My rat is very young and he has labored breathing. What can I do for him?
Hi, Welcome to JustAnswer. I am a licensed veterinarian and I'm here to help you. Does your ratty have any nasal or eye discharge. Has he been sneezing? Dr. Barbara
hi Barbara, He is sneezing, but there is no discharge
He seems to be sleeping (in my hand) and he's breathing heavily and making lots of noise
He has a respiratory infection which is rather common in rats. This can be just in the nose or throat, but can also be in his lungs. . .pneumonia. He most likely will need some antibiotics, and possibly be placed in an oxygen cage. What are the color of his ears and feet and gums?
His ears are light pink, his feet are darker pink and I can't view his gums right now. He is very small - about the size of a mouse
I'm worried he will die tonight. He's my son's pet
OK. . .this sounds like he his breathing well enough to get enough oxygen. . .good! The very best would be to seek veterinary care tonight for the oxygen and antibiotics. . . but emergency care wil be more expensive. Since he has a nice pink color then although his breathing is loud, it seems he will be fine until tomorrow. Is he eating and drinking anything at all?
Think how we sound with stuffy noses. . .
I haven't noticed lately if he has been eating and drinking. I have been sick - could I have given it to him? Thanks!
My son said he was eating some crackers earlier
He just looks so pathetic! I really like this guy
Probably not. . .ratties can commonly have mycoplasma respiratory infections (a type of bacteria), which are best treated with an antibiotic. Excellent that he has been eating. Can you offer him some water with an eyedropper? We need to keep him hydrated. My daughter and I had serveral ratties while she was growing up . . .they are the best little pets! It does sound to me like he will be fine until tomorrow AM. He's pink and he's been eating. Dehydration is of concern so water offered with an eyedropper would be great. If you can. . .emergency attention tonight would be the best as I can't actually examine him, but he has two encouraging signs. . .he was eating and I would make more available, and he's pink.
thanks for your help, Barbara!