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Hi everyone!

I have two female rats in a Petco Rat Manor. I work at PetSmart, and just the other day, I found out one of our rats was accidentally injured. :( One of the employees was opening the rat enclosure, and evidently one of the rats was hiding up top. Her little tail got caught in the sliding mechanism, and was pulled when the girl opened the cage. The vet calls it "denuding" the tail. Basically, the skin on the tail got pulled and is now all bunched up partway down her tail. :( We're currently treating her with oral antibiotics and a cream for the tail, but the vet believes her tail will never return to normal. He doesn't think we'll need to amputate it, but we won't know for sure for about a week. In any event, he's suggesting we adopt her out, since she probably won't ever be in sellable condition.

I'm the only one there who has rats, but I'm pretty new to owning them. I rescued mine from a neglectful owner, and they're definitely full-grown at this point. The injured rat is still very young. The vet expressed concern over introducing her to new rats; seemed to think the established rats would always pick on her because her tail is different.

Do you guys think this would be the case? My two are generally peaceful. One (Lily) is much more socialized with people and loves to go for shoulder rides and explore the apartment. The other (Mongo) doesn't bite, but definitely likes to be in her cage more than outside it. When I put treats in the cage, Mongo will take them from Lily by force, and a small rat fight will ensue. No blood, but Mongo definitely wins. Other than that, they're very peaceful and like to snuggle together in their igloo. Do you think it's safe to introduce a new, younger, injured rat? I'd follow all the procedures on introducing new rats (separate cage, neutral territory, etc). Can I rescue this injured one and successfully assimilate her with my two? Or do rats definitely notice differences like that, and will always pick at her?

Thanks for any advice!! :D
 

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I don't think the tail would be a problem, but I would be sure to treat her fully and get her healed before introducing them. (But I doubt a scrunchy tail would make them unbondable)
 

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I imagine they wouldn't treat her differently because of her tail. If there is any hostility, it's probably normal rat territorial stuff, especially with a younger rat.

Since she's now an adoptee rat and not a salable rat, would it be possible for you to bring her home for a few days? See if she does interact well with your established rats. If no serious fights break out during that period, then it should be safe to keep her. If you can't keep the fights from happening after a week (I know someone once said 3 weeks was necessary, but that sounds like an ideal timeframe), then bring her back and hope that someone else will adopt her.

I heard the term "degloved" for the tail issue. That term just sounds worse, actually.
 
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