Just heard from the vets…Brooke didn’t make it through. I’m devastated. She was fine apart from her lump and now she is gone. Four friends gone in a week. Why does life have to be so cruel?
It’s been a week of ups and downs here. Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first….
First of all last Tuesday we had to say goodbye to Blue. You might recall that she had a pituitary tumour and mammary tumours too. At the end of last year we started her on a treatment which we hadn’t tried before but had heard good things about. She responded brilliantly and we were delighted. We never dreamt it would buy us another 7 months with her though! She actually had a lovely retirement, living for her evening medicine which was always delivered in a bowl of chocolate flavour baby food! Monday night she wasnt waiting for it at the door as usual but I just figured it was cos we were a bit early feeding them or something. But Tuesday she had crashed and lost control of her legs. She still managed to put away one last bowl of baby food though before we went to the vets!
The same day I found a problem with Lacey, one of the welsh mouse babies. When she was tiny Lacey hurt her eye so she was separated out with some of the adult mice who had lumps. Her eye problem cleared up and quite recently I moved her in with some other young girls and she was ready to go to a new home. But Tuesday I found no less than 8 lumps on her teeny little body. Two on each side of her neck, one in each armpit and one either side of her groin. Clearly she had lymphoma, an evil and aggressive cancer. We watched her carefully for any sign that she was suffering but she passed away suddenly and peacefully on Friday. She was just 6 months old 😦
And lastly Dee, who had been fighting respiratory problems for most of her life, took a turn for the worse last week too. She came to the vets with Blue and we started her on a new antibiotic and a diuretic to clear the fluid from her chest. By Friday she was no better so we took her back to the vets. We ummed and ahhed about the best course of action. The diuretic really should have helped her and she was struggling. But she was only a year old. I hate that bit. Truly, truly hate it. I’ve been working with animals now for 15 years but I still find it overwhelming when you know that an animal’s life rest entirely in your hands. Make the wrong choice and you risk either ending an animal’s life prematurely or condemning it to suffering. So anyway I opted to try another antibiotic and some steroids. Of course it was the wrong choice in the end. Well in that it didn’t work, I think it was right to try. My gut told me she wasn’t ready to give up. She fought til the end bless her, determined not to let it beat her. But nothing worked and we had to let her go last night.
Her Auntie Brooke is at the vets today. She had a lump removed from her right shoulder last September and as a result we decided she should remain here as a resident. The lump came back last week, has grown rapidly and now has a friend too. The vet was fairly optimistic about being able to remove it successfully and Brooke is a tough cookie but she is 18 months old now so I can’t help being worried. She’s a special girl and we’ve had more than enough sadness this week.
And you might recall that Kandi and Reya had been separated from the other two degus following their dentals? Well Reya was still struggling to put weight back on and since Naomi can be a bit of a bully I was still keeping them apart. Juliette decided she didn’t like that idea and managed to eat a hole through the base separating the two sections of the cage. She then got into a fight with Kandi, leaving Kandi battered and in shock. I removed her and Reya from the big cage completely and Kandi has been on antibiotics and special treatment since. It has actually done the two of them the world of good. Kandi is recovering well and Reya has put all her weight back on. Of course, I had to buy a new cage too! I’ll post pics of them all enjoying it soon.
Anyway, on to the happy stuff. We’ve had a host of long stay animals go to new homes or be reserved for new homes since I wrote last.
Diana and Laura found a new home with some other girly rats for company. Kes, Seven, Rose and Martha all found a home together with Becky who previously homed bitey boys Fred and Barney.
Dutch, one of the neutered welsh mice, has gone to a new home with some lady friends who were adopted from us in December.
And reserved for new homes are Samantha the winter white hamster and Stacey the syrian hamster. We also have some promising home offers for some others…watch this space.
Phew, well I think that’s everything for now. I’ll try to be better with the updates and let you know how Brooke gets on and how those home offers work out 🙂
Bianca February 20, 2009
Yesterday Bianca rat went to the vets to have a mammary lump removed. She was joined there by Barry the mouse and Foxy the rat who both went in to have their little man lumps removed! Happily both coped very well and are home and recovering nicely. Bianca on the other hand has been a nightmare. The op went well but when we went to collect her I noticed that she had removed her stitches. And boy had she been thorough, leaving a huge gaping hole in her groin! So she stayed in overnight and was put back under anaesthetic to be restitched. But she did the same again in the night. So this morning she was knocked out again and this time she was stitched, glued and stapled back together! She is home now and so far everything is still where it should be. She looks a bit tired and battered poor girl so lots of spoiling is in order. I’ve kept her separate from her cagemates Linette and Shalina for now because last time one of that group, Brooke, had a lump removal the others chewed at the wound when I put her back in.
Things aren’t going so well for that group. They were rescued from a home in Warwickshire where there were loads of animals who hadn’t been cleaned for months and had been allowed to interbreed. The conditions were bad enough to make an experienced rescuer vomit. We took in Bianca along with 11 other girls and 3 boys. The three boys were Harry, Fred (now Angus) and Robson. Harry died a few weeks ago of tumours, Angus has a suspected brain problem and Robson has chronic respiratory problems despite them being only a little over a year old. Of the twelve girls 8 have been homed. Two of those has passed on and one has suspected kidney problems. Both Brooke and Bianca have now had lumps removed. Tonight I’ve heard that Maiya (now Tansy) has an ear infection which has led to a head tilt. To have so many health problems in such young rats cannot be a coincidence and must be related either to their poor genetics or the lack of care they suffered previously. I can only hope that their daughters, the trekkies, benefit from their better care although Deanna already has chronic respiratory issues herself.
Anyway the long and short of it is that we have decided that Bianca will remain here. I must admit I’m a bit downhearted tonight. This group of rats are very special to me having arrived here very scared and blossomed into confident, loving rats. They don’t deserve so many problems so young 😦