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Hi! I bought a new rat named Ozai a few weeks ago from petsmart. He is a few months old. I have been doing a lot of research on rats (thanks to this forum and others) and took Ozai to the vet a week after getting him. The past 2 or 3 weeks I have been treating him with baytril and doxy...he also has/perhaps had the pneumonia (the vet told me last week but I suspected over thanksgiving break). He's actually improving, finally!! I'm nebulizing him twice a day with an antibiotic. Since I bought him I have been wrestling with the idea of getting him a friend. I take him out as much as I can but I am in grad school and work all day. I know that they are social creatures and need companionship!!! Other than my boyfriend and I, of course. The problem is that I do not want to get another rat if he could be sick (clearly I bought Ozai sick), or if he could get infected from Ozai. I have already spent hundreds of dollars on vet bills and meds, etc. I cannot even afford that--but I will of course. He deserves that. However it eats me up that he does not have a friend. Any advice? Would Ozai get a companion rat sick? If not--or if it's unlikely, how can I buy a rat that isn't sick in the future? He didn't have symptoms when I was at the store (and most people have wondered how I even knew he was sick--started off with the sneezing), so I feel I could easily make that mistake again. I want my rat to be as happy as possible, but I can't afford any more vet bills. As a side note, not even sure how and what the best way is to integrate another rat into his life. Ideas? Thoughts? Any advice on this would be helpful. I just want to do everything I can for what is best for Ozai. Ps--supposedly he is a few months old, according to petsmart.

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Obviously, it would be ideal to get him a companion. It's good that you read up on and are trying to take care of him. :) Perhaps you could look into getting a rat from a breeder/rescue as a companion, or even observe the rats in the pet store VERY carefully and then quarentine them? That would likely ensure you didn't get another sick rat. However, I'd suggest waiting until Ozai is better before introducing a new rat, just in case. By the way, I love his name!
 

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It is always best for ratties to have a companion, no matter how much love they are getting from humans the vast majority need the company of their own species! Be sure that Ozai is fully recovered as RattusMaximus posted before you introduce anyone of course! If he is still young then introductions shouldnt be too much of a problem.
 
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