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Hi everyone!

I am a new rat owner and member of this forum, and I was hoping to learn some things who are a little more seasoned with keeping rats.

I got my two hooded rats a few months ago. They are both boys (Merlin and Jack), and I was told that they were about a year old when I got them. Since they belonged to a 12 year old girl before, I am not sure how well they were cared for. Both are super lovable and cuddly. I love them both!

However, I am concerned that one or both of them might be sick. Merlin, who is lately the first one out the cage to greet everyone, has become really reclusive and does not like human interaction. (This has become a new behavior over the last week and a half or so) This is extremely unusual for him. He also has a bump on his tail (but I cannot tell if it is a cyst, tumor or in grown hair). Besides that he seems fine and is eating fine.

Jack has been getting the "hiccups" and always seems to have a runny nose. He is still plenty social.

I clean out their cage of pellets daily and change their bedding completely weekly. They always have access to fresh food and water.

I recently changed their bedding from paper pulp to aspen. Do you think that they are experiencing allergies, or could it be something else? If so, how do I go about finding an appropriate vet?

Thanks guys!
 
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