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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I ended up with an accidental rat a few days ago, and I'm looking into getting her a friend. I know they need companions, but I have a couple of questions on how to go about that.

First of all, I figure another female around the same age/size as Charlie would be the way to go for a companion. I'd probably just pick one up from the place Charlie came from. My question regarding this is how long would you guys recommend quarantining a new rat? Also, Charlie is showing some minor sneezing/snuffling type symptoms, which I'm guessing is most likely mycoplasma since it's so common in rats. I'm assuming any new rat would likely have myco as well, coming from a similar environment. I also have a pet mouse, though they seem to be less likely to be affected by myco than rats... How would you guys recommend going about introductions and treating?
I was thinking I would pick up the new rat, quarantine her long enough to make sure she doesn't have anything major wrong with her, introduce them, then have them both treated for myco?
Does that sound like a decent plan? Is there anything else I should do?

EDIT: Don't worry, the mouse will never be introduced to the rats. Just mentioned it because if I've got a myco issue, I was wondering if I'd need to get him treated at the same time so I don't end up with a carousel of rodents passing myco back and forth to each other...

EDIT: If Charlie's sniffles aren't anything to worry about, I'd still like to know how long you guys would recommend me keeping a new mouse separate to watch for anything! Just trying to be careful since I'm new to rats.
 

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Many rats get sniffles the first few days in a new home. Just adjusting to all the smells and such. I wouldn't worry unless it gets worse or doesn't go away.

You can also check for any enviromental issues that may be cause for concern. Such as strong fragrances, air fresheners, if you smoke, what type of bedding you are using, if you are using a metal cage or a tank.

I am strict on quarantine but if you are getting the rat from the same store and less then a week in between it is likely very fine to skip quarantine. Unless the rats are a new shipment perhaps.
My quarantine thread with good info and links: http://www.ratforum.com/showthread.php?291433-Why-quarantine-is-so-important! 2 weeks is the minimum quarantine time.

Many females are fairly easy to introduce together, even more so with young rats. Putting them together in a neutral spot like the bathtub to check each other out and if things go well you can put them together in a clean cage. make sure to clean the cage very well. Everything inside should be clean or new- dont forget beds, food dishes, water bottles. A neutral scent is what u r going for.
 

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Thanks! I'll probably be going with the QT. That place gets a new shipment of rodents every week or so; I think they get smaller batches, because they keep them in much nicer conditions than I've seen anywhere else. She's got a wire cage with shredded paper for bedding. I just use my shredder to make my rodent bedding. I just don't trust a lot of the pet store brands... No fragrances/smoke/ect. It may be a bit dry though. I have a humidifier if running that near her tank would help out?

When introducing a new rat, are things like wooden toys okay to take out while they're being introduced then put back in after they've gotten used to each other?
 
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