Lethargic new rat

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Freya

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Hi all,

I'd be grateful for any advice. I brought a pair of boys home today (rehomed, they're already one) and one seems really lethargic and only interested in sleeping in his little house. The other one is quite axacti and inquisitive. Do you think it's just because he's had a stressful day? Bit of a worried new mum!

Thanks x
 

ViciousCurse

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Jan 28, 2019
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Did you rescue your rats from someone or from a rescue? Did they tell you the history and health of these rats? If not, can you still contact them and ask them for any of that information?

Of what you've seen of him so far, are there any other symptoms? Is he eating, drinking, and moving normally? Let him do this stuff naturally, don't force him or disturb him. He may just be afraid right now and trying to feel safe by hiding.

At least from the description, it sounds like the rat is trying to find a safe place to hide and try to recuperate. Moving is very stressful, especially with different air quality, noises outside the cage, and a new home in general. For now, play it by ear. Be on the lookout for illnesses, but it may be too early to say now.
Rats around one year old, especially males, tend to slow down.
 
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Dena

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It's a lot of stress to move. Give them a day or two to recoup. ;)
 

SQ

Senior Member - Vegan for the animals
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as previously mentioned
How old is he?
What is his history?
Is he eating and drinking?
Does he seem to be working hard to breath, how does he sound when you hold him up tp your ear and listen to each side of his chest

Pictures?
Video? (post to youtube and put the link on here)
 

Freya

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Thank you all for replying!

Good news - he perked up a lot overnight and has eaten and drunk some water. He has come out of his hut and been looking more interested - I think he's the less adventurous of the pair though!

They were from a rescue but they didn't have much information about them beyond the fact that their previous owner had gone into hospital and wasn't able to care for them, and that they'd been checked over and been given the all clear. Had to take them though, couldn't leave them!

I'll see how he goes on today, hut I'm hoping I was just being a bit paranoid and having first night nerves! Poor boy was probably a bit exhausted after a stressful day, bless him.

I'll let you all know :) x
 

ViciousCurse

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Thanks for the update! I'm happy to hear he's perked back up. Sometimes shy rats just take a bit to perk up. And there's always the more shy/less adventurous rat of the pair, nothing to worry about.

Oh trust me, I understand those first night nerves all too well! Bringing home your first rat and hearing them sneeze the first time is always the scariest omg moment lol. I'm sure he'll perk up as he adjusts.

As SQ may mention later on, it's not a bad idea for your vet (a trusted/well-respected vet with rat knowledge) to also check them over and give them the all clear. I know people say to do that immediately, but I often wait a little bit just to build a relationship and get to know them and their habits.
 

Freya

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Thank you - he does seem much happier now, I think not least because he's in a bigger cage! Their last one didn't give them much space. He's definitely the more eat-and-sleep of the pair, whereas his brother is more interested in running about. He has been out and exploring though, so I'm really pleased he's picked up.

I was thinking about getting them checked out anyway, like you say. A few sneezes are ok, aren't they, as they're settling in? I know rats can have respiratory problems but I was thinking they're currently adjusting tothe new surroundings.

Thanks for all replies - it's nice to have joined such a supportive community!

Slightly rubbish photo of my two boys getting to know their new home here (excuse the shoe rack!) X

IMG_20190215_160923.jpg
 

ViciousCurse

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What an adorable pair you have! I love the hairless rat's wrinkles so much.

A few sneezes the first couple of days isn't bad. They're adjusting to the new air and smells. Rats have sensitive respiratory systems, so they're more prone to react to changing air quality.
 

SQ

Senior Member - Vegan for the animals
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Awww sweet ratties ! They look very happy in their new cage.
As previously mentioned new home sneezes for a few days is normal as they get used to their new environment, but if it becomes worse or lasts longer then a vet visit to a good vet with the knowledge and experience to treat rats would be important (rats become ill and die fast without proper medical care)
 

Freya

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I will do, thank you. I'll keep an eye on the sneezing.

Both running around and play fighting when they come out of their cage, so looking like two happy ratties now :) x
 
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