Tell me what to do

Discuss rat companionship, introductions and behavioural problems such as biting or shyness or tell us about your rat's unusual habits.
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lamb
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Tell me what to do

Post by lamb » Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:40 am

My head is all over the place at the mo. I have got a rat on his own :( I have had offers off some lovely members but they have all been miles away and I just can't let him go. I love him so much. I can't get him in with his brothers, they fight as soon as they meet. And I cant get him castrated to go in with my mixed group because he has health issues. I tried him with a young male and it didn't work, but I think it was partly due to me being rubbish at intros. I have since got that male castrated and put him in my mixed group. My OH has said no more males because the smell makes his breathing bad. All of this is stopping me from enjoying my rats because every time I go into the room he is looking at me with such a sad face. I feel like I have really let him down. If somebody near me could offer him a home and I could visit then maybe I would think about it. I have asked nearly everyone who rescues on here if they have any spayed females, but no luck. I wake up thinking about him and go to sleep thinking about him. He has been on his own for 7 mths now (inc 3 mths in rescue) My OH thinks he is fine on his own and has said he is done talking about the situation. What am I gonna do?

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Jemma
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Re: Tell me what to do

Post by Jemma » Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:36 am

Have you thought of rescueing some females and having them spayed. It does offer them some health benefits as well as helping you get him in with them. Alternatively how old is he? I have heard of some people keeping bucks in with old entire does, there is a risk there though. There's also the option of trying the male you got to keep him company with him now that lad is neutered (or another of your neutered bucks) or even sending him away to someone trusted to do the intro's for you, sometimes intro's in a strange place can be far easier.
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lamb
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Re: Tell me what to do

Post by lamb » Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:55 am

He is 14 mths old. You have given me a few ideas. I have thought about rescuing some girls and getting them spayed but if surgery went wrong I would feel so guilty. I don't rate the vets round by me much. I didn't know you could keep Bucks with old does. How does that work? Do many people do that? I couldn't take the males out of the mixed group they are such a happy group and are so attached to each other. My OH would not agree anyway. Wow do people do intros for you? I wish I had done that from the start with him. How would I go about finding somebody to help me? It would have to be local as he doesnt travel well. Thanks :)

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Re: Tell me what to do

Post by philosophyfox » Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:58 am

I took on a lone intact male (Steven) that had been alone for a couple of months previous to that back in about September time. I had an entire doe in my cage at the time so he couldn't go in with my does/neuters. He couldn't be castrated due to long term respiratory issues.

I was 'loaned' a friend for him (Gaelan; I never did return him) who was about 9/10 months old at the time and in intros on the way home ended up bloody with a cut to Gaelan's head. After some deliberation (and advice) I had Gaelan castrated and Steven had a shot of Tardak. I took intros really slow in a hamster cage, but they were fine, I was just so worried after their initial scrap back when I collected Gaelan. I think the Tardak helped calm Steven down a little.

They were firm friends until Steven had be euthanised back in January.

So it can be done, and I second Jemma's suggestion of finding someone who can possibly do the intros, or at least help them.

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MissBlackEyeliner
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Re: Tell me what to do

Post by MissBlackEyeliner » Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:01 pm

Hi there, I live in Bootle, and I'd have him if you cant find anyone else, or you figure out another situation, like mixing him with does :)
I hate seeing ratties on their own! But I am sure your doing your very best for him, its so difficult when intros go wrong.

In the last intros was it him causing the trouble or the others? and when you say fight is there any blood?

Or if you want I could help you with intros as I'm not too far away, ive done several intros and recently introduced 3 babies to 3 older ones (all of mixed ages). I always do the carrier method when introducing now

xxx
From Erin
Polo, George, Dylan, Mini, Teddy and Stanley <3 xxx

Play hard on the bridge Brian (02/12/09), Bob (20/01/10), Spoon (13/04/11) and Jacob (28/05/11) xxx

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Re: Tell me what to do

Post by spoiled_rat » Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:15 pm

lamb wrote:I didn't know you could keep Bucks with old does. How does that work? Do many people do that?
Some people do it yes...I currently have a mixed group of entire oldies, who get along great, and who just pootle around happily with no danger of accidents as the does are...ancient and the bucks have HLD :lol:
I may have some infertile ladies for you to try him with if you want.
http://www.freewebs.com/spoiled-rats/
The Kingdom of Spam Ears.

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Jemma
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Re: Tell me what to do

Post by Jemma » Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:21 pm

I’ve heard of a few people (mainly breeders) keeping old does with entire bucks, I’m not sure I’d recommend it outside of a last resort to be honest, but it is an option. The idea is that once does are old and no longer have heats they have gone through the ratty equivalent of the menopause and are no longer fertile. It’s a risk though as I have also heard of the odd occasion where said girls have gone on to have a litter (though generally a very small one).

Intro’ing away from home does tend to work a lot smoother than intro’ing at home. Some people are quite happy to lend a hand (like MissBlackEyeliner) I know I would for anyone local to me. (which is admittedly not many lol). When you move rats into a completely unfamiliar environment they react very differently and can just settle down and bond, rat shows are a classic example, you can see adult males who have previously been a bit foofy settle right down with newcomers (my last intro lol). If you could plan it so that they spent a week or two then this would probably work the best, and have them stay in the same cage for a while. Just doing the initial meeting can help but you may still have problems when moving into a cage.

