It’s been rather a long time since I last posted. My feeble excuse is that I’ve been busy… A few things have happened since my last post, so perhaps it’s time for a quick update.
We’ve had a few vet visits since mid-April – the girls had a sneezy phase, which got sorted out with the application of antibiotics. Then Arkwright hurt his back foot. Quite what happened we don’t know, but best guess is he either caught it in the bars, twisting it, or landed badly and sprained it. Anyway, it came up like a balloon so despite his protests (which were vocal) I did the cold compress thing, and got him to the vets as soon as I could. She agreed it was likely to be a bad sprain, and that I was doing the right things (I also put him in a single level cage to keep him from doing too much climbing). After a day or two both he and Luther were sulking about small cages and enforced separation so I put Luther in the single level cage too, that way they could both be sulky together.
A couple of weeks ago J and I had our first proper holiday for 3 years – a week in a lovely holiday cottage near Durham – so friend and colleague L took on rat-sitting duties. She seems to have got along fine, though Luther firmly refused to come out of the cage for a run. Otherwise they ate their fruit and veg and weren’t too much trouble, though I understand Cora managed to escape and get behind the girls’ cage (she usually emerges again fairly quickly, so it’s not a big problem). Luther continued to be intransigent for the first week after we got back, but has now been out for a run again at last. One of the problems is that if we take Arkers out by himself (he is always ready for a run) both boys get panicky, especially Luther who then charges round the cage in a temper. So we end up giving Arkers some fussing and attention in lieu of a run… but that doesn’t really do it for him, and in frustration he starts barbering his front legs. Fingers crossed that now J is working in the area and at home during the week, we can give them more attention and time.
Then last Wednesday evening I realised that Cora was bleeding. She looked a little pale around the ears, too. I had already got her on antibiotics as she’d been a little sneezy again, so I got her to the vets with the sinking feeling that she may have pyometra, a nasty infection which sometimes responds to AB treatment but sometimes requires a spay. The vet gave her a thorough examination and agreed with me, so we are treating aggressively with ABs now, as she’s a little anaemic and so would struggle to recover from surgery. The good news is that the bleeding seems to have stopped, so I’m hopeful that the ABs are doing their work. After the vet had examined her, she must have been in discomfort as she came over to me, held on to my hand and buried her face, and stayed like that for a good few minutes without moving. Poor little girl. But she was very good afterwards when the vet gave her a vitamin B12 injection to help with the anaemia – she barely squeaked.
So, I think there is a law that says you have to have at least one poorly one. After Domino died there was no reason to think that the others would be anything other than healthy, and instead we’ve had 3 vet trips in the last couple of months. Come on kids, sort yourselves out!