Figure 5: Bite wound to right leg during introductions in 1-year-old female rat (Luna).
Case history and photos
Luna (black self) and her sister are surrendered to a local rat rescue by their previous keeper. They are both intact females approximately 6 months old.
Luna and her sister are then adopted from the rat rescue as company for Twix ( a 1 year and 1 month old castrated semi-wild male rat) who has become single due to the passing away of his cagemates (due to various causes).
Luna sustains an approximately 1cm long horizontal clean-cut wound across the back of her right calf on day 1 of introductions; following an attack by Twix. There is minimal bleeding.
Due to Luna’s constant fidgeting it is difficult to get a good look, so it is unclear whether only the skin is involved or whether the muscle has also been damaged. As she walks, the wound opens up. However, she does not appear to be in discomfort and does not groom or otherwise interfere with the wound.
Bite wound related to territorial aggression during introductions.
Veterinary care is not sought, as the wound is fairly small, clean-cut, and Luna does not appear to be in discomfort (for example, she is not limping or favouring the leg).
The wound is not cleaned (and it was not noticed if the rat groomed the area), but honey cream is applied. *Note, that their cage contains only fabric and paper as bedding material; the litter box contains paper pellets so the wound remains free of litter fragments.
The wound heals within four days, without further treatment.
Introductions were continued carefully over the course of an additional week, on a daily basis, with close monitoring. By day 8 Twix was receptive to having Luna and her sister as cage mates. There were no further acts of biting aggression noted. For more explanation regarding the introduction process for this case see: Problematic Introduction Figure 1, in Introducing Rats, in the Care guide section of Rat Guide.
Photo 1: Shows bite wound to leg. Photo 2: Shows resolved introduction.
Case history and photos courtesy of Cyzahhe.