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Discussion Starter #1
Milo is the dearest little rat but he has had me more stressed out in the past month of owning him than Leo and Stitch have in a year!

He's now started to chew his little finger :( on his left paw and the last digit on the right he has it nibbled raw. I'm almost positive its from stress - surgery and living alone - but is there anything I can do? When he's with me I of course tell him no and remove his paw from his mouth but as soon as I'm not looking he's right back at it! Cosmo still has two-three weeks of quarantine left and I'm afraid that by then Milo will have done some serious damage to his little finger. I tried putting some Neosporin on it a few minutes ago but he's certainly going to end up cleaning it off and proceeding with chewing as soon as he goes back in the cage.

So besides any tips on how to get him to shake the habit, if they don't work, would introducing him to Cosmo early be an option? I know its risky but I'm afraid he's going to stress himself out so much that he's going to demolish this digit and move onto another in the next few weeks. This one is seriously looking bad and a little swollen from his persistent chewing tonight :(
 

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Discussion Starter #2
If I've done this right I attached a picture (I'm on mobile because laptop blew up on me) of his paw... Looks even worse now that I see it up close :( the first I noticed this was 6 days ago I think, on the 2nd and 3rd I didn't see any chewing but now it's like he's making up for it. I'm doing all I can to make sure he gets attention and isn't bored in the cage but this of course isn't the same as another rat lending a hand.
 

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Thanks for the reassurance gotchea :) I guess I'll give it until tomorrow evening and see how his paw is looking.. If it's worse and no one has and ideas to get him to stop or strong objections against the intro I'll put them together and see how things go from there.

Also as a little side story (because I have to tell someone and don't think my friends would be impressed with a late night text about rat poop) Milo's been out on the futon with me for nearly 3 hours now and just pooped... He normally holds it until I put him back in his cage but I guess I missed his signals this time. I saw him doing it but didn't say anything and immediately after finishing he slunk up to me with a sad expression like he couldn't believe he just did that and was afraid he was going to get in trouble or something... He pitifully laid his head on my hand and gave it a few licks like he was apologizing - can rats feel guilt? I don't know why he would think he would be in trouble, I've never scolded any of the boys for having an accident during free range but I thought this sad little display was so sweet.. Cuddled him up to me and gave him kisses and Cheerios. He's honestly such a well behaved rat, I rarely even he scent marked by him (where as the other boys don't care when or where they go!).
 

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I am not sure. My rats never expressed that. My girls are very to themselves and we aren't bonded. My new rat is too little all he does is sleep. Wilder only pooped under his cage, but if he did have an accident he kind of had a "eh who cares" attitude. Haha. He also seemed to get angry at me if I missed his "I need to go to the bathroom" signs. There was a post awhile back about rats crying, I haven't checked it in awhile. Last I saw people were saying they can't cry. Idk in my soul I think they can. So I am also fairly sure they probably can feel a type of guilt, or at least some rats have tapped into that emotion by watching us. I feel like rats kind of learn emotions and behaviors from their owners. My rat wilder used to kind of "hug" me. But anyway your rat probably at least knew he did something "wrong" or that going poop outside the cage wouldn't please you.
 

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Awh. I read my mom this story because a while ago I was trying to explain to her how much rats degenerate without friends. She got really upset about it and asked what his owner could do; I've never seen her get so distressed about a rat. Anyways, if Milo's mental welfare is declining this rapidly with no company, I think it's best to risk his physical health. If he is stressed to the point of self mutilation, I would take the chance of the new rat giving him something and start introductions. Plenty of people have forgone proper quarantine when they're in an awkward situation like this, including me. It's really never the wrong thing to do, you just have to trust your gut.
 

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Just a side thought. Try a low dose of Benadryl, as this can often be a sign of pain/injury.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I just asked my mom to pick up some Benadryl for him. What's the proper dosage to give him? He's about 7-8 months old now I believe. He only had pain pills for a week so I'm sure it's possible it's still bothering him.

And Tesumph, my parents didn't really buy the whole depressed lone rat thing either until Milo started this. I'm definitely trying all I can for him and I think I'm just going to take the risk and do intros early, maybe tomorrow night instead if Milo perks up with the Benadryl. The vets only about 45 minutes away if they do happen to catch something.
 
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