Killed during introduction (verying upseting story)

Discuss rat companionship, introductions and behavioural problems such as biting or shyness or tell us about your rat's unusual habits.
Locked
Claire123
New Member
New Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:34 am

Killed during introduction (verying upseting story)

Post by Claire123 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:57 am

I really cant believe i'm writing this as I have owned over 15 rats and have been an owner for over 10 years.
We have introduced tons of rats with little more than a few squeaks and maybe the loss of a little tuft of hair.
We lost our beloved boy a week past Friday at only 1 and a half years, leaving his brother alone in his huge cage.
Normally we wouldn't think twice about getting a new buddy but we had decided not to get any more rats as my partners parents used to look after them while we were away on holiday etc but they have moved 500 miles away.
We we prepared for a very depressed little rat so gave him extra cuddles and free range time but he would barely leave his hammock.
I could bare this for a few days but then decided we would have to get him a friend.
Anyway we picked up the new baby and let him settle in for a few days before letting Milton see him.
I had the baby on my lap in the hall (neutral area) while Milton had a sniff. There were zero signs of aggression and he seems quite happy with the new arrival.
However seconds later he started to groom him and the little one started squeaking. I separated them straight away but the baby was bitten on the back of the neck and under the arm. We tried to stop the bleeding but we couldn't and he bled to death minutes later.
I just cant believe this has happened! I've spent the whole night awake and crying for that poor little rat that didn't even have a name.
I cant imagine anything worse and I just don't understand how this has happened as Milton didn't even fluff up or show any signs that he wasn't happy. I think maybe the grooming was too hard but he was right on my lap and it looked the same as always.
I'm sorry for sharing this horrific story but I just wanted to see if anyone else has had this happen to them. I want to believe that Milton didn't do it on purpose as he's the gentlest rat we've ever had. Him and his brother never ever fought, only ever play boxing but now I really cant look at him and i'm terrified about introducing rats ever again.

User avatar
Karly
Member
Member
Posts: 5376
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 5:17 pm
Location: Surrey

Re: Killed during introduction (verying upseting story)

Post by Karly » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:01 pm

I'm sorry you had to go through this. Some lines of rats have blood clotting issues, do you think this could've been the case? Maybe a minor nip could've become more serious due to this. Where did you get the new boy from/what variety was he?
Also, how old was the baby? I've heard a few cases of male rats getting aggressive with really young rats (under 6 weeks I think)

User avatar
daffee
Member
Member
Posts: 8400
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:24 pm
Location: Hampshire

Re: Killed during introduction (verying upseting story)

Post by daffee » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:07 pm

I'm so sorry, that must've been a horrible thing to go through :(

If Milton wasn't showing any signs of aggression could it be that he simply didn't know his own strength with the little one? How young was he?

:rainbow:
Midget Bambi Thai Indy Jasmine Olive Roland Lily China Jay Daisy Balthazar Matilda Monty Bob Milo Bartleby Bella Lucy Rosie Loki Towser Beamish Guinness Fudge Bailey Murphy Fleur Milly Maus Sheri Hari Sandy Fez

Claire123
New Member
New Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:34 am

Re: Killed during introduction (verying upseting story)

Post by Claire123 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:10 pm

He was rescued from a rehoming centre and they couldnt give us an age but I would say around the 6 to 8 wk mark.
He was a ruby eyed blaze and he was pretty small but we've introduced smaller and like I say there were zero signs of aggression.
We've had rats before that will puff up, pin the youngsters down, hiss, wag their tail, constantly sent mark and slam sidways in to them but there was no sign of any of this.
Milton was just grooming him as normal. Just seconds before it happened I was saying to my partner that it was the smoothest first intro ever.
I think it may have been a clotting issue because I just cant see that Milton would bite him without showing some sign of anger first.
I've trawlled the internet all night to find anything simmilar but there doesnt seem to be.
I'm just in total shock.

