unneutered male and neutered male

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BoBa

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Helllo,
My Chewie is getting neutered next week because he is being aggressive towards me and I wouldn't want to risk trying to introduce him unneutered to another rat. I've been searching for a single older ideally female rat but haven't been so succesful yet.
There is one breeder offering to split one of her boys from a group to go home with me but I definitely feel like that's cruel. Also how would an unneutered male get along with a neutered rat?
 

PiddlePod

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Uh oh...sorry to hear that Chewie's hormones are getting the best of him. Testosterone affects each male rat individually and sometimes they have such an excess of the hormone that they just can't deal. It's a fine balance when it comes to naturally territorial animals and crazy hormones. Hormonal aggression is one of the top unwanted personality traits that breeders work hard to eliminate in their lines, and sometimes when rescuing a rat from a shelter or pet shop, you don't know the genetic history and the potential for hormonal aggression to manifest as the rat reaches adulthood is there.

You'll need to give Chewie an adjustment period after the neuter to allow that over abundance of testosterone to work its way out of his system. An adjustment period will give his brain the time to adjust to the sudden hormonal changes, so he may still be a stinker for a short period before those little testosterone receptors in his brain shake off the last of the male hormones. :) Others may suggest a shorter or longer adjustment period but considering that he is waiting on a companion and he will be a lone rat for that period, I'd go with no more than 2-3 weeks.

Having a neutered male and an intact male cohabiting together shouldn't be an issue. The only issues you may run into are when you begin introductions. The intact male may be the aggressor or Chewie may not be very confident and even w/ a neuter, he may instigate a fight...it's really unpredictable when it comes to introducing any rat regardless of the sex or age. I'm hoping that since Chewie's new bro is coming from a breeder that you'll be able to avoid having a rocky experience with intros and the new rattie will be pretty mellow considering his genetics.

Just be prepared to take intros slowly and carefully since both of these guys are older than 6 months and rats are naturally suspicious and defensive towards strange, unknown rats. Even the most difficult intros that take months are well worth the effort when you catch everyone snuggling together!

Be sure to check back once you're ready for intros and folks here can offer guidance and support. :)
 

PiddlePod

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Oh! And please don't forget to follow quarantine guidelines when you do decide to bring home a new friend for Chewie. The last thing you should worry about is Chewie picking up lice, or some of the scarier stuff out there, from a new rat friend.

The Rat Guide has a great article on Quarantining new rats when you already have an established rat/colony in the home:
http://ratguide.com/health/basics/quarantine.php
 

BoBa

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Wow thanks so much again PiddlePod! I'm super nervous because I've done one intro before but between an adult and two babies which went really well. So do you think it's ok for the breeder to seperate one adult male from a group? She said they don't have a strong bond anyway because there are two alphas apparently. I guess I have the chance to choose the most mellow one of the group. The reason why I only want one is because I don't think I can have rats much longer. Also yesterday Chewie was less nippy for some reason, letting me pick him up and stroke him. He's absolutely fine in the cage. I'll have to keep an eye on him.
 

BoBa

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I'm slightly worried about Chewie because he did start biting my wrists yesterday when I tried to block him from going somewhere but it was a lot less harder than before. He also now allows me to pick him up and isn't as resistant. Yesterday I saw him trying climb to a level in the cage by climbing the sides but he didn't manage to get up-he's about 575g. Now I have him on my lap and he's happily relaxing even though he seemed to hate it a couple of days ago. His breathing is visible but there's no crackling or barely any sneezing. When I rustled the food bag he didn't react. Is this a sign of aging or is there something wrong with him? He is only a year old. Maybe he's grieving? Should I still get him neutered?
 

PiddlePod

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Chewie's state could be exacerbated because of the loss of Yoda...I didn't think of that until yesterday and I've been meaning to follow up. Does he open his mouth and gently but very firmly move your hand out of his way or is it enough to break the skin and cause pain? I'm wondering if this is just him moving you out of his way because he's like "get out of the way! I got places to go!" Lol. I laugh because my boys do this too when I am fussing over them and they are annoyed at me. It's never painful and never breaks the skin but it is firm and a clear "lady, I'mfine so stop bugging me. Now please excuse me, I got places to be." :)

As for the stoic behavior I would absolutely say that he is grieving. I would give him a little time before you neuter and you could always try introducing before a neuter to see if it is even necessary.
 

PiddlePod

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Also, keep an eye on him for any respiratory flare ups. Losing a cage mate is a very stressful event and could cause a myco flare.
 

BoBa

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Thank you all so so much xx Chewie was put to sleep yesterday because he just didn't have an appetite for anything other than biscuits and the meds were a flop. Piddlepod suggested it may be heart congestion and to check we would've had to do an x ray and then treatments which unfortunately we weren't financially stable for. This is the end of my rat journey and I probably won't get anymore for a while-don't get me wrong they are absolutely amazing creatures. I miss my boys so much and itdefinitely feels weird without them. Thanks again for all your help
 

PiddlePod

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Thank you all so so much xx Chewie was put to sleep yesterday because he just didn't have an appetite for anything other than biscuits and the meds were a flop. Piddlepod suggested it may be heart congestion and to check we would've had to do an x ray and then treatments which unfortunately we weren't financially stable for. This is the end of my rat journey and I probably won't get anymore for a while-don't get me wrong they are absolutely amazing creatures. I miss my boys so much and itdefinitely feels weird without them. Thanks again for all your help
Oh no.... I'm so sorry for your loss. :( You are an incredible rat parent and you did everything you could for your babies. I don't blame you for taking a break.... I did the same for a very long 6 years and just recently started again. We are on our last two surviving boys and we are definitely taking a break again after this...it is just too much heartbreak for us, too.

Hang in there...give yourself time to grieve and to heal. Maybe when you are ready you may consider fostering for a rat rescue or a shelter. :) That way you can enjoy them, give them lots of joy and love while helping to find great forever homes for them...but with a lot less heartbreak. ❤
 

PiddlePod

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That's a brilliant idea! I would love to do that in the future. Thank you.
I hope you do consider it! We are thinking about doing the same thing in the future. It sounds like it would be a lot of fun and very rewarding to help socialize little ratties and make sure that they find wonderful forever homes. :)❤
 

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