Reintegration of an injured degu
Here is some background - I have 2 male degus (Biggie and Smalls). They are brothers that I adopted nearly a year ago. They tend to get along very well EXCEPT when I clean their cage. After cleaning, they try to re-state hierarchy and the past few months they have been getting very rough (neither wants to back down). Well, the submissive male went for it and bit Biggie's leg, leaving him limping with a very swollen back leg. Biggie is now living in a separate aquarium for 10 days, is on painkillers and antibiotics to avoid infection and if looking very lonely.
Smalls (the attacker) does not seem very phased about his brother being gone.
The vet suggested I give Biggie some rest time for 10 days. Here is my concern: reintegration. Should I put them in a neutral zone, because Smalls has been the only one living in their normal habitat for over a week? Since they have lived together so long, should I still go through the standard (and lengthy) reintegration process?
It would be great to get suggestions regarding reintegration, or even how to make a cage cleaning less of a social degu disaster...