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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a male rat who is somewhere between 1- 2 years old, he has recently become skittish when I try to pick him up- squeaking when touched and acting startled and jumpy if touched from behind or from out of his field of view. He also leaves stinky urine wherever he goes- to the point that I have to put on an old sweatshirt if I am to hang out with him, as to not defile my regular clothes.

My first hypothesis is that he had a tumor or something, and whenever I tried to pick him up he would squeak because of the pain... But then after I get him up in my hand- he will chill out and sit quietly... Then I read that the squeaking and the stinky piss may be a sign of sexual maturity and/or frustration, and that having him neutered may rectify the issue.

My question is this: would it be a good idea to neuter him, and if so, how much does that cost?; or, should I get him a friend rat so that he would not be so bored? - this is assuming that the antisocial behavior is a result of him being lonely, and not from a sexual/hormonal issue. Also, would getting him a friend serve to eliminate some of the scent-marking the same as neutering would? Or would I have to get him a female companion for that? Also, what are the issues with trying to integrate a new rat with an old one who has lived alone ever since I got him from the pet store?

As far as I know, he has been mature for some time now, but it is only recently that he has developed these tendencies. Just yesterday I tried to pick him up but startled him instead causing him to flail wildly and either bite or scratch me. This was the first time he has ever injured me, however he has been squeaking at me for some time now. I have to give him a bath today, which should prove to be very interesting indeed.


Thank you in advance for reply, any ideas would be welcome.

-cds333
 

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well that's kinda of puzzeling. I have girl rats myself. the only thing i can think of is handling him more, to socialize him. I bought a couple of rats that bit everytime I would stick something through the bars of the cage. and whenever i would try to touch them. I asked the local rattery about it and they said it was because it was because they hadn't been socialized. But it seems like your little guy has. Maybe his eyesight or senses are getting bad and he can't detect when your coming to pick him up. A male companion would be a great idea, if they get along. My friend tried to get her male rat a friend but he was dominating the new rat. I wouldn't recommend a girl friend because you would have to have her fixed or him fixed, i don't know how much that costs. My friends male rat started acting really weird when she brought 2 new girlies in the house, hope this helps:)
 

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My boy recently had behavior really similar to this....he had been acting normal and then one day he was super squeaky, didn't want me to touch him, threatened to bite, etc.....I found out he had mites and apparently was very irritable because of this...after being treated he has been acting normal and is once again being lovey :)

My boy had mites but Ive read and heard that getiing them neutered sometimes helps, if they are sick or under stress from a parasite they might act this way, and a few other things can cause them to act like this....I hope your boy is better ands you can find out what is wrong( by the way...my boy is not neutered)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Actually he does have mites... I took him to the vet because he stopped eating and drinking for like three days, causing him to loose about 1/3 to half of his weight; and he was found to have dried globs of urine clogging the area around his u-know-what. They were like the size of small peas and smelled absolutely horrid! Sorry to be gross; anyway, after removing those, he got a skin scraping (for like $30) and was determined to have mites as well as an infection.

Probably the mites were always there but since of a recent lowered immune system from the infection, they were able to become a bother. The vet perscribed metacam and baytril, and has been on those for a week now. After three days of taking the meds, he started eating and drinking again, and he has since gained a decent amount of weight back.

Do you know if those meds will help kill the mites too? Or are they only antibiotics?

He still squeaks BTW, I have to use gloves if I am in a hurry because he will get so startled and sometimes scratch me. He doesn't like taking his meds much, since I have to flip him over and force-drip them into his mouth.

Also, he is like 2y3mos old now... Do you think he is too old to introduce another rat to keep him company?

Anyway, thanks for the responses, I don't know why this forum didn't notify me or I would have responded sooner?!?

-cds
 

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baytril is your antibiotic, metacam is for pain relief and anti-inflammatory effects. Baytril he should be on for at least 2 weeks, metacam for just a short while. And he didn't give you anything to treat the mites with, it should be Ivermectin or Revolution, with Revolution being my preference. One drop and you're done.

It sounds like your boy had a penis plug. Older males sometimes get these if they stop cleaning themselves. You'll probably have to check him once a day to see if there are more and remove them yourself. Penis plugs can lead to URI (urinary tract infections) and even death if they are not dealt with. They are also very painful. :(
 

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If you'd like to make things easier with giving him medicine, you could mix it with some baby food and offer it to him from a spoon. That's how I got my girls to take their medicine when they got spayed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
First off, thank you all for your helpful information...

He was on baytril for 10 days - 2x a day, and metacam for 4 days 1x a day, then 2x a week for 2 weeks. He has since resumed eating and drinking, possibly more than before he got sick- I can't tell.

He does still have the 'plugs' however. Was one of those meds supposed to get rid of them? They are really nasty, I seem to have to remove one every few days - however he does still clean himself; licking his hands like a cat... The 'plugs' are well inside his penile-area, so I doubt he could get to them, I have to manipulate them the way I saw the vet do it for them to come out. Will they ever subside, or will I have he have to deal with them from now on? Also, is he supposed to have a little lump where his penile-sheath-hole-whatever is located?

