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Female intro help!

Posted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:59 pm
by Purepsycho
Hi everyone, I'm after a bit of advice re female intros.
Me and the OH picked up an older girl Mina as company for our old girl Nema a month or so ago when her other cage mate passed away.
Mina and Nema traveled home together (approx 2 hours) in a carrier with no issues at all and we thought great, but once in the cage Mina was beating up on Nema quite alot.
So we separated them and tried slower intro's in a neutral territory, and despite some small scuffles to begin with they ended up settled down and snuggled up together.
After a few days of this and them always snuggling up, we tried putting them together in a cage again but again Mina would start being really aggressive towards Nema as soon as they were in a cage together.

In the meantime we managed to get another oldie after an appeal, Rosie, and she has settled in wonderfully with Nema, but we still have Mina on her own.

We were told she was about 2 but as she's still coming into season regularly so we think this isn't quite true.
We've noticed that she seems incredibly boyish for a girly rat too, she marks things constantly when out and about and she seems to get 'buck grease' down her back. Also when she comes into season she seriously vibrates when shes on (like shes gonna take off!!)

My question is, would a spay help intros, like neutering boys does?
I've had quite a few successful neutered boy intro's but have never had to spay any of my girls in the past.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! :D

Re: Female intro help!

Posted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 7:51 am
by Caza66
I've have 2 of my girls spayed for behavioural reasons and it did help them in terms of living in a group happily. My only concern would be her age (if she is 2), however if she is otherwise healthy and you have a good vet.....

Re: Female intro help!

Posted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 11:18 am
by Mayamy
Was Mina used to having company before? If she'd been alone for a while she may be lacking some social skills... If they went into a "full size" cage (and furnished?) after only 2 hours in a carrier that may not have helped.

I have no actual experience of spaying for behavioural issues in does, but do own a doe who decided my older girls were her archenemies and would do a lot of rubbing/shuffling whenever she encountered their scent. She also had very strong seasons. I would have seriously considered spaying to see if it'd help her to calm down if she didn't have resp issues as less hormones seemed like a good plan :lol:

Re: Female intro help!

Posted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 9:10 pm
by Purepsycho
Thanks for the replies.

Caza66, she seems very healthy, no obvious signs of illness, and I'm not 100% sure she is 2, she definitely seems younger as our older girls don't come into season anymore. Its good to know you've had positive experience with a spay :)

Amy, Mina lived with a big group of rats previously so we weren't expecting major issues with the intro's and with no major scuffles on the way home we were perhaps over optimistic at how they'd get on. (I've had some lovely and super easy girl intros previously :) )

I think we'll take her to the vets and get her checked to see if they think she's healthy for a spay, thanks for your advice, I hate seeing her on her own!

Re: Female intro help!

Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 9:55 pm
by squeakrat
It does sound like she might be hormonal, so spaying could help. I've had one girl spayed for behavioural reasons, she was reacting overly aggressively to the other rats and me, and spaying did help.

If the problems started when moving from the carrier to the cage, how big a cage did they go into? I'd maybe give intros another go and move up cage sizes very very gradually to see if that helps. If not, spaying might be the answer.