The rat's anatomy is perfectly designed to suit its lifestyle needs -- even its throat is arranged in a way that will avoid choking no matter how much they nibble and chew on different item. However, this does not mean that rats would never choke; while this condition is rare, whenever this happens and the rodent is not even enough attention immediately, it can definitely lead to suffocation and death.
When rats choke, this is more likely caused by a chunk of food stuck inside its throat. It is so easy to detect if your pet rat is experiencing this problem; they would behave like all other animals (including humans) would whenever they feel that something is blocking their air passageway -- they would gag and drool excessively.
The most obvious way to help a gagging rat is to open its mouth and literally pull out whatever material it is that is stuck inside its throat. The easiest way to do this is to pull back the rodent's ears; this will force the rodents to stretch out its mouth. If you can't remove the stuck material, it is better if you rush your pet to the veterinarian immediately. Do not attempt to force your rat to drink water in the hope that it can "push" the material into its stomach. This desperate act would only drown your pet rat to death. Nonetheless, you should not worry much if your rat can still breathe despite the gagging. In most cases, your pet will be able to make the offending foodstuff down into its stomach. Sometimes, give your pet soft food can also help them force the stuck food item down. Do not do anything else beyond making your pet feel rested and comfortable.
The bigger problem occurs when you rat is really having a hard time breathing. One can tell if the rat is in a dangerous situation when its breathing would sound extra laborious. When this happens, you can try doing the Heimlich manoeuvre, that is, to press hard underneath the rodent's ribcage so as to force air in and out of the lungs. If you don't know how to do this, you can also try the method called "The Fling" which is executed through the utilization of the centrifugal force that is produced when you "fling" your rat. To do this, you will need to securely hold your pet's neck with one hand and using your other hand, hold the rat's tail and "throw" your pet in the air -- releasing your rat in a fast circular motion. Make sure that you will not hit your rat with anything around you, thus, clear out everything within arm's length. You can do this for 3 to 4 times before you will need to let your pet rat. If it still find it hard to breathe, do "The Fling" again; it is actually one of the most effective ways to dislodge objects that are stuck inside the animal's throat.
Now here is the catch, if not of these things can help you rat, your final resort is to do a mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. This is extremely dangerous for the inexperienced though, since rats have this tendency to bite whenever they are stressed and anxious, which of course, can happen when they are in distress. To best way to go about this is to "suck" out the obstruction from the rat's throat. However, be extra careful that you do not block the rat's nose while you do this, as this can completely inhibit the rat from breathing. Lastly, if you can't do anything else, you can always turn to drugs. Dexamethasone is known to relieve rats from choking problems.
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- ▼ September (65)