Sundew, Sage & Ivy

September 2017 - May 2019

Sundew, Ivy & Sage

Sundew, Ivy & Sage

Rats in need of a home

Sage's bottom and Sundew

Sage's bottom and Sundew

As I’ve said before our local pet store has a little section where they offer animals for rehoming. We try to avoid looking, but it is right next to the sawdust and rodent food, so it can be hard not to take a peek. It was four weeks ago when we first noticed these three girls huddled up in one of the tanks. Actually it was Sage’s gorgeous nose that I spotted, with her white stripe who could resist seeing who it belonged to. As lovely as the girls looked, we had six rats at home, along with everyone else, and didn’t think we’d have the time to offer more rats a fulfilling home. So, it seemed the best thing to leave them and let someone else adopt them and give them the time and attention they deserved.

Week after week we’d pop in for supplies, and see the girls waiting, after a month we couldn’t take it anymore. As well cared for as the animals are at the pet store, nothing could beat a real home, even if it was already a bit overrun with rodents. During the adoption process we were told the rats were very nervous and did have a tendency to bite, probably why they were still waiting for a home. It wasn’t the best news, but once we’d made up our minds we couldn’t go back, so home they have come.

They are all still quite young, and apparently, Sundew is Ivy’s mum. Sage is a black hooded rat, with a lovely white stripe running up her nose, Sundew is a husky and little Ivy is beige hooded, and they all look very healthy if a little stressed at all the change. If we are lucky we can introduce them to our other six girls and they can live together in our office, for now though they tucked away in one of our old rat cages and enjoying a bit of peace and a nice fluffy bed.

What a wonderful surprise!

What a wonderful surprise!
When we adopted our three little girls, we warned they were a bit nippy. I am very happy to say nothing could be further from the truth. All three girls are so friendly and happy to be in their new home, and we are thrilled to have them.
Sage and Sundew are the most outgoing of the girls and once they realised they got to come out and run around everyday they went bonkers with excitement. I can’t tell you how lovely it was too see. There was so much rattie bouncing and playing, they even wanted to play with us. Ivy took things a little slower, than her sisters, but she too has ventured to onto the floor and is running around. She may not be as confident, or bouncy, as Sage and Sundew, but she loves to sneak around under the bed and see what mischief she can find.
As for living with our other six rats, I’m not sure that is going to happen. There is a little tension there, nothing horrible, but I don’t think leaving them alone together would be wise. As it is we let them out at the same time, the six girls in the office and these three in our bedroom and they can go and find each other if they want. We have the odd squabble, but it is broken up easily. Everyone seems happy with the arrangement and so are Derek and I. Time will tell if their relationship improves, but we don’t want anything upsetting the harmony for our six girls.
Everything has worked out so well, we have been very fortunate, and even though I wasn’t sure I’d have enough time to devote to our new arrivals they have fitted in perfectly. They come out twice a day, get a yummy treat of fresh bread at tea time and seem to happily sleep the day away :-).
Friendly ratties

Friendly ratties

When we adopted our three little girls, we warned they were a bit nippy. I am very happy to say nothing could be further from the truth. All three girls are so friendly and happy to be in their new home, and we are thrilled to have them.

Sage and Sundew are the most outgoing of the girls and once they realised they got to come out and run around everyday they went bonkers with excitement. I can’t tell you how lovely it was too see. There was so much rattie bouncing and playing, they even wanted to play with us. Ivy took things a little slower than her sisters, but she too has ventured onto the floor and is running around. She may not be as confident, or bouncy, as Sage and Sundew, but she loves to sneak around under the bed and see what mischief she can find.

As for living with our other six rats, I’m not sure that is going to happen. There is a little tension there, nothing horrible, but I don’t think leaving them alone together would be wise. As it is we let them out at the same time, the six girls in the office and these three in our bedroom and they can go and find each other if they want. We have the odd squabble, but it is broken up easily. Everyone seems happy with the arrangement and so are Derek and I. Time will tell if their relationship improves, but we don’t want anything upsetting the harmony for our six girls.

Everything has worked out so well, we have been very fortunate, and even though I wasn’t sure I’d have enough time to devote to our new arrivals they have fitted in perfectly. They come out twice a day, get a yummy treat of fresh bread at tea time and seem to happily sleep the day away :-).

