I brought Beau home early January 2008, along with Luke. They had been at work for several months and were pretty much full grown. They had been in ‘isolation’ due to Beau chewing the fur off his front legs and Luke having a bald patch on his head. They were treated for mites but I am pretty certain it was Beau barbering due to boredom because once they moved in with Rupert and co. into a nice big cage with regular play times, the bald patches dissappeared.

Beau was unfortunately fairly hormonal and could be pretty unpleasant to his cage mates, particularly during free range time. But he only ever bit me once and would occassionaly sit still for a small cuddle and never minded being picked up. One of his favourite little mischiefs was nipping my heels when I was wearing slippers. He was very agile for a pretty big buck and was the only one of the boys who could get over the play pen partition. While he could be a hooligan, he was also a gorgeous boy who did enjoy snuggling with the other boys and he was such a character. I shall definitely miss him in the rat shed.

Goodbye, baby boy. Mum loves you lots and is sorry she put you through the operation 😦

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Beau’s gone

November 7, 2008

I can’t quite believe i’m having to write this. Beau didn’t go back in with the boys yesterday as I was working a late shift and decided I wanted to be around to keep an eye on them during their more active time of day. I got up this morning and Beau was curled up at the front of the carrier, looking all puffed up with a bit of poryphrin round his nose, so I opened the carrier and stroked him and when he moved he was staggering on his back end. I looked again and realised there was blood covering the paper where he’d been lying so I took him out to have a look and his intestines were hanging out his body! Obviously I rushed him up the vet and as usual thought the worst of the vet and assumed they hadn’t tied off the inguinal canal properly. I left him with the vet after holding him while the vet gave him an anaesthetic and she managed to get all the intestines back in the correct place and his tubes had been tied correctly – he’d managed to chew through the stitches! She said there were a couple of pieces of intestine that looked pretty unhealthy, but he was waking up from the anaesthetic and we just had to wait and see. Unfortunately, she called me mid morning to say he had slowly gone downhill and had died.

I still can’t quite believe he’s gone – he was ok last night. I put him through the op because I thought he’d be a happier, nicer rat and now he’s gone 😦 I am most definitely going to think very very hard about rat surgery in future.

Beau

November 6, 2008

I am pleased to report that Beau’s castration went fine. I picked him up from the vets at 3pm and he was awake, moving about, eating and drinking fine. He refused to come out of the carrier last night, so I left him be, but he’s been out this morning for a little run round the bed and his wound looks lovely and neat and clean. He’s currently busy making a nest in the carrier and attempting to drag the duvet cover in as well! I think I will probably put him back in with the boys later on today and see how they get on.

The boys

November 2, 2008

I got some lovely pics today of the boys all snuggled up together in their hammock today, so thought i’d share them on here.

I’m a bit worried about Luke at the moment. He seems to be so much skinnier than the other boys and he’s got a couple of scratches across his back and his tail, i’m worried he’s being picked on. I’ve been watching them closely around the food and he does seem quite wary if the others are around. He waits for them to finish before he gets something out of the bowl and a couple of times i’ve seen Charlie sitting across the bowl preventing Luke from getting at it. There are two bowls of food in the cage so he can still get to food and he’s definitely not terrified of the others or anything (he climbed into the hammock earlier, straight over Rupert), he just seems to be a bit of an underdog which is a shame. If it was just Beau causing trouble it wouldn’t be such a problem as his op on Wednesday will hopefully solve his problems but it’s the other three as well, particularly Rupert and Charlie. I’m going to wait and see what happens after Beau has been castrated and what that does to the group dynamics and if Luke still appears to be being picked on, I shall have to separate him and Beau. 

They are such a nightmare at times, they have little squabbles and I end up thinking they hate each other, then find all five led in a heap like the photos:

male pet rats asleep<br /> in a hammock

This second one shows Charlie’s head where he was squidged underneath Beau and Luke.

male pet rats asleep<br /> in a hammock

And this was later on this evening. Luke wrapped around Rupert.

male pet rats asleep<br /> in a hammock

I see them all together like that and wonder why I worry!

Goodbye furry cushions

October 17, 2008

I finally got round to booking Beau into the vets for his castration. He’s going in on 5th November and I really hope it helps. He can be such a grumpy git. Poor Luke has a few scratches or bite marks on his back, which i’m assuming is due to Beau. Hopefully it is, as the castration should solve the problem, however, if it’s one of the other boys it may mean splitting them up, which I don’t really want to do. I’m still undecided on whether to put Beau back in with the boys or in with the girls. I think i’ll start with him back in the boy’s cage, then if things don’t improve, or he ends up getting picked on, then i’m sure he’ll be fine with the girlies.

I’m a bit worried about Treacle at the moment, she’s lost a whole load of weight and is so skinny, her sides go in behind her ribs. She has a wee bit of sniffling which has developed over the last couple of days, but she still seems pretty bright, coming out to play, eating and nest building! She stole a bit of dog food off of Fudge earlier. She doesn’t seem as if she feels ill but I think i shall get her up the vets next week. I’ve been reading through my ‘scuttling gourmet’ book and I’m planning on adding some of the kidney-friendly additives suggested to their food, in case it’s kidney problems causing the weight loss.

Todays sleepy rats pics

September 26, 2008

Had the camera in the rat room today and got these pics of the boys, snuggled in their hammock today. Thought it was nice that Beau was in these as well seeing as he was on his own when I took yesterday’s pics.

Beau, Luke and either Jools or Rupert.

Charlie on top, Luke and Beau on the bottom.

GMC

July 6, 2008

GMC is an acronym I discovered on Fancy Rats that stands for Get More Cages. It’s not generally something I suffer from, especially now i’ve got the aviary. However, I have just ordered a new cage from work.

It’s a Savic Freddy 2 and isn’t actually on order simply because I have a desire for a new cage. As I said previously Beau is definitely going to the vets to be de-nadded at some point and there is a chance he won’t integrate back with the rest of the boys. My other problem is Fogwatt. She is the most argumentative rat I own. And I can’t get her bits chopped off!! She had a right go at Tinks the other day and poor Tink ended up with a sore eye for a couple of days. If there’s fighting in the girl’s cage it’s Fogwatt. And it’s not just coz she’s in a big group. She fought with Burmickity when it was just the two of them, with Burmickity and Sugar when there were three of them and then when the baby girls moved in she fought with them to.

So the new plan is to move Fogwatt and Beau into a cage on their own. I may move Fudge in with them as she can also be grumpy with Tinks and the older girls. I also believe from my own (limited) experience that groups more than two are better. When i’ve had two i’ve always had two single ratties sleeping apart.

The new cage is big enough for 4, is slightly smaller than the Jenny but with far superior access and it’s cheaper. So, fingers crossed it all works out!