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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not sure if his goes here. Today I attempted some carrier introductions between one adult male and my three 6 month old rats. I heard a serious fight beginning so without thinking I stuck my hand straight in the carrier. I must have spooked Benny because he latched onto the back of my hand really deep, I was panicking so was kind of shaking my hand around and it wasn't until I screamed that he let go. I understand that it wasn't his fault, but I just wondered what your experiences are with rat bites? (If any) I went straight to hospital and they washed it with saline, gave me antibiotics and bandaged my hand up. It's still bleeding through the bandage as far as I'm aware and my fingers are swelling up. I've never been bitten by any animal (except a penguin which was weird) so just wondered what I should look out for? Poor Benny looked almost guilty when I locked him back in the cage :(
 

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Oh, that's sad. Well, my rat July was pregnant and bit me, twice. Not serious, though. Maybe Benny was overwhelmed and scared, which, of course, is not your fault.

Also, just wondering, how did you get bitten by a penguin?
 

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I did the same thing, stuck my hand in the middle of a rat fight. Bad idea. My wound was deep but Chibs let go right away, so it was pretty clean. I just washed it well, disinfected, and put some liquid bandage on it. It healed up within a few days.
 

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Aris used to have REALLY BAD cage territorial issues...I got bit alot it got infected alot (prior to joining this forum) also got bit by momma rat a week or so ago.....you just gotta make sure it's disinfected well and doesn't get infected as it heals...if they bite you again you might need to do some immersion
 

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I'm not sure what "immersion" has to do with rat intros, but, moving on.

Any animal bite has the potential to be serious, mostly due to the high risk of infection.

Since you've already had it properly cleaned, and are on antibiotics, your chances of avoiding infection are good.

You may want to check with your regular doc and follow up.

I find sea salt soaks, in water as warm as you can tolerate, several times daily, to be very, very helpful and promote quicker healing. If you don't have sea salt handy, you can just use regular table salt or Epsom salts, but I most prefer the sea salt myself, the extra minerals in it seem to have a cleansing action on toxins.

I admit, I cracked up a little bit, at you being bitten by a penguin.

I was trying to recall my "life list," having worked with various animals all my life, and just being particularly talented in general, with regard to freak accidents.

Hmm, let's see:

Snake
Squirrel
Horse
Donkey
Mule
Dogs
Cats
Kittens
Puppies
Gerbils
Cavies
Rabbits
Hamsters
Fish (not all of them were Piranhas, either, but some of them were.)
Birds, including a Hyacinth Macaw (owie)
Monkey
Marmoset
Caiman
Gecko
Geese
Chickens

And a near miss with a captive Black Widow Spider.

And probably others I've forgotten.

But, your penguin bite tops all that, for sheer exotic factor ;D

Oh, and I listed all that, to say to you I've never had a serious long-lasting issue from anything other than a badly infected cat bite, and one of the dog bites, and those were both special situations.

Just take care of you, and it will be okay. Take some ibuprofen or aspirin if the swelling gets too uncomfortable (check with your doc first, of course).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Phew thanks guys! He's perfectly fine with me now, I definitely just spooked him. He's the friendliest rat I've ever owned and the one I trust the most! Never thought about salt water soaks will definitely be doing that, I imagine it will be somewhat relieving...thanks!

For my 20th birthday my boyfriend took me to London Zoo and paid extra for a meet and greet with the penguins they have. You're allowed to stroke them if they approach, but of course I got the teenager with attitude. One minute I was stroking him fine, the next he snapped on my hand and then waddled off! It was a strange experience... :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The only thing that's slightly worrying me is that it may still be bleeding, I just woke up (it's 7am here) and there's more blood on my bandage! Hopefully it doesn't need gluing together or anything :(
 

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I'm not sure what "immersion" has to do with rat intros, but, moving on.
Immersion training? Bonding with an aggressive rat? You seriously don't understand how a bonding method based on how rats accept new members into their pack has to do with intros?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The rat is completely bonded with me, he shows absolutely no aggressive behaviour whatsoever towards any humans, even strangers. He only becomes aggressive when there are other rats around. I felt bad that he had become a lone rat so I decided to try some introductions one last time. The bite to me was 100% my fault, he clearly mistook my interfering hand for a rat attacking him and did what was natural and defended himself. He did look miserable afterwards and as soon as I was bandaged up I got him out and we had cuddles. I would rather him bite me like that than if it had been one of my babies.
 

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See now we know he is 100% bonded and it was absolutely because he was intending to attack the other rat...sometimes it's because they're in the heat of a rat fight but they still very much mean to bite you (been there done that)
 

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Speaking of strange bites...I was bitten by a goose once.

A GOOSE.