Our three rats playing on the bed

Hello Inkie

Things just keep getting better with our new arrivals. They are so lovely they have even made friends with our little cat, Inkie.

Little Ivy is poorly

Little Ivy out and about

Little Ivy out and about

More rattie drama I’m afraid, this time our sweet Ivy is poorly. She has an infection of her uterus and while she is doing okay, it is still very scary and she will probably need an operation.

It started at the beginning of the year. One night we found her bleeding from her vagina. It was quite scary, but she seemed fine and active, and the bleeding stopped quite quickly. We were worried, but unfortunately at the time life got in the way and as nothing bad seemed to happen we thought she’d be okay without seeing a vet. But she wasn’t. Last night she lost a lot of blood and ended up looking very weak and unhappy. We got her straight to the vet this morning and she’s been given baytril to help treat her suspected infection. When she’s feeling better we’ll have to consider surgery to have her spayed to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Ivy is quite a shy girl, but she’s also very young, so I think it will be worth the risk to keep her healthy. For now though she’s back to her bright and sweet self.

Ivy's doing well

I am very happy, and relieved, to say Ivy came through her surgery and has made a full recovery. It was a very distressing time for all of us. Derek and I worrying about Ivy’s surgery, Sundew worrying where her little daughter was and of course for poor Ivy who didn’t understand what was happening. But we all made it through the surgery and were thrilled to bring our sweet girl back home.

The surgery was successful, although the vet did find something strange inside Ivy’s womb that was a little odd, still everything went well and we are not expecting any complications. Because Ivy is an adopted rat, we don’t know anything about her previous history, whether someone had tried to breed from her before which was what caused her problems and the mass that was found, we will never know. The most important thing is the lump was not a tumour and like I said apart from recovering from the surgery Ivy was just happy to be home.

Ivy was on a lot of medication after surgery, which she did not appreciate at all. Unfortunately she did develop a slight infection around one of her stitches, but this was cleared up quickly. Despite the vet wanting us to keep Ivy still and alone after surgery, she had other ideas and after just one night without her family, Ivy was obviously struggling emotionally. She was very lethargic, which we tried to tell ourselves was the surgery, but the morning after surgery we introduced her back to her family and of course she was as happy as can be, like a switch had flicked.

It is all over now though and Ivy is fully healed and back to her shy little self.

Our Beautiful Ivy

Our Beautiful Ivy

A sudden shock...

Oh my goodness, I really don’t know where to begin. We have lost our little Sage and it was all such a big shock. I had found a lump on Sage’s tummy, nothing major, and I knew straight away I wanted to have it removed. We took her to the vet to get her booked in. Now the vet we saw wasn’t our normal small animal specialist vet, but still she was great. She checked the lump and booked Sage in for her surgery with the small animal vet.

The morning of Sage’s surgery came around and we still weren’t worried. By now we have had many lumps removed from our rats and they normally come through fine and recover well. Sadly though, we got a call only an hour after dropping Sage off. Once she had been anaesthetised and easier to examine, the vet could see poor Sage was riddled with tiny lumps, some which would have been inoperable.

It was a horrible shock, but we agreed with the vet the best thing to do was let Sage go peacefully. It absolutely broke my heart, as we had planned for simple operation and weren’t even worried. Sage was so healthy and full of life, but those amount of tumours would soon have taken their toll on her, we could only let her go. Our sweet Sage was such a lovely girl. Sundew is crazy outgoing and baby Ivy is the shy one, Sage was always in the middle. A friendly girl, who loved a cuddle and happily wandered around at playtime. Of course there was also her beautiful nose marking that first caught my eye sticking out of bed in the adoption centre.

Sage out and about

Sage out and about

The hole Sage has left, as with all our rats, is a big one. We will take extra special care of her two sisters in her memory.

Our little Ivy is struggling

Our sweet rat, ivyAfter making such an amazing recovery from her surgery just a few months ago, I am really scared to say precious little Ivy is unwell again. I honestly don’t know what to think, a hole has opened underneath her left eye. This is nothing like what happened with our other rat, Buttercup, this is something different but just as scary. Our vet is positive, and given us medicine to help her, but we are terrified.

