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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Rest in Peace, Bela and Jo

It has been a sad week for us. On Saturday, Jo started showing symptoms similar to Bela's - heavy breathing, lethargy, and lack of appetite. On Sunday, we brought her to the vet who did x-rays. Her lungs were clear and perfect but everything below that was a cloudy mess on the x-ray. There were masses in her abdomen, likely originating in the liver but spreading to the stomach, and there was fluid in the abdomen. The vet prescribed furosemide (Lasix) for the fluid, but Jo passed away suddenly at home before the presciption could be filled and started. I was surprised and grief stricken to lose her so suddenly, but am grateful that she didn't suffer a long illness and went quickly.

In the mean time, Bela had progressively gotten worse. She was not eating anything and had bouts of gasping for breath, just like Pirate did before he passed away. She was interested in nothing except taking that next breath. It broke my heart to do it, but we eventually decided we needed to have her put to sleep. Because it was a lung tumor, there was no hope of her improving and she just had no quality of life. We wanted her to go peacefully.

We loved these girls immensely and it is very difficult to lose them both in one week. The rat room feels so quiet and empty now without them. Burt and Ruby seem lonely in their big Critter Nation cage. Needless to say, we hope to be bringing home some new rat kiddies in the near future. Plans are already in the works.

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