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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have two young male rats; Edgar and Bram. They've been together ..forever. And yes, they are from a pet store. They were originally purchased as cagemates for the senior ratty I adopted, Rafi. When Edgar realized he had testicles, he started picking on Bram. Mainly when he was hungry, or if he saw Bram had a morsel of food that he wanted. Mainly Bram has received nips. ..As of last night, he has a gash. And he's been separated from Edgar.

..I know the chances of them getting along after being separated aren't high up there. So what do I do? Neutering is not an option right now, finances are bad. I also know rats get lonely when they're by themselves...
 

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Yikes, that is a really hard one. Yes, the first thing I would do is to have Edgar neutered but you said you cannot afford it right now. Is there any possibility your local exotic vet can do a payment plan with you?
 

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Rat Rescuer and Hospice
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I think it depends on where the gash is and what type it is? Some slices look scary but only go through teh skin layer, the skin tension pulls it open so you see the muscle. I wouldn't separate at this point.

How old are the boys?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yikes, that is a really hard one. Yes, the first thing I would do is to have Edgar neutered but you said you cannot afford it right now. Is there any possibility your local exotic vet can do a payment plan with you?
It's possible.. I've heard through word of mouth that the vet my in-laws use does all animals, and is very relaxed about payment as long as you promise to pay him back. I haven't verified for myself that he *truly* does rats though, y'know?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I think it depends on where the gash is and what type it is? Some slices look scary but only go through teh skin layer, the skin tension pulls it open so you see the muscle. I wouldn't separate at this point.

How old are the boys?
We already did separate.. my fear was that roughin' and tumblin' with Edgar was just going to make it worse, or infect it. We have them in cages side-by-side, and switch them out so they get each others' scent. I'm HOPING, after Bram heals, that maybe a careful reintroduction in a bathtub with a bit of water might work.. I feel like he misses his brother... but I'm not sure if he misses him enough to curb his dominance. I think they're around 9 months old at this point right now.

The gash is on the right side of Bram's rump. It's healing really nicely, and he's bouncing around and looking happy. I'm really proud for him, but I feel terrible for Edgar because he does look like he misses the interaction.

As far as what type of gash it is? I can try to take a picture.
 

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How do you think it happened? And you don't think 6 days after the fact is too late to skip a reintroduction?
Try them, see how they react. You kept them in close proximity right? See what they are like when you put them on a table or a bed, don't just toss them in the cage together LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well when you said put them back together... I had to ask, lol! I felt like you were saying to me, "Grr.. throw them back in together NOW before it's too late!" But yes, they've been in each other's cages and kept next to each other. I also made sure to keep the same shirt on and not wash my hands when holding each of them so both of their scents were on me, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Okie. Reintroduction occurred. I was worried for nothing! The two acted as if they had never been apart, minus the whole "OMG I need to lick you THIS instant!" on both of their parts, =D
 

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Okie. Reintroduction occurred. I was worried for nothing! The two acted as if they had never been apart, minus the whole "OMG I need to lick you THIS instant!" on both of their parts, =D

Awwwww, that's wonderful!! You are all going to be much happier. Intact boys sometimes scuffle but unless you see real puncture wounds, especially low on the side, the belly or near the genitals don't worry too much. Those areas means they really mean business!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Which is why before now, I wasn't worried about it. But a wound like that freaked me out. Because I figured if we didn't separate them, and they got into another tif, he could enlarge the wound, or otherwise infect it. I read online if they're wounds near the nape, it's no big deal. But when it gets further down the back, then the rat is more serious. And as this was further down, I was worried what would happen when we reintroduced them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So.. a second introduction this time led to dominance behavior from Edgar. Lots of boxing and mounting and wrestling. And Bram crawled into my lap and nestled in sort of like, "save me!" while they took a break from each other. =\ I was hoping there wasn't gonna be any displays of dominance because it's hard for my fiance to watch his rat being picked on, buutt... I guess you can't win everything, huh?
 

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Awww, I know how you feel. It is hard to see one of your rats picking on his brother. :(


We ended up having to neuter Maximus, the brother of Achilles, as he was so out of control with picking on his brother and after much deliberation and advice from some people on the forum like Storyseeker, etc, we finally had Maximus neutered.


He calmed way down and he and his brother are now buddies with no bullying. BUT, Lilspaz is of course right when she says that just because there may be some bullying or scuffles that you do not neccessarily have to rush off to the vet for a neuter. The "no blood, no foul" thing is a good rule of thumb. Ratties DO have their alpha/beta squabbles and so forth, and it can be a gray area sometimes when you are trying to decide how much of the squabbling is too much or not. So I feel for your situation, really! It can be a hard one.

Keep us posted on how it goes?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The scuffles... Bram makes a LOT of noise. But I caught Edgar shimmying under where Bram was hiding from him and huddling all close to the ground like he was apologizing =P
 

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YES! Exactly.


Achilles, our boy that was getting picked on by his brother Maximus, has always been the "I'm a lover, not a fighter" cuddle bug who is so mellow and just wants to be loved all the time and Maximus (our boy who got neutered) always has a swagger about him, like he is trying to be the tough, leather jacket wearing dude,


BUT....we have seen him get a bit annoying to his brother at times and Achilles will suddenly turn, and pin Maximus to the ground easily and Maximus will suddenly be on his back with his footies in the air, like he is saying, "Okay, sorry!!...unpin me and let me up!"


Ha ha. So, even though Maximus tries to be tough, his love bug brother seems to actually be the alpha. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Well I'm shocked.. Bram's healed amazingly well. It didn't look like this yesterday; I was shocked when I checked him this morning. Also... photo hogging by Edgar.
 

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That is great! Rats are so fast to heal from things like this. I am not surprised it started to heal up fast. :)
 
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