What’s happening at Starlight Trust Animal Rescue

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.


Bianca February 20, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — sproggie14 @ 23:00
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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 😦


Poor Ronnie :( May 2, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — sproggie14 @ 22:49
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Wednesday night we went to bed and soon after things really kicked off in the rodent room. At first I thought it was Reggie’s gang who have been a bit squabbly recently but it was coming from the cage containing Frankie, Ronnie, Harry, Robson and Fred. There had been a little tension between Ronnie and Harry, mainly cos Ron liked to hump Harry. Well it seems Harry finally had enough cos he turned on Ronnie big time raining dozens of bites down on his back 😦 I opened the cage and Ron jumped out the door and straight up my arm, clearly in shock. So he and Frank have had to be moved out of that cage and are in temporary lodgings in the bathroom til tomorrow when Reggie’s lot go to their new home.

It seems to have been the week for fall outs. The baby boy mice and their Dad came back from foster and the boys fell out straight away. One of them has had to be taken out and the other two are dubious as to whether they will stay together. I darent try them with Dad while they’re like this so I might end up getting them all neutered at this rate 😦

Anyway, as I say Reggie & Co go to their new home tomorrow which is great news. We really need the space at the moment as we have a waiting list of about 50 animals waiting to come in!