20
Jul

I just wanted to post a quick reminder to everyone – this week is going to be VERY HOT and the heat can be extremely dangerous to rats. If the temperature in your rats’ living area will be going above the mid-80′s, they will be in danger of overheating. For tips on keeping rats cool and signs of distress, read this page – http://paperheartrats.com/summersafety.html

It looks like I will have some females available from my current litters – it’s looking like 2 or 3 pairs at this point. If you’re looking for baby girls – e-mail me ASAP. There are currently 3 girls available from each litter.

I had a number of non-responses from those on my waiting list, and I am pretty disappointed. I’m going to have to figure out a better system. This time around, the timing of my reservations was thrown way off – luckily I am keeping the babies for an extra few weeks so it’s not affecting when they are going home. But I know it’s been tough on the adopters who are waiting for their turn to choose. So in the future I will be stricter about a 48 hour limit for responses and may have to start asking for deposits again. But thank you to everyone who gets back to me promptly – it makes life a lot easier!

I finally got to the vet yesterday to pick up Lovett’s x-rays. I’ve shrunk them down so I can fit them on the page, so not a lot of detail is visible, but I thought some might find them interesting.

18
Jul

I have anxiously been awaiting my serology results since I sent them in last week. I am happy to report that I just got the results, and they are what I’d been hoping for! Johanna was negative for the deadly viruses (SDA/Sendai) and the only positive of any relevance was Myco. Myco is something that *most* pet rats carry, and I believe that I brought home a different strain of myco than my rats were used to, which caused the respiratory symptoms in some. That was my theory before doing the bloodwork (based on symptoms and conversations with vets and the serologist at the testing facility), and now that I have the results, it does back up that theory.
So – it is good news! I will still keep Iris’s babies an extra few weeks as I’d planned, to finish up their quarantine. But then they can go home as planned.

14
Jul

I just wanted to make a quick post to let everyone know that new pictures are posted of Iris and Wispa’s litter. I have also finally chosen naming themes for them and have posted my keepers. I will be working on reservations next week, I am just waiting to hear back from several people.
The pictures are not the best – but the babies were not being too cooperative and I was short on time. I think I got a decent shot of each. Iris’s rex babies are going through the “uglies” right now – they are molting and are a little threadbare right now, but that is normal and their hair will grow back over the next couple of weeks.
I did have a surprise in Iris’s litter…two dwarf boys. I have not had any dwarf rats in 2 years, and I did not think I’d see any again. But it’s become very obvious in the last few days that they are dwarfs and not just a little small. I am going to keep one of the boys…I do miss having a dwarf around!

12
Jul

Yesterday was an especially hard day for me. I found Lovett at the bottom of her cage when I went in to feed the rats at around lunchtime. She was not moving and at first I thought she might have been sleeping, but when she didn’t get up, I knew something was very wrong. I picked her up and she was just completely limp. If I set her down, she’d just fall right over. I felt her all over to see if there was an injury, and she squeaked when I touched the top of her head, sort of between her ears.

Since she wasn’t moving, I knew that there was not much that could be done for her. I brought her to the vet to be PTS (or treated, if they thought that was an option), but unfortunately she did not make it that long and passed away just before we arrived. I did have a necropsy done and also an x-ray to see if there was anything we could see. But the necropsy was inconclusive – my vet was not able to find anything, but said that if it was a brain/spinal injury that it may have been too small for her to see. I will be picking up the x-ray today so I will post it here when I have it.

I wanted to be sure that her death wasn’t related to the illness the other rats have had, but everyone else is doing just fine and they’ve been off their meds for a while now. She was too young for a stroke and since it came on so suddenly, Lovett must have hurt herself somehow. I’m not sure how since there isn’t much to get her head caught on in the cage and there is not a big gap between levels for her to have fallen – but I guess anything is possible. I feel terrible, she was one of my favorite rats I’d ever bred, and to lose her so young is really painful :( At least I have some great pictures (and memories) of her, and a son and daughter, both of which are wonderful ratties.

These are some of my favorite pictures I’ve taken…both of Lovett…

I also brought Johanna into the vet yesterday to have blood drawn for her serology tesing. She is doing just fine although her head tilt is a little stronger than it was before, from the anesthesia. Hopefully it will go back to normal soon! The blood was mailed out today so hopefully I will have results within the next several days.

08
Jul

I just thought I would update everyone with how all my ratties are doing. They are all doing great and everyone seems to have recovered from the illness. No additional rats got sick so I think the problem has been contained. I have a vet appointment for next Monday (the 11th) to get some blood drawn from one of my rats. I will send the blood into Radil, which is a lab that tests for infectious diseases. Then I will know for sure what they had, and will adjust my quarantine procedures from there.

I spoke to one of the doctors there, and based on their symptoms, he suspects that the rats were affected by myco, which is something that most rats bred outside of sterile conditions in labs have. But it is likely that I brought home a different strain of myco which affected a few of the rats, but now everyone has adjusted and they should be fine. I will still keep Iris’s litter an extra few weeks just to be sure they don’t come down with anything. I don’t expect that they will, but I don’t want to take any chances.

The reason that I’m waiting so long to do the bloodwork is to ensure that the rats have had time to develop antibodies to whatever they were affected with, so they show up on the test. Originally I had an appointment this week, but the vet suggested waiting at least 6-8 weeks after exposure, so I pushed it back one more week just to be sure I don’t run the bloodwork too early. It is expensive and I don’t want to end up wasting money by doing it a little too soon!

My rat babies are all doing great and growing fast! Yesterday, I started contacting those on the waiting list to work out availability for those inquiring. Hopefully I will know within 2 weeks if there are any available. Right now, I do have more people who want rats than there are babies, but some people I have not spoken to in a while and they may have gotten rats elsewhere. This is no problem since I have so many people waiting for rats, but it will take some time to figure things out. So if you’re on the waiting list, keep an eye out for an e-mail from me in the near future if you haven’t gotten one already!

That’s all for tonight – I will post again when I have more news!