C's Grandpa died on Thursday. I'm thankful that he wasn't home suffering very long, about a week. And when he passed he was at home with his 3 children, his wife and one of his grandchildren. What more can you ask for?
Aside from that, sweet little Echo had to be put to sleep this morning. She was our last one of our rats. We will be taking a short break from pocket pets for now I think. :(
Not such a great weekend.
:( Went downstairs to give Whiskey and Echo their morning meds and Whiskey was tucked under the shelf covering and just not interested.
Their respiratory infections seem to have cleared up - no more wheezing or sneezing, and Echo is running around like a maniac - but I think fighting off the infection might have been too much for the old girl.
I picked her up, tucked her in her hut with lots of fleecy blankets and a bowl of her favorite baby food mixed with some avocado. She doesn't seem to be in any sort of distress. Breathing fine. Just very very tired. I'll check back when we get home tonight, but I think this might be the end of the road for our little old lady.
Got home and she had increased respiration and had was bleeding vaginally. Took her to the ER. The vet said she had developed tumors on her uterus and her spleen.
Rest in peace my sweet little Whiskey.
Headed to the vet with Whiskey. :( She is peeing urine so bloody its brown, and it has sediment in it.
It is one of 4 things most likely. And only one of those things is fixable for a rat, so wish us luck.
On a side note, I'm so glad we got the new rats, because Whiskey has totally dug having them around. They all sleep curled up in the hammock together, its so cute.
November died during surgery.
Thanks to everyone who was supportive the past few weeks.
I'm disabling comments. I'm very mad at myself for not getting her help sooner and just don't feel very deserving of comforting words anyone might want to offer. It turned out to be an abscess. Not a tumor. Rat abscesses are different from people ones. They are solid, so they can be mistaken for a tumor. This means that if she had had a successful surgery, it wouldn't have come back. I hate myself a little right now.
Whiskey hasn't come out of her hut since we took November away this morning. Not even for her favorite treat...
She is starting to lose a bit of interest in food. But she is still eating. It might be the totally unappetizing combo of eggs, mayo, and avocado mixed together that she got for dinner tonight. But we are trying to stick with high fats and she loves eggs so I was hoping those would tempt her to eat the avocado and mayo. Her surgery is tomorrow, unless the doctor says its too big to do.
Please wish us luck and send good vibes this way.
PS. We got the new girlies last weekend. But have had too much on my mind to take a picture of them. They are very cute though. They are quarantined in a different room from Whiskey and November for a couple of weeks. I'll try to post a pic. One of them is a bit of an odd ball, but we are trying not to judge.
Vet visit went well. Although the skin over the tumor/cyst burst a bit while we were there and squirted a some pinkish liquid on me, the doctor and the table. Kind of gross, but i'm glad it happened there rather than at home where i would have probably freaked out.
But I digress. He of course recommended removal, not sure what it is, a tumor or a cyst (rat cysts aren't like people cysts, they are solid material inside) But whatever it is, it needs to come out. So she will get dropped off in the morning and we will be able to take her home that night.
And the cost? Literally 1/4 of what the first vet said.
Lesson learned - Call around, or ask someone else to do it for you if you are scared. And just like for people, get a second opinion.
He did stress that if it was tumor, it might just come back, and come back quickly, but it also might not come back for a very long time.
So I'm cautiously optimistic. :D She will be having her surgery on the 18th. Hopefully she does ok between now and then.
I feel bad that this is all i'm posting about these days. But its consuming my brain.
At least when I'm not watching total garbage tv,
thank you Wipeout, The Hills, The City, Hell's Kitchen,
and not so garbage tv, thank you
So You Think You Can Dance and Glee
. Its a good vacation from my brain.
I've also been powering through some graphic novels. Kick Ass
was as awesome as the movie,
. V for Vendetta
was good but totally different from the movie and I really liked the move. And so far I'm thoroughly enjoying Angel: After the Fall
.( But back to the health updates, which will explain my serious need for some escapism. )
After some more research we've decided to call around a few more places to try and look into having November's lump better examined and possibly removed.
Research indicates that if it is malignant, the vet really shouldn't have suggested surgery, because it's pointless. And that if its benign, it really shouldn't cost so much.
I am really wishing I lived in CA right now. For whatever reason there seems to be far more specialized vets out there, and because of that they charge a lot less for the surgery. But it has given me hope that possibly the place we took her too might be more costly than the norm.
