We started the working week with Misty’s little mishap on Monday morning, and we finished it on Friday night with another scary interlude. Really, kids, I don’t need this. It’s lovely of you to try and keep me occupied, but honestly it’s not necessary.
I went to feed and fuss everyone at about 10pm last night. When I got to Sam & Susan’s half of the Explorer, Susan came to the door but there was no sign of Sam. I spotted her peeping out of the igloo, but she wouldn’t come out. Even when I took the igloo out of the cage, she didn’t emerge. Eventually I took the roof off the igloo to get her out. She was obviously in discomfort, and was drooling which is often a sign of choking.
We took her downstairs to sit with us while we tried to work out if there was anything we could do. J fetched our copy of Debbie Ducommun’s rat health care book, which is always our first port of call in an emergency. Symptoms of choking are drooling, gagging, opening the mouth wide and pulling the ears back – we had the first one and the last one, but not the other two. I tried to get her to open her mouth to see if I could see anything but she wouldn’t let me.
So the next step in the book is to see if the rat is breathing. She was definitely breathing, so the book’s advice is to do nothing as it will resolve itself and you can do more harm by trying to take action. For several minutes she sat on my lap or J’s, wandered around in a fairly desultory fashion, wiped the drool from her mouth on our clothes and periodically pulled her ears back as though struggling to swallow. We tried to get her to lap a little water but she wouldn’t. Then she made a huge swallowing effort, seeming to hold her ears back for much longer than any of the previous episodes. After that she seemed to perk up a little and get a bit more active, climbing on to our shoulders and exploring the back of the sofa. She started making champing noises. She still wouldn’t lick any water from our fingers, but suddenly she decided to wash her face, and after that she was back to normal.
I put her back in the cage and after a moment of reorientation (and fighting off Susan, who wanted to examine her mouth) she picked something out of the food bowl and settled down to eat. This morning she’s relaxing in the hammock and looking fine.
Really, kids, I don’t need the entertainment.