Bye Bye Rupert

August 27, 2009

I had to have Rupert PTS on Tuesday. About 3 weeks ago, a week before we went on holiday I noticed he was drooling. I took him to the vet who decided he had a swollen tongue and gave him a steriod jab & some Baytril. After a week he was still drooling slightly but didn’t look any worse, so off we went on holiday, leaving him in the capable hands of the parents-in-law. When we got back last Friday I noticed he had a lump in his cheek. The earliest I could get him in at the vets was Tuesday and by then his mouth was bleeding and he was starting to loose quite a bit of weight and was also dehydrated (I discovered at the vets). I left him with them and they knocked him out to see what the problem was and they discovered a tumour in his jaw bone.

He was such a lovely rat, big & cuddly and so soft. Poor Jools is now on his own, though doesn’t seem as depressed as what I thought he might be. Him and Rupert were always snuggled up together, he looks very lonely on his own.

I do have some happier news, but will put that in a separate post.

Some ratty photos

July 27, 2009

I took a few photos today after I cleaned the ratties out and thought I’d share some with you:

Rupert looking gorgeous!

Fogwatt did her usual at clean out time and refused to move from her bed!

Sugar and Nutmeg peering out the carrier

And Sugar doing her favourite thing – eating!!

Sugar and Fogwatt need a Birthday Party soon. I don’t know how old they are exactly but it’s coming up 2 years since I got them around 20th September, so in theory they must be 2 by now as neither of them were little babies when I got them. So once I get them goodies we can have a party.

Website changes

June 27, 2009

Just a little post to say I’ve been working on the website a bit. I have changed the Home page to give some more details about my breeding aims, added a litters page to document planned, current & past litters as well as homing information and added pages for Bob, Monty, Marlon & Jemima. I have also re-arranged the my rats page and added a loving memory section for the rats I have lost.

Marlon finished his course of antibiotics on Thursday and though he is still snotty he does seem happier and brighter. He is still painfully thin though so I am currently trying to fatten him up and build up his strength.

I am a little bit worried about Rupert, I think he has a tumour in one of his testicles. I noticed today it was bigger than the other one and felt quite hard when I poked it. So I think I need to get him up the vets. If it is a tumour, presumably castration would solve the problem, which is a scary thought due to my experiences with Beau.

Everyone else is fine however and I am pleased to report that work on my new rat shed should be starting shortly. I can’t wait.

Rupert had an x-ray

June 1, 2009

Last Friday I noticed Rupert had a limp on his back right foot. When I checked him his ‘ankle’ joint had swollen up and was very hard. I kept an eye on him and gave him a bit of Nurofen Children’s syrup as a painkiller but it didn’t seem to be getting any better or worse, so I took him up to the vets today. The vet said it was most likely an injury and the bones at his joints were fusing together or possibly septic or osteo arthritis, but they could do an x-ray and it would be quite interesting!

So Rupert got left at the vets and they did an x-ray. When I went back to pick him up this evening, they had decided it looked like he’d dislocated that joint and the bones were fusing as they healed as there is no movement of that joint. So I basically have to keep him quiet and keep an eye on him. He should get use of it back eventually and the worst case scenario is if causes chronic pain, then he could have his foot amputated. I don’t think it will come to that though as other than the limp, he seems to be ok, still jumping up the bars and getting about.

I asked if they could send me an email of the x ray but they don’t have the facilities to do that, but I can take a phot of them if I want, so next time I go I’ll have to take the camera, coz I think the x-ray photos are really interesting and they can go up on the website or something.

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.

Rat Show

December 9, 2008

I went to a rat show yesterday. And took rats with me. It’s the first time i’ve taken rats and only the second show i’ve ever been to. The first was over a year ago and i’ve not been able to get to any since because of the car. So now I have a more reliable car I managed to make the trip to Glasgow with no hiccups.

I had a lovely day, which was both good fun and really interesting. I took Rupert & Jools with me and entered them both in the pet class. Rupert came 4th (out of 6), so not bad, and we still got a prize card and Jools got a special ‘cheekiest rat’ award, which i’m really chuffed about. I also ended up scribing for the varieties judge, which is writing down the comments for the critiques of each rat. This was because she ended up doing open judging, which meant she explained her critique of each rat, pointing out the faults and good points compared to the standards, and when she announced this I rushed over that fast I ended up sitting next to her, so ended up writing.

