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Feeder male beaten :(

Discussion in 'Feeders' started by Jem_Scout, Sep 28, 2004.

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  1. Jem_Scout

    Jem_Scout Elite Member

    All of the females are looking pregnant now so I moved the males to 55 gallon tank by themselves. There were 3 males in that tank. All was going ok (I thought) for the past 4 days and then this morning as I was changing water and feeding them, I noticed the smallest male had blood by his nose. He usually hides in the tube (now I know why :() I took him out and he's all beat to crap and looking skinny!!! His tail, back, mouth, eye, privates and nose are all open sores like the others tag-teamed the poor guy. I put the guy in an old bird cage (parakeet, are the bars small enough?) and gave him food and water. What do I do with all these bite marks he has?? It doesn't seem to bother him, but I know he's gotta be a hurting unit! :( There has to be at least 25+ bites just on his rump area alone!
    I have triple antibiotic ointment and Iodine (has to be diluted a bit w/water). Is this good enough? How do I do the eye area? It's pratty swollen but it's open yet.
    I feel like crap this happened,even though he's just a feeder rat, but he's the daddy to the first litter and is a real friendly little guy...
    Thanks, Jem
  2. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    You need to get the little man to a vet quickly! He may be in shock and needs those wounds addressing properly. Rats live very well together, even males, and in fact need company, but sometimes there are the select few that just don't get on with each other. Sometimes they will fight to establish hierarchy but other times they may just not be compatible companions. You're gonna need to get him a new cage, and give him some recovery time. Keep us updated - even though he is a breeder rat, he is still an animal that deserves the same care as any other animal. Good luck :)
  3. Jem_Scout

    Jem_Scout Elite Member

    I called and he has a vet appointment for tomorrow morning....The vet told me what to do with the wounds until he can see him.
    For now he (Captain Mac is his name now) is cleaned up and resting inside my shirt :) He ate and is drinking to.

    Bitis? Will he be better with a heating pad under his cage tonight? He seems to love it in my sweatshirt but he can't sleep there all night! LOL
    I don't have another tank to move him into that he won't get out of. The place called today and told me my reptile tank tops were in but I can't get there for a few days. Some day I hate living in the boonies....I feel so bad that this happened! :(
  4. Jem_Scout

    Jem_Scout Elite Member

    By the way, it's a brand new bird cage just that we sold the bird...the cat was stressing the bird out way too bad! I said "old" as was laying around here and not being used :p
  5. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    Sorry for the late response - you shouldn't use a heating pad. Rats don't do well in warm conditions, and although he will love it snuggled in your top, where it is warm he will get too hot with a heating pad and it may cause further health problems. Rats generate a lot of heat when curled up together - perhaps think about putting a cuddly toy in there with him for him to snuggle up next to, and later when he is better, maybe get him a companion.

    Make sure he has lots of food and water, and lots of TLC - he'll be fine in no time! :) And don't feel bad - it couldn't be helped, boys will be boys :p and nature is nature.. these things happen. At least he is getting the proper care and treatment now. Good luck with the vets and send lots of love to Captain Mac from my girls over here - he's a stud to them! :D
  6. Jem_Scout

    Jem_Scout Elite Member

    This morning Captain Mac is asleep and cuddled up in his tube with some bedding that he packed up in there. He wasn't happy that I woke him up to check him out though :p His eye looks better but his tail looks kind of rough yet.
    He will be seeing the vet soon...I'll let ya know how it goes.

    Bitis, I didn't use the heating pad because I wasn't sure if I should. I looked at some pet rat sites and they said they would rather be on the cool side and can overheat, so I didn't use it.
  7. Jem_Scout

    Jem_Scout Elite Member

    Captain Mac had a good check up this morning. The vet cleaned his sores with antibacterial soap and scrubbed his poor tail. He said to leave Mac with the ladies fom now on so the males don't beat him again. Unless he goes into a tank with males that are smaller than he is. He got antibiotics and was sent home.
    He's asleep on my shoulder as I type this after another long day :)
  8. DarkMagician207

    DarkMagician207 Elite Member

    glad everything is going well. :D poor guy went thru alot.
  9. crash_reborn

    crash_reborn Elite Member

    i hope after this he is a breeder / pet - and no longer considered a feeder animal ;-) - since he has obviously commanded a spot in your heart - (and wallet)
  10. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    Good point! :)

    I wouldn't advise this - he needs time to recover so for now I would just leave him on his own, and make sure he gets lots of attention, or get a smaller male to keep him company. If you have him in with the female you also run the risk of him bothering them all the time and causing stress to them.
  11. Jem_Scout

    Jem_Scout Elite Member

    Bitis- The vet meant to leave him only with ladies AFTER he heals up. He will still be a breeder rat but live alone when he's not doing his thing ;) :p I guess the guy rats just don't like him.
    He makes some cute healthy babies and yes, he stole my heart and will not become food! :)
    Today he is being a silly rat and trying to get my attention by chirping/chittering (?) at me. lol

    The momma rats in the rat room look like they swallowed tennis balls.... I want to move them to their own tanks to raise the babies, or is that not a good idea? Is it better to leave 2 or 3 mommas together? I have enough room for them to stay together if that's what I should do.
  12. Jem_Scout

    Jem_Scout Elite Member

    Thanks for all the well wishes too :)
    Captain Mac is gaining weight and looking sassy ...
    (even though he looks like a scab! LOL)
  13. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    Jem, even after he heals up he shouldn't be kept with the females all the time - he will stress them out and breed with them before they are ready,. you could seriously damage their health if you allow him to live with them all the time.

