Rupert’s in love.

May 23, 2009

New girl Jemima is very enthusiastic when she is in season and will talk to the boys through the bars of the cage, then jump down, spin round into position (!) and vibrate her ears madly. It’s just like Doughnut used to do, but Jemima will do it when she’s in the cage, which Doughnut never did. she just used to tease the boys through the bars of their own cage!

The other evening Rupert spent the whole time he was out sat on the desk the girls’ cage is on, gazing at Jemima while she pinged about like a little floozy! I couldn’t resist and took a couple of photographs:

Lovestruck Rupert gazing into the cage

And reaching up to Jemima, whose tail you can just see.

A registered Rattery

May 20, 2009

I got confirmation yesterday that my application to the NFRS to become a Novice breeder has been approved. This means that I can now earn points and compete for the Novice Award at NFRS shows and shows that award NFRS stars, though in practice, it’s unlikely I will be getting to any NFRS shows! It also means I can call myself an NFRS registered rattery, and I am on the NFRS breeders list. It all feels very real now and has motivated me to get on with the website, so expect some updates shortly.

I am also pleased to report that Jemima’s abcess has burst and is already healing very nicely, after only having to clean it up once. Fingers crossed for no more! I have noticed the poor girl has scabs on her back again, I’m assuming this is from being picked on my Nutmeg and Fogwatt. She still seems happy though and is certainly not scared of them – yesterday, she stole a chicken bone off of Fogwatt. I do think, though, that when I get my girls for my breeding I will put Jemima in with them. She is a lot younger than my current girls, and she won’t get picked on like she is at the moment.

Cage changes

May 15, 2009

You probably noticed my last post was another obituary 😦 . I have lost 4 rats within the last month. However, they are all currently looking healthy so hopefully it will be a loooong time before I lose any more.

I have had a cage shift around recently, to reduce the number of cages i’m using and so I could put the girls in a new cage when I re-introduced Jemima to the other girls now her abcess has cleared up. The girls have been moved into the Tommy, which now has all three tiers. There is only 6 of them now so they have plenty of room even though the cage is slightly smaller than the aviary. Jemima seems to be getting on fine with the other girls. Nutmeg is still being a pain in the bum and picking on her occassionally but Jemima is bigger now and very confident so seems to be able to look out for herself!

The aviary has been split into two and the two groups of boys have been put in either half, Charlie and co in the top, and Bob & Marlon in the bottom. I contemplated introducing them but thought it was probably safest not to and they are so settled and happy in their individual groups.

So, I now only have 2 cages to clean out and have a little bit more space in the rat room.

A I said earlier Jemima’s abcess has cleared up, however I think she has another one. She has a pea sized lump on one of her shoulders so I am keeping an eye on it. If it is an abcess I would rather it burst in its own time and it is nowhere near as big and fast growing as the other one. Hopefully it won’t be anywhere near as gross when it does burst!

It was a sad day today here at Northern Lights Rats. I had to have both Charlotte and Monty put to sleep this morning.

I took Charlotte out for a cuddle a couple of days ago and found her undersides wet with poo & urine. It appeared she was loosing control of her bowels or something, then because of her lump, was unable to clean herself up. I cleaned her and then checked again yesterday and today, hoping it was just a one off, but last night she was the same, so we decided it was time to say goodbye. Her and Treacle were the first two girls and the ones that started it all. Charlotte was a beautiful rat and a lovely old lady. Losing her is the end of an era.

Monty had seemed to be getting a bit better, then went downhill again, and it seemed unfair to keep dragging him to the vets to basically keep him alive with little quality of life. He just looked so sad all the time.

I will do them both proper obits tomorrow.

Doughnut was meant to be having her op today, but the vet was unhappy with the speed that her lumps had grown just since the last visit so refused to operate on her. Her lump in her armpit is now spreading along her side and the one underneath has spread around her vulva and down her back leg. The vet said she would have to leave so much of it behind that it would have grown back again in about a month and she would take a while to recover from the major op that it would be. So I bought her home and we just have to monitor her quality of life.

