Thursday, 28 February 2008

Poor Frank

You might recall that amongst the recent new arrivals was a group of three boys, Frank, Miles and Daniel. Frank is the little man with a head tilt.

Last night, just as we got into bed, there was a lot of banging and crashing and squealing from the rodent room. I rushed in there to find poor Frank being attacked! He has three wounds on him but there's not a mark on either of the other two which just goes to show that it was an attack rather than a squabble.

So poor Frank has had to be separated and is now on his own. I have no doubt that if he'd been left in there they would have done him serious damage or even killed him. I'm very surprised as there had been no sign of any problems between them previously.

So once Frank has had all his mite treatments I'm going to try introductions with Ronnie. I think the two of them might be compatible and Reggie could then go in with the babies arriving tomorrow.

Hans Update

I'm delighted to report that Hans has begun eating for himself again today. He's looking much brighter and has been in the sand bath and generally much more alert and active :)

Less delightful is the fact that I managed to go to work today with the gloop I'd been syringe feeding him all down myself with realising. Oops!!

Wednesday, 27 February 2008


Please keep Hansy Man in your thoughts. Last night I found him looking very subdued and with a gooey stuck together eye. I cleaned his eye and gave him antibiotics and eye drops but I was really worried at how subdued he was and totally off his food. I wasn't sure he'd last the night to be honest.

Well he has been to the vets today and it's not clear what's going on. The eye itself is ok but the tissue around it is very inflamed. It might suggest a problem with his teeth which would be very bad news. So we're carrying on with the eye drops and antibiotics and adding in some painkilling anti-inflammatories. We're also syringe feeding him so he can get his strength up a bit. Then he'll have an x-ray on Monday to see what's going on with his teeth.

He is looking a bit brighter this evening and took some of the syringed formula quite willingly. Please keep him in your thoughts so he gets his strength back and keep your fingers crossed that it's just an eye infection and not a tooth problem.

The Noobs

As mentioned, we were expecting quite a few new arrivals.

On Sunday we took in 9 new rats from three different sources. Firstly, from a home in Norfolk we have The Slaters. A group of four girls with lots of mouth! They were pretty shy on arrival but then they had had a long day. Now they're much more friendly although none are overly keen on being picked up. They're a really cute, funny bunch who have got the hump with my own girls being in the cage next door and have been huffing and puffing at them and then taking in out on each other like a bunch of chavs outside a nightclub on a Saturday night, hence the names! Although they're "boring black hoodies" they have really nice markings and are all very pretty. They need to stay here for a few weeks to make sure they're not preggers.

So, the boss is Kat. She is the friendliest and once she realised I was ok she spent most of the evening on my shoulder

Second in command would appear to be Lyn. She is curious but really sounds off when you try to pick her up!

Then there's Zoe who has a really pretty white nose which you can't see in this pic

And then there's Little Mo, the smallest and shyest of the batch and almost chocolate in colour.

And showing what nosy little monkeys they are

Also from this same home is Barney. He has been living on his own but his ex owner said he was ok to travel with some other boys. They disagreed and took a big chunk out of his shoulder. This has closed and scabbed already but he's a bit of a mess bless him. He's riddled with lice and covered in scabs and cuts. He's obviously meant to be a big handsome stud muffin but at the moment he's just a very battered old man. I'll see how he reacts to some baby boys who are due to arrive soon but he may end up being neutered. Dave has fallen in love with this lad big time. He is such a sweetie !

Then, from a local home, came these three boys, also crawling with lice.

Daniel and Miles are two very well roaned huskys and a lovely pair of squishes. They're easy to tell apart as Miles has a stripe of colour left on his back



And Frank is a smeezy lad with a headtilt. I suspect he has had this for a while but he'll get a course of baytril just in case. He copes well with his headtilt although he twists when he gets stressed.

And finally there is the evil that is Reggie. He was the only boy in his litter and is undoubtedly the naughtiest little monster I've ever met. He is totally full of himself. I've introduced him to a lone lad, Ronnie, this evening. Ron is 5 months to Reggie's 8 weeks ish but it's obvious he'll be boss. He kept running up to Ron, bouncing on him, and then running away as if to say "chase me, chase me"!!

Here's Reggie

And with Ronnie

I'm hoping to add at least one other baby boy to their group as I think Reg will want a friend of his own age.

And then last night we took in a group of four spiny mice. Now this case saddens me. More so than the rats who came from a home where they were missexed, left to breed and crawling with lice even. This is one of the spinies who arrived yesterday

And where did he come from? The home of someone who knew no better and let things get out of control? No, another rescue. Who on earth can animals rely on if they can't rely on a rescue? It really saddens me.

