Male bonded pair fighting.

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by CallMeCrazy, Oct 4, 2019.

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  1. Oct 4, 2019 #1

    CallMeCrazy

    CallMeCrazy

    CallMeCrazy

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    Hey there, I’m new here and looking for some suggestions.
    I’ve owned rats before, but mostly female and I’m learning boys are a different experience. Lol

    I just picked up two 3 month old boys on Wednesday, I’ll call them Casper, and Jasper for now, although the names are pending lol. The breeder told me these two were a bonded pair and from what Ive seen, for the most part they spend their time cuddled together.

    But the first night they got in a fight and Casper got a small wound on his testicles, just below the penis and some small scratches on his back.

    I figured maybe the cage I had was too small, so yesterday I went out and bought a bigger one, and more toys. This morning I found more small scratches on Casper’s back, but I’m not 100% sure it wasnt from the first night and I just missed them yesterday. I only noticed today because he had just cleaned them and they were wet.

    During the day I don’t see any signs of aggression. Casper is definitely the more submissive one, but they both groom each other and every time I see them sleeping, they’re cuddled together.

    Could this just have been a one time thing from the stress of a new home?
    Because there has been blood I know that usually calls for separating them, but I worry that separating them temporarily will make it a harder adjustment on them. And might make it worse when I reintroduce them? Or is separating my best bet?

    Neutering is on the table, but I’d like to save that as a last resort. If anyone has any suggestions I’d really appreciate it.

    And for anyone who made it this far, you deserve a cookie. Thanks in advance. :)
     
  2. Oct 4, 2019 #2

    ViciousCurse

    ViciousCurse

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    Do you have pictures? The reason I ask is sometimes rats with external parasites (lice, mites, etc.) can become very testy with each other, leading to bites and scratches from each other.

    Also, sometimes small wounds from biting or scratching thesemlves from the external parasites can resemble small cuts. These then can be perceived as wounds from fights.

    If not, monitor their behavior with each other. Are they puffing their fur up each other, huffing, etc. Are they chasing each other around?


    I'm going to be honest, I've used a breeder and occasionally do get baby rats. Just because a breeder says they're healthy and bonded is not always necessarily true. I'm a very untrusting person, so I take everyone's word with a grain of salt, even friends, family, and trusted rat people. And depending on the breeder's mischief size and how many rats are being born under their care, lice and mites can sometimes fly under the radar and go unnoticed and rats that were previously assumed to be bonded may not always be true. I'm not badmouthing anyone in particular, but it is something to keep in mind with ANY animal whether it be rat, dog, cat, or anything else.
     
  3. Oct 4, 2019 #3

    CallMeCrazy

    CallMeCrazy

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    It’s definitely not lice or fleas. He is a light champagne and I’ve checked him over very thoroughly. Nothing visible to the naked eye, and no “dirt” specks anywhere.
    Mites is a possibility, I’ve been reading they can be treated with revolution? But I’d need to do more research on the dosage. Would it be better to just treat in case there is mites?
    They’re ears and noses are clear as well.
    It’s hard to get a picture of the scratches as he’s still quite squirmy but I’ll try to part the fur tonight while my husband tries to take a picture.

    All body language looks good. I had them out with me separately for awhile today and after putting them back they groomed each other. Casper started the grooming, but they both groomed and sniffed each other. After a bit they kind of wrestled for less than a full second and then Casper showed his belly and they both stopped, then both went to cuddle in bed.

    Casper is also the calmer cuddly one where jaspers more playful.
     
  4. Oct 4, 2019 #4

    ViciousCurse

    ViciousCurse

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    Personalky, I would treat them just to be sure, especially if they seem comfortable and happy with each other. Kitten Revolution is the best to treat rats with. For dosage, you'll need to first get the weight of your boys and then some members (and the reference thread) will be able to give you dosages.
     
  5. Oct 5, 2019 #5

    CallMeCrazy

    CallMeCrazy

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    @ViciousCurse Thanks! I picked up the mauve revolution today, and a couple needles to measure, I’ll weigh them tomorrow and find the thread. :)
     
  6. Oct 5, 2019 #6

    Dena

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    Did you get actual revolution, or a different brand? I think someone said stronghold is the same thing, but that's the only ones I'd use. Also, you can wet their fur and be able to see the wounds better. If more so on the head, neck and shoulders, then it's likely mites.
     
  7. Oct 5, 2019 #7

    jorats

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    I would definitely have them treated but I would also keep a close eye on them. An injury to the groin area is a serious thing. But it can definitely be a one time new home stress too. 3 months is an impressionable age. Stress can really change a rat.
     
  8. Oct 7, 2019 #8

    CallMeCrazy

    CallMeCrazy

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    @Dena Yes I got the revolution brand :)
    And thanks for the tip, I’ll try wetting him a little tomorrow to get a better look. It’s mostly the back, upper and lower. A bit by his shoulders. It looks like his skin is red, almost like a rash, but I’ve also found little scratches too. (But could be from itching)

    I treated them yesterday with the revolution, so far no new scratches. I also filed their nails a little, Jaspers are super sharp, but Casper’s were already pretty dull. The wound on Casper’s genitals is almost healed now. There’s been no other big wounds.

    I’ve also added a big “tree house” I made out of cardboard boxes, all connected with holes between them so there’s lots of new hiding places to sleep.

    I’ll continue to keep a close eye on them. Thanks everyone for the help.
     
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  9. Oct 12, 2019 #9

    jorats

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    How are they doing?
     
  10. Oct 12, 2019 #10

    CallMeCrazy

    CallMeCrazy

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    @jorats
    They have been doing great! The scratches are almost healed, and no new ones.

    Still keeping a close eye and inspecting Casper’s skin multiple times a day. He does have a couple bald patches on his shoulders now so it’s looking like Jasper’s over grooming him. No scabs or scratches, just bald baby pink skin. I’ve been making them some new toys, trying to keep them entertained, and spending a few hours out of the cage each day. I’m thinking of giving them a bath, see if maybe that will help.
    But he’s not causing any harm, so from what I’ve read it’s fairly normal and not a cause for alarm.

    The only other thing I could think of is allergies, but that is usually accompanied by scabs or scratches right? I use a low dust paper type bedding, and they get shredded paper.

    Besides that, not seeing any aggressive behavior, most of the time when I walk up to them they’re cuddled together. Even when I bring them out, they find a comfy place and curl up together.

    Thanks for checking in. :)
     
  11. Oct 12, 2019 #11

    jorats

    jorats

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    That is really great news. The balding sound more like barbering which is very common. I wouldn't do the bath unless absolutely necessary, most rats really hate it.
     
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  12. Oct 13, 2019 #12

    Dena

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    I was about to say barbering too. If it is, the extra stimulation from New toys, out time, etc may help, but if it doesn't, barbering usually is harmless. It just may look funky to us. Maybe he wants a new "rair-do" (rat hair-do) once in a while? :p
     

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