Bucks fighting - causing scratches/scabs

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rhubarb04
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Bucks fighting - causing scratches/scabs

Post by rhubarb04 » Sun Nov 06, 2016 1:57 am

Hi guys. Making this topic in a more suitable thread. Sorry for the many posts recently - I'm a very paranoid rat mum right now. (Admins feel free to delete my topic in the Health thread if you think they're too similar.)

I have 3 bucks, all brothers, about 6 and a half months old.
Up until very recently, they've gotten along fine - no serious fights, and only occasionally play wrestling.

Recently I have discovered a few scratches and scabs on the smallest of the lot, Murphy. He has some on his right shoulder, and two small scratches by his whiskers and eye.
I believe these marks to be the result of him fighting with Garfunkel, as I've seen and heard the pair of them going at it more seriously lately, escalating to them standing on their hind legs and boxing with one another. I've never seen it progress beyond this point however, and it's generally over food. I put it down to them reaching puberty, and they still sleep together and appear to get on fine most of the time.

However, I am concerned about Murphy getting injured, as this is the first time I've noticed these sorts of marks, and he ended up with a slightly swollen eye the other day as well (which is actually how I discovered the scratches in the first place as I noticed it and gave him a once over) - he's on metacam for a week and it appears to have gotten better.
He's the only one getting injured however (which is no surprise to me, as Garfi is almost twice his size.)

I'm not sure what the right course of action is here, as generally they've not become more aggressive, which would suggest they don't need neutered, but also I don't want it getting any more serious as the marks do bleed a little at first, though Murphy recovers very quickly.

I also did consider that perhaps the issue is that their nails have gotten too long, and they might be accidentally scratching one another? They do cause scratches when they walk on me but I've never considered it that much of an issue before now...

Does anyone have any experience with this kind of thing and have any advice? I've been searching the web for anything similar and coming up blank.

Thanks in advance.
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Derry & Barty ❀

🌈 Garfunkel, Sylvester and Murphy 🌈

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Re: Bucks fighting - causing scratches/scabs

Post by rhubarb04 » Sun Nov 06, 2016 12:34 pm

Woke up this morning and Murphy has more wounds on him, around his neck and chin!
As usual, all of them are acting normal this morning - I don't know what to do!

I'm not sure who's instigating - I actually suspect it might be Murphy (hence why his wounds are in 'defensive' areas), but because Garfi is bigger it's just Murphy getting injured. God, you'd think he'd give up! :roll:

I feel that this rules out the too long nails theory, as the injuries look more like bite marks than scratches.
If I were to neuter, would people suggest neutering one or both of them, and if so how to choose which one?

Also - do you think there would be any point in possibly doing the carrier method with them to try and reintroduce them?
They're brothers and have been together since birth, and they're currently in a Freddy Max Plus. The only smaller cages I have are a Savic Hamster Heaven and a tiny hamster cage that's not even suitable for a hamster (it is bigger than their carrier though, so maybe an idea?)

Any help would be appreciate. I don't want this getting any worse.
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Derry & Barty ❀

🌈 Garfunkel, Sylvester and Murphy 🌈

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Helzie
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Re: Bucks fighting - causing scratches/scabs

Post by Helzie » Mon Nov 07, 2016 3:34 pm

I wouldn't rule out the nails theory... my first hunch would be that this is mites, and the damage is Murphy's own nails as he scratches the itch. Shoulders, neck and chin are the classic place for scratches caused by mites to appear. It's quite possible that he has them and the others either don't or aren't affected by them, if he's under stress (a little bit bullied).

Mites are very easy to deal with, and nothing to worry about in themselves. You need some ivermectin from the petshop. There's more information including a pic of the kind of scratches you see with mites here: http://ratguide.com/health/integumentar ... asites.php

pics: http://ratguide.com/health/figures/ecto ... gure_1.php
Fastnet, Tyne, Humber.

Sailing By: Cromarty ol' curmudgeon Fitzroy O Captain, my Captain Malin bonkers boy Lundy Dear old chap Hebridy handsome beast Thames anxious hamster Faeroe little spark Portland big heart Rockall Rock Star Forties Count on you Viking little marauder Bailey cuddlemonster

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Re: Bucks fighting - causing scratches/scabs

Post by rhubarb04 » Mon Nov 07, 2016 5:45 pm

Thank you so much for replying!

I had considered mites, but put it aside since the vet never mentioned anything, and the other rats weren't displaying any signs. It does seem likely though, based on the frequency of the scars and their location...
If I treat Murphy for mites, should I treat the other boys as well, just in case?
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🌈 Garfunkel, Sylvester and Murphy 🌈

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Re: Bucks fighting - causing scratches/scabs

Post by Helzie » Mon Nov 07, 2016 5:49 pm

I'd probably just treat Murphy- sounds like the others' immune systems are in good enough shape to fend off any mites. but it wouldn't do any harm if you wanted to treat the others too, I guess. hope it sorts him out and he's more comfortable!
Fastnet, Tyne, Humber.

Sailing By: Cromarty ol' curmudgeon Fitzroy O Captain, my Captain Malin bonkers boy Lundy Dear old chap Hebridy handsome beast Thames anxious hamster Faeroe little spark Portland big heart Rockall Rock Star Forties Count on you Viking little marauder Bailey cuddlemonster

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Re: Bucks fighting - causing scratches/scabs

Post by rhubarb04 » Mon Nov 07, 2016 5:56 pm

Yeah, he is the smallest of the bunch, so that might be why only he's affected. I'll give it a shot and see how it goes. Thanks again for the advice!
2 Bucks fae Scotland
Derry & Barty ❀

🌈 Garfunkel, Sylvester and Murphy 🌈

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Re: Bucks fighting - causing scratches/scabs

Post by rhubarb04 » Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:32 pm

Just an update - I gave Murphy some beaphar spot on ointment, and everyone's had an olive oil rub, and they're all seeming so much better already! No scratching, and best of all, no more random wounds on Murphy!

Thanks again Helzie - if you hadn't raised the possibility of mites I probably would have ended up unnecessarily neutering one of them, :roll:

Obviously we're still not in the all clear yet, but it's good progress!
2 Bucks fae Scotland
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🌈 Garfunkel, Sylvester and Murphy 🌈

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Re: Bucks fighting - causing scratches/scabs

Post by Helzie » Fri Nov 11, 2016 10:16 am

rhubarb04 wrote:Thanks again Helzie - if you hadn't raised the possibility of mites I probably would have ended up unnecessarily neutering one of them, :roll:
thank goodness it didn't come to that! Hope it sorts the problem and Murphy is a happy chappy again! :D
Fastnet, Tyne, Humber.

Sailing By: Cromarty ol' curmudgeon Fitzroy O Captain, my Captain Malin bonkers boy Lundy Dear old chap Hebridy handsome beast Thames anxious hamster Faeroe little spark Portland big heart Rockall Rock Star Forties Count on you Viking little marauder Bailey cuddlemonster

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