Poor Pica. On Saturday I noticed a lump on his jaw line. The past couple days before that he was acting a little sluggish and not eating as much. So I thought I would take him to the vet anyways, but when I saw the lump I knew he had to get into the vet ASAP. I watched him try to pick up food to eat it, and he was having a hard time picking up and holding onto the food.
The vet checked him out and said it’s an abscess. Fortunately it wasn’t some kind of tumor. So she opened the abscess up and drained it out and cleaned up the area really well. He has to take Baytril once a day and have the area flushed out with Chlorhexadine then packed w/ Silvadene cream once or twice a day. He’s doing really well with the flushing and taking his antibiotics. He’s never been sick or had to take medicine before, so I’m very happy with how well he’s taking it. I was a little worried when I brought him home from the vet last night and he wasn’t wanting to eat much or move around. But I think he was probably just in a little pain. Today he’s moving around the cage, eating well, and drinking from the water bottle.
I expect a full recovery very soon. I hope we don’t have to go through this again, as it’s pretty gross! (Which is why I didn’t take any pictures…)
Sorry for no updates in so long!! Everything’s going pretty well here. Kimble is still doing great, however, he doesn’t really like the other 3 boys. So he’s still living on his own. I’ve tried introducing them in water, with vanilla extract, on neutral territory, ect… every time it ends in a bloody fight. So for now Kimble just lives alone. He still seems happy though. I just give him extra blankets and things to cuddle with to keep warm. Maybe someday after many introductions he’ll feel comfortable with the other boys.
I also got a new camera yesterday. It’s a Canon Powershot SD880IS, and it takes awesome pictures! It has a macro mode to take close ups. Here’s one of Pica in his hammock earlier today.
I brought Kimble home last night. He’s acting like a totally different rat! At the office he was so shy and constantly hiding. But as soon as I took him into the room with the other ratties he immediately perked up. He was running around his cage, sniffing the air, taking treats from my hand, and generally looking happier. I think he could smell the other rats in the room and knew he would be getting some new friends soon. Poor little guy was just so lonely in quarantine. We stuck it out because you never know what could happen, but I’m very relieved to have him home.
More adorable pics of him during playtime:
He’s such a sweet photogenic boy, but still extremely shy. I’m guessing he’ll be a little more confident once he has a friend to live with. In the next few days I’ll start introing Pica to him.
I made it over to the office to check on Kimble a little bit ago. He’s a messy little guy. I cleaned up his cage as much as possible, but I think it will need a full clean tomorrow. I tried to hold him for a few minutes, but he’s still trying to live up to his name, he loves to explore! But he did sit still long enough for this picture:
His skin is looking better already.
I came across this little guy on the GooseMoose adoption forum. Thanks BlueFrog! She told me he got his name, Kimble, from the character in The Fugitive because he decided to run away and hide for 2 days. Crazy rattie. Then the night before I was going to be picking him up (Friday) his cagemates decided to throw him a going away party and beat him up pretty good. So that’s why he looks scratched up. But other than the scratches he seems very sweet and healthy. He’s definitely shy, and probably freaked out from all the action, so I’ve been giving him his space since he came home Saturday night. He’s in quarantine at my office right now. Unfortunately, I had to stay home from work today because I came down with a stomach flu yesterday. But I know several people at work will be checking on him for me and I’m going to try to go over there this evening to make sure he’s doing okay.
Here he is!
His ears are so big, and he has really cute curly whiskers! I’ll take more pictures for everyone soon.
When I got home from work today, I went in the office to check on the rats. When I walked into the room all 3 were in the hammock, but the little guys, Hex and Hue, jumped up to greet me at the cage door. Pica, being the lazy guy he is, stayed put where he was comfy. I had my new phone with a video camera built-in in my pocket. The video quality is really bad, but here’s Pica getting some head scratches.
My sweet little Pixel passed away on Saturday. It was extremely sudden, and he was so young. When I got home from work Thursday evening he was hunched over, not moving much, and his fur was all puffed out. I took him into the vet first thing the next morning. After an xray and blood work, the vet determined he had an ear infection and possibly infection elsewhere. We got him on Baytril and Meloxicam. I got him to eat some ground up lab blocks mixed with water, and was hopeful he was doing better. But on Saturday he started getting worse. He was so lethargic he couldn’t stand up to eat out of his shallow dish. He was taking meds from the syringe pretty well if I held him in my lap, so I decided to suck up some watery food and feed him with the syringe, too, since he wouldn’t eat on his own. Somehow I think he inhaled some of the food, or choked on it, because his breathing got really labored and I could tell something was wrong. From everything I’ve read in the past, it said to let a rat work it out if he’s choking because intervention could make it worse. But after 1 or 2 minutes he stopped breathing. I called the e-vet immediately, and she suggested CPR. I managed to blow air into his lungs a few times, but it was too late.
I feel so terrible about it. He was a great rat. He always knew how to win people over with kisses and cuddles - I called him my Rattie Ambassador. I know I’ll never have another rat just like him.
Here he is with Hue just a couple weeks ago.
I cleaned the big boys’ cage yesterday really well with vinegar and decided it was time to see if the little boys could handle living in the big ferret nation. First I put them in to explore and to see if they could get out through the bars. They poked their noses out but it seemed like they were pretty secure and couldn’t fit through. After about 30 mins of letting them play I put the big boys in with them. They had been playing together for about an hour every day for a few weeks and doing fine (not one fight), and they still did fine in the cage with each other. I can already tell Hue is going to try to move to the top of the rattie ranks. He’s already dominant over Pixel, but still a little scared of Pica. He’ll run up to Pica and poke him with his nose then run away. It’s so cute! Here are pictures from earlier today, as you can see they messy up the cage pretty quickly (this is one day after cleaning).
Pics of the FN:
Pixel at the water bottle, check out that tongue!
Pica being shy:
Hex - one “normal” picture and one “zombie” picture… I imagine him saying “BRAAAIIIIINS….”
And finally, two shots of Hue being super cute. He’s so photogenic! His poor little ear is disfigured from the first time he met Pixel and got groomed too hard. Plus it was part my fault, I saw him getting groomed aggressively and pulled him away - unfortunately I pulled away when Pixel’s teeth were on his ear. But I don’t think it hurt him too much, and it’s actually kind cute.