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African Pouched RatKali aged 6 weeks
Kali's vital statistics
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Species: African Pouched Rat (Cricetomys gambianus)



22 March

Kali has spared me from making the decision to have her put down. She died today while I was out at work. I’d given her breakfast in the morning as usual, and she even ate some of it, but by the time I got home in the evening she was dead. She had climbed up to the top self of her house and had died lying on her side. It almost looked as if she was asleep.

She had been eating very little since the weekend and spent most of her time asleep. She was constantly tired and didn’t have the energy to do anything. I’d already decided that if she didn’t improve by the weekend I’d have to have her put down. Yesterday evening while she was out of her house she looked particularly tired and I told her that she didn’t have to hang on any longer if she didn’t want to. Perhaps she understood what I’d said. I’m sorry that I wasn’t there when she died but I’m so glad I had the chance to say goodbye.

I do want to find out exactly what was wrong with her and even though I don’t really like the idea, I will have an autopsy done.

15 March

Over the past couple of days Kali has become noticeably weaker. She now spends most of her time asleep. I am still getting her out in the evenings but I have to lift her out of her house now. She doesn’t come out of her own accord. She seems happy enough when she’s out. She walks around the room, visits her potty and eats her mashed banana (which includes her medicine). She’ll only stay out for five or ten minutes, then she climbs back into her house and goes back to sleep.

I had hoped that as the weather warmed up she would have got a bit stronger, as she has done in previous years, but I don’t think that is going to happen this year. I’m keeping a very close eye on her to make sure she isn’t suffering but if she continues to decline I expect to have to make a difficult decision fairly soon.

2 March

Kali has had another check-up at the vets. The vet is quite pleased with how she’s managing and that she hasn’t got any worse. As she seems to be more-or-less stable she’ll stay on the heart pills. We booked another check-up for two months time.

The test results on Kali’s flaky skin did not show anything sinister. There was no sign of either bacterial or fungal infection. The cause remains a mystery but they do not seem to be bothering Kali. I just hope the fur grows back and covers the bare patches.

I finally managed to get Kali’s x-rays. These will be included in some medical information which will be published in the Profile section in the next couple of months.

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