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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! I'm hoping you guys can help me help my rat Toca.We have two sets of rats- the first 2 get got, then 3 more I refer to as "the babies". They live separated in a DCN. We recently went on vacation for a week- the rats were checked in on, but not taken out to play. When we got home we saw one of the babies, Toca has bites/scabs- injuries of some sort, which we had never seen before. One of his brothers is a bit more of a bully so I thought maybe the bully brother was upset we were gone or something (even though we went away another week this summer and all was fine) I put that bully brother alone in another cage while I thought about what I could do. He was there for two nights then I figured if he was mad and acting out, he's be better because they had a lot of free range time during those two days.
I made sure to know each of Toca's battle wounds so I would know if there were more when Homie (bully bro) went back. I hadn't noticed anything new in a few days, but my husband found some today. I have to stress that these aren't just little occasional scratches, they are pretty bad.

I do have one more theory on what could be happening, but my husband says I'm crazy, I'd love opinions. I heard what I thought was an unusual sound last night, so I went in and saw one of the big guys climbing the walls to this small hole in the plastic liner(they are on lower part of cage, babies upper) ! Not a big hole, couldn't fit a quarter through or anything. But the big guy was at the hole and Toca was right on top of the hole and hanging out there! But of course when I walked in they all scattered. I have cheapie surveillence camera, and actually set it up to spy on them. I totally busted something going on there, but it was hard to say what. Big rat at the hole, going a little crazy and Toca at the hole, not moving away, I have no idea why he wouldn't just move! So I kind of think that is how Toca got beat up, but my husband says no way. One reason is because Toca has wounds on his back and under his chin and he doesn't think Toca would position himself like that to get bit there.

I know the tiny hole theory is not extremely likely. Is it common for brothers who have been together always to all of a sudden get really vicious towards each other? I I'm not sure which is more likely :(I'd love opinions- any of them! How do I find out who is doing that to Toca? Once I do find out, how do I handle it? And I don't think we are quite there yet, but at what point to I bring Toca to a vet? Just if his wounds look infected/ don't stop bleeding? Or should I bring him earlier?

Thank you all for your help, we've only owned rats since February and I always appreciate the knowledge you guys share :)
 

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If your boys aren't neutered, it could be hormonal aggression. This can be fixed by neutering, if you have a good exotic vet near you.

Also, if Toca has some scabs already, sometimes other rats in the cage will groom them off, making the wound a bit worse. I've seen that happen with mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your response. Things are not improving at all. We've separated one of his brothers at a time, and each morning he ended up with new wounds. Well, 99% sure they were new unless a brother broke open a scab I couldn't see before.

So now I'm hoping for opinions on what you guys would do. For Toca's safety he's been alone for 2 days, and we're trying to give him extra free range time but this can't go on forever. Poor little guy getting punished for nothing! Would you first neuter the most aggressive one and look for improvement? Neuter both of Toca's brothers and not him? I must say that $ is a concern. It would be hard to neuter them all but if that is best option I can try to borrow from someone.

Thank you in advance. I just want to help my little sweetheart
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I also wanted to mention that this group of brothers is 5.5 months old. Is this a typical age for raging hormones that benefit from neuter?
 

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I was fostering 3 boys and at just about 6 months old, one started really beating up on his brothers. At this point I got all three neutered and chose to keep them with my mixed mischief. I had no more problems, but can't say how things would have worked out if I had done the neuters one at a time.
 

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I have read that if you neuter the aggressive one of a group, another might become the aggressor, neuter him and another might start and so on, but since I neutered all mine at the same time, I really can't offer experience with this.
 
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