Saturday, 29 December 2007

Bad to worse

Sorry for the gap between updates but things really are going from bad to worse round here. Both Nadia and Donkey have left us. Donkey just faded away and passed away peacefully here. Nads' prolapse turned out to be a tumour and she had to be put to sleep.

Then, about a week before Christmas, my Grandpa was admitted to hospital with a heart attack. He is still there now and, well, things aren't looking great.

Skip has gotten bunged up with poo again. It's probably partly my fault as with Christmas and Grandpa I guess I wasn't as attentive as I should have been and it got out of control. I've been trying to debung him for days now. We seem to be finally making some progress at last cos I've been working on it hourly today.

So, if you're waiting to hear from me about a homing application my apologies. I will get back to you once things have settled down a bit.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Today has been a horrid day. I didn't have much time to clean people out during the week so I planned a big cleaning blitz today. Oddly enough I was really looking forward to it. Not so much the shovelling vast quantities of poo bit but just spending the day in there with everyone and getting everything sorted out.

So the first cage I cleaned was that of Donkey, Smokey, Dre and Eminem the degus. They were two separate pairs up until last week when I introduced them. They had seemed to be getting on well together but today I found fresh blood in the cage. Donkey was looking a bit sorry for himself so I took him out and found he was limping. So I called the vets, got an appointment for two o'clock and went back to my cleaning. I did a few more cages and then got to the cage containing Nadia, Whiskers, Biggles and Pretty the degus. There I found more fresh blood and began to wonder what on earth was going on. Everyone in that cage looked fine in themselves, all bright and active, but Nads was my prime suspect as she has two hernias and I was worried something had happened with them. Well it was even worse than I had imagined. When I picked her up and looked underneath I found that she had a prolapse coming from her girly area. I knew this was very bad news indeed. So she was duly added to the vets appointment an off we went.

Donkey should be apparent break so probably just a sprain/bruising. He has had metacam and baytril and we'll see how he gets on.

Nads' outlook is very bleak but I wasn't willing to give up on her just yet. The vet we saw was very nice but a) didn't seem quite knowledgable enough about rodents for me to be totally confident in her judgement and b) suggested that there was a very small chance that things could be repaired with surgery, which was enough for me to latch on to. At the moment Nads is her usual, incredibly evil self. When I was cleaning her cage out she was running in her wheel. At the vets she climbed up me and sat on my shoulder chirping in my ear twice. To me that's not the actions of an animal in terrible pain. So we decided to see how she goes until Monday when Sandra Super Vet is back from her holidays. If anyone can fix her, Sandra can. In the meantime she is also on Baytil and Metacam and we have to watch very closely to make sure she can wee and poo. I've seen her poo for definite, so we're just waiting in hope that she shows us she can still wee ok too. If at any time this weekend she looks to be suffering we will of course take her back and do whatever needs doing :(

I have no idea if I have done the right thing and I think there is a very good chance that we will have to let her go on Monday but I just couldn't bring myself to send her on her way while there was a chance (however small) something could be done for her and while she was still so bright and active.

Please keep her in your thoughts. She is an incredibly special little girl who drives me mad most of the time but I have an enormous amount of admiration and love for her.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Great News!!

Well after the vet visit Skip continued to bloat more and more and to become quieter and more sickly looking. I was so worried, and sure that we would be taking him to the vets this weekend for his final journey.

So I posted again for advice on and the wonderful Vic (RatGirl@RatRitz) gave me some excellent advice as usual. She said we could try laxatives but that this was risky and was really kill or cure. She said we could also try giving him an enema. I wasnt keen on this idea but it seemed we really needed to do it as we were fast running out of options.

So we settled down to do this Thursday evening and discovered that Skip's anal passage was totally full with very hard, dry faeces. I'm talking a build up at least twice the width his anus should be and at least an inch long! I did squirt some soap solution and liquid paraffin up there as best I could but it was so solid I could see this wasn't going to work on its own. So, armed with some tweezers, I began breaking bits off and pulling bits out bit by bit!! Poor Skip obviously didn't enjoy this but he was so good and so patient, not once even thinking about biting me. We carried this on for a couple of hours, with a couple of breaks for Skip so he didn't get too upset. Eventually I began making real progress and I could see and feel that things were getting much better. Then, suddenly, slurp and pop and out came the last solid bit like a giant spot. Quite satisfying in an incredibly disgusting kind of way!! And then followed the most unbelievably enormous quantity of bubbly, liquid poo. You remember those indoor fireworks called the snake which looked like a big unravelling dog poo? It was just like that! Poo poured out of him for a good couple of minutes and then I gave him a good clean up and settled him in a cage on his own in the bathroom overnight so that he was warm and not pooping over Quest and Tim. I was so worried that he would go into shock or something but in the morning he burst out of his bed, overjoyed to see me (why?) and full of beans and energy. He was right back to his old self again! Quest and Tim were really pleased to see him and he was delighted to be back home. He is eating well, still just fruit and soya milk at the moment, and there are no signs of him getting blocked up again at the moment. I think its something we'll have to keep a very close eye on really. We need to feed him a very restricted diet, check him for bloating and blockages daily and help him out with medication when he needs it.
Of course, it's not secret that I adore Skip with an absolute passion and I was very unsure about him ever going to a new home. Well, now we know that he definitely has special needs he definitely has to stay. I can only think of a handful of people I would be confident to home him to but I really think it would be too much to ask of someone to take him on not knowing if he might only have days or weeks to live and with him potentially needing more enemas etc. So Skip is now officially staying put and, of course, that means Tim and Quest will be too :D I won't risk having Skip neutered in case the surgery upsets his digestion but Tim and Quest will have the snip so that they can come out and play with the girlies at least. That way they can join the others for dinner too, meaning that Skip doesn't have to share his special food and they can still enjoy the normal food too.
So, who knows, maybe all we have done is bought Skip a bit more time. Maybe that will be days, maybe weeks, hopefully many many months. We'll just have to take each day as it comes and be very vigilant. I do know that if anyone can fight this, then Skippydoo can.
I will get new pictures of my three handsome boys to add them to the rat page officially soon :)

