Sudden Aggression to Sick Rat

Negoonus

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Hi guys, my rat Latte is having issues with what appears to be a PT which I'm getting treated today at the vet. Latte has a few spots on her body where her fur is missing and some spots are scabby. Well I just caught our heavily abused rescue, Timbit, attacking her and he had a good mouthful of fur in his mouth. There are 4 rats living together and there hasn't been any issues until Latte got sick. I've separated Latte in another cage that's pushed up beside my main cage, which I'm hoping will give her the ability to rest. Does anyone know what's causing this aggression and what else could i do?

Thanks
 

lilspaz68

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Sometimes a wild instinct will kick in and a rat will try to drive away a sick or compromised rat from the colony, so they don't attract "predators". I would keep her separated.
 

Negoonus

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Sometimes a wild instinct will kick in and a rat will try to drive away a sick or compromised rat from the colony, so they don't attract "predators". I would keep her separated.
Thanks for the reply. They were ok during play time, he's just really unpredictable. This morning alone he bit me and drew blood for some reason and later my wife was petting him and he was bruxing and boggling to her and then right after he bit her too lol. Poor guy has had a really rough life. We're keeping an eye on things to see if this continues at all. Besides placing both cages beside each other, is there anything else I can do for Latte to make this adjustment less stressful for her? The other two rats we have have been nothing but kind to her during this time. Thanks.
 

Negoonus

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The guess is he's about a year and 2 months. He came from a rescue and was found in a box in a creek with 44 rats, few of them drowned. He's also had part of his tail cut off so he's got some issues for sure. The thing is, he is neutered, so I figured that would of helped with the biting thing.

All things considered, he's quite happy with his new home.
 

lilspaz68

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Haha I have 2 boys from that situation as well. Mine were considered unadoptable and needing very experienced rat owner. Mine got very aggressive and puffy even with the smell of other rats :(. It could just be poor genetics, could be hormones. How long have you had your lad?
 

lilspaz68

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PXL_20210829_005204691.jpg

This is Carson with his tail amputation. I've only had them about a week and a bit
 

Negoonus

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We've had Timbit for 3 months now. He's come a long way already. I've never had a rat squeak before i even got close to pick them up before. He was extremely terrified of everything. Now every night when he comes out his cage, he gets zoomies and runs circles in the living room lol. He barely tolerates hands right now, but i can at least pick him up for a few seconds without him freaking out, and he does enjoy pets in small doses. I'm going to try using a spoon for treats to deter the biting.

How has taming gone with your 2 boys? Have you had a lot of progress? Thats a tough situation, i wouldn't have a clue how to deal with that.
 

Negoonus

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Jeez! His tail is much shorter than Timbit's. Poor thing. He is a very cute boy though!
Timbit is on the right, he's just missing the tip of his tail.
 

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lilspaz68

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I'm working with them very slowly. I give them a spoon of breakfast (lab block mush or oatmeal) every morning so I'm the Bringer of Good Things. When I hold them I stand in the middle of the room and hold them in my arms making sure they are supported against my body and their feet on my arms. I'll stroke them or just cover their head with my hand to make them feel safer. At this point I don't trust them not to bolt. Last week Carson got bored and chewed through the base of his cage and played at being a Wild Rat. But then he got hungry and thirsty and was good about letting me pick him up (he used to cry and shut down). I've been nursing a few older rats so I haven't had them out too much lately but hopefully soon they can run on the bed and not bolt lol.
 

lilspaz68

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Pretty sure the tail injuries happened at KHS. If a rats tail dangles down into a more aggressive rats cage they will bite it badly sometimes causing the need for amputation. Over the years I've learned aggressive rats go into top cages. Lol
 

lilspaz68

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Let's go back to Timbits behavior. How does he act when he's getting aggressive? Or when he nips or bites at people? There's fear, fear aggression, genetic aggression and then hormonal overload which is my guess here since it's a new behavior
 

Negoonus

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Sorry I didn't realize that you replied a few times lilspaz. How is Carson getting around balance wise with that tail?

Timbit likes to bite semi-hard when we pet him and get behind his shoulders. He seems to be ok for the first few pets then he starts to turn his head and we know that a bite is coming. He's only broken skin on me twice and never with my wife. He really hates my wife's nails lol, he bites her nails quite hard like he want's to bite through them. He does like to groom but he's very rough when he does it and as soon as he gets to a nail, he will bite hard. When I was bit twice when he drew blood, I was just petting him a bit while he was in the space pod and he really didn't give me any indication that he was stressed about it. There's no puffing up of his fur and when we give him treats, he's very slow and gentle.
 

lilspaz68

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Carson is doing fine for balance. It's more heat regulation I will worry about on hotter days for him :). He's probably adapted to the new balance a shorter tail gives him.

Hmmm that doesn't sound like fun :(. Arnie is definitely more dominant than little Carson and I'm still careful while handling them. With your lad does he bite only in the cage or outside of it too?
 

Negoonus

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I'm glad his balance hasn't be impacted.

He's more tolerant of us outside of the cage, so we can get in a few more pets before he starts turning his head again slowly to bite lol.
 

lilspaz68

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Ok so he's warning you. He doesn't like what you are doing maybe. Are you gently scratching the back of his shoulders/neck? It's a place no rat can reach so it's usually itchy.
 

Negoonus

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We do more of a gentle stroke on his back. If we go near his neck, he will start turning sooner.

He has a real issue with my wife's nails. She will be petting another rat, and he will lunge and attack her nails.
 

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