Most people don’t think too much about sneezing. It’s a natural act that most of us do without even realizing it, whether you are human or a rat. But when it comes to sneezing, there’s normal and then there’s excessive. At what point do we need to worry about how often our rats are sneezing?
Normal sneezing in rats
Rats should sneeze on occasion. It helps to clear their nasal passages of any irritants or debris. A small amount of sneezing is nothing to be concerned about and is perfectly normal.
After all, Rats are so small and low to the ground. Their substrates are often dusty, and they’re constantly exploring nooks and crannies in their cage which can lead to them inhaling all sorts of things. Sneezing helps to keep their nasal passages clear so they can continue to smell danger and find their way around.
Excessive sneezing in rats
Excessive sneezing in rats is defined as any sneezing that is beyond what is considered normal for the species.
This can be difficult to determine since there is no definitive answer on how often a rat should sneeze. It can also be hard to determine because each rat is an individual and they all have different sneezing habits.
As the person who takes care of the rat and spends the most time around the pet rat, You are the best judge of what is normal for your rat. If you notice a sudden increase in sneezing or if the sneezes seem more forceful than usual, this could be cause for concern.
When to see a vet
If you are concerned about your rat’s sneezing, it is always best to err on the side of caution and take them to see a vet.
They will be able to determine if the sneezing is due to an infection or another medical condition.
Sneezing is often one of the first signs that something is wrong with a rat. It can be a sign of a respiratory infection, allergies, or even something as simple as a cold.
The rat respiratory system is very delicate, and any sort of irritation can cause them to sneeze excessively.
Rats are susceptible to a number of respiratory infections, which can cause them to sneeze excessively. Common culprits include Bordetella bronchiseptica, Mycoplasma pulmonis, and Streptococcus pneumonia.
These infections are usually spread through contact with other rats or contaminated surfaces. In addition, rats can also develop allergies to dust, pollen, and other airborne irritants.
If a rat is constantly sneezing, it is important to take them to the vet for a diagnosis. Treatment will vary depending on the underlying cause but may include antibiotics or antihistamines. With prompt treatment, most rats will make a full recovery.
Other symptoms that accompany sneezing in rats and could be cause for concern include:
- Discharge from the nose or eyes
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of appetite
These are all signs that something is wrong and your rat needs to see a vet as soon as possible. Do not wait until the sneezing gets better on its own, as this could be a sign that the rat is getting worse.
Things that can cause a rat to sneeze excessively
Not all excessive sneezing is actually a medical condition. There are a number of things that can cause a rat to sneeze excessively, and not all of them are cause for concern.
Smoke: If there is smoke in the air, this can irritate a rat’s respiratory system and cause them to sneeze. This is especially true for cigarette smoke.
Dust: Dust is another common irritant that can cause a rat to sneeze. It is important to keep the cage clean and free of dust to minimize this problem.
Perfume: Strong smells, such as perfume, can also cause a rat to sneeze. If you are using any sort of fragrance, be sure to keep it away from the cage to avoid this problem.
Chilling: A sudden change in temperature can also cause a rat to sneeze. This is most likely to happen if the rat is exposed to cold air or water.
Pregnancy: Pregnancy can also cause a rat to sneeze excessively. This is due to the increase in hormones and is nothing to be concerned about.
As you can see, there are a number of things that can cause a rat to sneeze excessively. In most cases, this is not causing concern and will resolve on its own. However, if the sneezing is accompanied by other symptoms, it is important to take the rat to see a vet. With prompt treatment, most rats will make a full recovery.