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Skip again

We've been back to the vet with Skip again this evening :( After his initial improvement he has been going down hill again and his tummy is really bloated. The vet was actually quite surprised at how well he was given how impacted he is :( But there isnt a great deal more we can do. He has medication to stimulate his intestines to work which he has been having for a few days now with no apparent effect. He now also has liquid paraffin which should hopefully soften his poo to make it easier to pass. The vets recommendation was that if he's not significantly better in a few days we should think about letting him go :(

So the plan of action is to put him on an entirely liquid diet for now since the smoothy last week seemed to help. Mixed in with that will be his liquid paraffin and we'll carry on with the zantac too. If that goes well we'll add some solid fruit, then some veg, then some fish, gradually working up to more solid food to see what he can and can't manage.

I think the next few days are pretty critical though so please keep him in your thoughts. He is the most incredibly special little guy. I know realistically its a miracle he has lived this long but he has a real fighting spirit and love for life so if anyone can beat this, Skippy can!

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Skippy Update

I'm pleased to report that Skip is much better :) The vet couldn't find much in the way of impacted faeces and thinks we can manage his problems with a bit more fruit and veg in his diet. So he has had a great week, with yummy fruit salads for pudding every night! He's pretty much back to his usual self in terms of activity but still looks a bit thin and scraggy. Given the way his appetite is now, I don't think it will be long before he is back to his usual plump, glossy self.

I'm very sad to report though the very sudden and unexpected death of Gordon the degu. He had shown no signs of ill health but I found him dead on Thursday.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Skippity Doo-Dah

Skip is one of the Portsmouth babies. He and his two half-brothers (?) have been kept back from homing as they hadn't been thriving and there is a history of megacolon in the group. They have been doing pretty well and are the loveliest boys in the world, full of mischief and fun! On Sunday I noticed happily that Skip's bottom was unusually clean - he usually has slight diarrhoea and gets a bit messy. I should have occurred to me really that this wasn't necessarily a good thing as constipation is worse than diarrhoea in a rat with megacolon. So Monday at feed time he didn't come running straight out as usual and there he was at the back of his cage looking a bit sorry for himself. His tummy is a bit bloated, he is hunched up and quite quiet for him. Dave - being the utterly fabulous person that he is - went out at 10 oclock last night and bought a load of fruit which he then made into a smoothie! Skip attacked this with considerable enthusiasm and we gave him some antibiotics too to protect against infection. This morning I'm pleased to report that he is looking a lot brighter although he tummy is still swollen. So we are off to the vets this afternoon to get some treatment to help him to poo, bless him!

I am seriously, utterly in love with Skip. I can't begin to describe what a little hero he is. He really ought to be below average activeness but he is undoubtedly the silliest, bounciest, most playful little boy I have ever met. He is just so full of fun, you can't help but smile! So please keep everything crossed for him making a good recovery. He has defied the odds in coming this far, I'd like him to keep doing that for a very long time yet!

Monday, 19 November 2007

This Weekend's News

Lots more people have travelled to new homes this weekend :) Ratties Marina, Nerine, Squiggles, Mikado, Jimbo, Nelson, Puck and Oberon have all made their journeys up north with the latter four boys travelling all the way to Glasgow!

Of course there is always an exchange to be made and, in return, we have taken in 7 male gerbils. They are super cute so I'll make sure to post piccies of them very soon.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Eva and Meryl

Following the sad passings of Poop and Abbi recently, there are two ratty shaped gaps round here. I've been very tempted to keep Eva, one of the portsmouth babies, since the day she was born so I have decided to definitely keep her, along with another baby girl, Meryl. I will update the Ratties page very soon so you can meet them properly :)

Monday, 12 November 2007

Run Free Poop :(

It has been a sad weekend :( After Abbi dying suddenly on Friday, Poop lost his fight with his brain tumour. He did so well, battling on much longer than expected. But today it was quite clear that he was ready to go. He slipped away peacefully with the help of the vet and has gone to be with his old friends Squirt, Dumpling, Lily and Jasmine and his brothers who have gone before him.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Ins and Outs

We've had a few people go off to new homes this weekend. Melia and Delilah the baby girl rats were collected for their new home and Kimberley, Shyla, Shortie, Ludo, Hoggle, Lancelot, Gollum and Frodo and spiny mice Niki, Simone, Jessica and Clare left for the first part of their journeys to their new homes.

The new arrivals are two possibly pregnant little girls rats (no names yet) and two young male rats called Spike and Nutmeg, who are lovely little chaps!

Friday, 9 November 2007

Run Free Abbi

After weeks of expecting Poop to leave us, I was shocked to find Abbi passed away today. She has been perfectly fine, not a hint that she was in any way unwell. She appears to have just taken herself off into the hammock, gone to sleep and not woken up again :(

Run free darling, reunited with your sisters at the bridge

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

I can't think of a title for this one!

