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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Carolina Rat Is Still With Us

It was just two weeks ago that I took our pet rat, Carrie, in to the vet to be euthanized. I didn’t feel completely confident with the idea because she wasn’t doing as poorly as other pets I’ve euthanized. She was lethargic, not very responsive and frail looking, but she was still eating and drinking though we had to place food in front of her to get her interested.

While we were in the exam room and waiting for the doctor, I noticed that the lump on the side of Carrie’s face had gone down. I had thought this lump was a tumor, but tumors generally don’t decrease on their own right? Once Doctor Katie started her exam, I soon realized there was a chance I would have to run the errands I had planned with a live rat in the van rather than the dead one that wouldn’t have caused any problems.

Carrie was diagnosed with a pretty bad ear infection and a slight respiratory irritation. The doctor set us up with some oral Baytril and some Baytril drops for the affected ear.  I knew this would likely only give Carrie a few more months, but I was thankful for the chance to make things right by improving how she felt. I also felt more at ease knowing I couldn’t possibly put her down for an ear infection.

That day was the day before my son’s birthday, so I had a lot of running around to do. Since we live in a small town and the vet is in a big, busy town, I still intended to do my shopping. I made Carrie a little tent within her pet carrier and she was just fine to stay in the van on that cool spring day. My kids had been reminded to say goodbye one last time to her that morning so they were happily surprised to see her twittering around in the carrier when I arrived home. They’ll have to say goodbye again some other day.
Carolina is feeling much better now. She’s walking around and investigating things like a good rat. She can’t climb or jump much anymore, but she sure hasn’t given up on life. She’s eating heartily all on her own and still can’t resist anything with peanut butter. To be sure, I’ve never met a rat that could.

This is Carrie. We sometimes call her Blackie though she's more of a dark brown. She'll be three years old in July of 2012.

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