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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I love my boys so much! They have just hit over a year old and after my first rat experiences years ago (not good ones resulted in scars and lots of pain) the boys have been wonderful. I love Ty's outgoing personality and how he makes friends with everyone, and I like how Rikki is shy and sweet. I know I posted around the summer we hit a rough patch when I got my girls. The live in the same room with the boys but of course not in the same cage. Ty didn't do well with them and got a bit aggressive hurting Rikki and even me (which he had never done). I ended up getting him fixed a while back and things settled down a lot. Rikki and Ty have been much better, cuddling and getting along, Ty has gone back to being his sweet curious self. They get along almost all of the time, except when they don't and it's bad.

A few weeks ago I took Ty to the vet with an abcess and he said it looked like a bite from them rough housing and it got infected, so he cleaned it, had to put stitches in it and we just got them out earlier this week. I just went to get out Rikki and he has about an inch of his tail that is awful and bloody, it looks like the scales have been ripped off. I don't think it's fully degloved or anything there, but I'm still afraid of what the vet might need to do to it. I'll have to call in the morning since obviously the vet is closed now and Rikki put up a massive fight with me even trying to clean it off.

Again when I went to take him out though the two of them were cuddling and acting just like normal, but even looking at Ty he has little nips around his body. I ended up putting Rikki in their small "travel cage" where if we have to go somewhere they still can move about. He's just sleeping in the hammock, and I have Ty out and he is bouncing around me. I just don't know what to do with them at this point, and I'm at my wits end! I don't see how they can get along so well for the majority of their time together and then get into an explosive fight and want to kill each other. I try to have my babies out as much as possible, but I cannot have them out all the time and the injuries are of course happening when I'm not at home. Usually I would have noticed before now at some point in the day, but I've had a nasty sinus infection and slept most of the last several days and just got the babies out late at night when my cold medicine wears off. What in the world can I do short of separating them?

I'm not home enough to give them enough attention if they were put apart. I'm a teacher, and I spend a lot of the day at work and let my guys and girls out (in groups) at night and play with them when I get home or early in the morning when I grade papers. I got a Christmas bonus from work,and I'm spending all of it literally on vet bills this month. Some of them were planned visits (like my dog takes special medication and my girl rats needed a little check up), but I'm getting to the point where these spats between these guys are getting ridicioulous. My vet is pretty reasonable, he charges a flat rate of $45 a visit no matter how many rats I bring in at a time. He even fixed Ty for $70 which I know is a good price. It's not like he's charging me a lot! It's just the amount of times I'm having to go see him. I've taken Rikki or Ty in about four times this month, and it's starting to add up to the point I'm using my credit cards that I save for emergencies. I know, I know having pets means vet bills but the money I'm spending just on them acting stupid and hurting each other is crazy. I need to save that money for real emergencies not them just being mean to each other. It kills me because if they fought in front of me I take care of it, and it stops. They aren't fighting in front of me though. I never actually see it, sometimes I'm lucky enough to hear it, but they stop when I go in there and act normal as can be.

Is there anything left I can do or try, because I cannot keep going to the vet three to five times a month for silly injuries. I have two other male rats, but they are younger and at this rate I honestly don't trust Rikki or Ty to be in the same cage with them. I've done introductions and some supervised play time and everyone gets along, but at the same time Ty and Rikki get along usually as well and then this happens. I really just don't know what to do at this point, and I'm beyond frustrated. I'm tired of my two babies hurting each other and not being able to stop it. I've debated putting a cage up at school and taking them with me during the day to sit in the classroom just, so I can watch them. That does mean though they would be subjected to the classroom environment and everything that entails which is more stress than I want to put on them. I don't know what to do with them anymore. I guess I could get Rikki fixed as well after I get paid this coming month, but I'm not sure at this point if that's going to stop it.

I'm actually surprised Ty has even done this considering how calm and easy going he has been since being fixed. On the same hand though the bite marks on Ty were obviously made by Rikki, so ugggh! Throwing my hands in the air here. Please help.
 

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When I'm trying to sleep sometimes Maggie & October fight, and usually they seem like little "I'm alpha" power-struggles, but sometimes they get really bad to where one of them (I can't tell which one b/c it's dark) or even both of them are shrieking and squeaking, and today I had to give them baths to rinse the blood off of their fur. I've certainly never had to go to the vet for them, but I've only had them for three months so I'm really concerned because I don't know if this is normal or not. I'm replying because I hope that any answer somebody gives you may also present a solution for myself as well :/
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Do they ever fight in front of you? When my boys or girls (although my girls hardly ever fight they just play) have a spat in front of me I do tell them "no" and sort of step in. I don't particularly want to stick my hand in the middle of a rat fight obviously because that might not go well, but I will tell them "no" and clap my hands and they usually stop. Ty has only ever been the one to challenge me personally by puffing up and jumping at me. They weren't fully attempts though, and I swatted him away till he backed down. I know if you're in the room while they are fighting there are things you can do about it to sort of establish yourself as alpha and that's not acceptable.

With my guys it just got to the point where nothing was working, and Ty would not back off at all. Now it's just weird because they never fight in front of me. I cannot very well stop something if it's not done around me. That's my new frustration with this situation. Do you have any pictures of the injuries?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We'll the vet is trying to save his tail, so I guess I'll see what happens. He said since there is still blood circulation and feeling he doesn't want to amputate just yet, but to keep an eye on it an if things don't improve later this week... Ugh!
 
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