We've had a good run on homing the last few days and most of the baby girls have now been reserved - just six left which is great. Hopefully ten rats should leave for new homes this weekend and a similar number the weekend after which will at last free us up some much needed space. Not being an actual rescue myself, I don't usually deal with hand ins unless they are animals Emma has agreed to take who are coming direct to me. But recently I'm getting more and more emails directly asking me to take animals in. But I'm absolutely full and then some, with animals even spilling over into the bathroom at the moment. And I know Emma actually has a waiting list of animals waiting to come in. I suspect things will only get worse with Ratatouille now showing. Inevitably kids will wants rats as pets, they will be bought from a pet shop with little thought and they'll end up in rescue in a few months time.

Anyway, on a happier note, Poop is still going strong :) Oh and check out - you might see some people there you recognise!!

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

He did it!!

Monsieur Le Poop has celebrated his second birthday along with his brother Widdley Woo! I'm so chuffed! We had a little celebration involving veg and cake! Here are some piccies as promised :)

Saturday, 27 October 2007


Over a month. Sorry.

What a news packed month it has been too. There's no way I'll remember everything which has happened so I'll stick with some brief hightlights.

The main, most exciting news is that our Sprog Dog numbers are once again at 6! I won't go into the whole story again here - you can read it on this page

Homing of the Portsmouth Rats has gone fairly well with all the Mum's and baby boys now homed or reserved. There are still a lot of baby girls left though :(

The really great news is that the last of the pink eyed white gerbils have found a home. They had been waiting over a year for someone who wasn't put off by their colour.

A few of the degus are reserved for new homes as well :) And two lots of spiny mice found new homes :)

The sad news is that Poop, one of my own rats, is unwell with a suspected brain tumour. He probably only has days left with us. It will be his 2nd birthday on the 30th of this month and I'm hoping he can stay with us that long at least so we can have a little party for him and his brother, Widdle. Hopefully I can update again in a few days with some nice pics of a rat party :D

Sunday, 16 September 2007

An update

Blimey has it really been two weeks already? It is just non stop at the moment. After a week off work I have finally gotten on top of all the cleaning. But it's a bit like painting the forth bridge.

We've taken in even more animals in the last couple of weeks. One of the Portsmouth does, Marissa, gave birth to three babies but rejected them. Sadly two of them died but one, Eva, we managed to foster on to Meredith. This was keeping her alive but she was struggling to get a look in amongst Merediths already generous litter of older babies. So Lois, who was involved in the original rescue, very kindly drove another doe, Mandy, who gave birth around the same time as Marissa, to me and Mandy has luckily taken Eva on. Eva is now doing really well.

We also took in two very timid girls. Usual story - bought from a pet shop, never handled and people wonder why they are scared and bite! They'll be going out on foster with Tanya who adopted two scaredies from me earlier this year so that they can get more attention.

Also next weekend we should have quite a few babies heading out to their new homes. Justine, Maria, Jelena and Amelie, the Wimbledon girls, will also be off to their new home.

Three of the baby boys from the Portsmouth gang are causing me concern. They are very undersized and just not thriving. I've had to separate them from their Mum's now since they're that age but they're still so tiny. As they are largely white there is a chance they may have a genetic condition called megacolon which is fatal :( So for now we're just feeding them up and keeping a close eye on them. They are all lovely boys but one in particular, Skip, has really stolen my heart. He is such a norty little lad and as soon as he sees me he is up demanding attention. I really hope he is ok :(

Loki had her other op on Thursday to remove three more lumps. It all went well so now we are just waiting for the results to make sure they were benign. She had another blood test and her liver enzymes have gone down a lot which is really good news.

Back to work tomorrow. *sigh*

Sunday, 2 September 2007


Things are officially bonkers here!

Having taken in 30 rats from the portsmouth rescue (who are all doing fantastically by the way), we got an urgent request for help from one of our previous adopters. A batch of baby rats were handed in to their vets surgery and their future was very uncertain.

So today I took in 11 beautiful baby boys - you can see pics of the rats needing homes page.

The good news is that the group of four girls - Thelma, Louise, Bridgette and Ariel - have gone to another foster home in Somerset where they'll get more time and attention to help them gain confidence.

But despite that, numbers of animals here at the moment are at an all time high - 123 to be precise! I dread to think how that might increase if any of the portsmouth girls do turn out to be pregnant.

Sad news - Chummy the Spiny Mouse passed away last night following a major bust up with Munchkin which left him badly injured and in deep shock. He was my favourite little guy - really sweet and friendly - so I am very saddened by his death. Poor Munchkin isn't looking great either - no injuries but he is very shocked and looking very sorry for himself :(

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Pinkie Update

Everyone is doing well :D 12 healthy looking, warm pink wigglers :)

Here's a pic

I also took some pics of the older babies

Aren't they just delicious?

Tuesday, 28 August 2007


Well I ended up taking in 30 rats yesterday. Phew! I hadn't intended it to be that many but there were 5 apparently nursing does and litters and I wanted to keep them together so they could share the feeding and to avoid separating out the wrong doe.

Amongst them was a litter of 13 teeny little pinkies with no obvious Mum. I put them in a cage with some two week olds and three of the Mums but several hours later no-one had shown any interest. So I have had to separate one of the does out into a very very small cage so that she really has no choice but to feed the babies. I feel a bit mean but so far it seems to be working and she is feeding them. Sadly one of the babies has passed away and I'm concerned that we might lose a few more yet but we'll obviously do everything we can for them.

There are some seriously delicious babies amongst the older ones though - watch out for piccies soon!

Monday, 27 August 2007

Breaking News!

Apparently someone does actually read this blog! I have been told off for lack of updates, lol!

Ok so brief round up. Pokemon had some blood results back and her white blood cells were normal. So it looks as though there is some minor liver issue going on - probably benign tumours - but nothing scary like leukaemia. We have to give her some liver supporting supplements and take her back for another test soon. Hopefully that will show some improvement in her liver enzymes in which case we can just monitor and support her liver function. If not we'll have to do more tests.

