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On Friday, I purchased two male rats from PetCo. They both seemed healthy and alert, as well as clean and there breathing was clear. When I brought them home, I left them in their box for about 25 minutes to finish setting up their space as it was an impulse purchase. One rat seemed to be a little more active than the other one, but I just thought he was a more snuggly rat. Then yesterday I noticed I could feel his spine, today his breathing was a little more labored and he had some red mucous around one eye plus his nose. I wiped it off, put him and then when I went to feed the boys tonight, he had already passed on.

Does any one have any ideas what happened? I do not believe it was URI because his breathing was clear up until Wednesday. I also thought the weight loss was just from stress of a new environment and a different kind of food. I mixed in some of their lab blocks with my usual rat kibble.
 

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I recently had my male Pesha pass in a similar way. I had him for a few months but the illness came very suddenly when I rehomed him with a good friend. Not sure, but I'm sorry about your little guy :( He looked like an absolute charm. I'll look and see what I can find.
 

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First of all, I am really sorry for your loss. I've read that sometimes Pneumonia can kill a rat really quickly and to me Pneumonia matches the signs you saw in your rat. How is your other rat doing?
 

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Had the exact same thing happen with PetCo rat. :(

From what I've read around the internet they handle them terribly there because they assume people are buying them as feeders. PetSmart has slightly better policies, but your best bet is to get them from a breeder.
 
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