|Lilly discovers the joy of the hammock in her new top half of a DCN.|
Lilly is officially and definitively Not Pregnant! It has been 23 days since I took her in. Given the normal gestational period is 21 - 23 days, we should be in the clear. Thus, I have scheduled her for a pre-spay appointment on Thursday, and hopefully a spay the following week if she checks out okay and there are any openings on the vet's surgical calendar.
Gandolf had what I thought was an abscess on his side/thigh area. When I got him to the vet, the lump had become less prominent, being only visible when he stretched. Turned out, the lump was a hernia and not an abscess at all. The good news is that the vet said that it is correcting itself, and that seems to be the case. I can no longer see the lump at all. But introductions between the new rats and the existing rats won't be taking place until I am sure he is completely healed, as I do not wish for him to reinjure himself during a scuffle. Should the lump get worse, he may have needed surgical intervention, but it looks like that is not going to be necessary.
|The new cage on the left (Lilly on top and her boys on the bottom);|
The old cage on the right, with Burt, Ruby, Hammie, and Jeremy.
A couple of weeks ago, I decided that I wanted a second DCN for Lilly and her boys. Unfortunately, I missed out on the good deal currently at Petsmart, but hopefully others were able to take advantage of it. I really prefer this cage to any other and I am happy to have all the rats in DCNs in the rat room. Lilly is on the top half, with the ramp zip-tied in the up position and the full tray moved from the lower level to the upper level so there is no window/access to the cage below with the boys.
The existing rats aren't too pleased about their new neighbors. All four have been known to pace the adjacent wall all puffed up and indignant looking. They are not quite ready for introductions yet, but that is okay, as Gandolf needs to heal completely and I want to have Lilly spayed and moved back in with her boys before getting to that. In the mean time, they can adjust to being neighbors and watching the new rats play in the rat room during their turn at out time.
If/when the two groups are introduced, I would like to convert the two DCNs to a quad. It might be a little more complicated because the latest DCN design has added a bolt to the side leg of the stand and that bolt may prevent the two cages from standing completely flush against each other. However, any gap should not be large enough for rats to escape through. So I believe it will still be possible. Not looking forward to taking the cages apart and putting them back together, though! That is always an ordeal.