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Rae (RIP)

Origin: Animal Care Rescue Centre (originally found outside)
Born: 1 June 2010 (estimate)
Died: 2 November 2012: Aged 29 months
Cause of death: Weight loss and weakness, decreasing ability to eat and clean, laboured breathing (PTS)
Colour/variety: Champagne Berkshire
Health: ABs for rattles on one occasion. Tooth root abscess at 11 months treated successfully. Often porphy and very prone to losing weight. Blind and deaf from around 18 months.
Weight: 276g
Temperament: Friendly, calm, gentle, sweet, somewhat...dim!
Nicknames: Rae-Rae, Softy, Thicko, Clueless Nine, Dozy Twelve

02/11/2012: Rae has been looking, feeling and acting ropey for the past year or so, not keeping weight on and being more clueless than usual due to turning both deaf and blind (cataracts), and I've been expecting her to slip away for a good while now. She's been perfectly content with life, but then she has always felt "apart" - never showing strong reactions to anything really, happy or scared etc, it was like she pottered through life without nothing ever affecting her in the same way as the others. I'm not sure if this had anything to do with her hearing and eyesight or whether it was simply her personality. Rae was a very sweet and pleasant rat, and I do feel she's had a lot more lives than one! When she recently became respy again, I initially felt she may well be able to continue for another while if we treated the resp infection - but I also found it difficult to tell if she'd had enough, as we've never had the connection I've been used to. She was still reasonably active (admittedly in a loose sense of the word) and moving around slowly to show interest in what was going on (as much as she ever was, anyway!) but her eating had become remarkably inefficient; it would take her ages to finish just a few grains of dry mix, and she would just lick wet food before losing interest. Despite feeding calorific things we were in a situation where she just weren't able to ingest as many calories as she expended. When the last resp infection started, she was side-sucking and hadn't cleaned herself, and I couldn't see her improving beyond getting rid of the resp infection - the eating and cleaning problems would have remained, so eventually I opted to let her go. Float away, little Rae, float away.


Rae is a little darling, such a sweet girl. She was found outside and handed into a rescue centre, and we took her on a couple of weeks later. We named her Rae after Ray Mears :-) We have no idea what her story is or how long she'd been outside for, but she is very personable and didn't take long to get used to us at all. She has been very quiet and calm during intros and gets along with everyone - a very easy rat although quite playful. When she first came to us she didn't seem to sleep a lot and was always awake when we came into the room! Rae has a gorgeous rich champagne colour and an extremely thick and velvet-soft coat. Because of the colour of her coat and eyes, she is difficult to photograph well. Rae clearly has very poor eyesight and I also think that her hearing is impaired; she often toddles off in the wrong direction when we call them, and sometimes walks in circles with her head up (like she's trying to locate the sound) when we try to get her attention. She also sometimes gets a little stressed and barbers her forearms. In general she is quite dopey and not particularly aware of her surroundings but manages completely fine in the cage (occasionally walks into obstacles during freerange!) and is a really sweet, quiet girl. She tolerates anything but doesn't really engage much with the other rats or us - she's perfectly pleasant and takes part in everything, but she doesn't get involved in the group dynamics. When we put them back into the carrier after freerange to take them back to the cage, they always flock around our feet; we count them as we put them in, and there's always only eight - Rae will be plodding around on her own somewhere else, with usual oblivion to all the hustle and bustle around the carrier. Hence the nickname "Clueless Nine" because she's always last to go in and she always looks surprised when we pick her up!

Rae developed a nasty facial abscess in May 2011. The vet did a FNA and drew out some pus, but said it was a very deep tooth root abscess which couldn't be completely drained due to Rae haemorrhaging. We opted for strong AB intervention (metronidazole and clavaseptin) rather than surgery and it has panned out extremely well. The abscess has shrunk to the point of not really being visible, although the hair that was shaved off for the FNA isn't growing back at all. She is well and happy and was kept on the ABs for 4 months to keep the abscess under control.

Rae has been to one rat show; the critique and more info can be found on the Shows page. Because of her facial abscess I won't be taking her again - I won't put her through the stress of a show day even though she seems fully recovered.

Rae received a NERS Bronze Longevity Award for reaching 28 months.

(click thumbnails for larger versions)


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