Sick Rats & Clear Nose Discharge? Need advice..

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ReepacheepTheRat

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Dec 6, 2018
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kent, ohio
Hi all,

Long time rat owner here. I have five very rowdy ratties right now and recently there have been some mishaps with the water bottles where they get chewed through so I have replaced their three broken water bottles with a large dog dish.

Anyways two days ago the dog dish was flipped over and I came home from work to find the entire upper floor of my Ferret Nation flooded. I changed out the whole cage and added pebbles to the bottom of the dog dish to weigh it down but now am dealing with sick rats.

Overall there is a lot of sneezing. Particularly my one boy rat, Reepacheep, has clear discharge (yep you heard me... clear not red) coming out of his nose. I've never seen anything like it and would love some advice on what to do. Additionally one of my "teenagers", Buffy, who is about six months has a small amount of red discharge from one eye. I've immediately started giving them all vitamins but am wondering what to do.

For background I live in Ohio and good exotic vets are nonexistent in my area so I am a little worried. My rats are the only rat patients of the exotic vet they currently see and I basically have to fight on the phone to get them in a few days. I have had rats almost die trying to get antibiotics from him because of the lack of ability to get a timely appointment so am especially paranoid about sickness. Is there anything else I can do at this point to prevent them from getting sick? Should I make a vet appointment or am I being paranoid? Has anyone ever seen clear discharge coming out of a rats nose? Any advice would be much appreciated
 

Dena

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Nov 13, 2018
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Texas
I don't know about the discharge, but I may have a solution to your water bottle issues. You can get metal bird bowls for pretty cheap at any pet store or on Amazon. They have a round part that screws to the cage, and you can easily remove the bowl for cleaning. I have several of these in my rat's cages. I use one for food, and in a different part of the cage, I use one for water. Mine climb on them and climb under them, and have never tipped one over. On my boys cage, I have a plastic bird dish with a perch, but with yours being chewers, that may not be a good idea. I'll try to find a link on the bowls and water bottles I use. I have several bottles, and have found one in particular that I and my ratties love. It's pretty chew proof.
 

lilspaz68

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The other option for water bottle chewers is glass bottles or barriers that hold the bottle away from the cage and only allows access to the nozzle. You can get pretty creative in these.


 

lilspaz68

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As for possible illness. Can you hold your rats sides to your ears and listen to their breathing? Normal breathing is quiet or silent with no rough sounds, crackling or wheezing. Clear discharge could just be from irritation not illness. A little porphyrin is something to watch but not be too concerned. You can order antibiotics online and keep them on-hand for emergencies if you want. The best overall would have baytril or Enrofloxacin or ciprofloxacin, doxycycline, amoxicillin (babies), liquid infant ibuprofen for injuries/swelling, a scale to get the weights, sweet syrup to mix the meds and medicating syringes. If you are interested I could link you to places for most of these you can't get at drug or grocery store.
 

ReepacheepTheRat

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Dec 6, 2018
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Location
kent, ohio
As an update they ended up getting better the next day so it was just me being paranoid!

I will definitely look into the bird dishes... as of now I have found a kind of solution by weighing a dog bowl down with rocks. I initially had problems with them peeing/pooping in their water bowl but they seem to be learning that its their drinking bowl. The barriers are definitely a good idea however I am not sure if it would work with these ones. They are crazy chewers and I've had them destroy objects that were a good three inches or more away from their cage before. I'm going to look into glass water bottles as a permanent solution. Thanks for all the constructive advice!
 
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