It...didn't even hurt. LOL
 

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The only thing that's slightly worrying me is that it may still be bleeding, I just woke up (it's 7am here) and there's more blood on my bandage! Hopefully it doesn't need gluing together or anything :(
It might still be bleeding because it re-opened. So try to not use your hand much for a bit and let it scab over.
 

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Speaking of strange bites...I was bitten by a goose once.

A GOOSE.

It...didn't even hurt. LOL
I got bit by a goose when I was really little and it didn't hurt but it scared the heck out of me....I hated white geese for like 10 years and made a point of only feeding the Canada geese at the park down the road from my house
 

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Immersion training? Bonding with an aggressive rat? You seriously don't understand how a bonding method based on how rats accept new members into their pack has to do with intros?
More like, seriously don't buy into the "Immersion Cult, " sorry. 8)

Alpha/dominance crap has loooooong been debunked, by actual animal behaviorists.

By actual empirical data, by science. By field experience of trained biologists and behaviorists. So, uh, yeah, I quite understand, thanks, though.

But, anyhoo, glad you're feeling a bit better, OP.

I wouldn't worry overmuch about the bleeding, assuming you don't have arterial spurting hitting walls and ceilings, right?

Bleeding will help to carry pathogens out of the wound, and if you continue with those soaks, it will stay clean and flushed out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Just an update, I went back yesterday and they changed my bandage, but my whole hand is the size of a balloon. I have to go back today and then I'm potentially being admitted for intravenous antibiotics. My arm is now swollen from my fingertips to my elbow...which I'm assuming is not good! The doctors and nurses have never really dealt with any rat bites, so no one really knows what's going on. The bleeding has finally stopped though :)

I've never been bitten by a goose, but a black swan once bit my brother on the foot and it was the funniest thing ever, it had some sort of obsession with him so we had to leave!
 

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Ratpax,

You know I was almost feeling a kinship with someone that has been bitten by about as many animals as I have and shares a monkey attack scar with me... I also got one of my worst infections from a cat bite and could add a few exotics to the list like African electric catfish... Although about the worst bite I've ever gotten was the humble mosquito that gave me West Nile Virus... I got the poison spider bite, (not black widow) but although I was very young, from what I recall I can promise you, you didn't miss much and my most memorable close call was when I held my friends lion fish while he removed the goldfish that was stuck in it's throat... My other close misses include rattlesnake and believe it or not, lion according to my mom, I was too young to recall either. Which might go towards my inherited parenting skills that allowed me to let my daughter play with wild rats... I've got to believe that just about everyone has been bitten by a dog, hamster, non-venomous snake and some kind of waterfowl, you do have a few winners on your list though I can't compete with. And I say that, in good faith doubt that anyone is likely to ever win a debate on how many animals they've been bitten by... Saner folks than us might actually argue that getting bitten by less critters might actually be better... On the other hand, if you haven't owned a piranha, risked a finger or two by squishing a camel, bull or a llama's nose or brought home a copperhead to show your mom, you really didn't have much of a childhood. ;D

Then you go and say something silly like actual empirical data suggests that immersion doesn't work. Immersion is based on three cornerstones... communication, emotional bonding and social status... These are the key components to all social animal's interaction.... easy to prove for yourself....

Stop talking to people, don't use traffic signals, unplug your phone and disconnect your internet, see how that works out for you... Communication is key to every human interaction and the health and happiness of every individual. And likewise happy rats communicate with their rat and human friends, we are both social animals.

As to emotional bonding, to be entirely honest some people might be able to live without emotional bonds with other people, but I can't think of any reason that I spent over a year changing diapers and am saving my hard earned money for my daughter's education if it weren't for an emotional bond with her. Without emotional bonds, I doubt humans could even tolerate each other. When you watch your rats snuggle together or when you interact with them, can you really tell me they don't have bonds with you or you with them?

As to social status... When your mom, teacher, boss, police officer or military commanding officer asks you to do something, try explaining that science has proven that their status has been scientifically debunked. Don't come home for curfew, refuse to take your final exams, tell your boss to go out and bring you a coffee and a sandwich, don't pull over or put your hands behind your head and tell your C.O that your going back to bed for a few more hours... Or if you are less brave just walk into a country club restaurant barefoot... and I promise you, you'll get a lesson on social status and if you still refuse to comply, you'll also most likely get a lesson on dominance behavior.

Whether you want to admit it or not, you know social status is important to rats. It governs almost every interaction between rats just like it governs every relationship between humans. There's a hierarchy of status in every group of rats, that's not to say that rats are abusive to each other, but some rats are always more equal than others and more likely to insist on being respected by their friends. It's normal and healthy and just the way social animals interact...

