Author Topic: Rat personality change??  (Read 542 times)

Offline darklingpaws

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Rat personality change??
« on: February 12, 2017, 06:37:41 PM »
Hi! My heart rat Tammy has been acting different this morning. She is totally normal in almost every way. She is just as energetic and snuggly and wide eyed as normal, no breathing issues, she's eating normally and drinking water.

However, when I put her in her normal cage with my 3 other girls (whom she's been with since they were babies ~8 months ago) she has started nipping them and trying to yank them around with her mouth. This makes them squeak and get upset. At first I thought she was doing it just to my smallest girl, but as soon as I removed Small girl from the cage Tammy just went after my other two, climbing into their hammock and bullying them.
She has never ever acted this way, she's been with many different rats and never showed any signs of aggression, not even play fighting. I literally cant leave her in her cage without her biting on the head and neck of her sisters.

I separated her into an extra bin cage I have with her space pod, litter, water food and blueberries. I've kept her out with us in the living room most of the day because we take her out almost all day anyways.
There is a tiny chance she could be pregnant- one of my males squeezed himself into the girls cage and was there for about ~2 minutes before I noticed. She has never been interested in the boys and they always ignore her for my younger girls! But now I'm worried....I know that even rats who have seen to go through "rat menopause" can still get just as pregnant. I'm worried this is the case :(

sorry for the long post!! If it's not pregnancy (god I hope she's not pregnant, she's already 2 years old) then any ideas what it could be?

Offline Kitsch Slapped

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Re: Rat personality change??
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2017, 07:25:44 PM »
I never keep unaltered males/females at the same time, even separate, so there was 100% chance mine were not pregnant, but I had a couple girls do this exact behavior. Sometimes when I'd open the cage door, one of the girls would drag the other away from the edge (where they all run to get treats etc.), and I thought maybe it was just a motherly instinct type thing. Another of my girls would try to drag my nakkie girl out of the hammock, or sometimes drag her into a hammock. She seemed to go after my nakkie girl in particular. I tried separating for a short time (like 30 mins at most), but they still did it. Some days there were no problems, then randomly they'd start back up again. I'd hear someone scream bloody murder, but there was never any blood.

So in my experience, I'm not sure what caused this sudden surge in dominance display, but I go by the golden rule of "No blood, no foul.". Perhaps someone else knows the cause, but for me I just kept an eye out and made sure no one got too rough.

If she is pregnant, it could be hormones, but hopefully she's just like my non-pregnant girls and just being extra bossy lately.
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Offline Vonda Z

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Re: Rat personality change??
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2017, 10:56:36 PM »
Something else to consider if it does get violent is the possibility of a pituitary tumor. I had one boy suddenly become extremely aggressive with his brother whom he lived with his whole life and he later went on to develop PT. I didn't connect the two things at the time, but only later after reading that a behavior change, particularly aggression, can be a symptom of PT. Note that this is an extremely rare symptom (I have had many rats with PT but only one who ever became aggressive) and at 2 years old, it would be late to be developing this symptom, so it is not the most likely explanation, but it is something to consider if the behavior becomes worse and other explanations fail you.