In the meantime she appears to be missing all the attention and has now pulled one of her claws. So is back on the antibiotics and has a bucket on her head again *rolls eyes*.

I've finally admitted defeat and Kitkat and Shadow bunnies are now official permanent residents. They were so unlikely to find a home and so settled here so it made sense really.

I'm a bit worried about one of the degus, Erika. She has lost weight although she is still her usual norty self. Which makes me worry that she might have dental problems. So she'll be off to the vet this week.

I also have an outbreak of mites amongst the rats which is affecting Sue, Widdle and Poop as well as one of the foster girls, Louise. The usual treatment has failed to have much impact so at the moment they are being treated with a homoepathic remedy I have had success with before in treating parasitic skin conditions. Hopefully that will sort it but otherwise that will be another vet trip!!

I managed to make an enormous muck up with my latest batch of foster rats and mis sex one of the babies! I know, ridiculous!! It means she was in with her brothers at an age where she may possibly have been able to get pregnant. So she would have to stay here until we were sure she wasn't pregnant. But there is also a question mark over whether she might be a hairless rat which can have health issues so I have decided it is best all round if she stays as a permanent resident too. She's utterly delish - very norty and cheeky, just my kinda girl.

As I type I am waiting on the arrival of a load more rats from a big rescue in Portsmouth. I'm not sure exactly what will arrive yet but sounds like lots of pregnant and nursing Mum's and their babies. Pics to follow soon of course :)

Phew, well I think that's everything for now!!

Monday, 6 August 2007

Times is tough

Usual apologies for the delay in updating....

Things are a bit tough here at the moment. Long story short Loki is still having tests and at the moment one of the possible outcomes is Leukaemia. You can imagine how worried we are :(

We've had quite a lot of new arrivals in the form of some particularly delicious dumbo rats and their babies. You can see the super cute pictures on the foster rats page. We also have a single chinchilla boy called Hans who I was quite worried about for a while as he was very thin and not eating much. He is doing great now though - all he needs now is a nice new home with a girlfriend.

The good news is little single mouse boy and single grumpy hamster girl are now cohabiting. It's early days but so far so good.

Anyway, please keep everything crossed for Loki. She is having an ultrasound and more bloods taken tomorrow so we should know a bit more then and hopefully know exactly where we stand by the end of the week.

Sunday, 15 July 2007


Dear me, look how long it has been without an update!

Well, Begley's cough seems better although not entirely gone. We'll have to take him back for a checkup.

At the moment we are more concerned about Loki. When we took her to the vet about her chewed leg, she had diarrhoea everywhere. Consequently she had a course of antibiotics.

Then we found a lump by one of her nipples. So, on Friday, she had this and two skin tags removed. Her pre op bloods showed that her liver enzymes were raised so she needs a further course of antibiotics and retesting in two weeks.

Friday night her op site started bleeding so we had to take her back. Saturday morning we found two more lumps - one on her foot and one on her chest. So, once she has recovered and her liver is sorted, she needs to have another operation :(

In happier news, loads of the degus have gone off to their new homes today which is really great. There should be lots of new arrivals on Monday to take their place.

Friday, 29 June 2007

Mr B update

Well, Begley went to the vets again on Monday and Sandra thinks it's more likely a simple respiratory infection or some lungworm. So he has some wormer and antibiotics and we'll see how he goes. He has been a bit better but he does still have a little cough when he gets excited.

Loki has been chewing on her leg. We've been doing some work on the house this week so the dogs have been upstairs while we've been working downstairs. This is not acceptable to a Pokemon who does not like to be left out of anything. So she has shown her displeasure (and attempted to get attention) by chewing her leg and making it sore. So at the moment she has to have a bandage on it to stop her getting to it. She likes having a bandage cos she gets lots of attention and sympathy!! She's such a tart!

The little mouse mentioned a couple of posts down arrived this evening. Once he has settled in we'll try intros with the grumpy ham! Fingers crossed they hit it off.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Poorly Beeble

My poor baby man Begley is ill :(

It started yesterday morning when he began coughing. He has always tended to cough when on the lead or excited or when one of the other dogs lays on him but this went on all day.

I took a video to show the vet

So we took him there this morning. She thinks he has a collapsed trachea which apparently is a genetic condition. This is why he coughs when pressure is put on his throat, when he exerts himself or gets too excited. We're hoping to see Sandra in the next couple of days to try and find out more about how serious this is. I'm reading conflicting info on the internet and it seems we need it properly assessed to see what grade of collapse it is. He may need medication, he made need surgery, or we may just need to keep him cool, calm and not too podgy. It's very worrying anyway - he is my very special boy and I love him so very much. He has been milking it for all it's worth today - as if he wasn't enough of a spoilt brat already!

Sunday, 17 June 2007


Today is not a happy day for me :( It's a year today since Fraggle came to live with us so today we should be celebrating her first gotcha day. But she is no longer here :( And it's Father's Day which is a sad day when your Dad isn't with you either.

So it's nice to have a cute piccie of a future new arrival to cheer me up. This is the little mousey man who is coming to stay next weekend and hopefully be the grumpy russian hamsters new friend. Isn't he scrummy?

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Too hot!

I forgot how horrid the rodent room is in summer. Within five minutes of starting cleaning out I'm sweating horribly and no matter how much I clean it permanently smells in there :(

We have had some more new arrivals since the weekend. Bizarrely enough, after Jilly, Cassie and Bunny came for their hols, two of Jilly's daughters have been returned. Nothing sinister, their Mum's circumstances changed and she did totally the right thing and returned them to us. And they've come back clean, healthy and with lovely temperaments. I don't suppose they will be here very long. Of course, Jilly is their Mum and their Dad is one of Spike, Beaker and Fozzie who were returned in April. Quite spooky!