It was a really good day, everyone was really friendly and made me feel really welcome, the boys took it all in their strides and I found the judging so interesting, confirming once & for all that I really want to get involved with breeding and exhibiting.

I also won a raffle prize and bought the girlies an early christmas present in the form of a fabric hanging house thing. I have written a little article / story about my day, that i’m going to send to the SRC along with some photos, so if they decide they want to put it in the magazine, I won’t put it on the website ’till it’s gone in there.

The next show is the first Sunday in February. I would love to go, but Steve’s parents will still be here and it’ll only be about a fortnight after we move house, so i’m not sure. But if I don’t make that one, I will definitely be at the April one 🙂 .

Here are a few photos, they’re not great beacuse I had to use the flash on the camera.

The rats in their show tanks:

Src Fancy rat show

A Chinchilla rat. I love this variety.

Src Fancy rat show

A roan / husky kitten. (i’m not sure what the other one is, agouti, I think)

Src Fancy rat show

A lovely black hooded:

Src Fancy rat show

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!


October 6, 2008

I have been doing a bit of thinking and research into alternative rat food recently. This isn’t because my rats are not doing well on their current diet, I am just looking for a way of feeding them that works out a bit cheaper and I also liked the idea of a base mix I could use for rats, piggies, rabbits and the hamster with species specific bits added in.

I have recently changed the base of my ‘shunamite diet’ to pasture mix horse food as I was having trouble getting alpha herbal rabbit food. I tried the pasture mix after purchasing some for the piggies as that is what their breeder fed them on. After discussing the ingredients and analysis on the NFRS forum I decided to give it a go, and it seems to be a success. I have noticed a particular difference in Pepper, who’s fur around her eyes is now lovely and dark and her coat has darkened and started to shine. Rupert and Jools’ coats are shinier too and they’ve lost their paler eye circles too. The ingredients of the pasture mix are:

Oatfeed, barley, wheat, cereal straw (treated) cane molasses, maize, wheatfeed, peas, vegetable oil, dehulled soya bean meal, herbs, limestone, dicalcium phosphate, salt, carrots, linseed, full fat soya, minerals, fruit.

And the analysis is:

  • moisture – 14%
  • Protein – 9%
  • Oil – 4%
  • fibre – 14%
  • ash – 8%
  • calcium – 1%
  • phosphorus – 0.4%
  • sodium – 0.4%
  • vitamin A – 10,000 iu / kg
  • vitamin D3 – 1,500 iu / kg
  • vitamin E – 100 mg / kg
  • copper (as cupric sulphate & copper proteinate) – 30 mg / kg
  • selenium – 0.3 mg / kg

The high levels of copper and added selenium were the two things that encouraged me and several others to try it.

The other thing that I was reading about on the NFRS forum was the feeding of ‘straights’, which is basic ingredients, ie; purhasing your own barley, maize etc and making your own cereal mix. So I have orderd a 25kg bag of mixed flakes (barley, peas & maize) and a 20kg bag of rolled oats from greenmule, which should arrive in the next couple of days. The plan is to mix 40% pasture mix, 40% straights, 10% pasta and 10% dog kibble. That way, they get the cereals from the straights mix, which is pretty much what alpha herbal was made of so I know that’s a good combination, the added vitamins, minerals and copper and also some wheat from the pasture mix, plus the protein in the dog food and the carbs in the pasta. Some people recomend not adding pasta as it can make rats fat, however, I feel that during the winter at least, the extra carbs should help towards their energy levels and keeping themselves warm. Hopefully by buying in bulk it will work out a little bit cheaper than purchasing cereals from the supermarket as I do get through quite a bit and this mixture seems to have a good blend of ingredients for them.

Hopefully, the straights will arrive soon, so I will be able to report what they think of their new diet.

Mmmm, Digestives!

October 5, 2008

Yesterday the boys stole a couple of digestive biscuits from a packet I had on the desk in the rat room. They had three between the 5 of them and Charlie, Luke and Rupert were the three that helped themselves. I wish i’d had a video in there as Charlie was desperately trying to carry his back to the cage and he ended up falling off the desk and landing on the edge of the bin. He managed to keep hold of his biscuit until he jumped off the bin. It must be hard to work out a route when you’ve got a large biscuit blocking your path!!

Luke and Rupert had far more sense and just ate their’s on the desk:

two pet hooded male rats eating digestive biscuits

pet hooded male rat eating a digestive biscuit

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.