The one good piece of news is that Jemima’s abcess appears to be getting better. I am still getting gack out of the hole, but less every day, so fingers crossed it will be healed up soon. Poor Jemima really hates having it cleaned and squeaks the whole time whilst running up my arm. Trying to get her out of the cage is hard work now too, as she knows i’m going to soak her in warm water and poke her about!!

I’m just hoping I get a run of healthy rats for a few months now as I seem to have been having nothing but trouble recently!

Jemima’s abcess

April 26, 2009

Poor Jemima has an abcess.

I noticed on Thursday that she had a huge lump across her shoulders so took her with me on Friday when I took Monty for his jab. The vet poked a needle in it and drew out some pus, so then he lanced it! It was gross – loads of runny, slightly bloody pus, then it got really thick, so the vet got hold of it and pulled and a great load of tissue came out! She was so good though. The vet asked if I was happy holding her while he did it, but I have to admit I felt a bit sick by the time he’d finished. It’s the smell of abcess’ that make me feel ill.

I have to keep the wound open and bathe it regularly with warm, salty water which will draw any yucky stuff out. So i’m doing that and there’s still quite a bit of gack coming out of it. I’ve also noticed that she has a swelling behind her ear that leads to the abcess. It looks like a blister and feels watery to touch. So she’s going back to the vet on Monday when I take Monty in for his jab. Poor girly is not impressed with me at the moment.

Rat photographs

March 28, 2009

I have finally taken some photographs of Jemima. They aren’t very good as taking good photographs of pink eyed, pale rats is pretty impossible with a flash and it just bleaches them out completely. She is enjoying her free range time, she hurtles round at about 100 mph and is a nightmare to get hold of. She’s very busy and reminds a little bit of  Mustard. Today she thought she might get in the Guinea Pig cage! So it was pushed back against the wall and she didn’t try again after that. I don’t think they would have hurt her, but it was too big a risk. Anyway, here are a couple of dodgy photos:

PEW female fancy rat

PEW female fancy rat

And one of Doughnut just because it’s a cute photograph.

PEW female fancy rat 

Doughnut and Luke are both off to the vet’s next week to have their lumps looked at. Doughnut’s two are getting pretty big and the one in her groin is beginning to affect her walking. We were going to wait until they started to affect her quality of life, fully expecting her to start ‘getting old’  but she is still happy, still eating, maintaining weight and coming out to play. It seems awful to simply put her down because her lumps are getting too big. I hate the thought of putting her through an operation, but it seems mean not to.

Luke’s lump is also getting big and is growing quite fast. I am quite worried about putting him through an op as he is such a sickly thing, but he’s only about 18 months old and again I hate the thought of him being PTS just because his lump got too big. I shall have to speak to the vet and see what they think. I am also wondering if he does have the op about having him castrated at the same time as I wonder if he’ll be happier with the girls as he is most definitely an underdog in his current cage. Obviously though, I am really terrified of getting him castrated after what happened to Beau, so again, I shall need to really talk it through with the vet and have a really long think.

Jemima update

March 24, 2009

New girl Jemima is being picked on and has a lot of scabs across her back, so I have been watching them all carefully and Fogwatt (as usual) and Nutmeg appeared to be the main culprits. They would both chase after her and I caught Nutmeg holding on to her back with her teeth and not letting go! So Nutmeg and Fogwatt have been taken out of the aviary and have been moved into the spare Jenny cage. Hopefully, this will give Jemima a chance to build up some confidence and settle in better. I will still let them out to play together and hopefully, eventually they will all go back into the aviary together.

Jemima does seem happier already. At food time she is now sitting with the other girls round the bowl, not just sneaking down for a bit of food when no-one’s watching and rushing up to eat it in ‘her’ tube. Doughnut is being a bit grumpy with her and Sugar has grumped a couple of times, but they don’t keep on at her like the other two did, so hopefully she’ll be fine. If needs be, I can move Doughnut to the naughty cage too!