Life for our little mischief of rats seems to be moving on at the same hurtling pace that time is passing generally, and I can hardly believe it’s nearly two months since Jasper and Jet came to join us. They are fast becoming well-loved and characterful members of the family and settling into their new home.
Perry, Jet and Jasper are a well established little gang these days and are mostly to be found all curled together in their comfiest bed, although at playtime they take the chance to go their seperate ways and get up to their own preferred activities – Perry snuggling straight under a blanket as close to either of us as he can get and settling there for the evening; Jet careering about investigating with an alarming speed exactly how much trouble he can cause on that particular day; and Jasper perching himself on the nearest available shoulder to best observe his brother’s antics – and to be in the perfect position to re-style anyone’s hair he feels might be needing it!
Our Perry has been showing his age lots recently, quite to our surprise as his estimated age is only 18 months. All of a sudden he’s looking very distinguished and grey round his wee muzzle, and has also been really struggling with his back legs in the last couple of weeks, seeming to be showing fairly advanced symptoms of hind leg degeneration.
As we adopted Perry and his brothers from their previous home as adults, there is of course the possibility we’ve begun to wonder about now that their ages when we got them might have been quite a bit out, which could mean we didn’t lose Marley and Reuben as early in life this summer as we believed, and would also explain Per greying and struggling with movement at what seems a relatively young age. We can never know one way or the other, and really it doesn’t matter – the important thing is helping him have the best life he can, and just now he seems to be doing that, just adoring his evening cuddles with us for as long as we’ve time for every night.
We’ve only experienced HLD in rats a couple of times, with Peatie and Sylvie, two of our healthiest and longest living girls, who both made it to around three years old, and in their last months lost the use of their hind legs gradually. They seemed to react to it differently to Perry though, and were both very keen to keep moving regardless of their gait, just completely adapting as the degeneration went on, so we didn’t have to gee them up in any way and they really made the best of it. Perry on the other hand is slowing way down right away and lying down at the moment most of the time, so I am trying to think of inventive ways to keep him busy. Found a great article on HLD here, but if anyone has any tips on how to keep him active and happy as long as possible please share!
I was pleased to see that one of the main ways to do this is give an older rat the company of young active cagemates and Perry certainly has this in abundance with our two mavericks to contend with! We did speculate at first that the new whiter look could be simply a response to life with Jet as he’s such a horror sometimes I don’t know how he’s not turned us all grey! 😉 But he does his job well keeping Perry on his toes and Jasper provides a bit of a compromise, plenty of cuddles but games and scrambles for food too. They are both really coming out of their shells more and more every day and I’m so glad to see all three of them enjoying life together.
Happy Friday all and have a good weekend. X