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Discussion Starter #1
I talk a lot, and this is rather a long story, so bear with me:
I have four boys: Jack, Cody, Zeke and Roan. They've all been caged together since I brought them home (give or take about 4 weeks for quarantine). Jack and Cody have been together since they were each a month old (they're 6 weeks apart, same mother rat and purchased from a private pet shop) and have been inseparable. They literally lay down and cry (squeaking, more like) when I take one out of the cage. Zeke came along as a Valentine's day present when he was a little under 2 months (approximately) and got along fine with the boys since the second I introduced them. Then Roan came into the picture.
Roan is my only fixed boy, and I adopted him that way. Once I introduced him, things were fine but that night there was an all out dominance battle in the cage. No one got hurt, but even Zeke was joining in, and he was only 8 or 9 weeks old at the time. A few days went by, and everything was peachy keen. They slept together, ate together, 3 of them would attack a single waterbottle at once (even with 3 other bottles available).
Now the battles have started again. Every night they scuffle, and Jack got the c-r-a-p beat out of him one night. I have a feeling Zeke initiated it, since he's about 5 months old and near his "adolescence" stage so his testosterone is raging, but poor little Jack nearly got his finger bit off, literally!
On his left front paw, his middle finger is seriously partially disconnected underneath the nail. Just the tip, but it HAD to hurt. I separated him for the night, cleaned hi mup best I could, and being a nursing student I knew I should clip the dead skin to prevent infection, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. The blob of skin that used to be his fingertip is now black and icky looking, so I'm taking him into the vet tomorrow to have her check it out and see what can be done.
But that's not all: he's also got a nasty gash along the base of his tail like somebody pulled iy or it got caught on something, his right front paw was looking kinda bloody (no disfingerment, just dried blood) and there was a little blood on his testicles. This was a nasty nasty fight.
I've got Cody in with him now, since I really don't want to leave him alone. Jack and Cody have seriously not been separated for more than a few hours since last November, so I really had to put them together. Zeke and Roan are still together, and nothing has happened. Things seem to be calm, for now.
My beef is this: I'm sure it's my fault the battles started again. I also have 3 girls, one of which just had babies. They're in the same room as the boys, but their cages are no where near the boys' cage. Could it be that they smell the girls and try to dominate one another? And if that's the case, considering I have no where else to put the girl's cages other than the room they're already in, is neutering my other 3 boys really the only choice I have? Cody's nearly 10 months old, Jack is 9 months, Zeke is about 5 months now and Roan's 8 months. I'm afraid one of the older boys might not make it through the operation, and I can't bear to lose my baby boys just yet. I know the numbers of survival kinda bounce back and forth, but what are the odds they'll make it should I decide to fix them? Some people say the odds are they won't make it, some people say the opposite, and I really don't know. My vet says it's my decision, she's only ever had one rat die afterwards and it's because it wasn't properly cared for to begin with. Should I just keep them separated in pairs, or fix them all and get them back together?
 

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I don't really know much about neutering, but from my experience, when a lady has a litter, keep the boys away--in another room. Minttu had a litter and the father of the babies turned really mean even though they were 3 small room lengths apart (it's a really huge room) and tried to kill his cagemate.
But other than that, personally, I would keep them in pairs, but I've never met a vet that knew anything about rats let alone fix them.
 

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Who on earth told you a rat wouldn't survive a neuter operation? They seriously need some educating.

I have had numerous rats neutered (and spayed!) and work closely with Kaia at HVRR, who has all rats neutered/spayed. If your rats are healthy and your vet is experienced with rats and sterilizing, they'll come through the surgery with flying colors. I've had rats over 2 years old go through a neuter and they always bounce right back. Age shouldn't really be a factor when considering surgery - health should be the #1 concern. If everyone's healthy, I would opt to neuter them all. Also, if you can, spay your girls once they're separated from their litters. It greatly reduces their chances for mammary tumors and pyometra :)
 

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I have 5 neutered boys here with no problems except a late developing neuter abscess (not a big deal)...the oldest boy was almost 2 and he was bouncing the next day. Pain meds and abs afterwards and an experienced vet. :D I also have 12 spayed girls here which is a more invasive procedure.
 

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If he is in his adolescence, I would gave him some time and work with him. As he matures, he may settle. Neutering does calm them down, but it isn't always needed. Time may work just as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So I took all the boys in to the vet. Jack's finger's gonna be fine, and he, Cody and Zeke are scheduled to be de-googlied on June 15th, I think (not sure on the date, I have it written down somewhere.....)
Zeke really is a sweet boy, he's just been a little more aggressive than usual with the boys. Jack had his day too, but he never bit someone's finger off....
And even with all the reassuring guidance (thanks, btw) I cna't help but be a little worried for my boyses. I'm sure it can't feel comfortable having your boy parts removed.....ouch. ;_;
 

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...it's been a month since this topic has been posted on. o.0

And young rats can die too you know. ANY operation is serious. Rats being so small they don't respond to anesthesia well.
 

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Vixie said:
d00mg1rl said:
ok it's been a month so what is your problem?
The thread is a month old as in your posting now would be futile. Don't be so easily taken offense to on these boards. :)
Exactly. It just seemed a little odd and pointless.
 
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