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Discussion Starter #1
Okay so I've been trying and trying to introduce 2 new boys to my mischief. Out of my 4 existing rats, 3 have taken to the new boys and are already getting along. The problem is my alpha male Pepe. I've tried scent swapping, carrier method, tub intros, and no matter how long or how slow I take it, the moment he gets to interact face to face with them he goes for blood, and tonight he finally got it. He and one of the new boys started fighting and Pepe managed to bite him on the back hard enough to leave a puncture wound, and the boy (Saxon) slashed Pepe's face open. I have washed both boys' wounds with saline and applied silver solution. I just feel like I'm at a dead end though :/ if I can't get Pepe to accept the new boys then I have to return them to the rescue and I can't get any more rats unless I get spayed females. Is neutering my only hope, or will that not even help for sure?
 

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I would neuter him. I've just had my Rupert neutered as he was aggressive to all his 3 cage mates and people! I have 2 7 week old babies I'm yet to introduce to him too so didn't want to take any chances. Neuter him, keep going with slow and steady intros and if he still doesn't take to the new boys, maybe get him a girlfriend in a separate cage? I've heard bucks and does get on much better and it's the same plan I've got, so lets hope!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I just scheduled the neuter. Hopefully this works. I dont want to have to have separate rats, I really want them to all be able to live and free range together. Its no fun having to keep some rats locked up while others play, and I dont want to have to worry about enemies accidentally interacting and hurting each other
 

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I'm thinking this intro is jumping across a bunch of threads. To answer your question regarding a neuter to be entirely honest, it might work and it might not. I've had the exact same intro issues you are having with female rats so I can't say it's a matter of male hormones, on the other hand there are those that report good results. While there are those that have done neuters and posted here that their rats remained aggressive afterwards.

I suppose we could debate statistics, but we are dealing with only one rat here and either Pepe will continue to have issues or her won't. There's no absolute guarantee.

I do recall that Pepe has been biting you. Have you made any progress on that front? I realize that this all started when you brought home new rats and intros are your first priority, but part of untangling this mess might involve getting Pepe back in the fold as he regards you... Get him calmed down and back to his normal manageable friendly self. Then (still with oven mitts or welding gloves) you can try to hands on referee the intros better.

I've had a good deal of success managing intros when both rats were bonded to me by basically keeping my hands in between and backing down the aggressor and giving both rats a few seconds to cool off. I've also had this wind up with me getting bitten by the new rat, hence the warning about the gloves. I've given rats the free range to the house and they worked it out that way too... Their final fight was under and in a metal cabinet which was dark and pretty much enclosed, but our rats have picked that spot twice now for final show downs where I couldn't intervene. All I could do was listen to the squeaking and the little feet clicking on the floor as both rats jockeyed for position. It was hard to just stand back and do nothing as the rats fought it out and came out as new best friends.

I've had intros go great and I've seen my share of pretty nasty injuries. That's how I know how fast rats heal. I suppose I sort of just assume that the rats will eventually work out their differences and so far I've been right. But there's no way to guarantee success, I've done enough intros to know that each one is different.

So as to my best advise... again I'd start with getting Pepe back to his old charming self when you handle him so that he might pick up on your cues the next time you try intros... It's not a silver bullet, but it's progress in the right direction. If you think about it the only problem you are having is with your overly aggressive alpha. Maybe if he feels like less of an alpha he'll clam down... As to neutering... it might help and it might not... Some might say it comes down to the odds, but it all boils down to one case for you; Pepe... You never know for sure until it's over; on the other hand I can't offer you a silver bullet either.

I tend to believe that intros almost always eventually work out, but that's little comfort if one rat gets blinded or worse. Things can go pretty far wrong before they get better.

This is just one of those crappy calls you have to make, hope for the best and see how it turns out.

Best luck.
 

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Our posts crossed... I hope the neuter solves your problems...

Again best luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sorry I realize this issue has spanned a lot of threads :p he has been biting me less, he didn't lash out last night like he has before, but the cut nearly missed his eye by less than a half inch which is scary. Thanks for all your advice
 
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