We are not getting our hopes up too much though, because its still likely surgery won't be an option because of the size and location of the tumor.
She is still active, walking on her wheel, and interested in treats though, so I'm cautiously optimistic that we have a bit more time with her. And trying not to focus so much on worrying about the inevitable that could be as much as 3 or 4 weeks away yet. We are watching her like a hawk though for any signs of distress. Rats can be very stoic.
In the meantime, we've found a couple more young females in need of a good home from a rescue person recommended to me by a co-worker. They are still very young though and will have to wait a week or two before we can bring them home. I know they will one day break my heart. But its the best possibility for Whiskey, and they need homes, and I need small furry creatures to love. And before all this happened I had been checking our local Humane Society website weekly for rats or mice or gerbils in need of homes, since we have the cages to accommodate them, but alas there seems to be few of them in this area and a lot of bunnies and guinea pigs, which are both in need of bigger habitats than I have. So I know it is something I would do eventually anyway after I had gotten past some of my grief. And its better for Whiskey to do it sooner rather than later.
Thank you to everyone who has offered me sympathy, virtual hugs and advice so far. I know some of you probably can't believe I'm so consumed over a rat. But anyone who has pets should understand how they become parts of your family.
I really want to do a detailed post about how awesome Glee LIVE! was, because it really was fantastic and easily one of my favorite live performances of all time.
But I'm too distracted worrying about November and being sad. It's making me nervous that we are just going day by day and seeing how she is doing. The placement of the tumor is near her neck and could easily start to effect her breathing or arteries. And I don't want her to suffer at all, but we also can't be with her 24/7. And for the moment she is still getting around great and acting like her old self. But jesus the tumor is big in comparison to her size.
I'm also really torn about what to do about Whiskey regarding getting other rats.
Whiskey and November are like two peas in a pod. They do everything together, even still run on their wheel together, though they barely fit. And November is the brave one. Whiskey won't come out to see us, or get treats until November does so first. I'm worried about what it will be like for Whiskey when November is gone.
Rats are social animals. They usually like company of other rats.
Which brings me to the hard choice I need to make. Whiskey is still only 10 months old, she could live more than 2 more years. I feel like I owe it to her to try and introduce some new buddies into their habitat. But there are negatives to this. 1. it is possible that whiskey won't get along with newcomers or vice versa. although usually they will be best buds after a while if the introduction is done properly.
But its the #2 negative that is really bothering me. And that is that I don't think I want to keep going through this. Patches died less than a year ago. Chances are we will have to euthanize November in less than a couple weeks. And my heart just can't take it. Small furry pets are never going to live more than a few years at best. And I don't think I can keep losing them. I've been crying every moment i'm alone for the last 3 days.
I just don't know what to do. And I don't really have a lot of time to decide. New rats would have to be quarantined for at least 2 weeks and then introducing them will take a couple of weeks. So if I don't want Whiskey to be lonely for very long. Or get all freaked out every time I go in the cage and November or some other less skittish rat isn't around to show her it is ok, I sort of need to think about getting the new rats very soon.
I just don't know what to do. I don't think I can take a lot more heartbreak on the small furry pet department again in the next year.
This morning found out November has a fast growing cancerous mammary tumor.
Both C and I agree we aren't going to spend $1098 ($600 for the tumor, $600 to have her spayed so she will be less likely to get more or something like that) on surgery for a rat. No matter how much we love her. Once a rat gets a tumor, they are likely to keep getting them until they die. It's just hard to swallow, she is very young for this to have started already. Only 10 months. Usually they start getting the tumors closer to age 2 or older.
So we will keep her until she seems to be getting uncomfortable and then have her put to sleep.
I almost feel worse for Whiskey than November, she is only 10 months old and I will hate for her to be so lonely without her sister.
This afternoon we found out my Dad has a tumor on his bladder. He will have it removed in 2 weeks.
I'm beginning to feel like last summer is repeating itself....
I'm going to go have a good cry now.
I noticed a huge lump on November yesterday. Today I think it might be even bigger. It came on so quickly. It had to be within the last week, so I'm hoping its just a cyst or abscess, but its driving me nuts that its the weekend and I wont be able to get it looked at till Monday or Tuesday at the earliest. It just looks so big and painful. She isn't even a year yet, and grew so quickly, so I can't believe it would be a tumor....