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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, my poor little Katie is getting worse by the day. She's no longer able to clean herself at all - if she tries she falls over. She's not able to find her food bowl easily, but when she does she scoffs it (so no problems with her appetite). She's lost a lot of weight too. :( My poor old girl

But, not all news is bad. Today is the best day she's had in the last few (I managed to get some experimental meds from the vet - an anti-inflammatory called Medrone? Today's her first day and it seems to be easing her a little.

These vids were taken this morning - approx 2 hours after her tablet. Usually she wouldn't be able to do a lot of this, and wouldn't be responsive to encouragement. You see me stopping her trying to get underneath the table? A few days ago she would have just backed up and tried again in stead of realising she couldn't go that way and try another. It's not much, but it's something :)



Apologies now for those of you with sound. The 'boobie' comment from my mum is something I didn't even realise until I'd uploaded the video. I have no idea what she was doing - but trust her to open her mouth when the cameras turned on lol



 

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Re: Poor Katie - vids

aww poor girl. She does look bad but at least she's moving around now. ):

Hopefully this new medicine combo will keep her going uphill. Good luck and *hugs* to you and Katie
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: Poor Katie - vids

Thanks Poppyseed :)

In fact, she's better tonight than I've seen her in a while now.



Normally she's not been able to sit up and clean at all - ok she does fall over a lot, but she's sitting there cleaning away! She's also sitting there munching away on a corn on the cob (stolen from my dads b-day lunch at the pub today lol) - looks like she approves huh?



AND! Using her water bottle! She's not been able to sit up and drink from this in almost a week, and I've had to resort to adding extra water to her babyfood mix.

I know it's not a cure, but it's so great to see even the smallest glimmer of her old self back again.

And please excuse the state of her cage - I cleaned her out last night with fresh towels - but this is the state she leaves it in overnight. She gets very confused with her food and bathes in her babyfood more than eating it =/ I'll clean her out again tonight, never fear!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: Poor Katie - vids

Me too :) Although I'm fairly certain this is the build up to 'the end', I'm glad I can at least ease her suffering a little bit
 

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Re: Poor Katie - vids

i love that your adorable naked rat is named katie...cause I am an adorable naked person named katie and I've never met a katie I don't like!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: Poor Katie - vids

Katie_Renee said:
i love that your adorable naked rat is named katie...cause I am an adorable naked person named katie and I've never met a katie I don't like!
LOL. My Katie is definately a Katie you would like, she is a right sweetie
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: Poor Katie - vids

Well, I just thought I'd post an update - see if any of you have any ideas on things I can do to help make life a little easier for her.

The vids below were taken today - the pics last night. She's been eating quite a lot this week, so she's put on a lot of the weight she'd lost in the last couple of weeks.

Her mobility is terrible - she's decided that sleeping in her cube hammock is a little too much effort now, so sleeps in front of it instead. Her day is usually spent taking meds and crawling between her babyfood bowl and bed. I've also found another three tumours in her abdomen :( to add to the 4 regular mammarys just under her skin. She's still bright and eager. Everytime I pick her up she's bruxing and boggling on my lap - and she enjoys the half-hour every morning when I crawl back into bed and she lays on my chest (I think she's playing sick to get spoilt lol)

She's drinking what she can, the babyfood has a lot of water in it so I'm lucky she's eating that. I'm also supplementing her with water with a little orange squash mixed in fed to her in a syring - again she'll take it, but sometimes under protest. I've had 3 bottles of ensure shipped over to me from the US, so I'm saving them until she really needs it.

She's going downhill slowly, but I'm not going to give up until she tells me too, or she tells me she's ready. We're aiming for christmas, so she can have her 3rd xmas.

So, here are the pics - she's laying down pigging on some mince pie (she'll eat almost the whole thing overnight





And here are the vids - she's been having a bad day today :( You can hear her bruxing in a couple of them, she normally does that when I hang around the cage









 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re: Poor Katie - vids

Well, today the poor old girls decided that she's not going to eat any more. I can't interest her in anything but chocolate ensure and a chocolate drop.

She's also started getting very stroppy - completely unlike her - and her nibbles are turning into small bites (I'm sure she's not meaning to, she just can't control herself any more)

:(

I think it's just going to be a wind-down to the end now.

My poor little girl.
 

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Re: Poor Katie - vids

have you taken her to the vet?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: Poor Katie - vids

Many times, she has what we believe is a pituitary tumour - and now tumours (although still reasonably small) throughout her body
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: Poor Katie - vids

I woke up at 3am and found that she'd managed to crawl out of her fleece blanket and was sprawled out in the corner of her cage, freezing cold. She was still breathing, so I brought her (and her blanket) into bed with me and tucked her up in the crook of my arm and tried to go back to sleep.

At 4am I woke up again, to find she had moved slightly, so decided it would be easier for us both if she slept on my chest.

Another sleep broken hour later - she started making these rattly sounds in her chest with every breath. And I knew then that this was going to be it - I just kept her comfy, stroking her while she struggled to breathe. This lasted until perhaps half past 5 in the morning, and suddenly she started gasping for breath. Well, this is when I KNEW it was it, so I held her in my hands, have her kisses while she was gasping and whispered to her to not fight...to just let go.

The gasping fit stopped - and she was deathly still, but still breathing. So I held her in my hands, just waiting to see what would happen. Then a second fit hit - she couldn't breathe at all. I was absolutely beside myself by this point - only because I hate seeing her try to breathe (even if it was dark - I knew she was awake and knew what was happening) and again, it stopped.