User avatar
carney
Member
Member
Posts: 4298
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 6:11 pm
Location: Leeds, West Yorkshire

Re: Killed during introduction (verying upseting story)

Post by carney » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:27 pm

I'm so sorry for your loss :(

It does sound like Milton was not aware of his own strength when grooming the litttle one. An older rat would've turned round and given him an "Oi, stop it" but the little one probably didn't have the strength to get him out of the way. I generally don't introduce baby babies to biggies because play and such can to turn into freak accidents (which is what this sounds like) so easily :cry:
Formerly yappy

User avatar
alwyn
Member
Member
Posts: 229
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2008 4:28 pm
Location: Leeds, West Yorkshire

Re: Killed during introduction (verying upseting story)

Post by alwyn » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:29 pm

This sounds like a horrible one-off, particularly if there was no aggressive behaviour - I can't see that a rat would bite with no other outward signs :cry:
Leigh xx

Owned by the girls :girly: Badger and Mohawk (DOB 12 November 2009) :girly:
Waiting at the Bridge: Smokey and Misty

Claire123
New Member
New Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:34 am

Re: Killed during introduction (verying upseting story)

Post by Claire123 » Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:50 pm

So its been a few days now and I cant decide what I should now do. Can I risk introducing another rat or should Milton just learn to live by himself? I am really teriffied about the prospect of it happening again and it happened so quick that I dont know what I could do to ensure it doesnt happen again.
Just looking for a gut feeling really. I dont want Milton to be on his own as he is seriously depressed but I cant live with the thought of a repeat.
Thanks all

User avatar
Snippet
Member
Member
Posts: 2450
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 10:43 pm
Location: Sampford Courtenay, Devon
Contact:

Re: Killed during introduction (verying upseting story)

Post by Snippet » Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:13 pm

maybe get Milton neutered and try him with some girls? Or get some older boys as they're less likely to stand for any rubbish from him?

sorry about the little one :(
Cara,
Owned by Willow, Fern and Nix
Missing Snippet and Frost

User avatar
secretpennell
Member
Member
Posts: 1246
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 5:56 pm
Location: Stroud, Glos

Re: Killed during introduction (verying upseting story)

Post by secretpennell » Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:26 pm

I'd introduce a pair of babies. I believe this does sound like a freak accident. :( I wouldn't choose babies from that same litter though, just in case.
Rat Out of Hell Rescue

User avatar
siberiankiss
Member
Member
Posts: 2922
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 3:40 pm
Location: North Wales

Re: Killed during introduction (verying upseting story)

Post by siberiankiss » Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:48 pm

Ditto everyone else really. This does just sound like a freak accident - and it certainly wasn't down to you so don't beat yourself up over it. I'd try him with a lad his own age, if there is a homeless rescue boy somewhere, or as others have said, a pair of youngsters.
Kate x
Lovingly owned by Boba, Manny ,Floyd, Tom, George, Tiny, William & Eugene.
Resented by Maida & Nilda - The Angry Babies
:rainbow: Snow, Ajax, Ken, Ryu, Daisy, Jack, Dave, Dotty, Bruce, Reg, Eric.

User avatar
Sara_C
Member
Member
Posts: 1234
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 6:10 pm
Location: Manchester
Contact:

Re: Killed during introduction (verying upseting story)

Post by Sara_C » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:27 pm

I had a very similar thing happen to me a few years ago. Like you I've done dozens of rat intros and like you had never had anything more than the odd scratch or at most a little bite. I was introducing an 8wk old buck to a group of older males (6-12mths). My oldest buck at first did the usual sniff, puff up, ignore routine then waddled off. A moment later he just turned around and grabbed the baby by the head and wouldn't let go. I eventually managed to prise him off the baby (and in turn ended up at A&E myself) but his teeth had punctured right though his jaw and skull. He went into shock and died within minutes. I can honestly say it was the most traumatic experience of my life and to this day I still feel guilty about it. I know how you feel, for a long time I couldn't look at Moss either, and I came very close to hating him and even rehoming him. Like Milton though he was the loveliest, soppiest rat ever and had never had any aggression problems, so it was completely out of character and there is no way I (or you) could have predicted it. So while it's not common I don't think this kind of thing is as rare as people think...that said there's no way anyone can predict it or even any way we can watch out for this kind of thing happening. After it happened with Moss I had him neutered as a precaution and went on to introduce loads of different rats to him with no problems. I don't think you should let this experience put you off introducing rats, but I think neutering would be a good idea, as much for your piece of mind as anything. Either that or try introducing a slightly older boy, so if anything did happen, he would be able to stand up for himself better, and he might not seem like such an easy target as well.

