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Hello! :) First-time rat owner here, although I've had lots of experience with mice and gerbils. My two female rats, Maggie (furless albino rex) and June (albino rex) are almost 10 weeks old, and I am now looking into details about veterinary check-ins for their physical exams. At what age is it time for a rat to have its first PE? How frequently should they be taken in? How much does it usually cost for two rats? How long does it usually take? What else should I do to prepare?

As a side note, does anyone have any additional information, tips, advice, etc. relating to my ratties' health? For example, how many calories they need a day, or common health concerns I ought to be aware of? I've done lots of research, but there's always more to learn!

Thank you all so much! :)
 

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I only bring my rats to the vet when they need it. I don't do any sort of routine check-ups but I'd never discourage anyone from bringing their rats to the vet.

Vet costs can vary wildly depending on your area and the individual vet. Not all vets treat rats either, so it's good to do a little research before vet care is actually needed. In my area, exotics vets charge in the range of $65-85 for the basic exam per rat. Any testing or treatment is in addition to that charge. When I bring a rat in to the vet for something basic like a mild respiratory infection or mite treatment, I expect to pay in the range of $100-150. For more severe issues that may require more extensive testing, medication, and even surgery, I expect to pay much more. In other areas, vet costs may be much less expensive. I've heard of people paying as little as $25 for exam fees and as little as $100 for surgeries. You're just going to have to do some research to figure out what vets charge in your area.
 

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I've only done one PE for my rats but really it was in the guise of an exam but really I was actually checking the vet to see if I liked them. Honestly since she just talked to us and weighed the boys they were sweet and charged all the rats as one long puppy exam. After that we monitored their weight and health at home and only took them in when there's a problem.
 
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