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I have had my one rat Pearl for about all but a year and a half, I'm not sure how old she actually is since she was a Petco rat, but from the beginning she has always been super chill and mellow. She had a tumor operation earlier this year, and now I'm pretty sure she has another one. But what's making me wonder if that for the past 2 days she has been totally aggressive. She has never came at me but yesterday and today she actually pounced on me and bit me, tonight drawing a little bit of blood. She usually always just would come up to my hand and lick it. She has let me pet her, but she also has made a nest inside one of the igloos. I'm not sure if old age causes female rats to become aggressive? Or maybe territorial? I don't believe she's in any pain right now, she hasn't squeaked when I pick her up and such. I have to note the aggression is only when she is in the cage. I coaxed her out of her igloo just now with treats so she and my other girls could run out on my bed for their freerange and cuddles

Any thoughts or advice for a worried rat mom?
 

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I wonder if it could be a pituitary tumor? Sometimes those can cause sudden aggression or change a rat's normal behaviors.

The only thing I can think could maybe be she doesn't feel well and is being very defensive. Could she be losing her vision or awareness of what's around her? Maybe she is getting startled easily now.

I hope it's nothing serious. Give us updates if you notice anything else like staring off into space, wobbliness, difficulty holding food, weight loss etc.
 

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I don't have enough information to guess what's causing the aggression, but generally older girls don't get aggressive, usually they actually get more mellow.

Fuzzy Rat had massive mammary tumors and towards the end of her life she would get confused and a bit withdrawn, but she never became aggressive.

I'd try and figure out what might be upsetting her, but I wouldn't rule out a health problem at this point.
 
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