I had a lovely time with Mollie this evening. She has been a bit neglected the last few days. I just dont seem to be able to catch up with things at the moment. I'm behind on the cleaning and don't even ask about the state of the house! So there hasn't been much time for vermin princess cuddles. So tonight she came out and she was bounding around the room like a nutcase! So I started fighting with her with my hand and to my delight she fought back. We had a lovely play and she was really enjoying herself! It was hilarious. Her claws were a bit long so I trimmed them and all the time she was having playful little nibbles at my fingers. I am an incredibly happy, proud Mummy tonight :D

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Me again

You can't shut me up today!

We have some new arrivals. Guess what? More degus!! Four young boys who were left over pet shop stock. They seem like nice, friendly, healthy lads anyway. I can hear them having a chat with their new neighbours from here!!


Announcing the new name of our latest addition.

Henceforth the chinchilla formerly known as Lily shall be known as "Skye".

I thank you!


I can't believe this. I've only gone and broken my toe - again! This is the fourth time in as many years! First I broke the little toe on my right foot by whacking it really hard on the base of my bed. Then I broke the second toe on my right foot when I fell out of the shower (dont ask). Then, just as that was almost healed, I jammed it into a metal cage and broke it again. Then Friday night I opened the kitchen door to walk into the kitchen but mistimed it so pulled the door back and moved my left foot forward at the same time. So now I have a pretty purple line all the way down my toe and it reaaaally hurts! I guess it's something to do with having silly clown feet!

Anyway, apart from that all is well. New chin (who STILL doesn't have a name) has settled in brilliantly. And I have some ex foster rats here for their holidays - Jilly, Cassie and Bunny (now Maddie). It's lovely to see them again and, after a few coming back looking not so great recently, especially nice to see them looking so very healthy, happy and well cared for.

Friday, 8 June 2007

It's Official...

....we are now a three chinchilla household again :)

Introductions have gone well and the new chin is now living in the main cage with Star, Astro and the degu girls. We have a lot of work to do to convince her that humans aren't terrible evil things but we have plenty of time for that. At least now she has lots of friends and she seems quite pleased about that.

Here's her pic. Isn't she stunning?

All she needs now is a new name. I want to stick with the theme and have a few ideas but nothing definite yet. I'll keep you posted ;)

Monday, 4 June 2007

It's a sad day today

I've had two messages to say that ex foster babies have made their way to the bridge today.

First of all there was Sprout. Sprout was one of the same group as Widdle and Poop. They were one of my first litters of babies and a very dear group to me. Sprout was one of my particular favourites as he was always the troublemaker of the group. Sprout developed a pituitary tumour which didn't respond to treatment so he was helped on his way to the bridge this afternoon.

And then there was Flower who was again part of a special group. She came in along with Bluey, Rolo and Yogi, some of my all time favourites. She was an incredibly pretty, dainty little thing, a real girly girl. She had been ill for some time with various tumours and was helped to the bridge this morning before she begun to suffer.

Run free babies :(

Saturday, 2 June 2007

At last!!!

Finally, after ten months, Chilly, Chester, Mickle and Bob the gerbils have found a new home!! They honestly are the loveliest gerbils I have ever met and yet they waited and waited for a new home purely because they were pink eyed whites. I'm so pleased for them but I am going to miss them SO much. Particularly the little kisses they used to give me each night in exchange for their dinner.

We have a couple of new arrivals too. First off there is a little russian hamster who is going to be a friend for a single mouse...hopefully!! No name yet for that one.

And then there is Lily the chinchilla. At the moment she is a foster but she is here in the hope that she might get on with Astro and Star. I prefer to keep things in threes so that if one dies, no-one is left on their own so I'm hoping she'll bring the numbers back up. Chin intros can be a nightmare though so it'll probably be a while before we know if things will work out. If she stays she'll probably have to have a name change though since there can only be one Lily and she was a small but very norty rat! She's quite a stunner...I'll get pics soon!

Monday, 28 May 2007

Bye boys

So yesterday Big Daddy, Zak, Murray and Junior went to their new home.

I was a bit wibbly but not too bad. I guess partly because I am so sure that they're going to a great home and partly because I'll probably see them again as Alexis usually has her rats come back here for their holidays.

Mollie is still doing really really well. I must weigh her again cos she feels so solid now!!

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Another Mollie Update

She is doing SOOOOO well :D

I weighed her and she has gained 30 grams!! Which is about 10% of her bodyweight so pretty bloomin amazing. She is really active and bright and we've got a lovely new routine going. I get in from work and pop her into her carry pouch while I make up her milkshake. As I'm mixing it up she pokes her little face out the pouch and sniffs the air all excited!! Then she has a feed and then another one before bed. No wonder she's turning into such a porker!

Sunday, 20 May 2007

Mollie's Progress

I'm delighted to report that Mollie is doing really well. She is much brighter, feeding well from the syringe and eating some solids for herself too.

I took some cute vid of her having her tea the other night. I don't know why it has that silly Youtube message on on the play button and it does work, honest!

In other news, Big Daddy & Sons are going to their new home next weekend. I'm so happy for them cos they're going to someone I know quite well who has adopted from me before so I know they are going to have a fabulous life.

Friday, 18 May 2007

Mollie is poorly :(

Apologies for the delay in updating. It was intially because there really wasnt much to report. Although I'm crazy busy at the moment keeping up with caring for everyone, there haven't been any new arrivals or homings to report or anything like that.

