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 Post subject: Friendliest boy ever suddenly aggressive towards me
 Post Posted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:12 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:30 pm
Posts: 25
Location: Scotland
Dargo is a dumbo Rex male and we were absolute best buds. He was the first of my boys to let me even go near him and had never ever been aggressive towards myself or his cagemates previously. In fact I have seen him break up fights with the other boys to defend the younger boys. He normally me around like a little puppy and boggles when I even enter the room, loves cuddles and strokes and gets along with every human and every rat he's met.

He's 1.5 years old and so long past puberty. The other day they were all out free roaming and out of absolutely nowhere Dargo ran up and nipped me (which he's never done before) on the hand, then thigh. As I was looking at my hand to see that he'd just broken the skin he went to town on my opposite hand. He held me down while he clamped his jaw around both sides of my thumb. I was scared of hurting him to try and get him off so tried to pet him gently so he realised it was me. He clamped down harder. His bottom teeth went all the way into my hand. Eventually I managed to get him off with a combination of picking up his hind quarters and shaking my hand until he let go. He then proceeded to chase me around the room looking like he was after more. I managed to trap him in his carrier to cool down.

My wound didn't stop bleeding for over an hour, its severely bruised and I couldn't move it for 3 days. I had to call NHS 24 at the time due to infection and blood loss concerns. I am now on antibiotics.

It really seemed out of nowhere which makes me extremely concerned about him. Could it be a hormonal imbalance? Is that possible at 1.5yrs? He is not neutered because he was never previously aggressive. He has continued to be fine towards his cagemates. His cagemates are two littermates of the same age and two younger boys who are 7 months. One of them did pee on the floor which I mopped up. Could it have been his scent on my hands which set him off? He's never fought with that rat though. But perhaps because the younger ones are hormonal?

Or could he have another health problem he was trying to tell me about? Or could he detect one in me he was trying to warn me about? Or perhaps something has gone wrong in his brain? Please advise how to repair our relationship so that we can rebuild trust. I'm devastated and very worried for him. He has been handled very limitedly since and has tried to nibble my other hand once but did also give me kisses directly before. I can't really handle them properly at the moment until my hand heals enough.

Thanks for your help!!

_________________
Mummy to five gorgeous boys!

Dargo (cream/agouti broken hooded dumbo Rex), Crichton (white/silver silky smooth top eared striped roan)
Rygel (agouti Rex dumbo), Pixel (Siamese dumbo), Levi (Siamese double Rex dumbo)


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 Post subject: Re: Friendliest boy ever suddenly aggressive towards me
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:33 am 
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Fancy Rats Team
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Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:47 am
Posts: 5579
Location: South Cambridgeshire
It is a very strange change of behaviour - I don't have any personal experience like it, but potential causes would include a brain tumour, or perhaps something happened (possibly in terms of the rat:rat relationships or hierarchy) that has made him feel particularly insecure.

Sorry I can't be of more help, I hope it passes.

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Mary x

my websites: Cyber Rats (picture site) / Zephyr Stud (rattery site)


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 Post subject: Re: Friendliest boy ever suddenly aggressive towards me
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 8:14 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:30 pm
Posts: 25
Location: Scotland
Thanks for your help. A brain injury or problem seemed the most likely to me as well. My poor baby!

_________________
Mummy to five gorgeous boys!

Dargo (cream/agouti broken hooded dumbo Rex), Crichton (white/silver silky smooth top eared striped roan)
Rygel (agouti Rex dumbo), Pixel (Siamese dumbo), Levi (Siamese double Rex dumbo)


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