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I broke down into tears today as I brought my third rat home.

The pictures/description were so misleading. And I ended up buying a rat I didn't want.

I drove 45 minutes and walked into this ladies house who kept baby ducks, a ferret, a number of reptiles and these huge birds. Place smelt awful and I immediately knew something was wrong when she pulled out this tiny tiny bin holding two hairless rats.

I asked her, before we even met up, if these were bred at pets. She said yes and even stated that her Highschool students handled them frequently. She's apparently some type of animal teacher.

Anyway before I even picked them up to inspect I heard sneezing. That paired with the obviously bad environment made me super nervous.

I knew it was a bad idea. This guy also seemed a bit younger than my current rats which I heard young pups should be paired with others their age.

But I still bought him.

Now he's home, in a separate cage across the room from my boys and I just have a super bad feeling. His poops aren't solid, and I just hear constant sneezing.

These are my first rats. I knew it was ambitious to take on three but I was enjoying my two boys so much and I was confident in my abilities. But I just fear this new guy is very obviously sick and if he were to get my other two boys sick... Well I would loose my mind. I don't have the money to get them that medical attention.

So what should I do??

Get this new rat a vet appointment and see if its worth introducing him to my boys?

Put him up for adoption since he isn't around the same age as my guys.

I mean... i feel like this lady raises rats as feed for her snake. (Which was in the room) and I don't judge but when I asked her again while I was there she just said she promised her students that the rat would go to a good home.

Im shaky and I feel so anxious. The guilt is eating at me because of how irresponsible I was. I should have just said no

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I’m so sorry that you had that experience, I would try to call up an exotic vet and see if you can get him in ASAP because it sounds like he has an URI with all that sneezing. Can you post photos of the little guy? How is his body condition and are his eyes and nose clean?

I would keep him as far away from your other rats as possible to avoid them from getting sick. In the future I would ask for photos of their set up & other stuff, since they are so delicate & you don’t want to spread bad stuff around.

I hope this helps and I understand why you reacted that way, I can kind of freeze up that way. Try to book an appointment if possible and don’t be too hard on yourself, just focus on getting him better and reducing cross contamination between the two cages. Please keep us updated and take care of yourself as well.
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