Since I last wrote just a couple of weeks ago, it feels like lots has been going on with all the furry members of the family!
Not least with Charmer, who, when I last wrote had just recovered from his eye ulcer, and has since decided he was missing the vet and a few days later came in on three legs holding one of his back legs up in the air. 😩
At first we were really concerned that it looked like a serious tendon injury or similar, and I was very upset at the idea of a long box rest or something really difficult to deal with at his age – but our vet was great, and in the end concluded it was a flare up of his usual arthritis – which we’re at least so used to dealing with, so he could have an increased dose of his anti inflammatories for a while and take it day by day. He’d had a couple of days box rest while we sussed it out, but since then has been out to keep him moving, just with his few hours in a day for hay and dinners! And I’m really delighted to report he’s doing much better and is enjoying life again. He knows how to keep me on my toes these days… but I’m really so glad he’s doing well and back to enjoying his views. 🥰🥰
In the house, I’ve been absolutely loving lots of time with the little pets!
Rory-boy our new wee gerbil has settled in so well in the last few weeks. He’s such a brilliant wee character. He turns out to be very friendly and not averse to being handled at all, has enjoyed some time out exploring and is very confident.
I have been doing lots of reading and scouting of people’s set ups on gerbil care groups online, and decided to upgrade him from the old Savic XL gerbilarium we had to a longer tank-style cage. Had been keeping an eye out for a second hand glass tank not unlike Fish’s, as I’d read glass is best for gerbils, but in the end found a Ferplast Maxi Duna Multy on Marketplace for a great price so have gone for that. May live to regret it if Rory turns out to be a plastic base chewer! But for now I’m really delighted with how it’s turned out.
It’s just under 100cm long, and have left about 2/3 of the length of it with deep bedding about 8-10 inches deep, which is what he had in his smaller first tank, and we knew he just loved to make tunnels and caves. Even though the depth is almost the same, and length too given that we’ve put a wee cardboard divide up, it still feels a much bigger space just by being wider, and it must to him too, as he’s loving it. The other third is on a lower level with less bedding, and has space for his wheel (which he’s not got the hang of yet, will update on this!!), food and water and chew toys.
I’m really amazed at how much he seems to be enjoying it. I think with being able to see out easier, having a wider and longer floor space and having a separate area for his pottering about, he just seems to really love it. He’s been very active since I transferred him and loving watching us all more too.
I’ve also been reading on how to introduce him to a companion if we decide that might be doable, and on what’s best with that. Lots of advice is that gerbils are so social, and really appreciate a friend, but I am nervous with him having been alone so long and how content he seems to be in his own company. We’ll continue to look into it, but I’m just over the moon to see such a happy wee critter for now, and the different tunnel networks that appear every day!
Young Buzz has also got in on Rory’s shout with a couple of wee twists to his cage layout. Reading so much about gerbil care for the first time actually drew my attention more to something I’d already seen a mention of on the rescue page we have homed Buzz and all our recent hamsters from – which was the fact that the Blue Cross have recently updated their guidance for small animal enclosures, taking all hamsters, even dwarfs like Buzz, from a recommendation of 80cm unbroken floor space (which is what Buzz has in his very old Ferplast Mary cage), to 100cm. For gerbils, the change, both just a few weeks ago in April, took it from 75cm for them to 100cm too. Rory is a cm off that now (😅 which we won’t quibble over!!!) with the Maxi Duna Multy tank being 99cm, but Buzz at the moment will stay in his cage he’s been in long term. Our rescue are still allowing these for hamsters of Buzz’s type, and I feel really confident that he’s very happy and settled in his little home.
However, doing a wee bit of reading on how hamsters also can enjoy the digging and burrowing like gerbils – and seeing how much Rory does – thought would add a little grass mat to one side for Buzz, to heighten his cage at that corner and let me add some proper digging material and space. It remains to be seen whether he takes to this, as he eyed it with much suspicion when I was setting it up and so far hasn’t had a wee explore – we will see! Think our Buzz might be more of a pootler than a digger – he’s forever in and out of all his little houses, on and off his wheel, and scurrying food around. It’s always fun to learn more about the wee animals though, an try new things to take their attention!
Rosie and Theo are doing grand, spending long sunny days out in their catio and lazy evenings in with us – these first two photos below were when a moth dared to fly in one night at bedtime, they definitely put on a united front to chase it 😅😅🐾
And today is an exciting day for our little Pet Corner, as we are once again welcoming some new additions which I am so so excited about! When I last wrote I’d said we’d been planning to add some pet rats to the family for the first time in years, my very most beloved of small pets 🥰🥰 And this week we were accepted to rehome some baby girls from a local SSPCA centre, who we are travelling to collect this afternoon. ❤️ Have been working hard on creating the area for all the pets and we’re so excited to bring home the new additions.
It’s been a whirlwind of a week, and we originally thought we’d have a longer wait, as we were on a waiting list for breeder rats not yet born, but we’d also had our names down with the SSPCA and this week got a call about these little girls, and after a video home check on Thursday, we’re all sorted and due to collect today.
I’m absolutely loving having so much time with all the pets at the moment – Charmer, the cats and all the little ones, and I’ve so missed having a “mischief of rats” these last few years, so this is such a big day. Will introduce them soon!! 🐁