So none of these animals will be ready for homing for a little while since almost all have parasites and/or wounds to recover from first. Still, they're safe now at least.

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Skip Again and some imminent arrivals

I'm pleased (delighted) to announce that Skip is doing great. Everything seems to be functioning well and he has been producing poo and pushing out the right end ok!! Unfortunately last night I gave him a new flavour of baby food and neglected to check the ingredients thoroughly and missed that it contained tomato. For some reason tomato really does not agree with Skip so this morning I was greeted by the sight and smell of Skip, Quest and Tim all covered in orange diarrhoea. Pleasant! Still, it's all coming out which is the main thing I guess!

I tided up the animal database this morning and was pleased to note that we only have 62 animals here at the moment which is a reasonable number for us. Of course, I spoke too soon! Tomorrow we are taking some rats from a large batched being rescued from a home in Norfolk. Not sure how many yet but definitely 4, possibly more. We also have 8 baby boy rats due in from an accidental litter. Then Emma called to ask if I could take a group of three girls who have been handed in this evening. One appears to have a pituitary tumour which is a type of brain tumour common in rats which affects their mobility. It's likely she will need to live out her days here. Emma is also taking back a large number of spiny mice from a rescue who have been unable to home the ones they took in from the big rescue we did a year ago.

So I don't think the numbers are going to stay that low very long! On the plus side, when Sylvia goes to collect the animals from Norfolk, she is taking Whiskers, Pretty and Biggles the degus and Hobbs the hamster to their new homes. I'm really pleased for the degus in particular although I shall miss them lots. I know I shouldn't have favourites but I do have a major soft spot for those three girls and was tempted to add them to my own group. But I decided to see how things panned out and if a home came up for them they would go and if there are others left without a home they can stay.

So today and tomorrow we're moving things around trying to make as much room as possible for the new arrivals. I'll update you once they're here :)

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Another Skip Update

Skip got on well at the vets today :) They've managed to pretty much empty him out and his tummy is back to normal size! It's so good to have him home. He's supposed to be sore and resting but nobody told him! He has been bouncing round the cage, digging up scraps of dried food left over from Quest and Tim's dinner last night and stuffing his face. He really is bloody amazing!

We're not out of the woods yet. There's still a chance that something ruptured and he'll die of peritonitis in the next few days. And I don't know if having been so full will have stretched his colon further up and whether he'll go on to have worse problems with his pooing that we won't be able to solve cos they're higher up. Only time will tell really whether he can make a full recovery from this.
For now I'm just SO glad to have him home and looking well.

Monday, 18 February 2008

Skip Update

The good news is that we cleared Skip's bottom blockage Saturday night. The bad news is that there seems to be a blockage further up that we can't get to. He hasn't been to the toilet since we unblocked him and his tummy keeps getting bigger and lumpier as he is still making poo but it can't go anywhere :(

So we took him to the vet tonight and he is staying overnight. In the morning they will anaesthetise him and try to ease the poo down through his colon and out the other end. It's a risky procedure as his colon could rupture which would be fatal. Even if we get him home tomorrow the next few days would be critical as we wait to see if he becomes ill from peritonitis caused by a rupture.

So please please keep him in your thoughts. If anyone can do this it's Sandra our wonderful vet. If anyone can survive this is Super Skip. The odds are against him but then they always have been and it hasn't stopped him so far.

I won't even try to tell you how I feel about this. He's my world and I adore him. He has to be ok :(

Saturday, 16 February 2008


To all those waiting to hear from me at the moment. It has been one of those weeks.

Skip is still bunged up, one week on. I'm so worried about him and he's getting very fed up with my efforts to debung him and is trying to bite me. I can't begin to describe how much I hate this, I feel so useless and so scared :(

Added to that we've had four losses this week. Raini degu, who was expected really, Mags and Silly degus who just went totally out of the blue, and Tara the roborovski hamster. Dear Tara was more than two and a half years old and the last of my own robos. She had been slowing down and getting rather crotchety for a while and I was expecting to have to make a decision about her soon. But she went by herself last night. Play nicely with your sisters at the bridge darling.

Please keep Skip in your thoughts. If we don't solve this soon then I think it might be time to call it a day :(

Saturday, 9 February 2008

New arrivals

I was quite relieved by last weekends clear out as things were pretty crowded. I decided I wouldn't take anyone else in to give me a chance to catch up a bit. Of course, the best laid plans and all that!