And then the last couple of days have just been all about the mollster. Wednesday night I got her out to play only she wasn't interested in playing at all. Then she didn't touch her food overnight which is unheard of. She has been very lethargic and not at all with it - even for Mollie.

I've been doing some research and talking to various squirrel people and it's looking like she might have a calcium deficiency. So I'm syringe feeding her a sort of milkshake full of lots of vitamins and it does seem to be helping. This evening she has picked up quite a bit so hopefully that will continue.

Anyone who knows me or is a regular visitor will know what Mollie means to me. She's like my baby, I utterly adore her. The thought of her not being here anymore is just unbearable. So it has been a pretty rough couple of days. Please keep her in your thoughts and pray she continues to make good progress.

Monday, 7 May 2007

A silly pic

Nothing much to report today. Just been using the extra day off to try and catch up a bit really.

Oh I did get a new phone last week with a much better camera which makes taking adhoc pics of people doing silly things much easier. So I thought I'd share this one of the vermin princess waking up.

Saturday, 5 May 2007

Farewell Dear Friends

Today some very special friends have gone to their new homes.

Bad foot and Sidekick, my two special spiny boys, and Gracie no legs and her little friend, have gone to their new home with Kelly who runs I know they're going to have a wonderful life there but I will miss them here.

Spike and Beaker also went to their new home with Jo. I handed everyone over near Guildford and saying goodbye to the boys was really tough. I've known them for nearly a year now and have forged such a strong bond with them with everything they have been through. I have to admit to crying most of the way home - I thought I was past the crying when the rats go to new homes now but I guess not!

I forgot to update you on Nads too. It turns out her lumps are hernias! Although not brilliant at least they're not tumours which was the main worry. The vet thinks its best to leave well enough alone since she seems to be coping well.

Anyway, the place is pretty chaotic at the moment so I must go and sort everything out.

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Sleep well Scabby

My favourite little spiny mouse, Scabby Hop-Hop, left us for the bridge this evening. No warning, just gone in his cage. I guess he was probably quite old. It's very sad though as he had a nice new home all lined up for him soon.

In happier news, Stumpy McNolegs (aka Grace) is doing great and last night moved into a bigger cage with a new friend. They're getting on great :)

Mollie is back to her old self too :)

And I'm hugely relieved to report that Spike and Beaker have been offered a fabulous home with Jo who rescued them originally. She has several baby boys so will be able to introduce them to some new friends immediately. Hopefully that will perk them out of their current depression.

Degus are all doing well. Nads is in at the vets tonight and will be having a scan in the morning to see what her lumps are. Fingers crossed they're nothing sinister.

Sunday, 29 April 2007

Mollie & the toast

Poor Mollie had another fit this morning. She was quite out of it for a while afterwards so I brought her downstairs for a cuddle and a share of my toast. I couldn't resist taking a little video cos she was so enthusiastic!

Otherwise a nice uneventful Sunday in SprogLand. So I'm signing off for my Sunday night date with the boys in Supernatural and Lost!!

Saturday, 28 April 2007

Degus R Us

Well they have arrived. Another 18 of them!

There were going to be 6 boys and 12 girls but as I checked them I noticed something amiss with one of the boys. He actually looked too much like a boy. Sorry to be indelicate but his bits were HUGE! Degu boys don't usually have visible dangly bits! So I looked more closely and realised that he was actually a she with two big swellings in her groin. I don't know if they are perhaps tumours or if she is very very full of milk. She'll be off to the vets on Monday so please keep her in your thoughts. I pray it is something easily fixable as I'm rather in love with her already. I always planned to adopt a few girls from this rescue since I've lost a few of my girls now. So I've decided she'll stay here for the rest of her days one way or another. I just hope it's for plenty of time yet. I have called her Nadine - Nads for short. I know. Sorry!!

Mollie squirrel had a fit today :( She came through it fine as usual but afterwards she had a little trouble holdng her food. I pray it was just that she was a bit squiffy and not anything lasting or a sign of things to come. I'm so very aware that at 8 years old, with all her problems, every day is a miracle really.

Spike and Beaker seem better. Well Beaker does definitely but Spike is still not himself. There is no sign of any illness though so I think it is just grief.

Anyway I'll let you know how things go with Nads

Thursday, 26 April 2007

TFI Nearly Friday

A mixed day really.

The good news is that Stellar and Lunar have gone to their new home this evening. Their new Mum is lovely and I think they are going to be very spoilt indeed :)

The sad news is I am worried about Fozzie's brothers, Spike and Beaker. They didn't eat very much at all overnight. I am giving them antibiotics in case there is something going round but I rather suspect they're just depressed at the loss of Fozzie. I know many people will think that is anthropomorphising but rats really do grieve. I have seen it before where perfectly healthy rats can literally die of grief when a cagemate leaves them. Realistically neither of them are young anymore and someone is going to get left alone before too long. I'll have to have a good think about their future.

I'm terribly behind on cleaning again between trips to vets and things being a bit hectic with Dave's new job. So that'll be my weekend taken care of again!! Tomorrow Emma and I are doing a major critter swap and she is taking some spiny mice, the four boy gerbils and Edie and Fern in exhange for me taking 15 female degus, since I have more degu suitable cages than her. It's going to look like an explosion in a degu factory round here by this time tomorrow!

The sad thing is I've had the grand total of one enquiry offering a home to some degus. It's so sad. They really are fabulous animals and so much fun. I don't know why nobody wants them. It's sad for them spending their lives in rescue but it's also sad for all the animals we're having to turn away because we're chockablock with degus right now. And I suspect we'll be full up with degus for months or possibly even years to come the way it's going :(

Ho hum. Bed beckons. At least it's Friday tomorrow!

