Rat Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello.. it has been a while! I have two boys that are about 7 months old. They have always been into wrestling, but in the last month or so, their "wrestling" seems to be more aggressive.. it mostly occurs at night and there is a lot of loud screeching. I get up and tap on the cage or stick my hand in there to stop it. Earlier this week I noticed that they both have a couple of scabs on their sides.. Any ideas for getting rid of this behavior? Its just the two of them.. they have never been super affectionate to each othe or anything.. they sleep together periodically, but I often find them sleeping separately in the morning (I think because they fight mostly at night).. Whenever I clean the cage I always change the layout slightly in hopes that it will keep things entertaining.... do you think more enrichment might help? Should i be separating them temporarily.. or would that just make things worse? I'm not really sure what to do and I really dont want them injurying each other.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,244 Posts
Scabs are sometimes caused my mites if they are around the neck and head... just a passing thought.

But yes more you time will help. Don't be afraid to interfere when things start to get out of hand and be the parent. When my rats would squabble, I'd just shout "Stop fighting" and they would...

As a good rat parent, it's OK to let the kids tussle and settle some things on their own, but you have to step in and keep the peace. Being the alpha to your pack is basically just being a good parent, just a little authority goes a long way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So scabs are on their chin and sides... I woke up this morning and one of them has a pretty huge scab with a patch of hair loss that wasn't there yesterday.... Im wondering if he fell or something... ugh.. don't know what to do
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,244 Posts
If your rats are scratching too, it very well might be mites. Most of the actual bites I've seen are around the rump area not the face and for the better part of them they are puncture type wounds although scratches also occur.

I'd give more info on mites, but if you do a search for them here, you will find more information than you will ever need. They are very common.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So, looking at pictures.. pretty sure it is mites.. thank you for responding.. i wouldn't have thought of that and was pretty convinced they just were biting each other
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,390 Posts
I might even take them to the vet to make sure they are from mites.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,244 Posts
We usually get mites in with every new rat lately... I keep revolution handy in the fridge.
And everybody gets treated. And usually when you bring in a new rat, the rats are skirmishing so it's easy to blame it on the fighting. The cuts are usually caused by the rat scratching himself or herself.

A couple of drops of revolution and the mites are gone in about a week if it's mites... It costs about $20.00. A vet visit can run upwards of $80.00 plus the revolution... Nothing wrong with a vet visit... it's your call...

Best luck.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,244 Posts
I get it from a vet that doesn't see rats... Because they don't see rats, they don't try and push the visit fee and just sell me the tube over the counter... They stock it for their feline customers which they do charge to see. If the vet asks you if you know what you are doing, show him the research you've done and you can always say you are using it to "prevent mites" rather than "treat" your rats so there's no need for a diagnosis. Revolution is commonly used as a preventative in cats and dogs because of it's 30 day protection.

Vets that treat rats are going to tend to try and get an office visit fee whenever you walk in, so guide yourself accordingly. I might add that many vets still use ivermectin with multiple visits to treat mites... I'm not saying that ivermectin doesn't work, but the big benefit with it is to the vet not your rat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So, I'm waiting to hear back from my vet about getting the dose of revolution.. I was holding them today and tried to reallly investigate.. it seems like the little scabbed areas actually are paired..... which makes me feel like they may actually be bites from each other. The one rat has the big scabbed area with hairloss that doesn't fit the same pattern of pairs.. but i wonder if that is just a spot that the other rat keeps going for and created a larger injured area.. ugh.. i don't know.. they don't fight during the day.. i only tend to hear them squeaking at night, but im also a deep sleeper so it could be happening more than i think.. I'm going to be more proactive about breaking htem up whenever i hear any squeaking.. but if i end up having to neuter, would you neuter the one that has the least bite marks first? haah.. One is definitely getting the brunt of it and i wonder if the bites (if they are bites) are more defensive than anything..
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,244 Posts
Hormonal aggression, the kind of aggression that neutering actually works best on is generalized.. the problem rat will usually be the one that's aggressive with you.

Are either of your rats scratching? Rats actually very rarely scratch, most of the time if they are scratching it's mites... I know it's hard to diagnose because rats are too small to see without major magnification. If you have a microscope you can take a tape sample and examine it...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
they are scratching.. but then i was also thinking that could be because healing bit wounds itch.. but im still going to treat them for mites to see if it helps. What do you think about the paired wounds? Does that sound like a bit to you?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,244 Posts
Mostly rat fight wounds are long scratches as one rat is rarely holding still to get bitten, it's more like deep scratches around the rump area. Puncture wounds are less common, but they appear as two pairs of two deep puncture wounds about a centimeter apart and again they are usually on the flanks or rump. Rats are pretty good at defending their faces and necks, they get bitten from behind while they are running away or get pounced on. Dumbos are more likely to get their ears clipped and wild or part wild rats will go for the throat., but to be honest, if you have a wild rat that's gone anti-social, it isn't much of a fight... you have one nasty rat and one dead one... game over.

We just brought home a new pup last week, and she's scratching and today our big girl started scratching too... so it's most likely revolution time again... the last 5 rats we brought home had mites.... so I'd say mites are pretty common. Our pup is only about a month old, so we'll have to wait a few weeks to treat, but if they are still scratching, regardless of other symptoms they will get treated...

Rats rarely scratch when they don't have mites...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hey! Just thought I'd give an update... I'm still waiting on revolution to arrive (ugh).. so in the meantime I bought a over the counter topical spray from a local pet store and applied it to both of my rats...froze the bedding I have and cleaned the cage.. I think I did this early last week and they are itching much less.. all the tiny scabs are gone, and the larger wounded area on my Rosebud is all healed up and hair is growing back already. I've also been actively disrupted them when I heard them argue.. but I'm pretty positive it was mites. Thank you SO SO SO much Rat Daddy.. being a newbie, I don't think I would have thought mites and really assumed aggression. Thank you for pointing me in the right direction.. I'm glad that it was a simple fix and that they aren't injuring eachother!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,244 Posts
Your welcome... I got blind sided by mites too when I first started out with rats after years of not having rodents... Years ago we used cedar chips for bedding and the cedar chips killed or controlled the mites. So mites weren't things we worried about.

Now that we don't use cedar anymore we get mites, and the dang things are too small to see... so having been broad sided in a big way myself, they're my first go to suspects...

I tried sprays before I went with revolution... depending on the spray and the type of mites, they sometimes work for a while, but the mites always seemed to come back. There used to be an aerosol spray I used on birds that worked on birds, but it's no doubt been reformulated to be more eco-friendly and it probably doesn't work anymore, for sure it isn't an aerosol anymore... Some folks have also claimed some success with certain powders, then there was ivermectin, but that actually killed some rats and was very easy to overdose... but revolution is pretty much safe and it works a treat. That's your best bet in the long run.

I'm happy to hear things are getting better...
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top