We took Foxy in after he was rescued from a pets at home adoption centre. He’d had an abcess by his eye, been separated from others when still very young and left on his own. As a result he had real issues with other rats and it took us a long time and a neuter to convince him that other rats were ok. Anytime a male rat approached him, no matter how friendly they were, he would scream. After his neuter I did try him with girls but he attacked them so I persisted with the boy intros and eventually he lived very happily with Quest and Timin.
In October I found Tim with a large wound on his back of the sort usually inflicted during fights. He was in a bad way, too bad for a simple wound so we went to the vets. The vets opinion was that there was something else major going on with Tim not caused by the bite and we should let him go. She suggested that possibly someone in the cage attacked him because he was ill. I doubted this theory really. Foxy was neutered and had been terrified of them originally and Quest doesn’t even know he’s a boy he’s so soft.
Then Robson came to live with us and intros went brilliantly. I wasn’t sure how Foxy would take to a strange rat but he was great. 6 weeks after he moved in I found Robson with a wound in the same place, albeit just a scratch this time really. Robson also deteriorated quickly and it looks likely that he had acute liver failure. Again I wondered about the wound. It was suggested that the wound might have been caused when Robson lashed out due to hypersensitivity caused by the liver failure. This made more sense to me as I really could not imagine Foxy or Quest doing anything like that.
Anyway, after Robson left us on Friday Quest’s breathing started playing up so he is now on antibiotics. One night last week I gave him his medicine followed by a treat. Foxy also took a treat from me but then he went after Quest’s treat and attacked him. He proper leapt on him, sank his teeth in and shook. He did this twice. He really meant it and I dread to think what would have happened if I hadn’t been there to drag him off. Quest ran from him, leapt through the door and into my arms where he lay wide eyed and trembling for several minutes. So obviously I separated them which left me with two lone rats. Quest should be easy to introduce to some baby boys but what to do with Foxy was my major dilemma. 99.9% of the time it appears he is fine with other rats. He sleeps with them, plays with them, shares his food fine. But it looks like he has attacked three rats in as many months now It’s possible that this is triggered by the other rats being unwell but I’m not certain. Can I risk putting him with other rats again? What’s worse, him living alone or giving him the chance to possibly injure other rats?
After much deliberation I decided that the best thing would be for Foxy to go to a home where he will live alone but with someone who is at home a lot so can give him lots of attention. Ideally they would have a group of big, strong, healthy rats who Foxy could free range with and who could cope if he got nasty. Sadly we can’t offer him either of these things what with working full time and running the rescue and with all our current residents being old and frail. Anyway much as I am devastated to think of Foxy moving on, I was more pleased than I can say when Hayley from Lincoln Rat Rescue offered him a home. She works part time so has lots of time for him and lots of fit rats who can handle him if needs be. I’m not sure when he’ll be going yet but I expect he could probably float up to Lincoln on the tears that’ll follow him 😦