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



19 January

Ambaa still isn’t better. The tip of her tail didn’t recover. It went black and dropped off. She didn’t seem too concerned at first but it is taking a long time to heal and she is finding it very painful.

A few days after loosing the tip of her tail she developed some large open sores on her skin. They appeared overnight without any warning. The largest one is on her left leg. It is about 2cm across. There are smaller ones on the inside of her leg, either side of her tail and on her left heel.

I took Ambaa to the vet as soon as they appeared and he couldn’t think of any reason for them. As they appeared so quickly he thought she must have harmed herself. I think they must have something to do with Ambaa’s drop in temperature on New Year’s day.

Ambaa is now on pain killers and antibiotics. She won’t take them even when they are crushed up in her favourite foods.

Other than her painful tail she seems quite well in herself and is comming out to play as usual.

4 January

Ambaa has been enjoying a heat mat under her nest since she almost died of cold and there hasn’t been any repeat of her going cold.

She isn’t completely right. She is a bit unsteady and often seems confused. One minute she’ll take a couple of steps forward then stop and back up to where she started, the next she’ll set of at a fast trot and investigate everything she comes across as if she intently looking for something. corner

She’s eating, and using her potty but she isn’t eating the same amount. She seems suspicious of some of her food and will then settle on something and just eat that and leave everything else. Last night she would only eat mealworms and the night before she picked out and ate all the carrot from her fruit and veggies and ignored everything else.

The tip of her tail seems to have been affected by the cold. It is starting to discolour. If her normal colour doesn’t return soon she could well loose the tip of her tail.

The people on the Exotic Keeper Forum were really quick to respond with help and advice as soon as they heard about Ambaa’s problems. This is one of the best forums for rapid, expert support about Pouched Rats.

Ambaa is being monitored very closely and she seems to be stable at the moment.

1 January

The death and resurrection of Ambaa

After many calm and uneventful months the new year started with a shock. This morning Ambaa appeared completely lifeless. She was stone cold and didn’t seem to be breathing at all neither was there any sign of a pulse.

However she wasn’t stiff and her eyes were shut, whereas the eyes of a dead animal are usually slightly open, so there was still a chance she was alive. She was gradually warmed up using warm towels and a hot water bottle. It took over an hour before it was clear that she was breathing and her pulse was strong enough to feel.

Over the next few hours she gradually regained consciousness. She gratefully accepted water which she drank from a syringe and by mid afternoon she was well enough to climb out of the impromptu incubator and demand to be put back in her own house. Once back she had a quick snack on some slices of apple and settled back into her bed and went to sleep.

It seems like a miracle that Ambaa is back in the land of the living but it still isn’t clear what’s wrong with her. She is still very weak and wobbly.

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