The last few days have been interesting and hectic. Some good, some bad. Let’s get the bad out of the way first, shall we?
On Monday I took Bitesize to the vet’s. She was respy again and losing weight, probably partly due to the stress of losing Hawkeye and being moved into the main group. The vet put her on the same meds as last time which had done the trick very quickly, but this time she was less co-operative about taking them. She and Pinch have been a bit isolated in the big cage and monopolised a hammock which they only left to eat and drink, or when we got them out for playtimes, and this was causing a bit of tension.
This morning when I went to check on everyone, I found Bitesize had died during the night. Not all that much of a surprise in some ways but very sad as we had tried to keep her going and thought that having more space and more rats to interact with would help. J has been decorating the rat room this weekend so at the moment Pinch is in a small hospital/intro cage with two of the more laid-back girls in the hope that she will start to build some new friendships, but obviously I’m worried that she will go the same way. Fingers crossed that she bounces back from this.
In other news, there was a rescue this week – a group of eleven, and help was needed with foster homes. As we had got all our lot into one cage we said we would help. The eleven consisted of three adult bucks, a young doe and her litter of ten – three boys, seven girls. The litter was born in late October and the owner hadn’t separated them so any or all of the girls may be pregnant. We’re not really set up for dealing with litters so offered to have some boys, and the three adult bucks arrived here on Thursday.
Now, I’m sure some of you may query whether we quarantined the boys and if this may have affected Bitesize. We did check about quarantine and the rescues were a closed group – no new rats brought in for about three months – so they shouldn’t have been carrying any active viruses. The nasty viruses live in the rat’s system for about three weeks after exposure, so as no new rats from possibly infected sources (pet shops, for example) were introduced to the rescue group in the three weeks or so before the rescue took place, there should not have been any active viruses in the group. The sources to be wary of are pet shops and rescues that have taken in new admissions without quarantining them in the last few weeks. The other point to bear in mind about quarantine is that you have to have completely separate airspace – the rats need to be in a different building, and you have to shower and change your clothes when moving between groups. Hence why I do not take in rats from insecure sources, and why I checked the situation before taking in the foster boys.
The boys are settling in well and two of them are used to being handled – the third is a bit more wary but we are winning him over slowly. We have nicknamed the first two Thing 1 and Thing 2, and the skittish one Babydaddy as he was responsible for the litter rescued at the same time.
This is Thing 1 – a handsome silver fawn. He likes to nip fingers a bit and checks pretty much everything out by chewing. He seems to be the alpha of the group.
Thing 2 – champagne, quite possibly Thing 1’s brother. Gets a bit of porphyrin around his left eye which is probably because of the stresses of the last few days and will clear up, I hope.
And last but not least, Babydaddy. We think he’s a bit younger than the Things. He had just woken up when I took the photo which is why he looks a bit fluffy and grumpy. It’s hard to tell from the photo but he is a dumbo and his markings are lovely. I’ve seen a lot of pictures of his offspring and a lot of them have similar blazes on their faces.
So they will stay here until a forever home is found, though if it proves difficult to find a home then we will keep them. Not sure what the deadline is for finding a home, but we’ll see how it goes.