Wednesday, 13 January 2010
Saying "goodbye" to Poppy
I never realised such a small animal could fight for so long. Katie got Poppy and Meg Christmas 2008, they were a year old and rescue rats. Poppy was probably the weaker of the two even then as she'd been badly treated by her previous owners - we were pleased to give them a new life. In the Spring, she developed a lump above her left front elbow. It grew quite quickly and the vet we originally took her to basically said that being a small animal, it wouldn't be worth doing anything - just wait and see what happens.
She lasted with the lump until after our Skye holiday in September. It had grown gradually during the months but she was more then capable to coping with it, literally tucking it up when walking around. We left her and Meg with my m-i-l during our two week hols and we noticed, once back home, how much larger the lump had become. She could no longer move around as freely as before, so we booked her in to our regular vet, Jane, who was so supportive.
Jane was as amazed as we were at how Poppy coped with the operation, removal of the lump and rebuild of the leg with several tissue and skin grafts. It had been the first time Jane had done such an operation on one so small and we were all thrilled to see Poppy get along so well, and so quickly, after her ordeal.
Unfortunately, Pepper, our young cat, managed to catch her shortly after the operation. Poppy went into shock and we thought she wouldn't survive the night, but she did! Antibiotics to kill any infection for the flesh wound, hand feeding and drinking for many days and lots of love too ensured she pulled round from this. She certainly was a fighter!
Another lump appeared which again was treated with anibiotics, cleared up then reappeared in another area. More antibiotics and another lump. This time we decided enough was enough - she couldn't go on with constant nasty sores on her tummy. We'd booked in for her final visit last Saturday afternoon, but I just couldn't bring myself to take her. She was still climbing happily all over the cage, eating well and appearing quite happy. Sadly, she made the decision herself and passed away on Monday night/Tuesday morning.
Poppy will be missed, not just by us but also by Meg, her sister. I know many people don't like rats, and I can understand why. I would never have considered having rats as pets but am so glad of Katie's decision - they are the most friendly, funny and cute little lovelies we've ever had.