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help- one rat bit the other's tail

1435 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  amandahoney
i wasn't looking when it happened, but skunk and olive were in their cage. i had the door open and was switching some bedding for clean towels when suddenly, olive approached me with a bite about halfway down her tail! i'm assuming it was skunk (though i didn't hear a fight or anything) since matilda was up in a hammock at this time, and that it just happened immediately before she came to me. it's a small bite, just on the surface, and the skin's broken but it's not bleeding. it's not really swollen or crooked, either. she doesn't actually seem to care much about it- i was able to pick her up and handle her tail like normal.

needless to say, i separated the two cages (their big cage was two cages put together) and skunk is in solitary. it's weird, they have been living together relatively peacefully in the two spliced-together wire cages for the last few days/nights, with what i thought were normal rat scuffles at night and cuddling during the day. this seems unprecedented, especially toward olive.

my main question is, what should i do to treat this? i really don't think it's so bad that it requires a vet- i can't really afford it, frankly, unless the situation's something i can't handle at home, and i'm kind of stranded here until evening anyway, until evening, without transportation. should i clean it? should i leave her be? i cleaned it a little with water just so i could get a better look at exactly how bad it was.

also, i hate to say this, but i think maybe skunk's too old to deal with babies in her cage. she mostly just wants to lay around. should i let her continue to live alone, interacting only during playtime while i'm watching closely?

what do you guys think? i'd really appreciate any help here.
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from what you're saying skunk is just being a normal girl. an older girl will fight back but the young ones just take it for the most part. its just normal working out of the hierarchy. after a while she'll stop pushing the others around. they're just getting used to eash other yet. getting her a larger older friend will be more difficult then just letting the babies run their course. as an older larger female will feel its her right to be queen as well as skunk thinking the same thing. the babies are just thinking, "ok, fine you can be queen, can you stop showing me that you want to be now??" it may be that matilda is a little less submissive and skunk has to show her more often that SHE is queen dang it.
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