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Pet Rats/gave the wrong email


Hi Debbie I just sent you a question about introducing my male rats.  I put the wrong email address though so I don't know if ill be able to see ur response so I wanted to send you my correct email. I hope I can still get an answer.  

Thanks so much
Ashley Blagg

Hi Ashley,
First of all, you did not need to take the rat with the injury to a vet. Rats heal extremely quickly, and an inch long wound would heal on its own in a few days, and does not require antibiotics or pain meds. Did you see the injured rat acting like he was in pain? I suspect not. I recommend you get my Rat Health Care booklet which will help you with things like this in the future. See the Books page on my website at

You just need to do the introduction very slowly and be ready to separate them instantly with a towel. When Wallace bit Rupert, did you see him puff his fur up first?  If that happens, just separate them and try again later.

Hi Debbie.  I feel terrible for not doing research before deciding to become a rat owner.  I have tried once to introduce my adult male rats and it ended in my new rat getting injured.  He had an inch long wound between his shoulder blades from my older rat biting him. He had to go to the vet and get antibotics and pain meds. Poor baby it was so sad.  Now that I have done more research on how to introduce them I really want to try but I'm terrified that it will go badly again even though I now know the right way to do it (after reading it on the rat fan club). I don't want either of my babies to get hurt.  Is it a bad idea to try to introduce them again because of the results of the first introduction? I have been avoiding it for months because I'm scared Wallace will hurt Rupert equally as bad as last time or worse. I'm affraid I won't be able to stop him in time.  The first time it happened in a blink of an eye.  Do you have any advice for me on how to handle this stiuation and maybe some words of encouragement so I can get over being scared? Thanks so much!


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Debbie Ducommun


I can answer any questions about pet rats, but you will probably be able find answers to simple questions more quickly on my website at If you have a life-threatening emergency you can try calling me at 530-899-0605. I am not usually on the computer on the weekend.


I have been "The Rat Lady" since 1985 and am recognized as one of the world's experts on pet rats. I have 3 published books and already answer lots of questions about rats daily.

President of Rat Assistance & Teaching Society

I am a monthly columnist for Pet Business magazine, and my writing has appeared in other magazines. I have 3 published books.

BA in Animal Behavior

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