Unfortunately at 1:00am on Wednesday 27th February one of our beloved Fancy Rats, Daisy, had to be put to sleep.
She had not been very well for a while, ever since she first got a mammary tumour. The tumour was successfully removed and luckily never returned.
For the next couple of months, Daisy and her cage-mate, Deirdre, were on and off antibiotics because one of them had blood in their urine. We figured that this was Daisy in the end, after they were separated briefly.
Gemma and I were happy with the way things had progressed when suddenly, late last year, Daisy had developed a little lump above her right eye.
This was bad.
The lump grew rapidly and a vet advised us antibiotics to see if it was an infection of some kind and maybe a Biopsy at some point. The antibiotics did nothing, the tumour kept growing.
The next time we saw a vet, we had moved house. They explained how a biopsy could be inconclusive of it either being malignant or benign. Just before Christmas, we opted to have it surgically removed and biopsied from the removed tissue.
The results were inconclusive.
The surgery went well although not all of the lumps tissue was able to be removed. A small bit was too close to her eye to remove.
Again Daisy was on antibiotics to keep the wound from getting infected and once it healed fully, she looked like a nice normal rat again.
However, in the New Year, the lump started to grow back.
It grew back slower than it grew before surgery and felt more squishy as if it was an abscess.
Suddenly, last Thursday (21st February) I noticed how bad Daisy’s breathing was.
She was hunched over, squeaking as she struggled to pull breath in and push it out.
The next day we took her to see the vet again. Chest Infection. The vet as was an unhelpful, sarcastic, cold, useless twat who made us feel bad and pushed us towards antibiotics.
Daisy had them twice a day from Friday until Tuesday and she did not improve in her condition but got no worse. Not until Tuesday evening just before we went to bed.
She was hunched over in her little house inside the cage and she had no energy to walk. When she did try to walk, she fell over to her left. When she managed to walk to the edge of the cage and attempted to climb, she did not have the strength to pull herself up.
We took her to the emergency A&E vet in Cheadle Hulme and arrived at 12 midnight.
We had to wait 20 or so minutes to be seen as there was already a poorly dog being seen by the vet.
She told her of all of Daisy’s previous ailments and she thought a stronger, unlicensed antibiotic for rats would help her chest infection. It was only after we mentioned the fact she was falling to the side realised something was seriously wrong.
She observed Daisy walking briefly. She had her head leaning to the left, veered to the left while walking and fell to the left. It was not good. It could have been a tumour pushing against her brain or a Psychological Issue.
Only then did she advise that having Daisy put to sleep was the best option. It would have been cruel to keep her suffering the way she was.
Gemma and I had already decided to have her put to sleep even before we set off for the vet.
We said our goodbyes to Daisy and told her she would be missed and how brave she was for holding on and putting up a fight for so long. The vet took her away and that is the last we saw of our little baby ratty.
Daisy was a Black and White Fancy Rat with a mischievous personality and a stomach the size of Russia.
She lived to be 2 years and 8 months old and we loved every minute of looking after her.
She wasn’t just a rat, she was a pet, daughter and sister.
She was, no IS, loved and will be sorely missed by all her lovely life had touched.