Friday, March 31, 2006

Be very very quiet...

"We is sleeping..."

"Treats is nice, naps is better."

"Come back when you gots some treats."

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Those old mice

I took the old mousey girls out during their cage cleaning and let them run around in their adventure balls. They love it. You would think at their age they would rather just sit, eat and sleep. But these two old mice ran all over the floors, even seeming to want to run circles around my feet.
After the cleaning was complete I reconfigured the cage and tubes, adding a junction to where the mouse's favorite nest area was. Poor old Curly, 'the chubby brown mouse,' had a hard time finding the nest while her sibling ran right into it. After watching Curly searching and seeming to become more panicked I picked her up and placed her in the nest. She sniffed around, chewed on some bedding and then started mapping her paths into the nest.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Transplanted mice cells ease rat paralysis

Transplanted mice cells ease rat paralysis

NEW YORK — Scientists eased the paralysis of rats with spinal cord injurise by transplanting cells taken from the brains of adult mice, an encouraging sign for developing a human treatment, researchers reported

Saturday, March 18, 2006

And then she was gone.

It's Saturday evening and she's near the water bottle, laying on her back and turned slightly to her side on a small mound of bedding.

Her eyes were open and at first appeared bright but after a few moments I knew she was gone. She was slightly warm so she had not been gone long. I took her out and prepared her burial cloth with treats.

After 'Big' Quimby began her journey I went to the cage to clean up the spot where she had her last moments. It was then I noticed the other mice had plugged up one of the tubes leading to their nest, as if they had sealed her away from their sight. I took the two remaining girls out and cuddled with them for a while . When I returned them they immediately ran to where she had been and laid down on the spot, their ears flat and their noses down.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Poor old girl

She is slowing down more and more everyday. And now we suspect she may have also had a stroke. Her vision loss is more obvious. I tube feed her some PediaSure and it took some effort to get her to relax long enough to do that. I also made sure that there is a water bottle low enough for her to get at. As pathetic as she appears, she can still move around very well.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Old Little Girls

"Big" Quimby is starting to show her age. And her eyes are showing signs of cataracts. The first thing she does when I pick her up is run down my fore arm and tuck her herself in between my elbow and rib cage. She often pauses and looks as if she is panting. But when I listen closely I do not hear any signs of respiratory distress.

Her little little sister appears to be taking care of her, often checking in on her while she is busy fussing about.

Mice show what is in store for the rest of us as time goes by...

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Post Little Quimby

When the girls were moved back into their cage while Little Quimby was in her final moments I noticed they seemed to stay out of the areas that Little Quimby had spent her time in the most. Eventually I noticed the small brown went to the nest area that Quimby spent most of her time and laid down with her ears flat, looking rather mournful.

Booger's forgiveness

Booger does not like the medication routine. Who would? Especially when he has to be scruffed. Then he is very, very unforgiving and I have to spend a quite a bit of time to regain his trust.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

And then there were three

I watched Little Quimby has she took her last few breaths. She did not struggle or convulse. Her breaths became deeper and less frequent. And then she was still.

I picked her up, wrapped her in her burial cloth with her favorite treats and prepared her for the journey.

Little Quimby

I am at a lost with what I should do. Even though she drinking with assistance Quimby is still loosing weight. She appears to have only partial use of her limbs on one side and even though she seems to see a little with her one cataract effected eye her other eye is a complete loss. And there may be a secondary infection in and around the lost eye to boot.

Quimby is a strong-willed old lady mouse. But I am conflicted in doing what is right.

I have decided to remove her sisters from the temporary cage and return them to their home cage, leaving Quimby by herself. I gave Quimby one last feeding and cleaning and left the heating pad under the cage. There is ground up bits of food and a low hanging water bottlet with PediaLyte near her. I can not help but want to go and check her every few minutes and hold her. I know there are things I can do to help her along in a gentle way but even those cause me to pause.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Little Quimby Update

Quimby now squeaks, chatters and wiggles if she knows I am checking on her. She does not move around very well on her own, sliding along on one side or rolling to get where she wants to be. I have started to give her PediaSure and hope her system can handle it. One possible good sign is she pee'ed and pooped while I was feeding her. Quimby appears to really like the PediaSure over the PediaLyte and will suckle the tip of the syringe when it is offered.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Booger update

Booger definitely does not like one of his medicines. And he hates the part when I have to scruff him to give it to him so I have to spend some time profusely apologizing to him afterwards. But even though I have not listened to his lungs to see if there has been any change he appears to be sneezing less.

Little Quimby Update

Quimby lingers on. I was sure when I found her this morning, buried under bedding, that she had passed on. When I picked her up she was not only breathing, but she quietly chattered at me and took some PediaLyte from me. But I am at a loss whether or not it is the best thing to let her go on her own or to help her along...

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Little Quimby Update

There is a little hope. Today when I have tried to get her to drink off of the syringe of PediaLyte I could see her lapping up the fluid. Eventually she would push the tip away and make little chattering noises. I then wipe her snout off with soft tissue and cuddle her for a bit.

Booger's doctor appointment

We brought Booger in due to concerns about scab, skin lumps and his breathing. The fact that he came to use as a 'rescue animal' was always an issue to be considered.

The examination found that the skin problems were not a real issue at this time. There was no sign of parasitic infect. Examination of his lungs with a stethoscope found there may be a problem with one of his lungs entailing a possible viral or bacterial infection. A regimen of Enrofloxcin and Panmycin was prescribed. The doctor also discussed issues of contamination of the other rats and suggest Booger be kept in a separate area from them.

