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The Tail of Scion

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful pearl rat named Lulu who mated with a handsome lilac male named Jack. They fell madly in love and Lulu soon gave birth to a litter of 13 kittens. Unlucky number?  Maybe, maybe not. 

The babies were thriving. They grew and grew and soon had fur covering their little pink bodies. There were 6 does and 7 bucks, all a mixture of what appeared to be pearls and havana merles.  Each day, the girls of 3GR counted and there were 13 babies until one night, there were only twelve.

August 2, 2006 - Panic!  They looked everywhere and could not find the missing baby. By the next day, they feared the worst.

August 4 -Later that day, one of the girls was walking toward her desk in the room in which the rats live and lo and behold, something on the floor caught her eye.  She looked down and saw the missing baby looking up at her as if to say, "Help!" She picked him up and placed him with his Mama, thinking all was well. There was rejoicing at the rattery. But, alas, all was not well. One of the other girls noticed something amiss on his side and picked him up.  Upon examination, it was clear that he had been severely wounded in the chest and on his paws by another rat.

The girls rushed him to the vet. When they arrived, the vet assistant asked, "What is your rat's name?".  The girls looked at each other and realized that they hadn't given him a name yet, but his litter had been named The Car Litter. So, one of the girls spontaneously said, "His name is Scion".  And that was that. From then on, the little guy was called Scion.

Dr. Obegi, the veterinarian, examined him closely and was hopeful. She decided to sew up his wound even though he was only about 2 inches long and very tiny.  The surgery was successful and Scion came home.  Here are his post surgery pictures.

                    

The girls hoped he could join his family, but he was too weak to fight for a spot to nurse and the other babies pushed him around without meaning to because he was so unstable on his feet. So, they made a special cage for him and he began having nursing on wheels.  In other words, Mama came to him for private feedings which actually worked pretty well as long as Lulu was provided with delicious morsels to distract her and help her stay still. During the time she was eating then washing her face, Scion was able to drink some milk.

Now, he is able to eat some soft solid food and is enjoying cooked sweet potato and rice mixed with kitten milk.

Scion's condition is still delicate.  He is very small and not growing as fast as his siblings. He walks with difficulty and is quite unsteady. It looks like he may lose one or more toes.

August 9 -Now, two days later, Scion has had a setback. He is having a hard time moving his hind legs so we are not sure what that means.  He is still eating and moving around the best that he can and washes his face while laying on his side.

August 10 - Scion was rushed to the vet.  He was not doing well at all.  Every time we touched him, he would squeak, so we knew he was in pain.  Dr. Obegi said he needed to come in immediately.  She said she thought he had pretty serious inflammation from his injury and likely needed a new antibiotic.  Because his condition was so critical, he stayed overnight in the "intensive care unit" at the veterinary hospital.

August 11 - Scion is doing better!  He is moving his hind legs again, so can maneuver around his cage.  Although only 3 weeks old, he looks like a little old man when he walks around.  Dr. Obegi has worked wonders.  Scion no longer squeaks in pain when we move him or touch him and he simply seems much happier.  Here is a rather blurry picture.

August 14 - Scion is on vacation with us. He appears to like the change in scene.  Last night, he was actually jumping around in the cage, using his hind legs quite well.  We also noticed that he has figured out how to use the water bottle and is able to drink water on his own.  Scion's fur is getting fluffier because he is able to use his hind legs to wash and his front paws seem to be healing up, so he can use them as well. He climbed up to the higher level hammock today to take a nap, so that is really encouraging as well.  We are very  hopeful that Scion is going to be okay.

         

Above left is Scion in his cage with his bowl of kitten milk. Above right is Scion riding on my back under my hair.

January 3, 2007 - Wow!  Time has passed quickly.  It is already a new year.  Scion has grown to his adult size. He is very healthy and strong.  He still loves to jump around and wrestle with my hand.

However, Scion seemed pretty lonely, so I started looking for a good companion for him.  Because of his disabilities, we were hesitant to introduce him to a standard size rat.  We just didn't think he could hold his own if a large rat challenged him in any way.  So, we came up with the idea of finding a dwarf rat companion for Scion and found the perfect little guy.  His name is Green Bean and he and Scion have become best friends.  Here are two pictures of Scion and Green Bean. 

           

Scion and Green Bean in their cage.                       Scion and Green Bean playing on the couch. 

 We will keep you posted on Scion's progress.

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