Animals and Pets, Rodents, Updates

My Rat Boys Are Learning How To Be Friends Again

Barry and Oliver cuddling (pre-cage separation).

Almost two weeks ago, Oliver went to the vet to have an abscess drained. We had to separate him from his brother, Barry, in a separate cage while his wound healed. He has been taking antibiotics twice daily, and has been doing well!

During this time, Oliver hasn’t been interacting much with Barry. I was worried about Barry accidentally opening up his wound or ripping his stitches. So Oliver has spent time on the couch with us at night to stretch his legs.

The other day, Oliver’s scab fell off of his wound, which is almost nonexistent! The skin healed well, and we are so happy for him. We decided to start letting him back in the big cage with his brother Barry. But we didn’t expect anything to be different.

When Oliver went to the bottom level of the cage to investigate, Barry started to complain. He does that a lot, so that was fine. But they immediately got into a dominance fight. They each stood up on their hind legs before one tackled the other. In an instant, they were rolling around on the floor of the cage.

Little scuffles for dominance are expected, but we felt this was going too far. We separated them, and they spent the rest of that night inches away from each other. Barry data under the ramp, “eeping” whenever Oliver glanced at him. Oliver puffed up his fur in response, and shuffled back and forth.

This is a dominance display they do a lot, unfortunately. But this time I took the bottom ramp away from them. I literally detached it from the cage and removed it. I didn’t want one of them trapping the other underneath and taking advantage of it. In the end, we took Oliver back out and put him back in his isolation cage.

Tonight, we moved the cage over again and let Oliver go inside. This time, Barry is keeping to himself in the space pod. He went downstairs a few times to see what Oliver was up to, but always retreated back to his space pod. Before separating them, this was normal behavior as well. They would cuddle sometimes, but spent a lot of time separate from each other.

I’m hopeful that they can cohabitate the same cage again soon. Maybe I will let them both stay in the cage all day Thursday (while I am off from work). They weren’t apart for long, and I can tell that Barry is lonely without Oliver. He is grooming underneath his chin too much, and missing some fur.

I hope that Barry Allen and Oliver Queen can go back to defending the city together very soon! Wish them luck.

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