fast, we noticed frequent sneezing, but I have never had a rat with URI, they were always playful and had an appetite, and even as I noticed the sneezing, I asked about it from day one and I was told it was normal, and since I did not see any other symptoms, I thought it was something babies did (neither Sugar or Sally got to me at this age) and I did nothing about it, I feel super guilty, I am afraid for Sally now and am somewhat relieved she wanted nothing to do with the babies.

We now have no babies, only an empty cage and a heavy heart, they said they would stay in touch and would let us know how Fluffy is doing, in order for us to get her back when she recovers, and they said if she didn't they would let us pick any other rat, but I don't want to think about that, we loved them, even just for a week (that is all we got) and I feel bad that I did not do something about the sneezing before.

:( :( :( </3
 

shaunavalon

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Oh my lord that is extremely unfortunate.

I highly recommend that you speak to the breeder and make sure that they give Sally a preventative shot of antibiotics just in case! This is because your rat is older and has a better immune system than a baby rat and therefore your rat may have caught the URI and not show symptoms yet as her immune system is staying on top of it. As additional help, I do recommend that you treat your own rat with antibiotics as prophylaxis.

I am sorry to hear that you have had one of the littlies die on you - it is indeed a horrid experience. Don't let it get you down though - living things and not forever and sometimes bad things happen. Do not blame yourself, you did not know. Learn from it, so that in future you know.

If I were you, I would still seek companions for Sally, but with the URI scare I'd wait a month before trying any other rats and I think you should rather go to another breeder due to the URI outbreak - they have exposed your rat (intentionally or not) to rats that have a HIGHLY contagious illness and it is more than likely it will affect your rat in some way.

Make sure that you find a small animal vet / rat vet in your area, you may need them for a bit if your rat gets ill. The outlook is not great - your rat may very well also get ill. Treat with antibiotics now rather than too late. If they did not get sick, you are doing no real harm, if they did, you are helping them a lot by doing this.
 
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Thank you for your words.
Yes, they did give Sally a dose of antibiotics and they gave me enough of it for a week to take home, I am supposed to start giving it to her orally twice a day for 3 days (starting today) and then once a day for 3 more days (for a total of 7 days), they also recommended boosting her immune system with some Reishi mushroom powder.

We do have a rat vet that we go to, I am (sometimes more than I should) very cautious with all my pets, and I go to the vet at the slightest sign, both Sally and Sugar went to the vet on a few occasions, Sally once had something stuck in her eyelid, Sugar once had a cut on her tail and later she had that tumor... I always rather be safe than sorry and I do not hesitate to take them to the vet, in fact, when my daughter found OREO, the first thing I thought of was to take FLUFFY to the vet, but since they had been with us for so little, I called the breeder first, for they are experienced and offer free health checkups for life.

My son was super sad when I came back home without Fluffy... later yesterday, we buried Oreo in our yard, RIP little beautiful girl.
 

lilspaz68

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Unfortunately your breeder had an outbreak of a contagious virus...and IF Sally shows any symptoms (excessive sneezing, crackling etc) you need to get her on a combo of antibiotics for at least 3 weeks. I am hoping she didn't catch it at her age but if she's always been healthy she should have a strong immune system. SDA virus is the most common one these days, and can be fatal.

What antibiotics did they give you? I need to double check doses etc, and what injection they gave her. If they injected her with baytril and didn't dilute it enough it could cause tissue necrosis or baytril burn, etc. PM me if you need help ASAP.
 

lilspaz68

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If they are saying outbreak and quarantine then its a virus for sure. These are how these viruses spread. It can be transmitted to new homes by affected rats, fomites or even a person handling a sick rat then going home and handling their own rats within a 3 hour period. The virus (either Sendai or SDA) will show symptoms within 6-8 days of exposure, and the rat is contagious for a week then the virus itself sheds the body, but this is when the secondary opportunistic infections flare up. If you start a rat on antibiotics then hopefully its built up enough in the system to help against the infections you can fight. But sometimes the virus is too much and they will die suddenly :(

The breeder could have brought in new rats in the last couple of weeks and either done no quarantine or just an in-home one which rarely works with these viruses. They may also have had an infected person come into their home and handle some rats...you often don't know. I've had rescue babies bring it into my home.

If they are testing they are getting special tests done for antibodies of these viruses. If they are just quarantining they will be shut down at least a month to 6 weeks until the virus has gone through their colony. Sadly a lot of these rats will be immunocompromised after having the virus.

Until Sally shows no symptoms (2 weeks) you are under quarantine as well just to ensure it doesn't continue to spread. These lockdowns are difficult but very necessary to stop it from spreading. If/when you see your vet make sure they know its a possible contagious virus and they should not see small domestics within 3 hours of you being there.

SDA is the "better" of the 2 viruses as it only affects rats. Some rats may develop symptoms like eye/facial swelling or a large lump in the middle of their throat.

