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Re: Slumber...

Post by fiffur on Sat May 21, 2011 12:09 pm

I am smiling from ear to ear at the news of Slumber's recovery! cheers It's amazing how fast a lil furkid can recover once the meds finally kick in. If Slumber does have a heart condition, can she take meds for it to help control any excess fluid buildup around the heart? I know my dog had congestive heart problems, and the Lasix and one other med worked wonders for her. Why not a lil rattie? Only the dosage would be different.

Please keep us posted on how Slumber is doing, and how joyful her reunion was when she rejoins her friends. I know she'll be very happy to be back with them. Very Happy
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Re: Slumber...

Post by Sue Short on Sat May 21, 2011 12:58 pm



What wonderful news. I'm glad to hear no amend that. I'm overjoyed. bounce flower
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Re: Slumber...

Post by fiffur on Sat May 28, 2011 1:38 pm

So how was the reunion?
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Re: Slumber...

Post by mockingbird on Sun Jul 03, 2011 8:32 am

Hi, friends. Sorry to have dropped off the face of the earth.
Slumber is still with us, but things have not been smooth. She does not breathe smoothly and easily like the other ratties and I guess she never will. The vet said it was because of her heart condition. So, every day, we give her a breathing treatment. We put her in a little box which has small holes cut in it and I set my nebulizer (I have asthma) in a larger hole going into the box. I put the liquid medicine into the nebulizer and turn it on. It makes us sad because it is like a little gas chamber, but instead of poison, good helpful medicine is being inhaled by our dear little rattie. It just brings up the whole issue that they are actually lab rats and what things happen to other lab rats who aren't as lucky as our little girls.

The reunion was very good. The other ratties were so happy. It took Slumber a day or two to stop sleeping alone and be with the rest of them. I think, actually, it was Ghost who came down to where she was and curled up with her until she was ready to rejoin them all. I have bandana scarves folded and hung up in the cage for little hammocks. I have a large one for everybody, and then smaller ones (just folded in squares rather than a rectangle) for when they want to be on their own. Of course, all four of them piled into a smaller one at first. Very Happy Funny little ratties. Now, we will see onesies and twosies in the smaller ones and they will all pile up in the larger one when they need to be with everyone. Slumber acts no differently about the sleeping arrangements than anyone else. When she isn't feeling well, though, she sleeps on the edge of the wheel or a platform with her head hanging down. We know to pay special attention to her then and she has had to spend a few days in the hospital-cage with another bout of respiratory problems, which will just be an ongoing thing with her as well. She is doing the best she can and we will love her and care for her the best we can. Ultimately, we know she will not be with us as long as she potentially would have, but she is doing ok now and is happy to be here, so that's the best any of us can do, actually.

It took her a while to get back to a regular diet. We had her on such a protein-rich diet when she was so sick, just to keep her from losing any more weight, that she's turned into a little carnivore. Now, though, she's back to enjoying her blueberries and cereals and things, but chicken and tofu are still her favorite items.
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Re: Slumber...

Post by Sue Short on Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:00 pm



Glad you dropped in to let us know that everybody is doing well.
Glad to hear that Slumber is holding her own. The fan is a great idea for
Hildy.
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Re: Slumber...

Post by jeanebellini on Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:43 pm

i second that ...good thoughts for Slumber. the little box you made for her to take her medication in reminds me of this thing that was done for an elderly kitty who had a similar problem. And the lady who made up his box (it was made from a clear rubbermaid tote thingie) felt the same as you....she felt bad for the kitty (a black kitty named Grandpa) but after he got used to his treatments he was fine and it did help him a lot.
i've never heard of a ratty eating tofu ...does she like it just plain?
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Re: Slumber...

Post by Suzzzz on Sun Jul 03, 2011 7:50 pm

I'm so happy to hear from you, sweetheart, and to know that Slumber is holding her own... with lots of TLC! And not just from you but from her little pals, as well. Hearing how Ghost went to her to snuggle & sleep just filled my heart. I love you
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Re: Slumber...

