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Discussion Starter #1
I came home today and Moss had a very suspicious pink tint to his fur on his head and back. Closer investigation revealed a small scratch (it's actually more a dot, looks almost like a puncture wound) on his left side, almost on his belly. It's not deep, as far as i can tell, and has already scabbed over. He'd clearly been cleaning himself and rubbed some of the blood on his head - if he had been a darker colour i probably wouldn't have noticed it at all. It's not causing him any problems, and he's running about and being his normal self, but it's how it was done that i'm worried about.

After the initial "OMG there's this THING in MY cage!" Oscar accepted Moss as his new best buddy and the two have been living harmoniously side-by-side for about three months. Apart from some over-zealous grooming from Oscar and the dramatic eeping this induces, there's been nothing but play-fighting from either of them. However, during playtime today Moss has been jumping all over Oscar, clearly looking for a fight. Oscar does his usual play routine, pinning Moss down, boxing with him, grooming etc., but instead of Moss submitting as he would normally do he's fighting back, with lots of squealing and running around like a maniac.

I'm worried that now Moss has got over that baby-phase and is growing up there's going to be some awful rank-reshuffling as he starts to challenge Oscar for the alpha position. I don't want any blood shed, but i'm loathe to seperate them as for the most part they're best buddies.

I just wanted to know if anyone has had similar experiences. Do you think Moss is just going through a teenage phase, and that he's just trying to challenge Oscar? I don't want either of them to get hurt, but then i don't want to seperate them, either. I'm also worried that Moss will get badly hurt is Oscar lashes out at him; i think with him being blind he sometimes doesn't realise where he's putting his teeth and feet, and could hurt badly when he just meant to give a warning.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Re: Fighting! Not sure how seriously i should take it

I know it's not mites. They were both treated with ivermectin as a precaution a few weeks ago.
 

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Re: Fighting! Not sure how seriously i should take it

i can understnad your concern but for as far as oscar not knowing where he's placing his teeth or paws becasue of his sight i don't think it would be any, or a tleast much, different then normal rats. you have to keep reminding yourself the rats are nearly blind anyway. if you forget how bad try this. close your eyes until you're only seeing through your eyelashes then take away all color. that's pretty much what they see. odd blocks of shadows.

it does sound like moss is trying to assert dominance, going through the teenage years. you are the best judge on when you need to separate them. you know their personailites best and really that what this comes down to. will oscar only give warnings or do you think he'll get really nasty? how persistant is moss in trying to take over and how agressive is he being? if oscar doesn't get too bothered by it and moss isn't too too persistant in winning then i would jus tlet them sort things out and wait for things too settle. but like i said, you knwo your rats best. if you have to separate them keep the cages close so they don't forget about each other and try to get moss neutered. its not gauranteed to cure the problem but it will get rid of the majority of the hormones and should mellow moss out enough that they could be re-introduced to each other.

having said all that remember that cage hierachy will change from tie to time and those fights can look nasty but doesn't mean that they are trying t kil each other either.

just a thought but maybe clippigng their nails would help. perhaps oscar went to warn moss and his nails were just sharper or longer then he thought and he accidently hust moss. i know i've done this in play fighting with my boyfriend and human nails tend to be a whole lot duller then a rat's.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Re: Fighting! Not sure how seriously i should take it

Yeah, i know that Oscar's not really much worse off than a normal rat, as they're practically blind anyway, but it was just a thought. I don't think Oscar would ever really go for Moss - as far as things go he's really patient with him, and when Moss is anoying him he's more likely to just go sit at the other side of the cage than lash out. It's just Oscar is obsessed with grooming him. Moss doesn't always want to be groomed, but when he was little he used to just sit back and take it, and now he's getting bigger i think he's realising he doesn't have to any more. Neither of them are aggressieve, i think Moss is just very vocal and so often their skirmishes sound worse than they are.

Right now Oscar has mossed pinned down grooming him and Moss is making a right racket about it. He's just kicked Oscar off him and Oscar's gone off to lay in his hammock. If it comes down to neutering i'll get them both done, then maybe a female could be introduced and their interests might be diverted elsewhere.

Moss isn't too persistant, he just seems to know that as he's getting bigger he can sand up for himself more, and he's trying to boss Oscar around a bit. It's so out of character for them both, i just hope they get their issues sorted out soon lol.

Edit: Now Oscar's laid in the hammock with Moss sprawled out on top of him...the bliss won't last for long though, they're getting cleaned out in a min :lol:
 

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Our girls have been together for a month or so now and they are still deciding who's the alpha rat. Most of the time, the older one is, but occasionally the younger one gets brave and stubborn and fights back. They live together pretty harmoniously otherwise, though.

I understand how it worries you - I worried with ours, too, but they just seem to have the odd days where they want to bicker. I would count the scratch/puncture mark as a one off - unfortunate positioning while they were wrestling - and keep an eye on them. It doesn't sound like either one is really out for blood. I would just check them over regularly and if it gets to be a regular thing or the scratches start to look more serious, consider your options then. I wouldn't separate them at this stage, from the information you've given.
 

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How old is Oscar? Around 6-8 months of age, male rats sometimes get aggressive or dominant toward cagemates - it's their overwhelming hormones. Unless the fighting is horrible or ends in constant bloodshed, I'd leave them to figure out their own differences.
 

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Could the pink tinge not be porphyrin instead? He may have had a small cut but it might not be related. At this point relax and don't worry about what may possibly happen in the future. Sounds all normal at this point. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Oscar is 9 months and Moss is almost 13 weeks. They're just acting their normal selves today...if it happens again they're both going in for a little snip here and there. It wasn't serious, but i'd rather be safe than sorry. Hopefully it was just a one-off thing, and any issues they had are sorted for the time being *fingers crossed* It could have been porphrin as well, i think it just stood out more because he's white, it's not as if there was masses of blood. The cut was tiny anyway, so i doubt it would have bled much.

Thanks for reassuring me everyone :)
 
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