Is it possible that he developed these 'plugs' originally (before he got sick), and since I didn't know to look for them, they built up until they caused an infection, which led to him stopping eating and drinking and begin to fall over all the time? He absolutely despises it when I have to remove them!

Also, where can I get the Ivermectin or Revolution?

Once again, thank everyone for taking the time to help us :)
 

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If you do decide to get a new rat make sure u quorintine them and then slowly introduce them
My mum let the new rats she got climb over the other rats cage then opend the cage door letting the new rats and old rats meet ..
Jess x
 

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cds333 said:
He does still have the 'plugs' however. Was one of those meds supposed to get rid of them? Will they ever subside, or will I have he have to deal with them from now on? Also, is he supposed to have a little lump where his penile-sheath-hole-whatever is located?

Is it possible that he developed these 'plugs' originally (before he got sick), and since I didn't know to look for them, they built up until they caused an infection, which led to him stopping eating and drinking and begin to fall over all the time? !

Also, where can I get the Ivermectin or Revolution?
The meds should clear up infection. Since it doesn't sound like the plugs are an actual infection, it probably won't do anything to clear them up (correct me if I'm wrong, I'm only assuming).

Not sure if they'll go away or not, I've never even dealt with male rats. By the sounds of it, if they do, it will be a while. I'm guessing no, though, since he is a pretty old rat.

What's the lump like? Where exactly is it located? If he's holding his testicles in, I'm thinking you can probably feel them inside of males by their sheath, so maybe that's what the lump is? Or is it hard feeling? It could be a cancerous lump, or it could just be swelling from the irritation/infection.

I'm pretty sure it's the plugs that were making him irritable and making him lose his appetite.

I've gotten topical Ivermectin (which works very WELL, compared to oral) at a farm goods store before (Fleet Farm). The smallest bottle I could find was like $20, which is a pretty good-sized bottle, since it's cattle medication. If you can buy it like that, get a vet to mix it up for you, otherwise you might be able to get some straight from a vet.
 

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Im new to this but how would you know if thy have mites?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Almi, (Or anyone else)

I have done some investigating regarding the penile plugs. They seem to comprise a ball or sphere between 7-10mm in diameter, that resides just within his penile sheath, which I can feel when I prod his underbelly. Every few days I can coax one out by using gentle pressure and some tweezers, yielding a 2x4mm dried urine glob which usually resembles a half-moon-shaped booger. Although they are still nasty, these globs are drier and more yellow than the ones that were coming out when he was sick (which were yellowish-green and all slimy). BTW, since he has gotten over his illness, he has stopped leaving a trail of pee everywhere he goes.

Anyway, after I get one out (a glob, that is), and I look inside (as well as I can) it seems that there is more yellowish stuff within; however he will not let me attempt to get any more out (or even get a good look at it)- it would presumably require more pressure that he will endure, and he begins flailing wildly as soon as I attempt it. I can only assume that the aforementioned "sphere" is a coagulated collection of dried urine-globs, and only every few days does enough build up as to allow an 'overflow' and subsequently, its removal. If I hadn't noticed this when I did, it probably would have gotten much worse. I only wish I had known to look for this, so I could have started my bi-weekly removal before he got that huge lump.

Is there any way to sedate him so that I may go in with some sterile tools to remove the mass of this "plug", or will he have to live with this tumor-like ball of sub-dermal dried pee for the rest of his life.

Also, does this plug pose any other serious medical issues? He has been drinking and eating generously for a couple weeks now, so I must assume that he is urinating around the blockage, however I am wondering if the amount I remove every few days represents 100% of what is being generated; if not, it could be theorized that this plug will continue to grow exponentially until it eventually blocks him from urinating at all. I really hope he doesn't die... He has just gotten to the point where he will lay in my hand quietly and let me pet his nose and head until he falls asleep. I would hate to have to start all over with another baby rat that never sits still.

How do wild rats deal with this? Certianly this is not an occurance limited solely to domesticated animals...

I have included some pictures so that you may better see what I am talking about. The first three are just of him in various states of being, the last two show the lump as best they can (I was using my cheap pocket digital camera).

Once again, thank you so much for your assistance.





 

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wow!... i never imagined it would be that big.... must be very uncomfortable.
Ive heard of horses getting a similar thing where the owners have to put there whole hand under the sheath and litterally wash it out.. not so easy in a rat huh.....
first time ive come across this...must note it for if [or rather when,hehe] i get a male rattie
 

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Oh my goodness, the poor thing! I definitely wasn't picturing something that large...wow. I actually just took home two of Roxie's male babies, but I've never dealt with boys before, so unfortunately I can't be of any help. But I'm just wondering...what did the vet say about it..(that huge lump)?
 
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