Post by mockingbird on Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:09 am

Thank you, everyone. Our little Slumber has gained weight, which is a good thing. She now weighs about 11 ounces. She's still the little one, but not so much in body (but always in spirit.) Her hair is a bit more sparse and of a rougher texture than the others. Maybe that's due to having had too much protein or maybe because her oxygen levels are lower. I don't know. She's still an adorabel little cream-colored, garnet-eyed self.

Yes, it was adorable how gentle Ghost would just quietly go down and curl up around her and they'd fall asleep, encircled in each other's tails. It was so cute. I've taken pictures and will share them soon. Promise! I need to start a separate thread about Rattyton.

They eat tofu just plain. I thought they might not, but I read they love it, and sure enough, they do! Lots of fresh veggies and fruit (although they are not thrilled with strawberries, which I found surprising. They adore blueberries, though.) Lots of whole-grain cereals and some lean protein on some occasions (now that Slumber has been weaned off of only protein. Wow, that took a while to do, little carnivore!)
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Re: Slumber...

Post by fiffur on Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:09 pm

Glad to hear Slumber is still with us and holding her own. Very sweet of Ghost to snuggle with her and welcome her back in such a nice way. What sort of heart condition does Slumber have? And do they have meds to treat it?

I have asthma too but have had only one nebulizer treatment (at the ER when I almost died of it--that's when I got diagnosed). It's good that those treatments seem to help Slumber to breathe a bit easier.

((((((((((((((((((STRONG STAY HEALTHY VIBES)))))))))))))))))))) for Slumber.
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Re: Slumber...

Post by jeanebellini on Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:22 pm

ya know it suddenly pinged to me...tofu is vegetable after all! they must like soybeans! as for strawberries maybe they're like me...they can't take all those tiny seeds.
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Re: Slumber...

Post by mockingbird on Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:08 pm

Little Slumber is back in the hospital cage. She is having difficulty breathing again and is congested, another respriatory infection. We put her back on her antibiotics and she has her little humidifier working now. She's also had her nebulizer treatment as well. She's lost half an ounce, but hopefully will pick it up again. That's not too bad.

She has a congenital heart condition, the vet said. Just her little heart isn't made right and nothing we can do about it. That's why she sleeps so much and how she's earned her name. All we can do is love her and help her to breathe. We have talked about end-of-life care for her, as we need a plan. We have decided that if she gets to the point where the meds and breathing treatments just aren't helping at all and she continues to struggle to breathe and we take her to the vet and there just is no hope, we'll have to let her go to the Bridge. We cannot let her just asphyxiate to death. Right now, that is not the case and she has a very good prognosis for recovering from this latest bout. It's just going to be an ongoing thing, though, poor little rattie. My hope for her is to have lots of months of happy playtimes and rattie togetherness left and then one night, go to sleep and wake up to find herself at the Bridge. That's what I hope (and yes, I do use months. I'd be very surprised if it were longer, but you never know.)

We are trying to really accept that this sweet little soul's body just didn't start out right. She was a sleepy little thing when we brought her home and I guess she's just always been this way, just getting worse as she's getting older. We know we're doing all we can for her and right now, she's comfortably resting in a little hammock made out of a bandanda while the humidifier helps to soothe her breathing. She has food (her favorites!) and has nibbled on most of it. She will miss her little friends, but right now, she probably just isn't feeling like being with them anyway. The rest of Rattyton is very quiet, but hopefully it won't be long before she can return.
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Re: Slumber...

Post by mockingbird on Thu Jul 07, 2011 6:27 pm

I took Slumber into the vet this afternoon. I am leaving to visit my parents next week and Joshua is going to be taking care of everyone. She is running low on meds and I also wanted a re-evaluation. It seems as though Slumber has asthma or scar tissue on her lungs which combined with her heart ailment, makes ibreathing difficult at times. The vet mixed up more medication for her and listened to her breathing. She concluded that Slumber is not contagious, only ill unto herself, which is what I was hoping. She said that if the other rats didn't get sick with all that happened before, then she doubts very much that Slumber is contagious. So, yay, everyone is back together again.

