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Discussion Starter #1
Working on the carrier method with my two boys, Sherlick and Ratson. It's not going horribly but it's not going great either. I got these two littermates when they were babies. Ratson started to get grumpier and grumpier as the two of them got older. It got to the point where Ratson refused to be on the same side of the couch as his brother. I had the both of them neutered in hopes that this would help the problem. It's done nothing really. Ratson is essentially the same.

I'm trying the carrier method currently, so far of the three instances I've attempted it over the past few days were okay, there was a lot of nudging and pushing, but there was a glimmer of hope when Sherlick actually allowed Ratson to groom him. That went away quickly and turned into a fight. I'm not used to rat fights, so I'm not so sure of the severity of it, they were literally flying across the cage with how aggressively they were swatting at each other. I took Sherlick out and he immediately dove into my bathrobe in terror.

I'll definitely keep trying, but I'd like to know your guys' thoughts on whether they're meant for each other or not. I have a distinct feeling that Ratson just simply doesn't like his brother anymore, despite how friendly Sherlick has tried to be with him.
 

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Occasionally two particular rats can't overcome their dislike of each other (but may be fine with other rats). How old are they? How long ago were they neutered?

Try cage swapping for at least week or two, then give them a bath together with a mild scented kitten shampoo. Sometimes that's enough to make them forget they don't like each other.
 

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If that doesn't work, females may be a good addition to give each a friend.

How long ago where they neutered? Can you video their interactions and post it for us?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Both rats are going to be a year old in two months. They were neutered roughly three months or so ago.

I've been seriously considering of a lady rat friend for Sherlick, he's fairly energetic and could use a playmate.

I can absolutely post a video though. Definitely want to make sure that I do the right thing for them and it's not a misreading on my part.
 

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That wasn't terrible. Actually, the only problems I saw was the black one has no confidence. He seemed to be expecting an attack at any minute. Is that what you are seeing? Or did they not fight this time ?

Can you halve the space? Try making the area smaller, take out the house, and spread some treats for them to pick and choose with to distract them.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah, they've only fought once, which was the last time I put them together, though Sherlick displayed a much milder form of this behavior before in previous attempts. I think I can dust off the old little purple cage I have sitting in the garage, it's much smaller.

Is there any manner in which I help make Sherlick feel more comfortable?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
They both do that whenever excited. Not sure what it is exactly but they've done it all their lives so I imagine it's normal, for them at least.
 

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I think plenty of younger human ladies would tell you that their ill tempers and moods aren't always based on their hormones. In fact I might still have a few scars for suggesting it when I was far younger and more foolish.

Some rats simply don't get along very well, others have learned behavioral issues, some have socialization issues and some have other cognitive problems. While neutering does reduce a rats hormone levels, it isn't a silver bullet. It's a specific fix for a specific problem. You made a diagnosis, it might not have been the correct one, but that happens to doctors all of the time. My mom was almost killed by a misdiagnosis and another killed my dad, even I've had a needless surgery and suffered debilitating side effects for at least 3 years after it. And I doubt either doctor feels in the least bit guilty. You make a call and you live with it and you move on, and in your case, it doesn't look like you did any harm... so it's all good.

Basically I've done several different intro approaches... From hands on with me in the middle to just letting them tear up the house for a few weeks.... (I call this the least good method) but they have all worked in the end. When two rats are generally of equal size and strength the carrier or hands on method tends to work well.. the rats quickly fight to a stalemate or one rat submits and it's over, when the rats are grossly mismatched the least good method works because small rats are faster and more agile and big fat ones get tired out faster... and after a few weeks of chasing around a smaller rat huffing and puffing the big fat rat usually gets tired of the chase and gives up and snuggles down with the new rat after a series of halfhearted battles. It's actually a lot of fun to watch, but you can pretty much count on lots of broken stuff on the floor when you wake up in the morning, so it really is about as least good as it gets.

I saw the video and I think your rats are going to work it out... There were some dark days around my house during our last round of intros and our newest rat still has a tear in her ear, but my two are the best of friends now.

Best luck.
 

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That noise is indicative of a respiratory infection. They should get checked out at the vet, they need treatment, that's not normal - they're sick.

The black one is on the defensive like whoa. He's probably expecting an attack from the other due to past experiences with him, but ironically enough his freaking out is more likely to set the other guy off. I'd recommend backing up on intros and going back to day one with very slow steps. These guys just can't be thrown back together.
 

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That video has so much background noise I can't even identify which noises are coming from the rat. Which noise are you concerned about?

If it's a strange cage (looks to be very rusty too, which is no good) they might be sniffing or sneezing a lot. But I seriously can't make out any noises from the rats here.

Is it usually pretty loud in your house? That might have them on edge.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
There are snorty squeaky noises coming from the lighter headed one, Ratson which BlackThorn believes are signs of infection. The camera on my phone is not the best so there is a lot of noise going on in the background. The cage is actually not too rusty, though I have a better one now. It's never noisey in my house, we're not a loud bunch here.

My original concern from the first message I wrote was because Sherlick has had no confidence after the last attempt where Ratson and him had a fight. I'm working with him using all the really helpful information I've been given here, and thankfully he's improving!
 
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