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



15 October

Babu has been getting most of the attention recently and I wonder if Ambaa is feeling left out.

She is able to enjoy her playtimes more because she is less scared of being picked up. She would prefer it if I didn’t pick her up but, as long as I don’t hold her for more than a few moments, she puts up with it and doesn’t go frantic trying to escape. She also lets me stroke her now and because she is not so frightened she starts running about and playing much more quickly when I get her out.

She has also got used to going back home at the end of playtime. She no longer tries to hide away. As soon as she understands that playtime is over she allows me to steer her into the carry case so I can take her back to her main house.

She is continuing to grow and fill out. Because Babu lost so much weight after his accident Ambaa is now the heavier of the two. Babu has started to put on weight again but he has got to put on several more grammes before he catches Ambaa up. Their weight chart will be updated shortly to show these changes.

11 October

Babu’s back legs are getting slightly stronger. He was out with Ambaa the other night, dragging himself along the floor with his front legs, when I noticed that his back legs were moving more than before. The improvement was only very small but he was pulling his feet right under himself and then pushing backwards to help push himself along. He was doing complete steps but without the strength to lift himself off the floor.

His left leg is stronger than his right and he ends up pushing himself over onto his right hand side so that he’s resting on his right haunch. In that position his back legs don’t help him at all and he doesn’t seem to be able to right himself. He prefers to sit sideways than with his legs underneath him.

We were due to go back to the vets tonight but they phoned to say that my vet has been called out on an emergency and had to cancel the appointment.

3 October

Poor Babu does have a bladder infection. We have to go back to the vets for the next three days for an injection. After that I’ll have to give Babu an oral anti-biotic for another five days. After the treatment the vet will test Babu’s urine again to make sure the infection has cleared up.

The test also shows that he has a high concentration of Struvite crystals in his urine. These can lead to bladder stones. In cats and dogs the treatment is to give a special diet which changes the acidity of the urine so the crystals can’t form. The vet asked me to try the diet on Babu but it is very high in animal protein and I’m not sure how good it will be for Babu.

Babu is not showing any signs of pain or discomfort with the infection although he is loosing weight slightly. He now knows what going to the vets is about and he does not like it. He takes the injections very well but he hates being there and being pulled about.

2 October

I noticed blood in Babu’s urine so we went straight back to the vet. The vet collected a urine sample for testing but said the most likely cause was an infection. Rather than wait for the results of the test the vet gave Babu an anti-biotic injection.

We go back to the vets tomorrow to get the results of the test.

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