Rats had nasty fight - should we separate the aggressor?

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lotus49
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Rats had nasty fight - should we separate the aggressor?

Post by lotus49 » Sat Oct 03, 2015 11:19 pm

We have three rats. Two are brothers and the other is their cousin. They are all about 10 months old and have lived together since they were about 5-6 weeks old. In general, they get on OK but they have never been as affectionate to each other as our last three rats and rarely groom each other.

Over the last few days, I have heard them fighting a few times. The smallest (Pip) has had a couple of small cuts on his back, but every time I saw them at odds, he appeared to be the aggressor. Tonight, I heard them fighting again. Arthur (one of the two brothers), who is considerably larger than Pip, looked really frightened and it was Pip again who was the aggressor. We got Arthur out of the cage to give him a cuddle, which he seemed to appreciate as he was very scared. I noticed blood on my wife's top and when we looked, he had a 2cm long cut across the inside top of his back leg. It wasn't bleeding profusely so I'm sure it didn't go through any arteries but it is a nasty cut. He calmed down after about half an hour but we were worried that Pip would start fighting again so we have put him (Pip) in a separate small cage and we intend to reintroduce them under supervision tomorrow.

Is this the right thing to do?

Also, is there anything we should do about Arthur's cut? It looks clean and he is moving around normally.

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Caza66
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Re: Rats had nasty fight - should we separate the aggressor?

Post by Caza66 » Sun Oct 04, 2015 7:25 am

At 10 months it's sounds like his hormones are getting the better of him and he would benefit from neutering. First of all trying reintroducing them (as it is Sunday) in a carrier and see how they get on. If they seem to be okay, move them to a smaller bare cage if you can. It may take some time to do this depending on how things go.
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RedFraggle
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Re: Rats had nasty fight - should we separate the aggressor?

Post by RedFraggle » Sun Oct 04, 2015 7:28 am

Poor Arthur. I would neuter Pip and then reintroduce. If you want to reintroduce I'd wait until Monday as if it went badly wrong today you could be looking at paying an out of hours vets fee.
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Caza66
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Re: Rats had nasty fight - should we separate the aggressor?

Post by Caza66 » Sun Oct 04, 2015 7:29 am

RedFraggle wrote:If you want to reintroduce I'd wait until Monday as if it went badly wrong today you could be looking at paying an out of hours vets fee.
Good point
Officially ratless. Groot, Star-lord, Yondu adopted by another rat lover.
:rattyrainbow: To all those who have filled my heart, have fun at the bridge.

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RedFraggle
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Re: Rats had nasty fight - should we separate the aggressor?

Post by RedFraggle » Sun Oct 04, 2015 8:19 am

Caza66 wrote:
RedFraggle wrote:If you want to reintroduce I'd wait until Monday as if it went badly wrong today you could be looking at paying an out of hours vets fee.
Good point
Learned the hard way, lol. I always make sure the vets will be open for the first two to three hours of intros.
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lotus49
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Re: Rats had nasty fight - should we separate the aggressor?

Post by lotus49 » Sun Oct 04, 2015 3:55 pm

Thank you for the replies.

We did put Pip back in the big cage with his cousins this morning before I saw these posts. otherwise I might have waited until tomorrow. I think they are OK for the time being. They have all been cuddling up together in their hammock, which is their favourite place in the cage. I wanted to do it early in the day so we could keep an eye on them for a few hours before we had to go out.

I have no idea whether there was anything in particular that started this but it shouldn't have been about food as they had lots of food as they usually do.

If there is any more serious fighting I think we shall have Pip neutered. I'd rather avoid this but we cannot have them fighting like this. My wife and I were pretty upset about as Arthur looked really frightened. Peace seems to have been restored for the time being but if this happens again, it's off to the vet with Pip.

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RedFraggle
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Re: Rats had nasty fight - should we separate the aggressor?

Post by RedFraggle » Sun Oct 04, 2015 7:43 pm

Neutering is a really simple op and costs about £60. We had Cedric done two weeks ago and his temperament is much improved. I put it off for quite a long time and wish I'd done it sooner. Cedders is 11 months.
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Stovokor
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Re: Rats had nasty fight - should we separate the aggressor?

Post by Stovokor » Sun Oct 04, 2015 9:04 pm

You could also try reducing cage size, as that in most cases does stop many fights and territorial behaviour quite quickly.

lotus49
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Re: Rats had nasty fight - should we separate the aggressor?

Post by lotus49 » Mon Oct 05, 2015 5:24 pm

So far there hasn't been any more fighting. It's hard to know whether this is just a lull or whether the brief separation has had a beneficial effect.

We shall keep a close eye (and ear) on them and see how it goes but if there is another proper fight, it's off to the vet with Pip.

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