On Tuesday Emma asked if I could help with some roborovski hamsters. She'd had a batch brought in by someone who had been breeding from them and no-one wanted them. They had been fighting badly and Emma had had to separate some of them. So I took a group of three who had been kept separate from the others. On arrival I checked them over and found, to my dismay, that there was one boy and two girls. So they have had to be separated obviously and we'll have to wait and see if the girls are pregnant.

And then on Thursday Emma asked if I could help with some rats. She had had a call from a woman who'd had a single female rat for about a year when she decided to get her a friend. So she went to the pet shop and bought a four month old male to live with her!! As if that wasn't plain ridiculous enough, this is the cage she had them share


Yep, that is a hamster starter cage, although I wouldn't keep even a dwarf hamster in it myself. This poor year old lady suddenly had a young hormonal boy sharing that tiny cage with her and she had nowhere to go to get away from him :( So she (now called Roxy) joins Calista degu and the two roborovski girls on Baby Watch. The boy, Ronnie, is having a few days chill out time on his own and then I'll see if he would like to lodge with Skip's crew until some suitable boys to pair him up with arrive.

Speaking of Skip, he's bunged up again :( He had been doing amazingly well and pooing for himself quite a bit but almost overnight he got into problems. Still, at least we know how to sort it now I guess.

The Sprog Dogs and the New Sofas

Our second hand 15 year old sofas were starting to collapse so we decided to treat ourselves in the January sales. A couple of weeks ago our new sofas arrived. Although it seems the sprog dogs are under the impression that this was their treat rather than ours ;D

Tessie Doo thought they made a great place to play :)


Gratuitous cutey doo pic

Begley likes the corner


And apparently the cushions are quite cuddly!


And they're great platforms for the previously unseen on film Begley cheeky face


Loki, who isn't usually one for being on the sofas, has hardly left them


Fin, with his foot fetish, loves the reclining action

Cass approves

The only hitch so far is that Barney finds them a bit hard to get up on with his bad hips. But he's getting there. And we have a solution...more on that later


Some group shots


But, even better than the new sofas is what we did with one of the old ones. We put that at the back of the living room and have created a doggy area in that back half of the room. This means that they can (with the exception of loony doo) all be left loose at night or when we're out so no more crates for them :D

Cass loves that she can lay on the sofa ALL day instead of - shock horror - having to sleep on the floor sometimes!

She doesn't mind sharing with Barney too much though. Barney can get on this one easily and is realising that sofas are pretty nice places to be!


Tired now!


And doing his Elvis impression!

We quite like our sofas too but obviously that's not what really matters ;D

Saturday, 2 February 2008

I know I say this a lot but...., what a day!

The day began early when we met the wonderful Sylvia who helps transport animals to their new homes at Emma's. Today 12 animals travelled to their new homes thanks to Sylvia!

Kimberly, Shortie and Shyla will be lodging with Sylvia and then Lois, another furry friends fosterer, on their way to their new home in Poole.

Spike and Nutmeg will be lodging with Sylvia before travelling to their new home in South Wales.

Snowberry the hamster and Percy and Squits the spiny mice went to live with Hannah, who has adopted from us before. They'll be very spoilt rodents indeed :D

Minnie the gerbil went to live in Chesterfield, and three of the group of 7 gerbils went to live in Pontefract.

So, after that big clear out I'd planned a big blitz, sort out and move round in the rodent room. As so often happens though I got distracted. For a few weeks I'd been looking at that nice big new chinchilla cage and poor lonely Hans and wondering. I thought the chances of introducing him successfully to another male and two female chinchillas and a group of 5 degus was pretty slim. But he has been so lonely, I thought I had to give it a go. 6 hours later (which seems like a lot but is far, far quicker than I expected) and they are all living happily together. It was the easiest introduction I have ever done of any animal I think. I'm still in shock. I am SO SO happy I can't tell you! Hans arrived here 6 months ago having just been neutered after falling out with his brother. There had been complications with his neutering and when he got here he was horribly thin. I opened the door of his carry box and he jumped straight out into my arms. It was love at first sight but there was no room in the old cage for him. Dave (who insists all chinchillas are evil) and I are both besotted with Hans. He's always at the cage door wanting a fuss and a play. He's the most affectionate chinchilla I've ever met, even more so than Astro. So we're both really chuffed that he'll be staying with us. If a little worried by what evil we may have unleashed on the world by giving Astro a partner in crime!!