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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, the issue at the moment is exactly the title. I've been making some progress with my new boy Himbus, but I want to make sure how to go forward from here. Mr. Himbus is about 9ish months old (he's a rescue so we don't know for certain). He was neutered a week ago and no longer bites me when I put my hands near him (this was happening before the neuter, the surgery was to help with hormonal aggression), but he squeaks whenever I try to pick him up. He doesn't when I pet him (he isn't thrilled when I do but he doesn't freak out), but touching anywhere near his belly to get a hold of him and he squeaks.

We've started bonding and he'll choose to go in my robe sleeves and climb to my shoulder sometimes, so I don't think he's 100% terrified of me. I don't want to flood him with fear, but I don't know what the right move is. Do I just give him space, or do I go for the picking up anyways? I need to be able to pick him up if I'm separating the boys during or after intros, and if I can't pick him up, I can't do free roaming with him nearly as much as I'd like to. I've been trying to find my answer on the forum but I'm seeing both answers and it seems like nobody can agree on the general right move... Any help would be appreciated!!
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Hi and welcome! Give him time, and be observant to his likes and dislikes. It may be too soon to handle him. As with any animal, he may be scared or still in some pain, and handling might benefit with a few more days of settling in. Ratties do need time to adjust and become comfortable with their new home and surroundings.
 
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I have found that some rats do squeak when picked up in protest but practically,we have to pick them up sometimes,right?They do get used to it eventually so just find a balance.Do it when you have to,don’t over do it and when you do cup your hand around his head talk and pet him very gently and reward him with a yoggie so he associates it with good feelings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I scoop him up around the belly two handed. Since i first got him, he's been very against the holding him under the armpits method, and frankly, I can't scoop him up without grabbing him, as he is very large. Himbus is the same size as my boy Scrumps when Scrumps is upset and fully puffed up; I can hold the other boys with one hand, but not Himbus 😅
 

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How is he doing now? He could have been tender from the surgery, it's very invasive and takes a few weeks to heal, sometimes longer. Check and make sure he doesn't have an abscess, or infection from the surgery. That can happen several weeks after.
 
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