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.