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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-30-2010, 07:44 AM Thread Starter
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How could I be so stupid?

Alright, so I got a hairless rat for my birthday. The man told my friend he was a year old, obviously that's not the case, he's MUCH smaller than my two other rats. Now, this new rat, he seems to be, maybe six months. He also lived with other males and females at his old house and got a scratch there from one of the males because they were fighting over the females.

Well, let me start from the beginning, when I owned a rat for the first time and got him a cage mate, I just put the two cages up to eachother and the two sorted it out rather quickly (maybe because the alpha was a feeder rat and desperately seeked companionship).
Anyway, when that alpha died, the rat I had left was a little under a year, so I bought a rat who was a few months old. That pair has now grown to one being a year and the other being a year a few months. When I introduced these two, I just put them together in the
"rat playroom". They got along fine, I put them in their cage, NO PROBLEMS. At all.
Now I never actually read how to introduce rats, especially because these two times went so well, well this wasn't the case.

I put them all in the bathtub together yesterday and they got along great and completely all ignored eachother (except for sniffs on the bum). I put them all in the cage after thoroughly cleaning it, and the new rat seemed to keep to himself in a little hiding spot, the other two didn't bother him.

Now, this morning around 7:00 am., I heard a good deal of squeaking, so I thought either the original pair were tussling as usual, or they were just getting to know the new guy. Well, squeaking became screeching so I went to go check on him. He has cuts ALL over the body, and his foot was bleeding, he had a little bit of a gash. I took him into the bathroom and wiped him off with water and a saline solution and put neosporin on all of his cuts.

He's in an old guinea pig cage my aunt gave me, near my other rat cage. There is a towel over the top of it (just like the other cage) to keep it a little darker, warmer, and quieter.

I feel completely ignorant and pretty bad, he got hurt because I didn't think to read about how to do this properly.

My question is, what do I do next? I want to wait a little while before re-introducing them, especially until his cuts heal. They aren't that bad, except for the one on his foot. I don't want to take him out of the cage until he is healed (except for cleaning the cage, because he is not litter trained, so I'm sure it will get dirty fast.

My other rats give each other cuts all the time, they have even pulled hair off each other, but when I took them to the vet, she said that was nothing, and to keep them together, because they do get along, they just scratch each other a lot (and me, their darn claws are so sharp!) I even think they may scratch themselves on accident.

Oh and p.s., he is not gushing blood but when he was running on me while I was getting the water ready, he left little tiny dabs on my arm (that dried instantly)

And p.s.s. the rat that's on my icon, the black one/younger one/one that is about one years old, is the one that seems to start all the fights. The rat who is a little older does not do anything really, he's pretty chilled out. I do not really want the risks on neutering, especially the older one, because I'm sure the risks of infection on failure are higher the older they are. And I know if you neuter one, you have to neuter them all.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-30-2010, 09:22 AM
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I'm not sure what you should do next, definitely wait till your rat is all healed up before you try putting them together again.
.
I would also suggest you file or cut your rats' nails if they are that sharp, that may avoid future scratches.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-30-2010, 11:02 AM
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How long were they in the tub together...you really want to get them doing fine in the neutral territory then move to semi-neutral...once they are on their own territory, you will start to see issues before you have them in-cage where they can be severely amplified as you found out.

As for neutering, if your vet is confident, age shouldn't matter too much, my youngest was 7 weeks, my oldest was almost 2 years old. (22 mo).

But I don't see behaviours here that would require a neuter yet.

let the little man heal, YOU bond with him so he has an ally when he meets the Fearsome Twosome again. Just go very slowly...there is promise that during neutrals it did go well...its when injuries happen quickly during Neutrals that you have some real issues.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 08:16 PM
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I would deffently wait till he heals. I would let them have play time for a good week before you house them together. after he is healed. Some rats get along fine right away and other take time.
Make shure to have treats and do the tub up with some treats some play stuff. make a salad for them and place it un the tub during intors. having treats and rewarding them for doing good things helps. But if their is a tuffel take the sald away or dont treat. But always were golves just incase you need to break up a fight. rat bits hurt.
good luck hope your little guy heals up quickly


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I think you are in the wrong place buddy.
You are the weirdest cat I ever seen.
Now matter how big or small wierd or normal we or animals may be we can learn to love and get along and love is what makes it all worth wild. Becuase Beautie is in the eye of the beholder an no one is ugly or more prettyer then anything eals we are all equal. There are some ugly people and things but that is becuase man kind makes them this way do to thier actions.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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Alright, so he healed and I thought I knew who the culprit was. I was putting Hubert (the new hairless) away, and Artemis was poking his nose through his cage bars. I put Hubert out, because Artemis looked interested, and Artemis tried to bite him and was making this huffing sound (like breathing really hard)! So, I figured it was him, and Pistachio is very calm and collect. So just yesterday I put Hubert and Pistachio in the tub and they seemed to be doing fine until Pistachio flipped Hubert over and Hubert started shrieking. This is normal behavior between Artemis and Pistachio, but Hubert keeps getting scratched and it's really bothering me.
I may have the vet clip their nails for me and see if that would help. Hubert is just so much smaller than them.

He also does not seem to want to drink out of his water bottle, I've only heard him drink out of it once because I put yogurt on it. He had diarrhea two days ago but it has seem to gone away. I have a bowl of water next to his water bottle but he keeps tipping it over and pooing in it!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 09:18 PM
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how old is he? maybe while at the vet get him checked over. There could be something wrong that the other rats are senceing. males do push one another around as do the girls but I have seen more fights breck out with the males then anything.
He also were he was before may no have been us to a water bottle. you could try filling it up so much and write down how much it is or keep a eye on the bottle to see if its gone down. Have the rats with the poops is not good but he could have been nervosue. i have had some like that they are new and so are the suroundings, so its nervouse. rats hat have bowls of water have been known to do that.


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I think you are in the wrong place buddy.
You are the weirdest cat I ever seen.
Now matter how big or small wierd or normal we or animals may be we can learn to love and get along and love is what makes it all worth wild. Becuase Beautie is in the eye of the beholder an no one is ugly or more prettyer then anything eals we are all equal. There are some ugly people and things but that is becuase man kind makes them this way do to thier actions.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-12-2010, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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I'd have to about 6 months, rough estimate. I called my vet because I was interested in neutering, but they do not do it.
Hubert seems still pretty shy, a lot of stuff scares him. He won't even stay on my shoulder, he jumped off of it a few times and tried to get onto the ground. I caught him in mid-jump, though, luckily. Artemis acted like this when I first got him, but since he had Pistachio, he warmed up. (Although Artemis would stay on my shoulder, probably too nervous to move haha) The man told my friend that Hubert had been used as a stud already.
And Hubert kept bothering Pistachio, like sniffing underneath him and I guess Pistachio just got annoyed. I'll call tomorrow and see if I can get some nails trimmed so I can try more introduction time. Seems Hubert pulled one of his nails off, probably on accident, and his finger is a little swollen so I put neosporin on it, I'm not worried about getting his nails trimmed though.
And yeah his diarrhea has gone away, but no matter what I try he will not use the water bottle!

When I was thinking about neutering, I really only considered Artemis, because he is the only one that will start a fight with Hubert while Hubert is in his cage and Artemis is walking around my room. Pistachio will only sniff, and then reach in Hubert's cage to steal some food (haha!).
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