Drooling, foaming or a sticky mucus discharge from the mouth along with a gagging motion is usually a sign of choking. In most cases, your rat will dislodge the item without assistance from you. However, if your rat can't breathe, or if his/her ears, feet or tail tip begin to go from pink to white, then you will need to help dislodge the object.
If your rat appears to be choking and CANNOT breathe, you can do the rat fling which uses centrifugal force to dislodge the object. Do not do the fling if your rat CAN breathe because it could make the situation worse. Hold your rat firmly around the neck with one hand, and by the base of the tail with the other to hold him/her securely. Make sure there are no objects within an arm's length. Lift the rat overhead and bring him/her down in a rapid arc, so that at the end of the path she/he is tail up and head down. Repeat 3-4 times. Then, give your rat a rest, check her/his breathing, and see if anything is visible in the mouth. This is extremely effective in dislodging objects in the throat.
You can practice this IN SLOW MOTION on your rats now before you need it.
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