We have been experiencing a great deal of new things with our rats lately. The biggest thing, besides the new litters, is Serena’s biting issues while she was pregnant.
Our girls habitat was rearranged to allow for some privancy and security of Serena’s litter. Mrs. Rattitude and I realized from Serena’s first litter that we needed to tend to housing needs for her. We had set up the MFHXL Ferret cage next to the main girls habitat for Aly (so she wouldn’t have issues with the wire cage and her missing foot).
We also realized that Serena would need to be kept in a “closed door” home when she was birthing and subsequently caring for her litter. Aly did not seem to understand this and just wanted to be “friends” with Serena. Serena would have nothing to do with this idea and she would charge the cage side that Aly was near and try to bite her.
Serena succeeded … twice! Poor little Aly nearly lost a tow on her left front paw. There was lots of blood which we finally stemmed the flow of and we watched for days to make sure it was healing. It finally appeared healed but it looked awkward, yet she seemed adapted to it.
We treated Aly with Neem oil, a homeopathic remedy with quite a few healing properties. Neem can be used as an antiseptic and blood purifier and has several other uses. One “side effect” is its ability to terminate a pregnancy in early stages. There are several studies available on Neem, I am not well versed enough to discuss them here. (Google Neem.) We believe this is why Aly did not have a litter of Gordon’s too.
Serena also tried to bite Sweet Pea (her daughter) when she would get near, as well as her sister Sammy. Serena succeeded in biting Sammy, and fortunately or unfortunately I was right there when it happened. Sammy was climbing the wire cage, but being pregnant was moving slowly. I immediately grabbed for Sammy to get her away from Serena and possibly aggravated the injury Sammy received. Sammy lost a toe on her right paw.
After we moved Serena and her litter into the double FN, we moved Sweet Pea into the wire cage for her to have her litter in. We placed Sammy and Aly into Aly’s home. Things were working out fine.
Did this biting issue stop … no. As much as we want Serena and her female babies to live with the other females, we are beginning to see this may not be possible. We tried a re-introduction of sorts for Serena and Aly. Serena never really seemed to like Aly, but we were hoping it was just the pregnancy. Our hopes were dashed as soon as Serena got near Aly and attacked her with a bite to the back/spine area. I thought I had them separated in time to save Aly any injuries but found out the next day that she had received a bite, which I probably took the brunt of as I nearly had my finger split open when I separated them.
The silver lining to this cloud: Sammy being the new mother to WiiOne and new adoptive mother of Aly realized that Aly’s bite was bad. Before we could decide on which of the local exotic vets to take Aly to, Sammy had re-opened the bite and removed the cyst that had been forming beneath the wound.
We are so proud of Sammy!
Another thing to note is Aly’s poorly healed toe injury from Serena. We discovered one morning alot of blood on the area immediately outside Sammy and Aly’s home (their’s is the only door left open for any period of time). We found Sammy, she was fine. We found WiiOne, she was fine, too. We found Aly, she was missing the toe that had healed poorly. We don’t know who removed it, but it appeared to be cleanly removed closer to the main paw than the original injury site. Aly is fine now, fully recovered and a going concern!
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