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 Post subject: Tail chewing!
 Post Posted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:20 am 
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Posts: 4
I have four rats and one of them broke their tail and had to have the tip amputated. I thought it had been injured by accident but now one of the others has also injured his tail in the same way and the other two have wounds on their tails in the same places!

I don't think there's a problem with the cage as this is the fourth generation of rats that have lived in this cage. I haven't seeen the injuries as they were being inflicted but I think they may be chewing on each others or their own tails as they've been a little more mouthy with me than they have in the past. I've got them on antibiotics and metacam of course but I need to figure out why they're doing this so I can stop it!

I don't think it's conflict over food as I've watched them eat together peacefully and there are snack stations away from the food bowl so they can eat apart if they wish. There are six beds between the four of them so they don't have to fight over sleeping spots and there are four different chew toys in the cage. I always take them outta the cage for at least 1/2 hour everyday. I've increased the number of foraging toys in case this has been caused by boredom.

Please can anyone help figure out what's happening? I feel like such an awful owner :(


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 Post subject: Re: Tail chewing!
 Post Posted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:43 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:02 pm
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Location: warrington, cheshire
Oh dear, you must be worried. I haven't had this before. I did have one boy who bit the end of one other boys tail. Hope somebody else can offer advice.

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 Post subject: Re: Tail chewing!
 Post Posted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:19 pm 
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Thanks, I do hope someone on here can help!


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 Post subject: Re: Tail chewing!
 Post Posted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:41 pm 
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Fancy Rats Team
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Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:47 am
Posts: 5731
Location: South Cambridgeshire
Tail injuries can be inflicted from outside the cage... have you got any other animals in the house, or could you have a wild rat in residence?

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 Post subject: Re: Tail chewing!
 Post Posted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:06 pm 
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There aren't any other pets but there is definitely a wild rat that's been stealing their food. I didn't realise it could actually harm them though! I'm trying to catch the wild ones but till then is there anything I can do to repel the wild ones?


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 Post subject: Re: Tail chewing!
 Post Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:29 am 
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Fancy Rats Team
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Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:47 am
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Location: South Cambridgeshire
I'm afraid wild rats are well known for mutilating caged pets. :(

Not sure how you can repel them, but block up their entry route(s), and make sure all food is in sealed robust boxes. You definitely need to catch them asap*, and release them at least 3 miles away in a natural location. Could you move your cage into a secure room until the wild ones have gone?

*ETA
I haven't had to catch a wildy myself, but I believe you have to bait the trap without setting it several times to convince the rat it's safe, and then set it. I've heard peanut butter is irresistible, but some sardines or fish skin would probably work too.

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Mary x

Zephyr Rat Stud


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 Post subject: Re: Tail chewing!
 Post Posted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:43 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:02 am
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Thanks for the tips! I've been trying to catch it but it's not going near the traps so I'll try the peanut butter. I'll try and clear some space to move them to my bedroom. These wild ratties have crossed the line indeed.


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 Post subject: Re: Tail chewing!
 Post Posted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:15 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:47 am
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Location: South Cambridgeshire
Good luck! :luck:

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