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Post neuter behavior and rat anxiety?

335 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  BronieDash
Hello all,
I’ve got two 8-9 month old fancy rats, Remi Wolf, and Rizzo.
Remi always marked constantly, had a lot of buck grease, and would sometimes get a little too rough with Rizzo. I decided to get them neutered since Rizzo also had a decent amount of buck grease and they both had that musky smell. I found a vet who sees rats and sent them to be neutered. Rizzo got neutered fine but the vet said Remi was acting and breathing strange under the anesthesia so she woke him up and did not neuter him. Which was annoying but fine with me since I’d rather have him alive. I actually work at a vet and managed to convince one of the veterinarians to neuter him on a day we had some cancellations. I watched him get neutered (he did fine under anesthesia this time) and still have his testicles in a little formaldehyde jar. So I know it happened. Rizzo’s buck grease pretty much went away after a couple weeks. But Remi is still covered in it, smells a lot, still marks constantly, has drawn blood from me when he got too riled up, and I hear Rizzo squeak in pain from time to time when they play :(
(It doesn’t escalate more than that) Remi was 6 months old when he was neutered and that was back in June. I feel like some of this testosterone driven behavior and the buck grease would have decreased at least some by now. Has it not been long enough? Is there something else I can do to help? I’m looking for any type of advice!

And then there is Rizzo. He has always been very skittish and anxious seeming. He very much prefers to stay in the cage. I’ll take him out to explore and he just runs back and jumps in the cage. I can leave the door open and he won’t come out unless I tempt him with treats. He has also self-barbered the fur off both his front legs. I know it was him because they were separated while recovering from being neutered, and it continued to happen when he was by himself (they could reach and smell each other while separate). And while he is never aggressive he very clearly does not want to be touched or taken from the cage. And he sometimes seems to anxiously nest? If that is a thing? He’ll run around the cage moving things and patting them down, in a very tense way. I just feel so bad he seems so scared most of the time. Is there something I can do to stop the self-barbering? I try to bring him out to socialize and give him treats and be extra gentle and slow but he doesn’t seem to be improving. And he won’t take treats unless he is in the cage. He’s very particular about everything.
So yeah, any advice at all for either rat would be amazing. I’m trying my best but it feels like nothing is working :/
Thanks in advance!
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I wish there was a way to boost posts (unless there is and I just don't know how). I know nothing about the neutering process but the only thing I can think of for Rizzo is that since Remi seems to be the alfa, Rizzo feels anxious about not having buck grease anymore while Remi still has his. Before it was just a matter of Rizzo not having as much but now that he has none, the competition is skewed and maybe he feels powerless? Remi is showing a bit of aggression too so maybe he feels more powerful than ever (sounds weird I know). May I ask how the introductions went (or were they adopted together?). Since they had to be separated for the recovery process it might be worth it to try reintroducing them in a carrier. I know they still seem to recognize each other since rats are very intelligent but the power structure seems to have be adjusted a bit. I've also heard that for bucks, 3 is the magic number so the power structure is more balanced. For the self barbering, I use this website Rat Behavior Glossary as a starting guide for unfamiliar behavior. Self barbering can be attributed to anything according to the site but diet and mites seem to be the most common. I would boost if I could but that's about the extent of my knowledge for a situation like this. Good luck with the boys!
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