Just as I suspected, though, she doesn't give her very long to be with us. She said that about 6 more months is her outside guess. While it is sad, it is not surprising. However, little slumbery Slumber has beaten the odds before and she may again, but we are prepared in case she is not able to. The vet said Slumber looks amazingly well and confirmed that she has gained weight (yay!). I took in a new package of their paper bedding and their chewy toys, just to make sure everything was safe for them. She said just to keep doing what we're doing and the things we're providing (including diet) sounds great. We talked about an end-of-life plan and she is very kind and compassionate about the situation, if and when we should need those services. Since we are on the patient of record list, we have access to 24 hour care, if needed. Again, she was more than generous and didn't charge us an office visit or tests she ran, but only for the meds.

So, our little girl is doing about as well as she does right now. She's happily back with her fellow ratties and we will just have to keep an eye (and ear) on her. When she is feeling poorly, she will get her meds and treatments and quite alone space. We have decided to give her a breathing treatment every day or two for her asthma or just to help her breathe better.

Thank you, everyone, for your kind support and caring over this little gentle part of our family.
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Re: Slumber...

Post by jeanebellini on Thu Jul 07, 2011 7:41 pm

you're doing the best you can...i guess ratties are like people and can have the same types of problems with their hearts and lungs. i'm happy she can be with her ratty family,i'm sure they give her as much comfort as they know how and you guys are certainly doing the best you can.
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Re: Slumber...

Post by fiffur on Fri Jul 08, 2011 2:28 pm

At least now you know what you're dealing with, and you and the vet have a plan in place. I'm glad Slumber doesn't have to be separated from her friends much, except for treatments. I can tell you from personal experience, high humidity is hard on asthmatic lungs. So is lots of pollen, dust, or leaf mold (in the fall).

Treasure every day you get with Slumber, they are precious. Take some more pics too, to remember her by later on. (((((((((((((HEALING VIBES)))))))))))))
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Re: Slumber...

Post by mockingbird on Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:25 am

Well, Slumber has gone down hill again.
I went to visit my family in California for a little more than a week and Joshua did his best to take care of everyone. However, when I returned, Slumber had lost weight and her breathing was more labored. He reported while I was away that she was doing ok, as far as breathing, but was losing weight. Poor guy. I told him he did a great job, but Slumber is just high maintainence. She really just is.

So, we are doing the whole routine twice a day. Liquid medicine, breathing treatment in the little chamber (box), humidifier for a couple of hours. Also, I've plumped up her protein and once again, she is mostly a little carnivore, even with other options. At this point, it just doesn't matter.

I don't think our little Slumber will be with us much longer, friends.
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Re: Slumber...

Post by fiffur on Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:45 pm

I think she missed you a lot while you were gone. (((((((((((((((((((((healing vibes)))))))))))))))))))

((((((((((((((((((hugs for you)))))))))))))))))))
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Re: Slumber...

Post by Suzzzz on Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:49 pm

Slumber may pick up now that you're back, Mockingbird. I wouldn't hesitate to give her anything she wants to eat! As you say, at this point, what does it matter? Let her enjoy!

I know I don't have to tell you this, but as long as Slumber has more good days than bad, still likes to eat and sleep and snuggle with her family, do the best you can. When she loses interest and just feels bad, or the treatments become more of a stress than a help, please let the vet ease her passing. Your love for your girl just shines, darling, and I know your heart is big enough, when the time comes, to encompass your gratitude for her peace along with your grief.

You are all in my thoughts and prayers. I know it's cliche, but it's still the truth.

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Re: Slumber...

Post by jeanebellini on Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:01 pm

i'm lighting candles so i'll light another one for Slumber.
since she likes meat have you tried meat baby food? whenever i've had a sick kitty they would lick that up when nothing else who do. just try one little jar and see...and if she doesn't like it bet the other criiters wil appreciate it;) i don't know ratties....but the kitties always liked the beef flavor best.
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Re: Slumber...

Post by mockingbird on Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:51 pm

Yes, I've tried the Gerber and it's ok for a little while, but then she stops eating it. I don't know why. I've tried heating it a little bit and that helps, but it's like she just goes off of it.

It's looked pretty grim the last few days. She lost a bit more weight and just seemed to be going down. We were talking about when to take her to the vet for her end-of-life time. I cried. It was so sad.

