Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde problem

The Rat Shack Forum

Help Support The Rat Shack Forum:

Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Messages
9
Location
Ottawa
I adopted Thom and his littermate Finn (both est. 13 mos. old) from a rescue shelter about two weeks ago. Thom was flagged as a potential biter, though the seemed ultra-friendly at first and constantly begged to be picked up. I did note from the outset that he had balance problems and was unstable for climbing and shoulder rides. He also tended to be hyperactive, sometimes almost frantic with his constant roaming. And it was clear from the start that he dominated and intimidated his brother Finn.
Yet Thom was a total sweetheart with me until three days ago he was struggling to climb up my arm and began biting my hand, drawing blood. This has happed twice since, so now I wear gloves in his presence.
Perhaps his evident neurological/balance problems make him feel anxious, frustrated and vulnerable. Testosterone surges might also be part of the problem, as he does seem to be a strong alpha male. I have an appointment to get him neutered and dearly hope this will minimize, if not end. the biting problem (as well as the bullying of Finn).
Does anyone have experience with a rat that suddenly changes from clingy and loveable to manic and aggressive? Any suggestions?
 
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Messages
9
Location
Ottawa
An update on my dual-personality boy. As I await a neuter operation his behaviour is growing worse. He has bitten me twice more, including a multiple-puncture bite on my wrist that led to a systemic infection and fever requiring strong antibiotics and almost landing me in the ER. Finn became so frightened of his brother I moved him to another room, where he is now housed blissfully with two gentle 10-week old boys. :)
I must now wear heavy gloves and shoes when tending to Thom, even when he seems friendly and is begging for should rides. When he starts biting the shoes and gloves (as he invariably does) he clings on so hard I have to shake him off. I could go on forever trying to understand his behaviour...is he just driven to dominate me? Is he angry with me because I am now more guarded around him? Did the avoidance and ultimate departure of his beta brother make him feel lonely, hurt and all the more frustrated? I'll never know, but I do know that I can't keep him if the neuter surgery doesn't greatly improve his behaviour. The shelter has told me he will be euthanized if I return him. I hope I can find a better "Plan B" if one is needed.
 

Latest posts

Top