Misc Rodents

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Little Bastard

Little Bastard

A person who engages in compulsive hoarding is commonly said to be a “pack rat,” in reference to that animal’s apparent fondness for material objects.

I have seen this again and again firsthand. It’s amazing.
I’ve been through 5 rats now and am onto the last of my boys.
Jane would hoard whatever she could into the bottom of her cage. April would build nests nearly a foot high. *giggle* George hoarded loves. My boys hoard food.

Not all animals are the same, just like people! I love rats. My very first is George. She was sold to me as male and she was a hairless dumbo that looked like George Burns. I re-sexed her before getting her a friend and didn’t rename her. I like confusing people, I guess.

Dumbo refers to the ears being set wide to the sides of the head.
Hairless is just that, but doesn’t have to be truly smooth, just mostly naked.

Jane was George’s friend. She was a fancy coat dumbo that was not eligible for sale having had an abscess removed.

George developed a head tilt a year and a half later that was not treatable with antibiotics. Later she lost a bit of weight, developed dry skin and within 3 months she was done. Suspected pituitary tumor via Rat Guide.

Did you know the Humane Society has many more animals besides cats and dogs?

April was adopted from the Humane Society a week later. She and Jane got along well, but April was LARGE by comparison. Very strong and very skittish. I guess she wasn’t very much a pet rat in her previous life, just left to their own devices. She was dumbo chocolate Berkshire.

April developed mammary tumors. She was not a good candidate for surgery due to her behavior. Once she lost mass around her hips and along her spine, and 1 tumor the size of a golf ball and several others developing, she was humanely euthanized.

Jane developed mammary tumors a short time after and hung in with us for several more months. Her primary father did not want to go through surgery with her and when she was becoming emaciated she was humanely euthanized.

I had to take a break from rats for a while. Too much heartache.

That being said, I did take rats back up in 2010. I had 2 hairless dumbos males named Little Bastard and The Captain. Later, there was Damien. He was a standard pink eyed hairless.

Currently I am out of rats again for awhile. The Captain had some neurological issues. Damien was too sick by the time I found out he was sick. Little Bastard went through a growth removal, then abscess treatment related to suture issues. He ended up with pneumonia.

Hamsters are great as well. They require less work and are an excellent starter pet. When I was 22 I got a hamster. I had one as a family pet back in the day and this was my venture as an adult.

I have only ever had Syrians and this was a female named Tator Tot. Her nickname was Tor and we harped on her lovingly for being well tempered and overweight.

After a year and a half she gave out without rapidly failing health.

These two types of rodents don’t have a lengthy lifespan. Normally 3 years is very old age

3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by lucy on June 17, 2012 at 12:48 am

    Hello my name is Lucy and I have a couple of questions and comments for you. I have one hamster (my other one died of old age just a week ago) and since then my other hammy (Squeaky) broke her leg and had to get it amputated. I saw that you have experience with small animals and E-Collars. As you know, they love to clean themselves. Since the surgery, she has been doing well but still is anxious and has been cleaning herself more and more. I have also noticed that she has tried to get at the stitches, too. So the vet told me to spray Grannicks Bitter Apple Spray onto her leg (or lack thereof) and she has been pretty reluctant to go at the wound. That is up until tonight. I am wondering what you think I should do. Should I make or buy an E-Collar? They tried that at the vet and it did not fit her. I have been up for 48 hours straight trying to constantly monitor her. If she fails to stop chewing at the wound the vet said that we should put her down. Having just lost her sister, I would be devastated to lose her too. Any advice will help.

    Thanks, Lucy


    • Posted by Lala on June 17, 2012 at 1:28 am

      It was equally distressing for myself and my rat to have to work with the Elizabethan collar. He liked to groom and eat and play and I liked to keep him happy. The vet’s office made him a collar out of the x-ray film, finished the edges with a medical tape and stapled it on him. They told me to keep it on him for a week and hand feed him. After the first 24 hours I took it off and gave him a break and trim it. We got it back on after 15 minutes when he started to investigate his wound from his growth removal and chew at it. I taped it back on(couldn’t find the stapler). The next day I worked on it with velcro and regular times during the day would remove it for periods of normalcy.

      If you can make one and you have confidence in what you are doing then by all means it’s worth the peace that your baby is not chewing themselves open.

      I didn’t have LB wear it after 4 days. He would naturally chew at it and keep up the scabbing but was not actively chewing INTO it. The incision was healing well underneath. Rodents have an amazing metabolism.

      Here’s a video of a hamster with an ecollar for an idea of what you can expect.

      Here is a guideline for the rat version of the collar that I had posted before.
      I was fortunate to not have to start from scratch and work with Lbs’ collar from the vet. I trimmed it back significantly because he wasn’t able to drink well from the water bottle.

      Poor baby wearing a tiny collar

      Good luck Ms Lucy. I hope it works out in your favor. We can’t always force it to.


  2. Posted by lucy on June 17, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Thank you so much for the links. I am going to try to DIY this, but I hate to watch her when I know she is uncomfortable, but it is for her own good. I will upload a picture if I can later on. Can’t thank you enough for your advice!!


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