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What’s happening at Starlight Trust Animal Rescue

And Christmas happiness December 29, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — sproggie14 @ 16:13
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It hasn’t all been doom and gloom over Christmas. We have also been joined by some rather lovely new friends who already have new homes lined up!

On the 14th we took in four baby boy rats, Teddy, Morrison, Daffyd and Pippi who had been part of an accidental litter. Shelley and David in Basingstoke took them and their Mum in and did all the hard work and then we offered to help with finding some of them a new home. So they arrived already in good health and very friendly thanks to Shelley and David’s efforts. It was fortuitous timing as, of course, we had Quest on his own and looking for new friends after Foxy turned on him. Here they are all getting to know each other.

As I type the boys are finally all living happily together. Quest was apparently more upset by Foxy’s actions than I realised and this made intros a little difficult. He was very defensive and suspicious of the babies which is very unlike him. Anyway, the babies have been offered a dream home with Vic who is one of the most dedicated and knowledgeable rat people I know. Even better, Vic is happy to take two of the babies now and leave two here to keep Quest company for however long he has left with us (bearing in mind he is now 28 months, quite impressive for such a special chap). The babies are such fun boys, incredibly sweet and playful. It has been 18 months since we had babies here so I’m really enjoying them.

And then on the 17th we met the lovely Stilton. Stilton is a young mouse boy who fell out with his brother and whose owner was concerned that she didn’t have enough time to keep him happy as a single mouse. So he has come here to be neutered so that he can live with other mice. Happily he has also already been offered a place in one of our very favourite mouse homes, with Gemma and Dan. He’ll be keeping Claude (previously known as Barry) company after he lost all of his lady friends recently. Sorry, no pic of Stilton yet but he’s a very handsome and cheeky lad. I promise to get photographic evidence of this soon 🙂

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A difficult decision December 14, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — sproggie14 @ 22:31
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We took Foxy in after he was rescued from a pets at home adoption centre. He’d had an abcess by his eye, been separated from others when still very young and left on his own. As a result he had real issues with other rats and it took us a long time and a neuter to convince him that other rats were ok. Anytime a male rat approached him, no matter how friendly they were, he would scream. After his neuter I did try him with girls but he attacked them so I persisted with the boy intros and eventually he lived very happily with Quest and Timin.

In October I found Tim with a large wound on his back of the sort usually inflicted during fights. He was in a bad way, too bad for a simple wound so we went to the vets. The vets opinion was that there was something else major going on with Tim not caused by the bite and we should let him go. She suggested that possibly someone in the cage attacked him because he was ill. I doubted this theory really. Foxy was neutered and had been terrified of them originally and Quest doesn’t even know he’s a boy he’s so soft.

Then Robson came to live with us and intros went brilliantly. I wasn’t sure how Foxy would take to a strange rat but he was great. 6 weeks after he moved in I found Robson with a wound in the same place, albeit just a scratch this time really. Robson also deteriorated quickly and it looks likely that he had acute liver failure. Again I wondered about the wound. It was suggested that the wound might have been caused when Robson lashed out due to hypersensitivity caused by the liver failure. This made more sense to me as I really could not imagine Foxy or Quest doing anything like that.

Anyway, after Robson left us on Friday Quest’s breathing started playing up so he is now on antibiotics. One night last week I gave him his medicine followed by a treat. Foxy also took a treat from me but then he went after Quest’s treat and attacked him. He proper leapt on him, sank his teeth in and shook. He did this twice. He really meant it and I dread to think what would have happened if I hadn’t been there to drag him off. Quest ran from him, leapt through the door and into my arms where he lay wide eyed and trembling for several minutes. So obviously I separated them which left me with two lone rats. Quest should be easy to introduce to some baby boys but what to do with Foxy was my major dilemma. 99.9% of the time it appears he is fine with other rats. He sleeps with them, plays with them, shares his food fine. But it looks like he has attacked three rats in as many months now :( It’s possible that this is triggered by the other rats being unwell but I’m not certain. Can I risk putting him with other rats again? What’s worse, him living alone or giving him the chance to possibly injure other rats?

After much deliberation I decided that the best thing would be for Foxy to go to a home where he will live alone but with someone who is at home a lot so can give him lots of attention. Ideally they would have a group of big, strong, healthy rats who Foxy could free range with and who could cope if he got nasty. Sadly we can’t offer him either of these things what with working full time and running the rescue and with all our current residents being old and frail. Anyway much as I am devastated to think of Foxy moving on, I was more pleased than I can say when Hayley from Lincoln Rat Rescue offered him a home. She works part time so has lots of time for him and lots of fit rats who can handle him if needs be. I’m not sure when he’ll be going yet but I expect he could probably float up to Lincoln on the tears that’ll follow him 😦

 

Goodbye Robson and Elsa December 4, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — sproggie14 @ 23:02
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It’s been a rather sad day here today I’m afraid.

Last night dear Robson began to look unwell. Nothing very specific, just not himself. I separated him and gave him some antibiotics and pain killers and nursed him to keep his strength up. But he just kept getting worse. This morning he had begun to lose control of his legs. And then when I got home from work at lunch time he was hardly even awake 😦 I don’t know what it was really that caused him to decline so quickly. I can only guess at either a stroke or heart failure. The lovely Emily at the Village Animal Hospital helped him on his way to the bridge for us.

As you’ll see from previous posts about him, Robson came to us in April 2008, rescued from a home where a lot of animals were kept in terrible conditions. He is related to some of our other resident rats, Bianca, Shalina and Linette. These rats were so badly kept and bred that the whole family have been plagued with health issues. Robson and his brothers found a new home but sadly they passed earlier this year leaving Robson on his own. His Mum was sad to let him go but knew that living alone wasn’t right for him so he came back here in October and moved in with Quest and Foxy. He has really enjoyed his last couple of months and we have adored having him here. He was quite a tense chap when he was younger but matured into a lovely, squishy lad.

We also said goodbye to Elsa, one of the 5 mousey girls we took in recently. She already had a very large tumour when she arrived so we knew we wouldn’t have her for long. I fell in love with her instantly. I don’t know what it is about chocolate mice but I find them irresistible. But more than that I have come to really admire her spirit. Despite her lump she was always a busy, happy little thing and often first to the food. Her lump got to the point where it was impacting on her ability to get around. It broke my heart because she was still bright and happy but I really did not want her to suffer so I decided to let her go sooner rather than later. I can’t describe how much it hurts to have to sign the death sentence of an animal who, from the waist up, looks young, healthy and happy. I’ll miss little Elsa very much indeed.

And now we’ve set ourselves up for more sadness with the arrival of some more poorly mice. I’ll introduce them tomorrow.