Wednesday, March 23, 2011

R.I.P. dear Marshmallow

Last summer we took the plunge and got ourselves two very cute little ratties.  We chose rats because they were social, on the larger side for the rodent family which we thought would make it easier for kids to hold without squishing, and they are pretty darn smart.  Another positive (in my mind) is that the average life span for a rat is about 3 years.  So - I figured if I didn't really like rat ownership, I wouldn't have to deal with it for very long.  (Yep - I did think about that.)

The most common thing rats die of (ironically) are tumors.  In early January I noticed Marshmallow's toe was very swollen.  I had actually thought it was due to Marshmallow ripping a liner off her hammock.

See the hole?  She made herself a new cuddle place!

After about 3 weeks, it started to get a little worse so I took her to the vet.  You can see a couple progressive pictures of her foot here...please note they are graphic.  The vet thought it was a tumor, but said it could be an infection.  So I went ahead and got antibiotics for her.  After 2 weeks on antibiotics, Marshmallow's toe was gone.  I went online and got some great advice to give her Ibuprofen and continue with the antibiotics as well as foot soaking. didn't work.  This past week Marshmallow's foot was even worse and it had gone up her leg.  She became very lethargic.  We knew it was bad when she wouldn't come out for her medicine - the highlight of her day.  (She loved the stuff.)  After some discussion we decided to have Marshmallow put to sleep.

Marshmallow was a wonderful little rat full of personality.  The day we brought her home, she was out of the box and running.  We used to joke she had no "rat sense", because she was NOT afraid of anything...particularly things she probably should be afraid of. 

Marshmallow belonged to Peter.  Both kids played with both rats, but Marshmallow really fit Peter.  After all, she is wild and crazy...just like her owner. ;-)  (Incidentally, she was not afraid of Peter either...again, no rat sense! :-P)

Marshmallow was always on the go - and therefore I don't have too many good pictures of her.  In the short time we had her, she had figured out how to get off the couch (jump!), get from on top of the rat stand to inside the rat stand (jump!) and if you happened to accidentally leave a cage door open she'd find it and get out (jump!).  BUT - she loved her people and we never had trouble with getting her back.  A little soft cooing and she came right up to you.  Sometimes she would just follow you to see what you were up too.  The point is - we never had to move furniture and dig around to get her to come out. :-P

Dearest Marshmallow will be missed...especially by her bestie Alley.


Janette said...

Oh my goodness! Ok, first, I want you to know that I made it through reading this post, but I am not almost sweating profusely haha. I almost kid you not. I could have done w/o the pictures of little...umm...sweet...cute(?) Marshmellow LOL!! :) I am very sorry that you've had to go through all of this, though. AND I looked at the pictures of the foot and felt horrible -- those looked sooo painful and awful!! :( I think you did the right thing by putting Marshmellow to sleep, but I know it's never an easy decision!!

Miriam said...

I am shocked you looked at those pictures! Glad you made it through the post! :-P Thanks for your kind words! It was a hard decision. I really making them and it is the downside to pet ownership.