I hope you manage to learn to trust Miton again and move on from what has happened. At the end of the day he doesn't understand what he's done, he was just acting on an instinct and he won't understand all the upset and grief he has caused you. He won't understand why he's not getting cuddles and attention from him mum - our human morals don't stretch to rats and even though he's done something completely awful and out of character he's still the same old Milton ((hugs))
:smileyrat: Fox, Chip :girly: Skyla, Molly
:rainbow: Oscar, Link, Giselle, Aurora, Belle, Angel, Moss, Shane, Bruno, Willow, Earl, Mulan, Jet, Crumpet, Luma, Tinkerbell, Basil. Miss you.

http://www.freewebs.com/rainbow-rats

User avatar
MarieM
Member
Member
Posts: 4143
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:09 am
Location: Dunbartonshire
Contact:

Re: Killed during introduction (verying upseting story)

Post by MarieM » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:51 pm

I'm really sorry this happened to you. I think youngsters can be vulnerable and they don't have very thick fur making them all the more sensitive to bites/wounds from older adults. It must be really upsetting for you but it was an accident. :hearts:
:girly: BonnieSusieRosieMindyCleo
:rainbow: SilvaCocoSumaPoppyDaisyTara :hearts: :girly:
http://www.thenaturalrat.co.uk
Holistic Health Care For Rats

User avatar
RetroLemons
Member
Member
Posts: 4736
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 6:49 pm
Location: Kent, UK
Contact:

Re: Killed during introduction (verying upseting story)

Post by RetroLemons » Fri Mar 12, 2010 6:52 pm

Aww I'm sorry :( Accidents unfortuantly do happen and that's what this sounds like, don't worry about it too much as you weren't to know *hugs*
From Rowan and the Fuzzlets! Miss you Kenco, Salt, Pretzel, Delilah, Moony & Bailey :( x
RatPad Hammocks - New hammocks out now! Oh and 20% of pre orders go into the rescue pot ;)
10% of your order going to a rattie rescue every time!

Claire123
New Member
New Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:34 am

Re: Killed during introduction (verying upseting story)

Post by Claire123 » Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:22 pm

Thank you to everyone for your kind words. I must admit that they all brought a tear to my eye and a special thanks to Sara C.
I know it can’t be easy to tell your story but it has given me some comfort that I’m not the only one that has suffered such a horrible experience and that there is hope of further introductions in the future. I still lie awake everynight thinking about it and I won’t go into all the "what if" scenarios I put myself through. As the saying goes time is a great healer so I’m hoping that eventually I will just be able to accept it as an accident and hopefully get some confidence back.
Rest assured that Milton got his mum back very quickly. Although we have had a lot of cuddles where I just cry he is also proving to me every day that he is not a vicious little monster and infact still my little ratty baby.

Milton is a year and seven months old now so i'm not sure if that is a bit old to get neutered. We've never had a rat live much past 2 years so I don’t want to cause him any extra stress in his twilight years.
I have a fantastic vet and has removed a tumor before on one of my boys but the smallest amimal he has neutered was a guinea pig!
I think the stress for both of us might be too much. I have searched all of the rescue centres but no luck so i think I'll just give it some more time and in the meantime increase Mr Miltons pea fishing and digging box quota! :)

User avatar
MarieM
Member
Member
Posts: 4143
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:09 am
Location: Dunbartonshire
Contact:

Re: Killed during introduction (verying upseting story)

Post by MarieM » Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:25 pm

It may not be necessary to neuter him just because of what happened. I would give yourself a little time to get over this and then consider trying again with perhaps a slightly older rat. All the best and I'm glad you've forgiven your little friend, after all he was just protecting what he considers his home and 'you'.
:girly: BonnieSusieRosieMindyCleo
:rainbow: SilvaCocoSumaPoppyDaisyTara :hearts: :girly:
http://www.thenaturalrat.co.uk
Holistic Health Care For Rats

Locked

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests