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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I really hate to dreg up previously answered topics, but I scanned a page or two and didn't see it, and I need answers quicker than excavating the whole site. Apologies if this is commonly asked, in any case.

I have two females, both about 1 year old, and they have always fought more intensely than I thought was natural, with Darla receiving small, apparently painless scabs around the nape of her neck. Darla recently developed a tumor, and suddenly Annika has doubled her attacks, and she actually tore a nice sized gash in her shoulder. Darla seems ok, but I separated them after that. Is this a natural selection response to the tumor in trying the clean the gene pool? or is it time to find Annika a new home? Annika is very VERY cage shy and anti-human, and yes, petstore in origin. Darla was a rescue from a pet store she was turned into, but is fabulous, social, loves people and a great pet. All Annika has is Darla, she refuses human interaction despite a year of efforts, so I'm having difficulty understanding why she'd attack her so viciously. All advice is welcome, I want to resolve this issue quickly for both girls sakes. Thanks to all.
 

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It may very well be that Annika is one of the rare rats that does not get along well with other rats. Did you go through proper introductions with these two? I doubt it would help now, but it might be worth trying to go through introductions as if they were new rats meeting each other for the first time.

Though really if a year of living together doesn't sort it out I don't know what will.

Here is a thread on introductions:

http://www.ratforum.com/Forums/viewtopic/t=3991.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It could be worth a try, they always seemed to get on well, other than Darla's always having bite marks, but every site says rats naturally quarrel and 'fight', and she never once seemed in pain, so I chalked it up to nature doing it's thing. I think you're right that a year's companionship means they can live together. Maybe this play fight she just bit a little harder, or got her on a bad angle? I may put them back together and keep a close eye on them for a while. Any other advice?
 

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Well I think most site say that they will quarrel (I have two rats who do it all the time over food) but when you start to see blood is when you should be worried.

Unfortunately I do not have any further advice for you, though. I hope maybe someone else who has gone through this will!
 

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I'm not so concerned with them getting along, it either works out or you separate. Only you can determine that. Sometimes rats end up solo & that's just the way it is.

I am more concerned about the lump you mentioned.

It could be an abscess that resulted from an infected bite. Abscesses can be very nasty since it is bacteria that has entered the body & that will require antibiotics to clear up & possibly even having a vet scrap the mass out & suture shut.

You may want to have this checked & diagnosed. Tumor? Abscess? Scar tissue?

If it is a tumor, it is best to have it looked at & removed early on as well because the larger they get the more risk is involved & if it is malignant you want to know this right away.

Please think about contacting a vet for the injured rat & don't concern yourself so much about trying to get them back in the same cage until you know for sure the other is healthy & healed up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, a vet trip is very high on my to-do list. It's right in her upper arm pit, and the research I did point's to the very common tumors females get. I'm assuming its a fibroadenoma, and as soon as I get the vet exam fee together, she's going in. I want it dealt with early on. I do not have the room, or money to separate my girls, so if they have come to a point where they can not live harmoniously, then I will need to find another home for Annika. That was more why I was searching for advice, but I appreciate you pointing out the severity of the tumor. I thought perhaps the illness was a trigger for the violent behavior, and the wonderful people on this site have much more experience with behavioral issues than I do. If it's just aggression, then Annika will have to leave.
 

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annika may be sick herself, or the cage may feel to small for her, or the cage may be too dull for her. all of which can cause a rat to act out too.

my rats will have little nicks on them every once and a while too, normally they are small enough that i don't notice them until they're all wet in the bath, so a few nicks are not that uncommon. serious injury, such as real blood shed is a problem though.

if it is a cage issue though there a lot of affordable alternatives then buying from a pet store and if its just a boredom issue that can be fixed for pennies.

inmy experience however, a sick rat will not be attacked. if there is any change in behavior towards the sick rat it is normally one of concern and care for that rat. some of my rats have even brought food to the sick rat before, while others that would normally not lay with the sick rat is now found near them all the time. i've never had a sick rat attacked. i don't think rats will do that for the most part really. at least my experience with them shows me this anyway.

but if i am to help you find the issue with annika and darla i'll need to know more about them. how old they are, what are the dimensions of the cage, what food and litter do you have them on, how much out time do the on average get a day, what's in their cage to entertain them, how often do you switch it up. i'll need answers to all that at least, perhaps more as we talk. i don't know the situation your in or your girls so no matter how much advice i can give you ultimately it will be up to you. but based on the information you've given so far i don't think its time to give up on annika yet.
 
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