If you could combine this with a shot of tardak like Philosophyfox suggested then this will probably give him the best chance possible.
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Re: Tell me what to do

Post by lamb » Tue Jul 26, 2011 3:53 pm

I have just put all of this to my hubbie and he has said a big fat NO to getting any more rats. :( I have told him There is no way I can keep him alone. MissBlackEyeliner He gets all fluffed up and over excited and then a fight breaks out but the is never any blood just clumps of fur. Then the others start hissing and getting stressed out. He is off to the vets now because his breathing is bad and he has gone off his food. My OH thinks it is unfair to give someone a rat with health problems and thinks its mean to stress him out. I think its even more important now because I don't want him to get old and sickly and die alone. :cry:

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Re: Tell me what to do

Post by MissBlackEyeliner » Tue Jul 26, 2011 5:18 pm

I can tell your really upset about it! I hope the trip to the vets goes well! My offer is still there - if you want any help with intros or anything else!

xxx
From Erin
Polo, George, Dylan, Mini, Teddy and Stanley <3 xxx

Play hard on the bridge Brian (02/12/09), Bob (20/01/10), Spoon (13/04/11) and Jacob (28/05/11) xxx

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Re: Tell me what to do

Post by Neotoma » Tue Jul 26, 2011 6:47 pm

Most serious rat people don't mind being given a rat with health problems as long as we know in advance what they are. So I wouldn't worry about that - anyone who's owned a lot of rats will have dealt with more resp issues than a trucker in a transport cafe has had hot breakfasts.

I'd see how he goes with this round of vet vists - going off food isn't a good sign in rats, so make sure they give you the right stuff (doxy and baytril if you haven't already had it - if you have, ask in health for the next step), and keep trying to tempt him with nice food. I find feeding cooked grains with a bit of oil mashed in (so rice, cous cous, pearl barley, millet etc) instead of a dry mix can quite literally reverse a decline in a rat who is feeling under the weather and picky (although obviously not without AB treatment if there is an infection). Any human food he likes is good as well - at this stage eating is more important than strictly healthy diets. I also recommend mashed potato and gravy, which is the invalid food of the gods. If he's really off his food, then I'd try spoonfuls of water that has been boiled, had a spoonful of honey dissolved in, then allowed to cool to tepid - gets in hydration and sugar. There are also various specialist foods and supplements, like nutrical - but I've never had to use them, so someone else can advise on them.

Then, if he comes through this ok, I'd seriously consider Missblackeyeliners offer, either to take him or at least try intros. I am sometimes a bit wary about introing ill rats, as it can stress them, so I know what your OH means. However, 14 months is young, and being alone can be a stressor in itself.

Please don't beat yourself up though - you are doing your best for him, which is all that can be asked.
Alison and the horde of squish :smileyrat:

lamb
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Re: Tell me what to do

Post by lamb » Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:11 am

Great news! Hubbie has said yes to some infertile girls off Spoiled rat :D He has said no to boys because his asthma is bad at the mo (what with him being allergic to animals and all :oops: ) At least I will get to keep him now. I sat up until the early hours with Murray feeling really sad. So before I left for work at 6am I woke him up and turned on the water works :cry: It worked! I have told Murray and he is really excited. The vets gave him Doxy and Baytril. Is it best to wait until he has finished his 2 weeks of meds before intros? I have kinda got a feeling he is gona be not 100% ever. He has picked up a bit and has had some breccie and is now tucking into pear and yoghurt. I think he knows that some ladies are on the way so he wants to look his best. He will be doing chin ups next :lol: I am so happy I could burst :D I would like to ask RattyRenton and MissBlackyeliner for a bit of support if I need help with intros as they both live local to me. Neotoma Gravy and mash sounds yum. I might make that for all of us tonight with some veggie bangers.

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Re: Tell me what to do

Post by Neotoma » Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:19 pm

Gravy and mash is the ultimate invalid food - it's seen me through many an ill patch (and that's just me, not the rats :wink: )

Great news on the infertile girls. I'd leave intros until he is back on his food, and a bit more robust, but I don't think you need to wait until he's finished the meds.
Alison and the horde of squish :smileyrat:

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Re: Tell me what to do

Post by MissBlackEyeliner » Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:31 pm

Thats great news that you can keep your boy! :D And I'll be more than happy to help you if you need help with intro's :)
I hope your boy gets better soon!

xxx
From Erin
Polo, George, Dylan, Mini, Teddy and Stanley <3 xxx

Play hard on the bridge Brian (02/12/09), Bob (20/01/10), Spoon (13/04/11) and Jacob (28/05/11) xxx

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Re: Tell me what to do

Post by lamb » Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:24 am

Back to the drawing board. I never heard back from Spoiled rat :( It would have been perfect.I have spotted 2 6mth girls but OH thinks its unfair to operate on them,even though I have told him the health benefits. It will cost between £80 and £100 to do them both which will eat into our vet fund and that is if we have no complications. I know you may all think my OH is being mean but since we started rescuing animals we (mostly my OH) have spent roughly £4000. We have only being doing it for 18mths :o On the plus side Murray is feeling a lot better and eating well. I have been getting him out a lot more for a run round the house to stop me feeling so guilty :oops: I know you are all going to say that I have no choice but to give him up because I am being cruel but I just can't. :cry:

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Re: Tell me what to do

Post by lamb » Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:04 pm

Spoiled rat has come up trumps! OMG! I am so excited. I will post when I know more :D

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