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

So many goodbyes

I've been spending some time catching up with ex fosters in their new homes recently. For the most part this has been really positive and I've heard lots of lovely stories about how well they're doing and seen some fabulous photos of them having fun in their new homes. And then all of a sudden I've had a run of people reporting that friends are no longer with us. It doesn't matter how long they were here, how long ago, I remember them all, I have love for them all and it makes me so sad to hear they have passed on.

And then this evening I went up to start cleaning and as I went to let Fozzie, Beaker and Spike out for a play, Fozzie leapt into my arms and I saw that he was struggling to breathe. We got him to the emergency vets and he had some treatment but he died in my arms on the way home. It seems his little heart failed him. This is extra sad as Fozzie never found his proper forever home :( Run free Fozzie bear xx

So I'm afraid I'm feeling rather down this evening. I'm off to bed now with a large packet of biscuits!

Sunday, 22 April 2007


Lunar and Stellar the chinchillas have found a new home! I've just spent 45 minutes on the phone nattering to their new Mum and I think they're going to be very happy. They're only going local too so hopefully she is picking them up mid week which will free up some space for some more degus.

I split the current group of 12 into two yesterday as they needed more space now they've settled in. And the amount of mess they make is shocking! I put the best looking six in one group and the ones who still look a bit rough in the other. The first group now look pretty normal. Apart from being a bit thin there is little sign of what they have been through. It's amazing how quickly they bounce back. The second group are still a bit tatty looking but all very bright and active.

The back has been a lot better today so I've managed to have a pretty good go at the cleaning. Still only fairly basic cleans - oh how I long to hose some cages down, never thought I'd say that - but it has made a big difference.

Quite a lot of the spiny mice are a little poorly at the moment. They have little respiratory infections which is making their breathing a little noisy and they have lost weight. So I'm administering tiny little doses of antibiotics to them. Bless!

That's about it really. The humans here are a bit tense today as Mr Sprog starts a new job tomorrow. He is coming to work for the civil service with me! And I have a big day at work tomorrow with an accommodation move and new bits of work coming into my team so I'm signing off for the day now. Going to go feed the monsters and have a nice hot bubbly bath before getting an early night with Supernatural and Lost!

Friday, 20 April 2007

Oops I did it again

So frustrating! I tried to start doing bits and pieces and I've put my back out again! There's so much to do at the moment and I really need to refurbish some of the cages which are looking worse for wear. But any amount of bending and it's back to square one.

The good news is though that the degus are doing really well and are looking better already just for a few days of good food.

Loki's foot is also a whole lot better and Grace the stumpy spiny continues to heal brilliantly :)

Monday, 16 April 2007

The degus are here

Tonight we took in 12 male degus from a big rescue. They came from a home where 150 degus had been living in three small cages and are in a pretty poor state. Bless them though, they were starving and so trusting. They have been climbing over me to get food and were so happy for me to pick them up and check them over. We really need to find them homes ASAP as there are still about 100 degus left in the original home and we can't take them until we make more room. Please get in touch if you can help.

Sunday, 15 April 2007

A new look!

I've been laid up for a couple of weeks after managing to tear a ligament in my back! It has been unbelievably frustrating not being able to get things done. But I have spent quite a bit of time on the computer updating records and things and I've revamped the site a bit. I'm quite chuffed with it given my extremely limited website skills. You'll notice a new feature on the blog too which shows you some of my videos on YouTube which you can click on to watch. Hope you like the new look :)

Anyway, this afternoon I'm feeling much happier as I've been able to complete a round of cleaning. I'm still not as up to date as I'd like but at least everyone has been cleaned out reasonably recently. I'm preparing myself for an influx of degus tomorrow!

I'm currently nursing a rather special little spiny mouse girl. Her cagemates attacked her an bit her legs. I separated her and in the time it look me to prepare a cage for her she chewed half of her own back legs off! It was pretty horrific but these creatures really are quite amazing. She has pretty good stumps which are healing remarkably quickly and she charges about like nothing happened. The other good news is that she already has a new home lined up for when she's better, with the owner of the All About Mice forum! I'll keep you updated on her progress.

Loki sprog dog pulled a claw out of her foot last week and her toe has gotten infected. So she is currently bandaged up and milking it for all it's worth!!

Well time for me to go and watch Lost!!!

Saturday, 24 February 2007

Some new arrivals

We had a few rats go off to their new homes last weekend which helped things to calm down a little here. Where we had been spilling over into the bathroom at least all the rodents are now contained within the rodent room!!

Sadly we've lost a few of the spiny mice. I don't know why really - many are doing really well and some who had bad injuries initially have healed well and gained a lot of condition. But others have died suddenly and without explanation. Maybe they were elderly, maybe it was the stress of all they have been through but it has been rather disheartening.

Still, we must be doing something right as in the last week or so we have had 7 baby spinies born here! They are incredibly cute and arrive in the world with fur and eyes open. These guys pictured here are just a few days old.

Today also saw the arrival of Erwine. If you've been visiting this site a while you'll know that we had to stop dog fostering as we had a tendency to fall in love and keep them! Which is how we ended up with six dogs.

But when we heard Erwine's story we had to come out of fostering retirement. Erwine had been kept in a brick built, windowless shed for the last eight years! Emma at Furry Friends had offered him a rescue space but then found out that he had a friend in the shed with him. We couldn't bear the idea of that poor dog - for whom Erwine had been her only company for years - being left there alone. So we said we would foster her. Then it transpired she was pregnant so we took Erwine instead. It turns out Erwine is Tara's Dad and the father of her unborn puppies!

