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Sick rat-healthy mice?


New member
A friend of mine asked me to rat sit for a week, seems his two snakes weren't as hungry as he thought. I said, okay, no prob.......went and picked up a pair of rats (youngish). The larger of the two is sneezing off and on-no runnynose, eats well (darn near got me when doing after some dog food I gave them!), bright eyed, etc. When I first got them home, it was sitting like it didn't feel good-but after being here for a couple of hours it looked better. I'm not about to nurse someone elses feeder rat (although they are cute).... but my question is, I raise mice. Can the rat give the mice anything? The mice are in a closed bathroom, the rats are in the sink (in a cage) in the laundry room around the corner from the bathroom. I was going to keep them in the garage, but it's 45 degree at night and I thought that'd be kindof mean. I don't handle the rats, and food and water are done through the top ofthe cage, no shared utensils between them......and it's only for 5 more days! What do ya'll think? Should I stick them in the garage, cold or not....

Also, Is it going to hurt his snakes if the rat has a cold? Personally, I wouldn't feed it to mine but I'm paranoid :) I haven't told him yet that the one is sneezing..... I don't have the facilities to seperate the two rats (unless I put them in the garage again)...........
This is the wrong thing to say in a snake forum but this post breaks my heart.

PLEASE don't put them in the garage.
And if you can, please try to talk him into feeding frozen/thawed rats to his snakes.
Live rats can do a tremendous amount of damage to a snake, for one thing.
I have seen pics of snakes torn apart from food that decided to fight back.

And for another, rats are nearly as intelligent as dogs and have been some of the best pets I've ever had. It bothers me when they are only seen as "food" or not treated well.
Thanks for the reply, although it didn't help at all.

What somebody else choose to do with their snakes is unfortunatly out of my control-I suggested the f/t and that's all I can do. Me? I do the f/t with my corn, and am slowly working towards that with my ball python. However, when asked if I can rat sit , rather than him leaving them in a cardboard box in the bathroom, I can provide a clean cage-I have a cage/shavings/food and he doesn't. And I'm not going to start handling a sneezing animal that will be snake food and risk getting my healthy, some snake food and some pet, mice sick. Nor am I going to keep albino rats as pets-if/when I end up doing the rat thing instead of mice, they'll be colored.

And there's nothing wrong with the garage-I have a tank with a healthy pleco fish in it in there, and have kept many animals there (although not in the heat of summer) including baby goats, young chickens, etc. Our garage (like most in Florida) isn't used to put the car in so there's nothing dangerous in there for the animals. The only reason they aren't out there now is I don't want to have to set up supplemental heat!

My original question was, could the rats give my mice anything and would a sneezing rat have an adverse effect on a snake? Anybody know?
I have bred both mice and rats, and in my experience they cannot transmit any kind of respiratory infections between eachother. Rats all carry myco, which brings upon the sneezing, probably from stress or pine bedding. Mice as far as I know, dont have this problem. I wouldnt worry about them being in the same room. But you have them seperated and that should be fine. You could keep them in the garage (but I wouldnt because its unnecessary), rats are fine in that cold weather, but it wouldnt help the sneezing rats problems and since they are domestic, cant tolerate the cold as well as wild mice, but probably wouldnt die out there. They are fine where they are at currently. Also, you dont need to seperate the rats as the other one is already exposed so it wouldnt do any difference at this point. IMO, I wouldnt feed a sick rat to a snake, but thats just me. I dont think it would have any serious adverse effects but better safe than sorry.
Thanks-that's exactly the information I was after! Okay, I'll leave them in the laundry room then-the sneezy one doesn't seem to be getting any worse, actually seems better. Boy are they messy, and I thought the mice were bad LOL!
Oh good lord, not this live versus frozen debate.

There is no right answer, and people who feed live are not evil, cruel, or stupid. There is minimal risk in feeding live if you know what you're doing and pay attention.
Nope, no debate :)

Followup: Rats are gone (well, at least back over to their original purchasers house, I didn't ask any further) and mice are healthy... Mamma's babies are growing up fast and not a sniffle in the bunch! Whew! Thanks guys!