Update on blind rat, still need help?

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by Imjessiegee, Sep 16, 2017.

  1. Sep 16, 2017 #1

    Imjessiegee

    Imjessiegee

    Imjessiegee

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    So my 2 ratties males have been with me for exactly 15 days, so two weeks basically. Ash, likes me. He'll jump on the door bars if I approach and come running out for food (is greedy so I'm cutting down on it's fruit intake, feeding them veggies everyday). He's a sweetheart and enjoys time out the cage. Ace, however is very badly sighted. Both rats have red eyes but ace is an albino so bad eyesight indeed.

    He's getting used to me walking in, he won't run as much but will still occasionally hide. He'll sniff my fingers and stuff. The only problem I have is the fact that he grabs food and my fingers really hard. If it's food, my fingers will be well away and he'll take it but he'll grab it so fast from me like he's starving. I know he's not because I see him eat. If I don't have food and let him sniff my fingers, he'll bite hard. I've had him Bute where he's cut me but I'm trying to keep that down.

    I have made rules for myself. I'll let him sniff my hands (clean from food) but I keep them an inch or some from the bars so he can't bite through. I'll feed him but keep all fingers at the edge of food so he can't bite.

    Any other tips?
     
  2. Nov 23, 2017 #2

    arthur

    arthur

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    One thing that may help: try to keep the place as dark as possible when feeding and playing with him. Since he's albino he have difficult to see when there's too much light. That's the biggest problem with my rats. Sometimes they can't even find where my hand with the food is. So keeping the place dark can help him a lot.
    Apart from that, the only thing I can think of is trying to put your finger next to him the same way you're already doing, but after his "dinner" or playtime. He won't be so crazy after the food and he'll be more calm. You can also put your finger next to him in random times, without giving food to him. This way he'll see that not every time he see your hands there's food coming and he doesn't need to be so desperate to bite everything that comes close to the bars.
     
  3. Nov 24, 2017 #3

    SQ

    SQ

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    Are you giving food through the cage bars?
    If you are, then you are teaching him to bite everything that comes through the cage bars.
    Never feed through the bars or put anything into his cage (or any rat cage) through the cage bars

    You can try feeding him food on a spoon,
    and once he learns to take food from a spoon, then offer food on your flat palm.

    Please see joinrats.com for more ideas

    ....... I do hand them food on occasion, or offer it on the palm of my hand but in general they get food in their dish or off a plate
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
  4. Nov 24, 2017 #4

    jorats

    jorats

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    Hi, first off, rats really don't rely on eye sight for much. They have a strong sense of smell and that's what guides them anyway. So no worried about the eye sight. As for food, first rule for all cages animals, don't feed through the bars, ever. But I like to use a spoon when giving them food. They will learn soon enough that they should not bite. Also, try wet food on a spoon so that he learns to sit there and lick.
     
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  5. Nov 25, 2017 #5

    Imjessiegee

    Imjessiegee

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    So I’ve been working behind the scenes. I stopped putting my fingers near the bars and offered the back of my hand for sniffing before hand feeding. He got the idea of it and hasn’t bitten since. He can tolerate being picked up barely which is also good. Today he had bit me, but my reflexes were too fast so there was a very small fine cut. Dunno what’s gotten into him but if it’s bad, I’ll have to regain trust.
     
  6. Nov 25, 2017 #6

    Imjessiegee

    Imjessiegee

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    And for anyone with aggressive rats. Try whipped cream, it’s a good hand food that they can’t bite as too fluffy and they love the stuff. I only use it for hand taming though.
     
  7. Nov 25, 2017 #7

    jorats

    jorats

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    joinrats.com is a great website for trust training.
     
  8. Nov 26, 2017 #8

    SQ

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  9. Nov 26, 2017 #9

    Imjessiegee

    Imjessiegee

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    I doubt he’s in pain. When I first went into the shop to get rats, the woman brought the non biter one out fine, but she tried to manhandle him, and I’m assuming that’s why he’s biting. I had to tell her to leave him because he was so frightened. I’m wondering if he’s having a hard time adjusting to people because he hates being touched. I would love to take him to a vet, but I’m worried he’ll bite them hard if they try to pick them up.
     
  10. Dec 4, 2017 #10

    Amaginon

    Amaginon

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    I recently got 4 rats. (3 males & 1 female). 1 of the males looks like a stereotypical lab rat (white with pink eyes). He has very poor eyesight, constantly bobbing his head to get a better view, and is definitely a lot more skittish than the others. He squeaks frantically if picked up suddenly, and can be very jumpy. Now I have had a rat who was actually blind (from birth). He was very easy to handle, very calm, very exploratory. So I am wondering if just having very poor eyesight contirbutes to a rat being nervous.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
  11. Dec 5, 2017 #11

    Imjessiegee

    Imjessiegee

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    Possibly. He’s hard to handle and jumpy. He also has stereotypical lab rat features.
     
  12. Dec 6, 2017 #12

    Amaginon

    Amaginon

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    Yes I just wonder if maybe they just see shadows, so that makes them much more nervous than those who see nothing or see a more clearer picture. So like other's have said, just handle him a lot (and maybe move a bit slower around him). Mine is never going to be the most affectionate, but he does let me handle him (except when picked up suddenly).
     
  13. Dec 13, 2017 #13

    SqueakingJellybean

    SqueakingJellybean

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    We've had a couple of blind rats-- Baloo was a sweet old man, but nippier than I'd been told. We didn't do quite as well with him as we could now (the more you know, right?) but what we learned from him helped us with Hodr, a sweet boy we rescued from a mom-and-pop pet place that was slowly going out of business. The store owner gave him to us for free because of the blindness.

    Hodr was a lively, social, fun-loving boy who had more energy than The Mr. and I put together on our best day. He was never happier than when he was on a shoulder or in a housecoat. We kept his house arranged the same way so he'd always know where everything was, and before I put a hand near him, I would rub my fingers together to make a sound. He learned that a hand was approaching and petting would follow. He never once nipped or bit. (He went to the Bridge too early due to a fast-developing respiratory infection that did not respond to medication.)

    Consistency played a huge role, I think. Hopefully your wee fuzzy will become more trusting over time. Good luck!
     
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