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Tony (RIP)

Origin: Pixie Rabbit & Rodent Rescue
Born: 1 November 2011 (estimate)
Died: 24 March 2014: Aged 28 months
Cause of death: Unresponsive resp infection (PTS)
Colour/variety: Buff hooded
Health: Micro-opthalmia of one eye but no other issues
Weight: 544g
Temperament: Neutered in rescue in May 2012 due to being rat aggressive. He has calmed down enough to accept two younger girls but is still very aggressive to any other rats, quite scared of people and does not enjoy handling/contact.
Nicknames: Tone, Angryman, Tonyboy

24/03/2014: Tony was my very special boy and will always mean a lot to me. We had a rocky start - tearing into 4 of my girls and racking up a £350 vet bill will do that :P - but once we got the measure of each other, there was mutual respect, trust and understanding. He was absolutely never a rat who enjoyed physical contact, but accepted it on the basis that I would only pick him up when I really needed to. I'm immensely happy that he found safety here, stopped flinching at everything and instead became a happy, relaxed and bruxy lad, once he realised that his boundaries wouldn't be unduly forced. The relationship he forged with my little hydrocephalus misfit Polka was beautiful to see, and both being rats that wouldn't gain security from humans, I'm really glad that they were able to be put to sleep together. Rest well, Tony boy.


Tony came to us in December 2012 after a very turbulent early life. He started out living in a tub with another buck and some does, making back-to-back litters for a feeder breeder, until the person stopped breeding and handed the rats in to a rescue. As Tony hadn't been handled, he was very scared and aggressive so he was neutered by the rescue and rehomed to live happily with a group of three does. Sadly, after a few months this person decided to rehome the rats to a friend, but as the friend only wanted to take the girls, Tony was split from his group and handed into another rescue on his own. The separation must have hit him very hard as he reverted to being basically unhandleable, very scared of people and quite aggressive to other rats. After a couple of months in rescue, Tony came to live with us. The intention was to introduce him to one of our girl groups once he had settled in a bit more and calmed down.

Mid-December, one of my other groups (who were mid-intro) escaped their small intro cage and went clambering onto Tony's cage. It's safe to say that he was quite strongly opposed to this, and it resulted in two missing toes for two of my girls, an amputated tail for another, and a mangled bitten leg for the fourth. They were taken straight to the vet and given sub-q fluids for the bloodloss and were operated on, and have recovered nicely. We then put off intros with Tony for a few weeks whilst plucking up the courage to try again. And - after a very long and careful intro, I couldn't be happier to say that as of February 2013, Tony is finally living happily with Maven, Tusk and Umbra. We first got him together with just Maven, and once he accepted her he became a completely different rat - he's now much more relaxed and measured in his reactions and interactions. She unlocked him! Once he accepted her it wasn't difficult to add Tusk and Umbra (we didn't want him to be completely reliant just on Maven). Tony is still unhappy with human handling but will just about tolerate being firmly held for a short space of time. He always comes to the front of the cage with the others for treats and food, he will lick nutrical and yogurt off our fingers, and accept a quick stroke. I'm so relieved that he has company again.

Tony received a NERS Bronze Longevity Award for reaching 28 months.

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