We decided to have one more "rattie playtime" for her. We haven't done it in a long while, but it's where we put out climbing toys and things interesting to ratties in my bathroom and sit with them while they run around and play. They LOVE it, but it's easy to get busy and not do it. Shame on us and we've decided to make it a point to do it at least 3 times a week. Anyway, I thought little Slumber would just not be up to playing and she would just want to be petted. That's what happened for a while. She played a little but mostly just wanted to lay still. I just petted her and she tried to breathe (she is breathing, but it's a struggle. Her body moves like a dog panting (especially German Shepherds, where their whole body moves when they pant.) Her mouth isn't open like a dog, but her body shakes like one. I brought in Cheerios for them to snack on and fed her one. She gobbled it up and eventually, she at 10 of them. A few minutes later, she was up and almost running with the other ratties! She played for a little while and then rested on Joshua for a few minutes. She almost went to sleep but woke back up and played a little bit longer. Today she seemed more energized and her appetite was better. I was hoping she'd work up an appetite!

I realized that we may have kept her too quiet in the attempt to take care of her. We take them out of the cage and pet them all the time, (they are in the living room and are pretty much the focus of that room!) but to run around again really seemed to make a big difference in her. She even tried to run her wheel in the cage later last night, but couldn't, which was very sad, but at least she did feel like it for a moment.

We won't let her suffer, and it's difficult to assess if she is suffering very much now. Her breathing is labored, but the vet knows this and has witnessed her breathing, but doesn't think it's her time yet. She still seems bright and has been eating better before, now she is mostly hand-fed, but she ate more on her own last night and this morning.

Ghost has been curled up with her all day and all 4 of them were piled into a hammock last night. I think they know she doesn't feel well and are comforting her. They are really sweet little creatures. More rattie play-time tonight!
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Re: Slumber...

Post by Suzzzz on Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:13 pm

No matter what, the playtime obviously lifted her spirits. Quality of life-wise, you couldn't do better, and the other ratties are surely the best comfort she could have. How kind they are! They must love her very much. My heart is with you all.
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Re: Slumber...

Post by jeanebellini on Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:56 pm

i like the idea of letting them get together and spend sometime out and about even if slumber isn't up to being with them running she might feel better just being there with them.
i'll keep the candle lit for ya...
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Re: Slumber...

Post by fiffur on Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:34 am

Maybe being kept too quiet made Slumber a bit depressed, and that playtime with her pals really perked her up. I'm glad she had fun even if she did have to rest a few times. Keep the playtime up, and she may surprise you like she did last night.

Praying for lil Slumber and sending ((((((((((((((((HEALING VIBES))))))))))))))))
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Re: Slumber...

Post by mockingbird on Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:34 am

We've had rattie playtime every night. Sometimes she feels like playing a little bit, most of the time she just wants to be held and petted. Last night she laid on my lap while I petted her and later she found a little cozy spot to watch everyone play. She is having a difficult time walking and then she'll perk up and try to run a little bit with everyone else. She's sleeping much more often and is not eating very much anymore. If I put a piece of boiled egg or fresh corn or a blueberry right under her nose, she'll sometimes eat. She isn't getting very much on her own now.

Joshua and I have talked about it and agree that it's time we take her in for her end-of-life appointment.
This is Slumber's last day with us, dear Mutties.
Her appointment is at 9 o'clock tomorrow morning (Monday.)
I'm going between crying all over the place and being at peace with the decision. It is the best for her, but we will miss her so much and so will all the other ratties (and Georgia Rose will, too.)

Please say a prayer, light a candle or just simply think of us today and especially tomorrow.
Thank you for all your caring, dear friends.
Thank you for caring about our little rattie.
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Re: Slumber...

Post by WarriorNY on Sun Jul 31, 2011 9:13 am

I am so sorry about Slumber. Sad

You did the best you could for her. Slumber's friends did the best they could too.
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Re: Slumber...

Post by jimkr2t on Sun Jul 31, 2011 11:17 am

Our sympathies are with you ((((((((((REST IN PEACE, SLUMBER!))))))))))

Jim and Tat
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