Of course we will do everything we can to help Ivy and get her through this difficult time. She is the youngest of our three girls, possibly even Sundew’s daughter. Ivy has the sweetest personality and to see her unwell again is heartbreaking.

With adopted rats, you always have this need to make up for the heartbreak of losing their first families. No matter how bright and outgoing they are you always see it affected them, and while it isn’t our fault it still hurts to know they have been hurt. To see Ivy suffer physical on top of everything she has been through is too much. Still she is far too young to give up on, so we will fight to get her through this and fingers crossed enjoy many more years with our sweet girl.

Sweet Ivy has gone

We tried so very hard to save our little girl, but sadly it wasn’t meant to be and we had to put her to sleep. To say we are devastated is an understatement. We have lost so many rats and to say goodbye to one so very young is almost too much to bear. We loved Ivy, like all our little rats, very much, so life without her will take some getting used to.

Ivy enjoying cold tea

Ivy enjoying cold tea

On a brighter note, Sundew is coping surprisingly well, and we will continue to support her in her epic rattie adventures and her love of yummy treats.

Sundew and Jessie, on an adventure

Sundew and Jessie, on an adventure

Retirement living for Sundew

Our sweet girl, Sundew has been slowing down over the past few months. She’s still enjoying waddling around our home, but she’s a bit slower and doesn’t climb as much anymore. We’d also noticed she wasn’t getting around her cage as well as before. At first we were reluctant to change her cage, because she is a rescue rat and can be quite sensitive we were worried the change would stress her. However we could no longer put it off, so we moved her into a retirement cage. These cages are not normally suitable for rats, but as they get older and climbing gets harder they are great to keep less mobile rats safe.

Sundew enjoying her new home

Sundew enjoying her new home

I made sure to transfer all Sundew’s favourite beds into her new home and I’m pleased to say Sundew took to the move very well. She actually seems happier now she doesn’t have to climb. She’s still coming out every morning and evening, just like she likes, but her time out of the cage, and her adventures, have decreased gradually.

It is a peaceful feeling watching our little girl wind down. Although we have only had her a relatively short time, just over a year and a half, Sundew was not a young rat when we got her. I am pretty sure she is well over two years old now, of not nearer three. When they get to such a good age, and have never suffered any illnesses, I find it very special to share their old age with them. Sundew has always been such a bossy and confident girl, taking to our family, and letting us know what she wanted so quickly it feels like I have known her since she was a baby. Don’t get me wrong we are still hoping to share our home with Sundew for many months to come, but we are at peace with her old age status and caring for her in this new phase of her life is an adventure we are honoured to be able to share with her.

Slurp

Slurp

Sweet little Sundew has left us

Sundew's favourite treat, milkshake

Sundew's favourite treat, milkshake

Our precious, and rather bossy, Sundew passed away last night and we found her this morning looking very peaceful in her bed. She had been out trundling around just before bed, early morning and bedtimes have always been her favourite play times, and she seemed very happy. Then like I say, we found her first thing this morning, looking at peace. I can’t say it wasn’t a shock, because we had both hoped for a little longer with our sweet girl, but as I’d said before she was ageing gracefully and we knew, though she’d only been with us a relatively short time, she was a very old girl. Both Derek and I feel quite lost without her, however it is always such a lovely thing to see your little rats through to old age and a peaceful passing.

Sundew was one of those amazing little rats who knew exactly what she wanted out of life. I still remember when I was first getting to know them, I let Sundew, Sage and Ivy out on the landing. I didn’t want to risk anyone disappearing under the furniture. That was fine for Sundew on the first day, but the next day she was not happy, refusing to even leave the cage. Not wanting to see my new little rat so unhappy, I opened our bedroom door and she was off like a shot. Sundew did a thorough exploration of our bedroom and then came trundling back to me all happy. From that day on she had the full run of our house, not that she was very interested in going downstairs. Sage and Ivy weren’t quite so adventurous, though Sage had her moments when she’d follow Sundew for a mini adventure.

I will never understand how anyone could give away any rats, never mind three such amazing girls. Still it was an amazing gift to us and I can only hope we made our three girls half as happy as they made us.