Tailing Rats

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How do you feel about "tailing" rats?

I can't see the problem with it and do it quite often
0
No votes
I do it quite a bit - stops me getting bitten!
0
No votes
It has its place with handling nervous or bitey rats
3
5%
I do it occassionally with a particularly difficult rat
5
9%
I don't like it but have been known to do it in an emergency
27
47%
It's a terrible thing to do and there is never any excuse
23
40%
 
Total votes: 58

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Tailing Rats

Post by Kitkat » Tue Nov 08, 2005 7:34 pm

Just wondered how people feel about picking rats up by their tails?

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Julie84
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Post by Julie84 » Tue Nov 08, 2005 7:41 pm

I voted for the last option. I don't think rats should ever be picked up by their tails but would do so if they were in extreme danger and picking up by the tail was the only option (bad example, but if say they were diving into the fire or something and I could only get hold of their tail, than their tail it would have to be - no they wouldn't ever be allowed near the fire [I don't even have a fire!! :lol: ] - but if the option was to be picked up by the tail or fall into the fire I would pick them up by the tail) Basically, I wouldn't ever want to but don;t want to say never in case there is ever an extreme case! Phew! :oops:
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Post by lotlot » Tue Nov 08, 2005 7:54 pm

I only ever hold the base of the tail to stop a quick rat from escaping. I would never pick a rat up by the tail though.

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Post by fiona2348 » Tue Nov 08, 2005 9:23 pm

One of my rescue rats was picked up by the tail, amongst other things, resulting in his tail being dislodged from his body and also broken at the tip. This has resulted in him having balance problems and an extreme fear of people.

So, no I would never pick up a rat by the tail.
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Karly
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Post by Karly » Tue Nov 08, 2005 9:27 pm

I have a very vicious rat that I used to have to tail - would only do it from the very base though (the bit that still has fur on it) and while he was close as possible, and support his body and then rest him against my chest as soon as possible. He is even too vicious now to do that (have to resort to the Chube-scooping method, even doing this with great fear!) but if I had been stupid enough to pick him up like any other rat than I expect I wouldn't have use of my hands to be typing this! He literally lunges for anything near his bars with his teeth, and anything that goes inside is fair game to be grabbed, jumped on and ripped to pieces with his teeth (though he does have brains and holds a certain respect for the food scoop!)
He was once 'tailed' by the vet and I was very angry as he grabbed the poor boy by the end of his tail, and said ratty having a severe headtilt fond himself spinning around in circles in the air! Was smart and peed all over the vet mid-spin though :lol:

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Post by furryfeet » Tue Nov 08, 2005 9:40 pm

Sometimes it is the best option, in much the same way you wouldn't normally scruff a cat, but sometimes it is the only way. It must be the *base* of the tail, never any higher up or you do risk doing damage.

I have tailed rats that need to be looked at urgently by a vet - if wrapping or scruffing does not work. But by this I mean holding them on a flat surface and restraining them by the tail, not holding them in the air.

I have also tailed escaped rats, if there is a genuine immediate risk to them unless they are caught, e.g. there is an open door to the outside, or a non-rodent friendly dog in the room.
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Post by tabirat » Wed Nov 09, 2005 1:08 am

I have tailed rats that need to be looked at urgently by a vet - if wrapping or scruffing does not work. But by this I mean holding them on a flat surface and restraining them by the tail, not holding them in the air.


I think there is a *huge* distinction to be made here...
I would never dangle a rats body weight from it's tail, but restraining them by the tail base (as Alison describes) is something else altogether - and poses no risk or fear to the rat. While a young kitten can probably support it's body weight without damage, from the tail base - how scary must it be to find yourself dangling upside down in mid air? Controlled restraint when necessary - yes. As a means of lifting and carrying - no. So it depends what you mean by the question?
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Post by Kitkat » Wed Nov 09, 2005 10:10 am

Yes perhaps that should have been another option. Like you say there is a world of difference between using the tail to get hold of a rat whose weight is supported by it's feet, and dangling it mid air by the end of its tail.

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Post by Hanlou » Wed Nov 09, 2005 2:38 pm

Hmm, I've done this (by the base of the tail, obviously) when I've either just been bitten or when the rat's trying to bite me. I have used a towel to wrap around Magpie to move her or pick her up, but that seems to stress Magpie out more. :-? When Magpie's stressed and fluffed up, she will bite me - hard - and has done on several occasions, so sometimes I have picked her upby her tail and quickly put her, for example, into the carrier (or if she's been out when she bit me, into her cage!) so I can clean the cage in safety/get the bleeding stopped or whatever.

I've only done it when transferring a rat about 2ft or less though, and usually with a towel underneath their body with my other hand wrapped in it - difficult to explain!

ETA: I don't do it at all otherwise, and have only done it vey few times with Magpie - mostly I can transfer her by moving her from cage-to-cage etc. if she's in an 'I don't want to be touched' mood.
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Post by daffee » Thu Nov 10, 2005 10:32 am

I certainly don't agree with grabbing them by the tail and holding them in the air! I think it's very cruel cos would be very scary for the rat, and can hurt them.

When I first got rats and ended up with a boy & a girl by mistake :oops: :roll: , I took them to a rescue centre to confirm this and was horrified when the bloke held one up in that manner to check their sex! There was no need for it, they were shy but totally handleable! It'd have to b quite an emergency for me to do that!

But as for restraining by the tail, that's ok if done without cruelty. For example, we hold onto our rats' tails (gently) to tell them to come back to us if they wander off somewhere they shouldn't. We don't pull them and we certainly don't lift them.
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Post by lavrat » Thu Nov 10, 2005 10:53 am

I think in certain circumstances *tailing* (or what I term tailing-easing the backend of the rat up by the base of the tail and then supporting their weight with your other hand) is neccesary and is the safest option for both rat and owner. We have three incredibly bitey rescue girls, one of which actually spits at you through the bars if you go near the cage :o If they ever need be moved from cage to carrier etc, then we can't physically pick them up around the shoulders/middle like we would do our others simply because i) they'd find it too distressing as it involves more contact ii) we'd most definitely get badly bitten :( We would never opt for tailing any of rats that are handleable, but in some severe cases I do think it is necessary as long as it is done properly :wink:
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