Little Quimby Update

There is no real improvement. However Quimby is persistant. I cleaned her and tried to get her to drink some more and made sure there was food for her. The heating pad is still in use.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Mighty mice for sale -- mighty expensive at least

Raising lab animals is big business
BAR HARBOR, Maine (AP) -- When it comes to the price of mice, you pay extra for defects.
A mouse with arthritis runs close to $200; two pairs of epileptic mice can cost 10 times that. You want three blind mice? That'll run you about $250. And for your own custom mouse, with the genetic modification of your choosing, expect to pay as much as $100,000.

Little Quimby Update

Quimby has not improved so much that she will get up enough strength to crawl across the cage to snuggle into a different spot. I have watched as she has nudged into one of her sisters, even pushing one out of her way. Or she will seek out a particular sister to cuddle with. The sisters, even the big, bossy and sometimes mean chubby brown mouse Curry, have been taking their terms nursing Quimby. But I have looked in to find Quimby alone in one corner and the sisters all piled up on each other in another corner and I worry that they might be giving up on her.

Quimby appears to know when I am reaching for her and will crawl into my hand. She still gets annoyed with I try to dribble PediaLyte around her mouth and will make little squeaking, squealing noises in protest. I put her down on a cloth or napkin to see if she will walk on her own and she will, making little circle waltzing motions and she will appear to become more and more agitated if she does not have her sisters or my hand near by. I am keeping the heating pad under the temporary cage as well I have ground down bits of food in the corners and a low-hanging glass water bottle for her.

Quimby does look awfully pathetic. But sometimes it seems she is looking right at me with what vision that remains.

Little Quimby Update

For what it is worth, Quimby pooped in my hand when I was cuddling her and trying to get her to drink some more drops of PediaLyte. She also insisted on sitting up with her body at an angle so her head could look over my finger, as if she was trying to maintain some sense of nobility.

Little Quimby update

Again, there is no real change in Quimby's condition. Although she appears to be getting around I am concerned she is not eating or drinking enough. I have tried to finger feed her food and fluids but she only gets annoyed. I have resorted to rubbing droplets of Pedialyte around her mouth so she will clean herself and hopefully hydrate a little.

Quimby's sisters are being helpful with her care but I suspect they are starting go go a little 'batty' being in the temporary cage. I am taking them out for walk abouts in their balls.

Monday, March 06, 2006

LIttle Quimby Update

Little Quimby's condition has not changed too much. But she does complain loudly if I pick her up. I've added a heated pad under the cage where she and her sisters are staying. I have tried to get her to drink and I have added some more crumbled up food. Quimby's physical state changes from moment to moment. She will lay on one side and push herself along or she will sit up and toddle off with her head drooped ot one side. Her sisters seem to be keeping an eye on her...

Quimby Update

The old girl is still with us. Quimby is just as feisty and even nibbled on my fingers when I picked her up. I have been breaking down food into smaller bits to make it easier for her and she has access to two water supplies, on mixed with Pedialyte, from tube water bottles. Although I am keeping her with her sisters and they might be taking food from her I am more afraid of Quimby becoming distressed from being away from her sisters and that they are 'nursing' her and keeping her warm.

Little Quimby

It is cleaning day and Little Quimby is not well. For the last few days she appears to have been losing weight and has been less active and I am sure I heard her crying out a couple of times. Now she appears to have had a stroke with some partial paralysis and I think she is now nearly blind. Quimby already had trouble with cataracts in one eye and now it appears the other eye may be lost. She was 'waltzing' at first but appears to be gaining back some stability. She gets extremely agitated when I pick her up, squeaking and insisting on being in motion. But when I put her back with her sisters she settles down. I am keeping Quimby and her sisters in the temporary cage so it will be easier to keep an eye on her through out the day...

Friday, March 03, 2006

Boober comes home...

Boober, a name I chose, is a charcoal male rat. Boober was offered by the pet shop as a 'rescued animal' so I was at first relunctant to take him for fear of disease or infestation. But when I met him my mind and heart changed. He was brought out and I could tell he was the right boy rat for my life. I reached over and skritched his cheek and back and then picked him up and placed him on my shoulder. Boober snuggled into my scarf and seemed very content.

Boober spent the first few minutes at home sitting in his box, pushing his bedding out at us as if to shield himself from our affections. Eventually we just took him out and had him sat in our laps and on our shoulders while we prepared his home. By now the ratty girls began to notice someone new in the house...

I sat Boober in his cage and he at first stayed in the upper level and acted as if he was moping. He would at first refuse any food offered to him by hand but eventually took an offering of yogurt covered cheerio and dried banana chip. I took him out and had him sit with me on the bed with the option to hide under a bath towel. Boober slept off an on while we took turns adoring him.

The ratty girls were fawning and mooning at every chance to look at Boober. They sat on the top shelve of their cage overlooking Boober's cage as they watched Boober making himself at home.

Boober found the bottom level of this cage and hid in his igloo house. He would pull in bedding and I noticed he had started sneaking treats down to his secret cache. This really got the ratty girls excited. I sat across the room and watched as Boober searched and explored his new home, rearranging bedding to his liking and stopping once in a while to look towards the ratty girls.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Rats in Art

Jim & Beth Boyle have a wonderful website where they share their love of rats, as well as their love of rats in art.

Be sure and check out Duncan, curator of the rat art gallery - what a sweetie!