You and I can disagree all day on how your rats should perceive your status. I suggest that your rats should see you as a kind parent and in a slightly higher status leadership role. I think your rats are capable of respecting you without fearing you and you are welcome to disagree... And certainly you can discount the personal experience of all of the people that have happy mixed rat and human families through immersion, but to state that science has debunked communication, bonding and social status as critical elements of healthy socialization is bazaar.

I know you have or have had rats, I know you have bonded with them emotionally and they with you, I'm certain you understand them and their wants and needs and they understand you and your rules and I'm almost certain you don't let your rats run your household, bite you or push you around... Am I wrong? Every happy and successful rat owner or rat group or mixed human and rat family uses the cornerstones of immersion every day, and science, field experience of trained biologists and behaviorists has never proven or suggested otherwise.

Immersion can be explained without the terms alpha or dominance. In fact, for the most part it's based on communication and bonding, but lots of people just don't get how important their social role is in their mixed rat and human family and sometimes when people are being too passive or detached they need to step up and take charge... However you define alpha or dominance in your mind... they are only words and if it helps people understand what their rats need from them, they are as good as any... Immersion theory isn't a philosophy of domination it's a guideline to healthy socialization. Our rats free range the house most of their waking time or live completely free range, they feel free to come to me to ask for what they want or tell me what they don't want, they are independent, confident and competent. In fact they are true shoulder rats. I have never dominated them... ever, but I do set the rules they follow, lead them on expeditions and I don't get bitten when they are in a bratty mood. We share a strong emotional bond, we understand each other and dominance plays almost no role in our social structure. Yes, I'm the parent, but I exercise my role through loving and kind interaction and I'm respected for it. And by having that basic respect everyone's life is the better for it...

Immersion is successful because it works and no part of immersion has ever been dis-proven or debunked by science, field research or otherwise... And with thousands of loving humans sharing their lives with happy rats and documented proof that immersion has fixed screwed up rats and more immersed rats becoming competent shoulder rats than ever before... I'm going to say calling folks that have done immersion successfully cult members is rather rude.

People that do immersion want a better relationship with their rats, they don't want to dominate their furry friends, they are proud of their rat's accomplishments and they treasure their relationships with them. And I've very proud of how much work and time and effort and love the people I've worked with have invested in their achievements...

Dis-proven, debunked, cult.... seriously? How about spiteful, deprecating and intentionally insulting? I'm not sure that's what you intended, but for those of us who truly love our rats and are doing the best we can for them and trying to help each other have a better inter-species relationship with our furry family members feel like when we read comments like yours.

We honestly don't need to agree, but to my knowledge no one in the immersion camp has ever branded trust trainers, forced socializers, or operand conditioners as cult members... Immersion is built on a track record of success and happy rat owners and happy rats, we don't need to insult or offend anyone else or try and disprove anyone else's practices to promote our own... In fact, we don't need to promote or defend our own theories and practices at all... people try immersion because it make sense and see how well it works and never look back...

I'm sorry if I take this a little bit personal, but I'm proud of what we have accomplished to the betterment of the mixed rat and human community. Folks that don't use immersion have even benefited from some of our techniques or theories by incorporating them into their personal socialization styles... Feel free to promote your beliefs, but please don't use untruths, half-truths and insults to try and degrade people that don't believe as you do.

Adeliek,

I'm really sorry that your rat bite is getting worse, l got what they used to call "blood poisoning" from a cat bite and a wild parrot bite, it's really painful and your wound might need to be drained which is never a pleasant experience as it might involve reopening the wounds that finally stopped bleeding. Definitely, make sure to stay on your doctors and get it taken care of, whatever it takes. Any animal bite can turn into a serious problem if it isn't attended to promptly and aggressively. But on the up side, with appropriate treatment and always keeping my tetanus shots current, I've survived my fair share of animal bites, stings and shocks and I'm certain you will too... And you get another animal to add to your bite list... for better or worse.

That said, I'm sorry for derailing your thread with my response to misinformation and an irrelevant, unjustified and unwarranted personal attack on some of my best online friends...

Best luck and I hope you feel better soon.
 

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I was bitten by a camel in the zoo - it was back when you were allowed to feed peanuts to the animals, and my hand got just a little bit too close - no harm done
 

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When I was really little I got bitten by a garter snake. It didn't hurt at all considering it had no teeth but since I was like 4 I immediately started sobbing because "the meanie snake bit me"
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'm now in hospital and on intravenous antibiotics for two days, also facing the possibility of surgery to drain it. Typical for me!
 

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Actually, when I got my cat bite drained the doctor did it in his office back in the days when kids didn't need anesthesia or pain killers. My mom got to hold me down... Trust me your way better off were you are. On the up side, once the wounds were drained and I got 4 painful injections I started to recover fast. Be grateful for IV antibiotics and hot and cold running nurses... and pain meds.

Again Feel better soon.
 
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