    You need to separate the mothers while they have their babies - there are occasions where the females may raise their babies together, but it is more likely that one will steal the others' babies, which will cause a huge amount of stress to the females, both the ones who have had their babies stolen and for the mother who steals them, as she will have an excessive drain on her nutrients and milk supply. Separate them now to have their babies, and let them feed and wean their babies. Around 4-5 weeks (5 at the most) you need to take the males out, and if you want to take the females out for food you can do too. You can then place your female breeders back together, and let them have a rest period before breeding them again.

    Hope this helps, and I'm glad that Captain Mac is getting better - the chattering is indicative of him talking to you, i find that our girls do it particularly when they are snuggling up in my dressing gown or fleecy tops with me :p Just to note though, that the same noise, made constantly, can be indicative of a respiratory infection.
    Good luck with your breeders, and get well soon Captain Mac! :)
  14. Jem_Scout

    Jem_Scout Elite Member

    No Bitis...Captain Mac will be with the females to breed only...not to live with them all the time. I want him to breed but he will still be my pet and live alone :) He is just chittering to me when I walk up to his sneezes, no runny nose and all the sores are scabbing over. I'll keep an eye out for his breathing to change though...I'm sure I'll panic and come back here to pick your brain some more! :p lol
    I'll get the new tanks set up and seperate all the 'mom's to be' today then. The one girl is HUGE!! Yikes! lol
    There are two males together alone in a 30 long that seem to do just fine. The other male is an alpha type guy but gets along fine with the females that he's in with but I'll take him out to reintroduce him to the other males. If he does ok he will stay with the other 2 males if not, he will be moved to live on his own.
    Thanks're much more patient then I am with me! LOL :p
  15. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    Haha I'm patient more so than I am with myself! :p

    Regarding the alpha male you speak of - when you reintroduce him to the other males, or in fact when you re-introduce any of them, clean the cage first, and rearrange any furniture you might have in there, and you can try a couple of tricks - either spray a little perfume or scented product on their backs, which will disguise their smells and make them smell the same, with the aim of confusing them into thinking they are settled with each other already, or try smearing something like custard or yoghurt all over them - the idea here is that they will lick the food off each other and by the time they are finished they will be "bonded" and forget that they don't know each other! I've never tried any of these tricks myself but I've read they work well.

    Good luck with the mothers-to-be.. watch out when you go into their cages to give them food etc, after they have had their babies, as they can be very defensive of the little ones, and you may see the evil side of them for once :p Apart from that, remember not to clean the cage for at least a week, and when you do, wear gloves to move the babies and mother, or she may reject them. After 10-14 days, once the babies have their eyes open and are moving around, you should be ok to touch them.

    Glad to hear that Captain Mac is improving, I bet he's putting some of it you know so that he will get to snuggle up with you more often! :p And don't worry about the chattering, I was just informing you that if he ever does start to do it continuously, and/or if you see any of the other symptoms you mentioned then it could be a sign of a respiratory infection - right now it just sounds like he is saying thank you for taking him away from the big bullies and making him better! :p
  16. Jem_Scout

    Jem_Scout Elite Member

    I've been reading up on reintroducing the males and I'll try all the tricks before I decide to let him live alone.
    Will I have to reintroduce them every time they go off to breed, then get put back together again? Will they remember they were once roomates after 10 days? Or do I start off at square one again in introductions?
    Rodents confuse me :p lol
  17. Padfoot

    Padfoot Elite Member

    I think you should start the introduction all over again after they are separated... just in case... I was also told that with rats, you should introduce them in totally neutral territory, like the bed, or a play area... and after they are friends and play in a neutral territory, move them to the cage, which should have been cleaned throughly to remove their odor...
  18. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    Yeah that's another introductory method - to introduce them in a neautral area. We did this with our girls, after they had been separated to have their babies, and let them play with each other in a room, before putting them into their freshly cleaned cage. However when we kept two of the babies back we just put them in with the original four girls, and they were fine - they were still young though so I think there was an instinct from the older rats to mother them.

    Better to be safe than sorry - I would reintroduce them carefully each time. Remember though that a little bit of fighting is natural and normal - as long as there are no wounds or scars like poor Captain Mac had, they are fine, they need to fight to create the initial hierarchy.
  19. Jem_Scout

    Jem_Scout Elite Member

    Gotcha!! ;)
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