well it depends. it could be a sign of illness or it could just be environment change or a reaction to the bedding. when did you're gf get the rats? what type of bedding are you using? what are you feeding them? what other things do you have in the the cage? for that matter it a cage or a tank? all these things must be taken in consideration with new rats. but it wouldn't hurt to find a rat friendly vet now for when they'll need one hopefully much later in life. its always good to have a good vet lined up in case of emergencies when every minute counts. in any case, i can't help you a whole lot until the above questions are answered.
I use the Carefresh cardboardy type stuff and have never had any problems.
If you have only had the rats a week then is it possible that they are just working overtime on picking up new scents? Personally, I would give it a little longer before I started making changes, let them get settled in properly.
In the meantime, you need to keep an eye out for any discharges from their eyes, nose and private parts. Their tears and fluids are naturally a pinky-red colour, but if you start seeing too much of it, it may be a sign that they have a bit of a respiratory problem. Another thing to watch is their poop. If it looks a bit off colour or sloppy, that can be a sign that they are a little unwell.
Overall, seeing as you have only had them a week, I wouldn't start worrying just yet. Just watch them carefully, make sure they are eating and drinking and take it from there.
ok thanks. As a side note - Sif and Freyja (my rats) seem to be adjusting fine. I've had them about 2 weeks now. I've got the best of both worlds. Sif seems to be a pocket rat, and Freyja loves my shoulders.
my girl Topaz has that right now, my vet said it's a nazel infection. I have capsils that i put into her water that help a lot. My vet told me that i could ride her of the sniffles but they have a good 70% likely hood of coming back. So i got medication to help her out a little but didn't get the heavy duty stuff because i hurd of a rat living like that for 2 years. It doesn't seem to bother her any she eats and drinks fine so as long as all that is good i'll keep giving her the capsils. It's baytril i believe? you can always check with your vet, this is just what i've done. I had to seperate her from my mother rats b/c it's contageous.