Erwine arrived this morning filthy, emaciated, matted, dehydrated, with an eye infection and probable kennel cough. After a bath he slept most of the day but this evening has been looking a bit brighter and has had something to eat. His road to recovery will be a long one but it's obvious already that there is a very lovely dog waiting to be discovered in Erwine.

Sunday, 11 February 2007

Even busier still!

Well after a busy weekend two weeks ago last weekend got even sillier.

A big rescue of spiny mice was taking place but we thought they were all placed in rescue. However when they were collected there were found to be a lot more than originally thought - about 400 altogether! So despite already being pretty full we ended up with 84 of them. Thankfully about 15 have now gone out on foster elsewhere but since most of the girls are pregnant I think those numbers will soon be replaced!!

So all week we've just been trying to keep up with all the cleaning and feeding. Eight of them went in to the vets on Friday to have tails amputated as they were badly damaged. Fraggle went in the same day to be spayed and have a lump removed from her face. She didn't react too well to the anaesthetic and was very confused and upset Friday night. She's much better now though thankfully.

Today we're anticipating the arrival of 9 rats from Birmingham so it's a very full house here right now!

This afternoon Widdle and Poop moved in with the four girl rats which was really nice. They seem to be enjoying their new home and new room mates :)

Monday, 29 January 2007

Phew! Busy, busy

It's been a bonkers week here!

Quite a few people off to their new homes at last which is nice. Although it has been sad saying goodbye to some who have been here a while such as Jake, Geb and Toby.

Over the weekend we've had a huuuge influx - 1 russian hamster, 8 roborovski hamsters, 2 chinchillas, and 12 rats! As well as the arrival of ex foster boy Pickle who has come to stay while his Mummy is in South Africa.

Everyone is doing ok after the lice business. Keeya has a little abcess on her throat but she's growing at a rate of knots right now so I think she's fighting it off ok!

Saturday, 20 January 2007

It's been a rotten couple of weeks :(

Well I've put this off for two weeks but it's time I faced it now :cry:

My worst fears came true and two weeks ago yesterday Squirt and Dumpling were taken from me very suddenly.

My two lovely boys fell victim to a lice outbreak here. Dumpling's death was to be expected I guess, he was very weak anyway. He had had a head tilt which had been very tough on him but he'd started to bounce back. I organised a cage for him so he could get about safely but be back in with his friends and this seemed to make all the difference. He'd been doing really well, he'd gained weight and being his usual cheeky little self.
But Squirt was a big fat boy of little more than a year old so losing him was a total shock. I can only assume there was something else, some underlying condition we didn't know about.

It transpired all the rats here had lice on some level so I've had to treat everyone and quarantine myself for the last couple of weeks. So Jake and his gang are still here, although they leave tomorrow. Some of the baby girls are reserved, as is Melody the hamster which is great news! So we should have lots of people leaving for their new homes in the next week or so (and plenty more waiting to come in too!)

It really has been a horrible couple of weeks. Losing my boys has been horrid, worrying about all the other rats has been tough, I've had flu myself, Dave has been recovering from an op and Fraggle the dog has been unwell. We found a lump on her face which needs removing but she also has an infection in her mammary glands and has been having a phantom pregnancy. As soon as she is over all of that she'll be booked in to be speyed and have the lump removed. She has been so depressed poor baby but a homoeopathic treatment (pulsatilla) has really helped and she is now bouncing round the house like an overgrown puppy again :)

Let's hope 2007 looks up from now on!

Friday, 5 January 2007

New Arrivals

Last night we were joined by some more baby girl rats and their two Mum's. Pictures and details will follow shortly.

Today I am mostly worrying about Squirt the rat who was looking poorly last night. He has a flare up of mites (which he has always been prone to) and is a bit limp and breathing funny. My concern is that it is heart trouble like Honey had. He is off to the vets this afternoon. I have also treated Dumpling for mites and his breathing is a bit noisy too.

When I'm not worrying about them I am pondering that Jake will be leaving me for his new home tomorrow, along with his new brothers. He is special to me anyway having been born here in a litter of just two rats, because I kept his Mum and sister and cos I met his Dad and Uncles who were absolutely adorable. But aside from all that he really is the most remarkable rat I've ever met. He is so full of fun and naughtiness and literally a laugh a minute. Every night I get distracted by the four of them demanding play and they are going to leave an enormous gap in the rat room. I really will miss them a great deal.

So please send healing thoughts for Squirt and Dumpling and keep everything crossed that I get through tomorrow without blubbing like a baby and making a wally of myself!!

Monday, 1 January 2007

Happy New Year

New year, new blog page, new resolution to post more regularly!!

I recently computerised all the animal records which has given me the capacity to see quite easily what we have done this (I mean last) year! So today seems like a good time to review 2006 and share with you what we have achieved.

It's a bit scary 2006 we took in 292 foster animals! This breaks down as

2 chinchillas
1 chinese hamster
8 degus
1 dog
24 gerbils
18 mice
178 rats
3 roborovski hamsters
54 russian hamsters
3 syrian hamsters

And what happened to them?

201 found new homes directly from here
41 were returned to Furry Friends HQ to be homed from there
12 of them died :( (this was mostly babies who didn't make it)
9 of them stayed here :D
29 are still here

That's a whopping increase on the 74 animals we took in during the 7 months of 2005 that we were fostering! It has been a busy year that's for sure. There have been a lot of wonderful moments and seeing pictures of some very special friends enjoying their new homes never fails to put the hugest grin on my face. There have been some sad goodbyes too but even so I am just grateful to have known these animals and had a chance to give them a little happiness before their time came.

So, deep breath, and on with 2007!!!