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.