Monday, March 1, 2010

Ginger and the Gentleman.

My Ginger rat has not been doing so well. She developed a mammary tumor in January under her right front arm. She had also been sneezing a lot and went to the vet 2 weeks ago. She had an upper respiratory infection. The doctor gave her some cipro to take. I've noticed recently she was starting to get 3 more mammary tumors on her lower belly near her back feet. They are tiny right now, but you can feel lumps. On top of everything Sunday afternoon Ginger's neck started to swell. As of right now it's very puffy, and if you feel she has hard lumps. I had to take her to the vet today around 1pm. Ginger has Lymphoma Cancer... and it's just a matter of time before she passes away.

The vet prescribed her Prednisolone for inflammation and swelling to make her more comfortable. He also gave me more cipro since Prednisolone can weaken your immune system. Ginger is 14 months old.

This is the downfall of owning pet rats. Rats are so susceptible to tumors, cancer, abscesses, respiratory infections, etc. They only live 3 years at the most. Sometimes 5 years in rare cases. But when you're a rat owner, you take the good with the bad. They have so much personality, are so smart and have so much love and affection to give, that it makes up for the short time they are with us... any rat owner will tell you that. It's also the reason most rat owners have more than 1 rat. They definitely get into your heart even though they aren't with us for so long.

Moving along... I discovered we have an issue with mites... how did this happen? Well I had the babies in QT for awhile but I never noticed any scratching... needless to say, I'm almost positive they were the ones that brought the mites home- just because my blue hooded "girl" that was still at the pet store was being treated for mites... that's okay though, because I ordered Ivermectin in preparation for treating the pet store "girl". I gave all the girls a dose last night and once a week, I will have to scrub their cages and wash all their bedding in hot water & diluted bleach before giving them another dose. This will make sure the mites won't return, since the Ivermectin doesn't kill the eggs. Hopefully in 3 weeks or so we won't see anymore mites!

Now after the vet this afternoon, I went down to Pet's Plus to check on my "girl".

I can say, I still have A LOT to learn about rats. My blue hooded "girl", well I saw her picked her up, from the top view of the tail- yes looks female, even from the bottom- looks female... oh wait...look closer... male! Oops... my mistake, lol. How about my "girl" is actually a boy!!! lol! Well his bits & pieces (testicles) don't seem very large from the pictures I've seen of mature male rats, lol! (See here!)

I asked about the other rat that was still there, if it was female or male. So we checked... and another male! They were both in aquarium tanks with care fresh, living separately. Soooo since my rattie had already been marked sold and I bought him... lol! I decided to get the other male too, so he would have company. They gave me a discount of $14.99 for the 2nd one. Soooo... I now have 2 gentleman. lol!

And thank god I still have a 2 story spare cage for my gentlemen! I may get them neutered in near future. But for now the gentleman have their own private cage, separate from the girls and everyone will be getting ivermectin once a week to get rid of the mites. And of course separate play times for the girls & boys!

I've never had male rats, so this will be a new experience. Male rats are supposedly calmer than females. (Females are hyper!) and they supposedly like to cuddle more than female rats. They are very LARGE. Which when I looked at them a few weeks ago they were huge then- (which maybe should have rang a clue they weren't female, but I have a lot to learn I see, lol!) I'm not sure how old they are, I would say somewhere around 4-6 months? Maybe a little older? They are also very skittish. They weren't handled so much at the pet store. But they will definitely have a better life with me. :)

Anyway, here are my 2 blue hooded Gentlemen! Basil & Sage!

So concludes... my bad case of GGMR! (Gotta Get More Rats)

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