04.26.10

Goodbye Ori

Posted in Memorials at 6:00 am by Jenn

oriACR&S wishes a sad farewell to Ori the rat, who had been sanctuary with us for nearly two years.

Ori came to us with another rat named Patchy.  The two were surrendered because the owner’s cat kept pawing at the cage and trying to eat them.  A couple of short weeks after surrender, Patchy was found prone and gasping for unexplained reasons.  A trip to the emergency vet did not produce good news, and we lost her that evening.

Ori was left alone.  We deliberated what to do with him — he wasn’t a very adoptable rat.  He was scared of his own shadow (and everyone else’s) and would not accept treats, did not want to be social with people, and basically kept to himself.  We made the decision to bring him in as a sanctuary animal to help keep company to some of our other, more sickly rats (we had Phredre and Ysandre at the time).  He thrived in a quiet environment where he could laze in hammocks, inhale Suebee’s mix, and basically be respected as a scaredy-rat who didn’t want much to do with us.

About a month ago, we noticed that Ori seemed to be having heart problems.  X-rays weren’t conclusive, and we opted to try heart medication to see if we could improve his health.  He did get marginally better, but never really seemed to recover.  On his last day, he seemed to panic when I picked him up and began gasping heavily for breath.  We stabilized him at home and got him in to Dr. Munn first thing the next day.  We could never get his breathing entirely to normal and as he began to degenerate we opted to euthanize him.

Necropsy revealed that Ori hadn’t had a heart problem at all.  He had an enormous lung tumor that was pressing into his heart, mimicking the symptoms of heart disease.  We were comforted that, although we were wrong, we hadn’t missed a problem that we would have been able to solve anyway.  Lung cancers are fast moving and deadly.  Rest is peace, Ori, we were happy to have you as a friend for so long.

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