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I've mentioned this in my post in "meet my rats" but I'd like to elaborate here.

Yesterday I brought home a new rat which appeared to be in decent health. She was older, and it was fairly obvious she had a respiratory problem despite one of the employees at the pet store telling me that he had not heard any coughing or sneezing from her. Two minutes in my arms at the store and I could hear her sneezing and occasionally coughing.

The plan was to take her home and to eventually get her on the meds she needed for the problem. I know that they would not give her what she needed at the store.

She is an older rat, she appears to be over the year and a half mark and by her size and temperament she looks as if she has probably birthed a litter or two.

Well, I thought respiratory problems were her only ailments aside from what looked like a little arthritis, but today she was showing more problems.

My brother called me in to the room while I was in the kitchen making tea, saying that the rat was "flipping out". I came into the room and what she was doing was holding herself up against the side of the cage and jerking violently. I came closer and she tried to chew the bars somewhat feebly. When my first rat (who is healthy) is not in the mood to be in her cage she will chew the bars that are running horizontally because she can get her mouth around them. She will not chew the ones running vertically because it is impossible for a rat to get her mouth around them. The new (ill) rat was trying to get her mouth on anything, without seeming to realise she could not get her mouth around the vertically running bars.

I know it's sort of a weird thing to notice, but to me that signifies either a pain or rage so intense she does not know what she is doing, or a psychological issue.

I approached the cage and put my hand near enough for her to smell, but not so close that she could bite. She sniffed my hand and calmed down. Until I was close enough to smell up close, it was almost as though she could not see me.
 
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