Another loss

You’ll have been aware that Sam and Susan (aka Samhain and Saturnalia) had some lumps last year and since then we have been treating them with Galastop, usually used to treat phantom pregnancies in dogs but often helpful at a much lower dose to slow the growth of mammary tumours in rats. Sam didn’t respond as well to the treatment as Susan, and developed a number of lumps (to Susan’s one) which continued to grow, though slowly. She was determined to keep going, however, which made it all the harder to reach the decision to have her put to sleep.

I will admit that I had been hoping she would let go by herself, and for a couple of weeks had been finding her apparently gone but in fact just sleeping deeply (I always felt terribly guilty about waking her up). But last week we reached a point where I could no longer let her continue, and she made her final vet visit last Saturday (first thing, because we then had to go to a rat show).

Susan is still with us but her lump continues to grow and we think she has developed a second one. Sirocco is also having Galastop now as she developed a lump a few weeks ago. So now we have one group of six doddery, lumpy and wheezy old ladies – Scarecrow and Ragweed are back on antibiotics, but not responding as well to the meds as they have in the past. I foresee our numbers declining over the next month or so.

I have seen Cosmo and Minty a few times recently and they seem to be behaving themselves, by and large. The plan now is for S, who has been looking after them, to intro them to two youngsters (a blue rex and a black smooth-coated) and we see how they go from there. So we could have them back with us soon, along with a couple of younger cagemates.

I shall leave you with a little picture of Sam. She was a sweetie, good-natured to the last.


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