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Ask Dr. Gary Your Own Question
Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 19331
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
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My pet rat started making a short "hum" noise when breathing.

Customer Question

My pet rat started making a short "hum" noise when breathing. I can't find a vet that will see her. Is there anything I can give her?
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with the rat?
Customer: When she breaths, she make a noise now. It started last night. It's like a hum or small grunt while exhaling.
JA: Where does the rat seem to hurt?
Customer: She doesn't
JA: Can you see anything that looks wrong or different?
Customer: No, just her breathing now making noise
JA: OK. Nothing visually obvious. Is the rat eating normally?
Customer: Yes, she seems to be
JA: OK. No appetite problems. Is the rat having trouble peeing or pooing?
Customer: I don't believe so. This just started last night.
JA: OK. No obvious problems there. How is the rat behaving differently?
Customer: I don't believe so. I spend all day with her and she sleeps during the day mostly. So far she seems ok except for her breathing.
JA: OK. No obvious behavior changes. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help the rat. What is the rat's name and age?
Customer: Her name is***** 2 yrs old
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Astro?
Customer: No. Other than her breathing noises she's fine
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Pet
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Ok. I'm finished making the deposit.
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 7 months ago.
Hello. Thanks for the question. The most likely cause here is pneumonia. That is the most common condition we see in rats. They typically present with some type of respiratory signs- coughing, sneezing, rattles, discharge from the nose or eyes. We usually diagnose it based on the signs, but x-rays can be done to confirm. The treatment is with antibiotics. I use a combination of Baytril + Doxycycline. This combination works well to get it under control. I would call a local ER vet and see if they will handle rats. If not, they usually have a couple vets in the area that they refer to for exotics. In the meantime, I like to put them in the bathroom and run a hot shower. The steam can help moisten the airways and help with the signs. Saline drops in the eyes and nose can also help to keep the airway clear. I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I paid for the 7 day free trial and I can't see the msg
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 7 months ago.
I'm not sure what is happening. I would contact customer service and see if they can sort it out for you.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Was charged $5 for deposit. Now it says I need to update payment info. Already charged and can't see vet answer. Please cancel everything!
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 7 months ago.
I'll send you to someone to help.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thank you for your response. She isn't showing any of the signs you stated. She only has the noisy breathing. I can't afford to take her to a vet. I just had 2 stray cats fixed...
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 6 months ago.
How is the rat doing now?