Paw Talk - Pet Forums banner


1112 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  lilspaz68
Well i finally got to introduce my newest addition Jazz to my older boys yesterday , and it seemed to be going well, there was a dominance issue but i thought that would just work itself out with time. Well they did fine together yesterday, but when i got up this morning Pax my oldest had a rip on one side of his left ear and a notch in the other side! What can i do to help him, this is the first time anything like this has happened to one of my boys :cry:. The rip is still bleeding a little, but the notch has stopped , is there any way i can heal the rip where the two sides might grow back together? Or is that impossible, with our having it sutured? :(
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
It sounds like you might have rushed the intros.

From the way you are describing it, you put them together for the first time in a neutral location yesterday and they did fine, and then you put them in a cage together overnight?

If that's so, yeah, that's probably a bit too fast.

Ideally slower is always better. You'll want to have them get to know each other over several days (or if they just refuse to completely settle down) weeks. I'd back up and put them in separate cages again, and then start them slowly again in neutral territory: A barren controlled space with no hidey holes, and no 'shared' scents that one can claim over another. They should spend at the bare minimum 30 minutes a day like this, preferably longer. Do this for a few days until they've worked out their issues.

Only after they're comfortable lounging together in a neutral space and you don't have any 'displays' would I consider trying a cage.

Then if it were me, I'd flip flop their stinky blankets around for a day or three. Only once they've calmed down from all of that would I start fresh with a deep cleaned cage and brand new bedding (as neutral as you can make it scent wise). I might even rub each of them in the others' old soiled bedding/poo/urine to mix their scents so they go into the neutral territory smelling like each other. Someone else may correct me on some of this, but that's just a rough idea of a direction to take.

I'm doing intros right now too, so I understand what you're going through.

As for the injury, it's showy but pretty minor. You might want to take him to the vet if you're really concerned. But the vet at most would suture it, but more likely just clean it up and maybe put him on antibiotics to ward against infection.

As for what you can do yourself, here's a link to rat first aid. Scroll down to the injury section:

Good luck! :)
See less See more
I had them all in a neutral aquarium and left them in it overnight. I was planning on leaving them in it for a few days to let them get acquainted, but i pulled Pax as soon as i saw his ear and he is now back in his own cage.

I realize i made a mistake yesterday though, that might have been the reason why this all happened. I fed them yesterday, and without thinking put Jazz's bowl into the cage for them to eat out of >.<. I'm taking it out right now and putting a bowl in there that has never been used before. Hopefully it will erase some of the tension between them all, mostly it's between my two younger ones though, i think Pax just got in the way of a fight between them.

Thank you for the website link, i don't think we have the money right now to take him to a vet sadly :(, but if it get's worse i will have to tell my mother and beg her to spend the money, she loves my babies to and was devastated when she saw his ear, so if it get's any worse she would spend the money to help him :).
See less See more
Ah! Okay, I see what you mean. I wouldn't leave them in a neutral space overnight. Because then they claim it as their 'home'. Right now, their home should be a place they can retreat to for the night and feel safe and relaxed when you aren't watching them.

Give them 30 minutes to an hour a day in a neutral smelling territory starting out, and increase the time from there. Many people will use a bath tub or shower stall-small enough so they are forced to share space, but large enough to separate if they get too worked up. Some place barren with nothing to hide in or under that they can claim as theirs. Provide a plate of watery food (soy yogurt, oatmeal, baby food). Something they can't pick up and fight over, but will force them to eat communally. Communal eating also lowers tension.

Sit by their side the entire time and be prepared to separate them with a towel if it gets to rough (don't stick your bare hands in there or you'll get bit by accident). Also have a spray bottle of water nearby. I've used that when they start getting too worked up in a ratball. They break apart and start cleaning their fur and forget for a moment why they were so mad. Grooming also lowers tension level. I only use it if they're actually rat balling.

When you do sepreate them after a session, assuming they aren't being seperated for safety, try to separate them at a point when they are all calm and in a 'good' state of mind. They will remember that last 'good' state of mind when you put them back together the next day. If you separate them when they're worked up, likewise they'll tend to remember that too.

You can create a neutral play pin area for them by getting bull dog clips and large sheets of cardboard (3-4 feet high and longer wide) and pinning them together. You can't leave them unattended obviously, but it will work. Lay down a large blanket to prevent messes on the floor.

There's lots of intro advice pages out there with more details. I'll look for them and add them here for you. And I'll of course be glad to hold your hand as you go through the process. I've had only a little more experience than you, but my experience was introing adult males, which is the hardest group to intro.
See less See more
Here's some links:

You will likely find conflicting info, but read over them and pull the bits that seem best.

Examples: Some say provide hidey holes for hounded rats to escape to. After a desasterous first run, I was later told that this encouraged 'possessiveness' and increased tension. I removed hidey holes and blankets, and they started bonding better.

Similarly some also say to put vanilla on the rats to make them smell alike. I found it only increased the tension as the rats chased each other more trying to figure out what that awesome smell was.)
See less See more
Thank you so much for all of your advice, and the website links. Do you think it would be ok to consult you if i need anymore help on this subject?
Any time! I can't promise I'll have an answer, but I'll be happy to help.
I don't mind open ended hidey's long as there is 2 ways to go in and out, like a tube. if you only have one entrance...scared rat goes in, a strange rat follows, first rat feels trapped and defensive and a possible injury can happen.

Sounds like you moved a little too fast...neutral is usually a big open place, not a enclosed space like an aquarium, no matter if no rat hasn't lived in it before, rats need space to get away and process what's going on. Putting them all together right away makes them all be on high alert, tense and jumpy. The idea of introductions is to make the rats stop seeing each other as Stranger rats invading their territory. Time, repetition and watching body language is how to introduce properly. Sometimes you can do a "down and dirty" intro, IF you know both rats really really well, and you have had a lot of experience. In most cases I suggest the slow route as its easier on the rats and can often provide lasting bonds instead of serious injury.
See less See more
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.