Sendai can affect other small animals like mice and hamsters as well rats. Both are respiratory, can hit very hard and fast with immunocompromised animals. Both shed in about a week, where your rat is now immune to that strain.

Make sure to hold Sally's sides to your ears to listen to her breathing. These viruses can constrict the breathing and that can be not as obvious initially.



Here are pics of the throat lump and eye issues (you can often see the connective tissue in the corner of the eye as a first sign)


 
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SQ

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What antibiotic did the breeder give Sally?
Do you know the strength (mg/ml) and amount given (ml)?
What is Sally's weight?
If you do not have a digital scale that weighs accurately to 1 gram and has a tare function, please buy one as a good scale is an important piece of equipment for rat owners.

When rats are on antibiotics, they need to be treated for at least 4 weeks if the antibiotic or combo is working, (I find mine need to be given antibiotics for 6 weeks) or they are not better, although symptoms may have disappeared. When antibiotics are not working the vet needs to try another antibiotic or combo. Seven days on an antibiotic is not long enough.

Although the breeder offers checkups, please always take your pets to a knowledgeable vet instead.

I would suggest starting Sally on baytril (orally, twice a day), and immediately adding a second antibiotic such as azithromycin (10 mg/Ib is what my vet prescribes) if she shows any signs of illness. If she has a secondary infection the clavamox is a good antibiotic .... secondary infections kill very fast.

BTW, baby rats are weaned by their mother by 5 weeks old and baby girls stay with their mom until at least 6 weeks old ...... baby rats of either sex are not old enough to be taken from their mama until 5 weeks old, or rehomed until 6 weeks old.
Baby rats can not be introduced to a rat over 12 weeks old until the baby is at least 8 weeks old (10 weeks is safer). As Lilspaz68 said, young rats do not smell like rats and can be mistaken for prey and killed by older rats (which is what Sally was trying to do). The only time that rats can safely just be put together, like the breeder did, is when all the rats are babies (under 12 weeks old) because babies see other rats as playmates, while older rats see unfamiliar rats as possible threats/enemies. For info on doing proper gradual intros (and other good info) please see our Reference Thread REFERENCE Thread - Read Only and check out joinrats.com for more info on doing intros etc
 
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Sally is 318 grs, I do have a digital scale. What they gave me was Baytril, indicating 1ml per 100 grs 2x a day until Wednesday and then 1x a day until next Saturday. I BELIEVE what they gave her was the same.

Sally has always been healthy, she has had to visit the vet for 2 things in her life: Something got into her eye and I could not get it out myself, and later, she had an abscess on her forehead which had to be drained, other than that, nice and healthy. I have always tried to provide the best care for her, the best foods, lots of play time, large cage, but this is a first for me, she has never been "sick".

I am holding her right now and I do hear her sneeze, not as frequent as the babies, but there is definitely some sneezing. Her eyes and nose "look" fine,
but I am now extremely concerned about her, she is 2 and a few months (I do not have her exact date of birth but I am pretty sure it is around May 2018), and she is a sweetheart.

In regards to disinfecting the cage, should I do it daily? Every other day? If she is contagious (right not there are no other rats in the household, or mice or any other small animal, only a dog and a few reptiles in a separate room) I think about airborne viruses, and disinfecting helps, cause she could be "reinfecting herself", right??


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lilspaz68

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Message the breeder and ask the concentration of the baytril? They must've used 10% injectable baytril (100 mg/ml) but mixed it with flavoring. Ask how they mixed it. It should be given at 15 mg/kg BID (twice a day) for best effect for a minimum of 2 weeks. Her sneezing is not a good sign :(

She will need a combo of antibiotics if she starts getting worse.

Kisses to your girl :(
 
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I will call today, I emailed yesterday asking about Fluffy but got no response. They did say the Baytril they gave me was mixed with honey for her to eat it, they did not give me specifics about the concentration. One of my closest friends is an exotics vet, but he lives and works in a different country, I will ask him too.
 
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I called the ratterie, they believe it is in fact SeV, they are waiting for confirmation today. She said she did not think that is the case for Sally because of the different symptoms she has, however, we have not had contact with ANY other rat whatsoever, for me, it is almost obvious it has to be the same. She told me to continue Baytril as it is the right course of action. I was also told Fluffy is still hanging in there, but she has not gotten better, or worse.
 

lilspaz68

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both Sendai and SDA are treated the same at least,

I am uncomfortable with them not knowing what concentration they gave you so I cannot guarantee they gave you an effective dose for treating her.
Can you order online? Or get her to a vet who can give you appropriate antiobiotics like baytril and doxycycline?

The first symptom of a virus in your colony is 1) either losing "healthy" rats very suddenly or 2) sneezing being heard, then more and more rats sneeze, then the real crackling, air constriction etc symptoms kick in. So her sneezing regulary out of the blue is not normal.
 

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