So, I just sat there waiting. She started to breathe again, and lay there in my hands pretty much unresponsive. I just sat there for perhaps an hour, whispering to her - telling her it's ok to let go, that she's been such a brave girl and that if she closes her eyes she'll find a pretty light to follow to see all her friends and family again. (I know she doesn't understand, but i hoped my voice might comfort her) Then, as if by a complete miracle, she just started bruxing as I stroked her. Quietly at first, and then louder and louder - I could almost hear her boggle in the darkness! It wasn't a pain brux - she was just glad I was there I think.

And she bruxed for almost another hour straight, as I lay down with her and stroked her. Her breathing started getting a little bad at one point - but I think she actually fell asleep (the bruxing stopped) and so did I.

This morning (LATE morning) we both woke up (I managed to get maybe 2 hours sleep, so did she) and he's no worse than she was yesterday - in fact she's been moving around quite a bit and she's perfectly happy drinking the ensure that I offer her, also a couple of mouthfuls of babyfood!

I don't know what the heck last night was - but it's proved to me what a darn little fighter my old girl is. I'm not giving up on her while she's still battling on! In fact, I even feel quite ashamed that I was telling her to give up last night - she obviously wanted to prove otherwise.
 

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Re: Poor Katie - bad night last night - update

You are at the stage where there are going to be ups and downs. One day she may not bounce back but it sounds like you are prepared for that. She's a brave little nakie is your Katie. :D

The little mammary tumours just ignore them, they are most likely cysts that nakies get and both Bella and Lisbet developed them. They have only grown so much and do not bother them in the least.

We both had broken sleep taking care of our wee compromised ratfriends ((hugs))
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Re: Poor Katie - bad night last night - update

I'm hoping the little ones aren't serious - there are more and more sprouting up every day, and it's sad to see them - you can especially see them when she's on her side, they're all underneath her. I'm not worrying about them too much - after all, I think it's safe to say they'll never get a chance to grow enough to compromise her quality of life.

There are some inside her abdomen - which are bigger, but again - I think I've come to the same conclusion.

Last night just scared the sh** out of me - it's finally set in that my little girl isn't going to come though this - and that hurts. You know, you think you are prepared but when it comes down to it, you never can be truly prepared, can you?

Now I'm trying to pick out a nice crematorium for her - one that treats rats respectfully - not as 'disposable waste' - and I'm being silly enough to avoid the 'c' word in front of her - just in case :(

I go back to work on wednesay - THAT is going to be horrible, leaving her. :(
 

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Re: Poor Katie - bad night last night - update

After losing my baby so fast, I can't really say if it's better that way or to have more time before the inevitable. Either way it sucks.

I know what you mean about crematoriums. I was really worried, but I think I got lucky with the one I chose. (Haven't gotten my baby back yet, but it will be soon.) If you lived out this way I would have recommended them.

Let us know if there's anything we can do for you. :(
 

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Re: Poor Katie - bad night last night - update

I have a wonderful little ritual I do then I put them in the freezer in gift boxes to be buried at my mom's property when the ground thaws again.

Yes it is very hard when you finally come to the conclusion that there won't be a cure like with a stubborn URI...

Do the little tumours on her belly are flat and under the size of a penny? Are they directly under her nipples?

And yes, sudden is good for them (no pain, no suffering) but sad for us (not time to say goodbye), but I despise lingering most of all, so overall I prefer sudden.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Re: Poor Katie - bad night last night - update

Sudden is always easier for them, thank goodness. But it always hits us the hardest. One of my boys, Eddie, woke me up absolutely screaming at 2am one morning (typically, it was the one weekend that my parents weren't home - no shoulder to cry on (although I'm typically not one to show tears to anyone)) and he was struggling to breathe, he was absolutey gasping for breath. The day before he was healthy as anything. Two minutes after grabbing him from his cage - he passed away in my hands. I've never been so devestated in my life - as the passing of each of these blessed little creatures is like a shard of glass to the heart but when you're not expecting it...it's heartbreaking (you all know what I mean) That is the one time in my life where I can honestly say that I cried myself to sleep.

As selfish as I am, when it's a drawn out illness, like my poor Katie, it gives me a sense of acheivement to say that I've done everything possible for them. I can't look back and say that I've failed them - because I know that I've been the one there fighting for them when no one else can. I just want to repay her for even a fraction of the unconditional love that she's shown me throughout her lifetime.

I'm in an overly sensitive mood tonight (lack of sleep) so I apologise for my ramblings

Edit - Sorry, Lilspaz. I forgot to say, the lumps aren't restricted to just beneath her nipples, although 4 of them are (as that is the spots of her original tumours + 1 extra) the others are throughout her torso, along her sides, middle of her tummy, crook of her front arm etc. I've also noticed two more in her neck today. Is it cruel for me to allow her to continue? I don't know - I do know that she's not in pain. She's enjoying the attention she's getting being held all the time (we've got to keep her warm and she prefers being on my chest to in her cage - she panics) and bruxes whenever I stroke her face. Although her quality of life isn't so good right now, she's still eating (what I give her - ensure only but she's comfortable) and she's not showing any signs of discomfort. I look into those little eyes and I know she's not ready yet - I don't want to be the one to take that decision away from her :(

Plus, I found out tonight that my regular vet doesn't use gas to pts. So, unless I find another vet, I refuse to put her through that stress at the end of everything. I just *will* *not* *do* *it*. She deserves better
 

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Re: Poor Katie - bad night last night - update

well, maybe you should sort of well, i don't know really how to say it right but ask her? if she's fighting for it, and really wants to be alive maybe you should give her her last wish just to be alive with you for as long as she can, because she wants to be with you and please you. if she just gives up, and she doesn't want to go through with it anymore, and she just wants to stop trying, tell her it's okay, she can choose and you'll be alright with it and supportive of her either way. if she stops trying then maybe you should let her go, if she wants to fight then let her fight.


im sorry if that sounds completely dorky, but that's the least i can do for you
 
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